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The Bachelor of Social Sciences will appeal to students who are interested in gaining a better understanding of the world, its people, and social issues and events. The Bachelor of Social Science has a core of professional courses to develop skills in research design, critical thinking, communication, data collection, and program evaluation, while also allowing space for a single or double major. There are also a number of post-graduate study options available.
The Gender Studies major is an interdisciplinary major, and allows students to study gender in a variety of contexts, with courses including film, language, sociology, history and politics. This major has a grounding in social and cultural aspects of gender and can be effectively combined with a number of other major studies, such as Politics and Policy or Welfare and Community Services.
Employment opportunities for students with a Bachelor of Social Science are varied, while those with a major in Gender Studies may find employment in the areas of community and welfare, government, policy development, social research, or media and journalism. Potential employers include non-government organisations, consultancy agencies, government departments, and international organisations.
A placement elective is available to Bachelor of Social Science students, which involves completing a social science research project with a relevant organisation.
Some occupations require a higher level of completed study than an undergraduate degree, and for this reason it is worthwhile considering the range of Honours, Research Higher Degrees (RHD), Postgraduate Coursework programs and additional study options available. These options may also be useful for specialising in a particular area, or to stimulate career change. Some of the future options following a major in gender studies include:
Honours: Bachelor of Social Science (Honours)
After completing a degree there are a broad range of postgraduate options available in a variety of fields which can allow you to specialise in a particular area of interest or build upon your existing knowledge base. To explore such options please visit the Postgraduate Handbook at http://www.newcastle.edu.au/campaigns/postgrad/
The following list provides some example jobs for the Gender Studies major. Some of these jobs will depend upon the amount and level of study undertaken, level of experience, and the combination of other majors and electives studied, for example some may require further study.
- Access and Equity Advisor
- Aid Worker
- Arts Administrator
- Campaign Manager
- Commissioning Editor
- Community Development Worker
- Community Liaison Officer
- Coordinator of Social Services
- Court/Clerical Officer
- Cultural Development Officer
- Education Officer
- Festival/Events Co-ordinator
- Graduate Programs - Public and Private Sectors
- Grants Officer
- Hostel and Refuge Worker
- Human Resources Officer
- Immigration Officer
- Industrial Relations Officer
- Juvenile Justice Officer
- Market Research Officer
- Police Officer
- Policy Officer/Analyst
- Probation/Parole Officer
- Research Officer
- Social Researcher
- Social Scientist
- Support Worker
- Trade Union Official
- University Lecturer / Academic
Getting the Edge
Most employers seek to recruit people who have relevant work experience and an appreciation for their industry. Here is a check list of ideas about gaining experience and industry knowledge.
- Check the type of experience most employers in your field of interest expect. Don’t overlook the part time work you may be currently doing. Most employers understand that the skills are transferrable even if the work is not in their industry.
- Check your academic program for any courses that involve a placement or the opportunity to undertake an industry based project.
- Check your school for Summer Scholarships for research opportunities.
- Check vacancy sites for advertised traineeships, part time employment and vacation work opportunities in your field.
- Source and approach organisations directly about possible work shadowing or information interview opportunities.
- Source and approach organisations directly for paid work opportunities.
- Consider volunteering.
Note: Gaining experience may be important but not at the expense of your studies. Make sure you do not overload your timetable with unrealistic work commitments.
Gender Studies graduates find employment opportunities in a wide variety of industries in small, medium or large organisations. Below is an example of some of the large organisations that recruit this major.
- ActionAid Australia (International)
- Amnesty International (International)
- Attorney Generals Department (Australia)
- AusAID (International)
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (Australia)
- Australian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Family Studies (Australia)
- Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (Australia)
- Australian Universities (Australia)
- Care Australia (International)
- Centrelink (Australia)
- CSIRO (Australia)
- Department of Community Services (Australia)
- Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (Australia)
- Department of Families, Housing, Communities and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Department of Human Services (Australia)
- Department of Immigration and Citizenship (Australia)
- Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet (Australia)
- Diversity Health Institute (Australia)
- Hunter Women's Centre (Australia)
- International Women's Development Agency (Australia)
- Karumah Positive Living Centre (Australia)
- Marie Stopes International Australia (Australia)
- Men's Information and Support Centre (Australia)
- Mission Australia (Australia)
- New South Wales Sexology Services (Australia)
- Office for Women - Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (Australia)
- Oxfam (International)
- Salvation Army (Australia)
- The Samaritans (Australia)
- Sexual Health and Family Planning Australia (Australia)
- St Vincent de Paul (Australia)
- United Nations High Commission for Refugees (International)
- Women's Electoral Lobby (Australia)
- Women's Refuges (Australia)
- Women's Services Network (Australia)
- YMCA (Australia)
Some large organisations have specific graduate recruitment programs designed to employ the pick of graduates each year. You must be in your final year of study or recently completed to apply for these programs. The timing of these recruitment drives varies and may occur at any point in the academic year, in some cases starting as early as the first few weeks of the first semester or trimester.
Find out if employers in your area/s of interest have graduate programs, when they typically recruit and what recruitment methods they use. Check with the Careers Service .
Job Prospects and Salary
For up-to-date information please see Job Outlook Australia. This site provides basic Australian labour market information including job prospects, skills requirements and salaries. You might try some of the classifications below as a guide on this site.
Societies and Associations
Associations and societies often provide relevant and up to date information about a variety of issues relating to specific industry sectors. These can be a good starting point to learn more about occupations through profiles, industry news, links to academic journals and information on research developments. Many also offer student membership, conference and professional development activities, newsletters and the opportunity to participate in projects.
Don’t overlook student societies and associations. As well as student chapters of professional associations, some faculties or schools have discipline based student associations. Check your school or faculty web site; perhaps you might start one if one doesn’t exist.
Some academic disciplines run Seminar Programs that involve regular seminars presented by University of Newcastle academics, visiting academics and postgraduate students. Check your schools website for the timetable.
Job Search Sites
Searching job sites is a good way to gain an understanding of: industries recruiting professionals in this field; types of roles and the requirements or expectations of employers for these roles. There are many online job search sites, here are a few to start with:
Australian and International
- CareerHub: the University of Newcastle Careers Service careers and job search site for enrolled students and graduates.
- CareerOne: Australia wide job listings, all levels and industries including executive positions
- MyCareer: Australian and international listings
- Seek: comprehensive Australian job listings, also includes New Zealand and UK listings
- The Big Chair: Management and Executive Jobs
Graduate Attributes and Employability
Graduate attributes for the Bachelor of Social Science are the skills, abilities and knowledge that are highly sought after by a broad range of employers. Below is the complete list of attributes that graduates will have demonstrated upon the completion of the degree.
Upon completion of the degree, graduates can expect to have:
- Advanced social research skills: In-depth knowledge and skills in the design and conduct of social research, including the capacity to collect, organize, critically assess, and present information in written and oral forms.
- Specialist Social Science knowledge: Comprehensive knowledge of one or more specialist areas in the Social Sciences.
- Critical thought and informed decision-making: The ability to structure and present logical arguments, critically analyse material and opinions, and make informed decisions.
- Effective management and teamwork skills: The ability to work autonomously and collaboratively, including effective leadership skills, teamwork, organisational and program management capabilities.
- High-level communication, interpersonal and presentation skills: Advanced level of written, oral, and interpersonal skills, including the effective use of information and communication technologies.
- Ethical and socio-cultural sensitivity: An understanding of ethical issues, standards, and public responsibility in relation to professional practice. An appreciation of cultural diversity and sensitivity towards vulnerable and Indigenous groups.
You will recognise these attributes in the selection criteria listed in the following job ads.
Sample Job Ads & Tips
Job ads provide useful information about the job and the required skills, experience and qualifications. Information like this is useful in career planning. Below is a small sample of job ads with tips on planning and job applications; explore further to gather more useful information for your planning.
Please note, the job ads listed on this page are not current and were sourced from a variety of websites in 2010.