Social Sciences Courses

Take Social Science courses overseas to broaden your horizons and enhance your career prospects! Choose from hundreds of courses in a wide range of subjects, including Anthropology, Cultural and International Studies, Gender Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work and more!
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Available Courses by Program
COURSE: SPAN 350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July: Session 1 and 2

Why are Spaniards currently exhuming mass graves of the Civil War? How can the country tolerate an unemployment rate of 20 percent? Why has Catalan and Basque nationalism dominated politics for decades? Why does a country with a historic reputation for machismo boast such progressive laws on gender and gay marriages? Why does political corruption remain so prevalent? This course examines political and social issues relevant to Spaniards today. It begins by discussing recent history in order to contextualize the major themes of the past few decades. It then moves to those subjects that emerged out of the transition to democracy – regionalism, terrorism, and linguistic pluralism – and still account for many of the peculiarities of Spanish politics. The second half of the course analyzes “Spain’s Second Transition” under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero by focusing on immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, foreign policy, gender and family relations, historical memory, political corruption, and the economic crisis. The course is multi-disciplinary, consisting of a mixture of readings from political science, history, and cultural studies. Each session will consist of a lecture and a class discussion.

COURSE: POLS 321
CREDITS: 18 points

Pre-requisite: 18 200-level POLS points or special permission from the Head of Department.

This paper examines how and why policy decisions are made by the New Zealand government, who they are made for, and how they can be changed.

Why do governments pursue certain courses of action and implement particular sets of policies during specific periods of history? Who makes policy and how? Why does policy matter? What is the relationship between economic and political power? Who runs New Zealand? More generally, how do we understand politics? The overall aim of the paper is for students to understand how and why public policy is made in New Zealand and elsewhere.

Assessment
Reading blogs: 10%
Policy theory essay and presentation: 25%
Critical theory essay: 25%
Policy evaluation: 40%

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COURSE: POLS 308
CREDITS: 18 points

Pre-requisite: 18 200-level POLS points or special permission of the lecturer.

The formulation and implementation of US foreign policy. Institutions, the strategy of containment, and the US role in a post-Cold War world.

Assessment
Essay: 30%
Individual tutorial group essay: 20%
Final examination (2 hours): 50%

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COURSE: POL3001
CREDITS: 7.5 ECTS credits / 36 contact hours

The European Union started in 1951 as an attempt to prevent a new World War in Europe. No other region has displayed similar willingness to give up important parts of national sovereignty in pursuit of a stronger global competitive positioning.

The European Union keeps pressuring the integration-process at a pace which is too fast for some and too slow for others. This integration has a direct impact on the daily lives of all citizens in Europe. The accession of the new Central and Eastern European Member-States poses new challenges for the EU. The East-West labour migration, which is driven by wage differentials creates both opportunities and problems. The free movement of people, and the current refugee crisis, has strained social welfare systems in some of the richer Member-States. Political pressures and the credibility of the EU integration system question the present forms of integration. Pressure such as Brexit, the Eurozone crisis and the related high-unemployment figures make national sovereignty more attractive for some voters.

The course offers a comprehensive coverage of the key political and economic policy areas of the European Union with analysis of the different approaches to regional integration throughout the history of the European Union. The course analyses the historical, political and economic bases for the rise of the European Union from its origins in the post-World War II recovery, to its historic enlargement in 2004 and 2007. Most of the present tensions inside the EU directly relate to the economic integration process and reflect on all other fields of European integration.

Further attention is paid to the protection of human rights within the European integration process. A comparison between the European and UN-framework for the protection of human rights will be made and practically applied to specific cases.

The course will give students an in-depth look at the European legal, economic and political landscape. The course contains academic classes around these themes, as well as field trips to a number of relevant institutions.

This intensive course includes:

  • Weekend excursion to Brussels – visit to the European Parliament and European Commission (to be confirmed)
  • Weekend excursion to The Hague and Amsterdam – visits to the International Criminal Court and International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (to be confirmed)
COURSE: SPAN 350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: January / July: Session 1 and 2

Why are Spaniards currently exhuming mass graves of the Civil War? How can the country tolerate an unemployment rate of 20 percent? Why has Catalan and Basque nationalism dominated politics for decades? Why does a country with a historic reputation for machismo boast such progressive laws on gender and gay marriages? Why does political corruption remain so prevalent? This course examines political and social issues relevant to Spaniards today. It begins by discussing recent history in order to contextualize the major themes of the past few decades. It then moves to those subjects that emerged out of the transition to democracy – regionalism, terrorism, and linguistic pluralism – and still account for many of the peculiarities of Spanish politics. The second half of the course analyzes “Spain’s Second Transition” under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero by focusing on immigration, Islamic fundamentalism, foreign policy, gender and family relations, historical memory, political corruption, and the economic crisis. The course is multi-disciplinary, consisting of a mixture of readings from political science, history, and cultural studies. Each session will consist of a lecture and a class discussion.

CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 2

Students will examine the process of European political and economic integration, from its first steps in the 1950s until today. The course offers an overview to the key dimensions that help understand what the European Union project is, how it works and why and how it was created. Particular attention is paid to EU migration and border dynamics and their interaction with ongoing debates about European identity and the rise of xenophobic and Islamophobic discourses across Europe. With a strong emphasis in current theoretical debates ongoing in the fields of political geography and population geography current demographic challenges and ongoing geopolitical disputes (within the EU and between the EU and its neighbourhood) will be scrutinised.

CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 1

This course examines the main political and socio-economic processes that help understand present-day Barcelona, particularly after the 1992 Olympics turned it into a vibrant global city. Through the lens of politics, human geography and history, students will explore topics like massive tourism, gentrification, environmental sustainability, the real state bubble, or immigration dynamics. Special attention will be paid to the tense power relations between Catalonia and Spain, the political heritage of Franco’s fascist dictatorship and the rise of the Catalan independence movement.

COURSE: LACRCM390 / LAHSCM390
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, A

This course presents the specific structural and phenomenological aspects of the various types of mafia operating in Italy and internationally. Topics analyze contemporary criminal, social, cultural, and political features of mafia-related groups and explore traditional and emerging illegal markets. The course describes main Italian and international law policies and legislations to contrast this type of organized crime and the experiences of leading individuals and groups developing a culture of legality to combat the mafia.

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COURSE: LACMHM380 / LAHSHM380
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 4, B

This course discusses the origins and development of the Mafia in the context of Italian politics, economics, and society from the nineteenth century to the present day. It analyzes the nature of Mafia activities and their international relevance. Special focus will be given to judicial procedures against the Mafia and the experiences of key individuals and groups contrasting their illegal activities.

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COURSE: CHICANO 180
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Overview of Chicana/Chicano schooling issues in U.S., with special emphasis on several important historical events that exemplify struggle for educational justice and equity that affected Chicana/Chicano education–Mendez versus Westminster (1947) desegregation case and 1968 high school Chicana/Chicano student walkouts. Through oral history projects, documentation of legacy of Sylvia Mendez, who experienced segregation in one Mexican school in 1940s, Sal Castro, Chicano teacher and central figure in 1968 walkouts, and Chicano Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC). Examination of how historical, social, and political forces have impacted Chicana/Chicano educational experiences.

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COURSE: ENVIRON M164 / URBN PL M160
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Environmental planning is more than simply finding problems and fixing them. Each policy must be negotiated and implemented within multiple, complex systems of governance. Institutions and politics matter deeply. Overview of how environmental governance works in practice and how it might be improved.  

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COURSE: WL ARTS M79
CREDITS: 5 Units

Examination of issues of environmental and public health effects of intensive and extensive agriculture, influence of corporations on government, animal ethics, food deserts and urban gardening, and food insecurity. Focus on representation of such issues in documentaries, public lectures, memoirs, novels, and visual art, as well as on initiatives to address such problems through policy and activism.

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COURSE: POL SCI 154B
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Comparative study of governmental and political development, organization, and practices.

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COURSE: POL SCI 135
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Relations of China with its neighbors and other powers, with emphasis on contemporary interests and policies of China vis-à-vis U.S.

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COURSE: POL SCI 40
CREDITS: 5 Units

Basic institutions and processes of democratic politics. Treatment of themes such as constitutionalism, representation, participation, and leadership coupled with particular emphasis on the American case.

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COURSE: PHILOS 6
CREDITS: 5 Units

Study of some classical or contemporary works in political philosophy. Questions that may be discussed include What is justice? Why obey the law? Which form of government is best? How much personal freedom should be allowed in society?

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COURSE: POL SCI 10
CREDITS: 5 Units

Exposition and analysis of selected political theorists and concepts from Plato to the present.

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COURSE: PUB PLC 10A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Overview of principal topics of contemporary policy analysis, developing their applications with examples from instructor’s own research, visitors, small student projects, or field trips.

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COURSE: CHICANO M124
CREDITS: 5 Units

Overview of Mexican, Central American, and Latina/Latino immigration to U.S., examining social, political, and economic contexts out of which different waves of Latin American immigration have occurred.

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COURSE: INTL DV M120
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Contact CISaustralia for course description.

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COURSE: POL SCI 30
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to study of strategic interaction in political applications. Use of game theory and other formal modeling strategies to understand politics.

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COURSE: PUB PLC 10D
CREDITS: 5 Units

Application of policy analysis to issues and solutions concerning homelessness. Guest lectures from local policymakers.

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COURSE: PUB PLC 10C
CREDITS: 5 Units

Application of policy analysis, including critical analysis, problem solving, and substantive policy research, to develop knowledge and understanding about drug and crime policy, with focus on cannabis. Guest lectures by instructors and guest academics and practitioners, with readings from academic literature and policy reports.

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COURSE: GEOG 145
CREDITS: 4-5 Units

Pre-requisite: One course from Geography 3, Geography 4, Anthropology 3, Gender Studies 10 or Sociology 1.

Exploration of how, why, and to what ends human trafficking has been conceptualized as global problem that warrants international response. Examination of recent activist, governmental, scholarly, and media responses, and reflection on what is and is not accomplished by them. Questions of human trafficking are implicitly geographical, requiring consideration of ways freedom is spatially defined and how movement across borders is encouraged and regulated. How questions of labor, migration, sexuality, rights, ethics, embodiment, representation, and governance pertain to human trafficking. What people mean when they speak of human trafficking as slavery. Meanings of slavery and freedom in world today using examples from U.S. and Europe, with focus on Philippines as case study for exploring both contemporary examples and historical forms of enslavement.

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COURSE: ISSU9IR
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 2

This module explores contemporary issues and debates that shape world politics today. It starts by introducing International Relations (IR) theory before turning to two broad themes that dominate IR: conflict and peace. We will apply these themes to a case study of the Northern Ireland conflict exploring the key political developments and the transition to a post conflict settlement. This module will also include a workshop that examines the use of wall murals to articulate conflict/post-conflict identity in Northern Ireland.

Excursion(s): This module includes a day trip to St Andrews, where we’ll undertake a tour of Scotland’s Secret Bunker – an underground compound built to safeguard Scotland during the Cold War.

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