In its broadest sense, anthropology is the study of all things human. It explores all aspects of humanity – everything from cultures, behaviours and communication to evolution, social structures and relationships. In recent years, there have been major social and political movements throughout the world in which people are stressing a sense of community, shared identity and assertions of difference. At the same time, many people are expressing concerns for social justice, environmental degradation and so on. As a result, anthropologists are playing an increasingly important role in the world – wherever human diversity is an issue, anthropologists are called upon to provide their expertise.
Archaeology and Ancient History
Monash integrates archaeology and ancient history to offer a comprehensive approach to understanding ancient cultures, focusing on the Mediterranean. Monash is also the only university in Victoria where you can study ancient Egypt in depth with staff who conduct archaeological fieldwork in Egypt.
Archaeology and ancient history looks at the reconstruction of past societies and their evolution. It deals with every aspect of ancient life based upon all surviving data – art, architecture, objects, religious beliefs, cultures and social structures.
Asia is the largest and most populated continent in the world, home to a variety of cultures and the world’s most dynamic and fastest growing economies. Asian studies explores specific issues across a range of Asian countries, cultures and societies, using a comparative approach. Students look at disciplines such as history, politics, literature and anthropology and investigate how and why they differ between countries.
Australian Indigenous Studies
Australian Indigenous studies students are encouraged to engage with what it means to be an Australian today, how our history might have unfolded differently, and how Australia can further enhance its democratic ideals. Students use a comparative approach to understand the key issues and experiences of Indigenous peoples not only in Australia, but in international contexts.
Behavioural studies explores the ways in which we, as humans, act and interact with each other. At Monash, we focus on looking at human behaviour in the changing and challenging environment of the 21st century. Students analyse a range of historical and emerging insights about the way we behave from a variety of disciplines – sociology, culture, philosophy, biology and psychology. In doing so, students cover a range of issues including: explanations of criminal behaviour; how we portray ourselves in digital environments; the relationships between us and our social selves; our development across the lifespan; and personality and identity.
Child and Youth Development
Available at Monash South Africa only.
Poor early life experiences of children and adolescents, which can lead to harmful outcomes like underachievement, behavioural problems and crime, is the major focus in the study of child and youth development.
Not only is China becoming the powerhouse of the world economy, it is among the fastest growing economies in the world, and is of increasing importance to Australia within both government and private sectors. Australia also maintains educational and cultural exchanges with China, and tourism between Australia and China is growing. As a result, the demand for graduates with expertise in Chinese studies is ever increasing.
Classical studies draws links between the ancient world and modern society, by introducing students to the life, culture and language of the Ancient Greeks and Romans.
Cognitive science is the study of thinking, in humans primarily and to a lesser extend in animals and machines. It is an interdisciplinary field that has developed over the last few decades from the shared interests of psychology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics and neuroscience. The common goal of cognitive scientists is to understand the nature of the mind from a scientific viewpoint.
Communications focuses on the role of media in society and how this influences our communications. Today, we get most of our news and knowledge from mass media and social media, so it is vital that students learn about the structures of communications industries and how to critically analyse the media. Students also explore the relationships between media, culture and power.
Community Welfare and Counselling
Our community welfare and counselling program is vocationally-driven – we aim to give students the knowledge and skills that they need for ethical and social welfare practice. Graduates have the necessary skills to participate in a number of fields – counselling, child protection, disability services, youth justice, aged care, homelessness, family violence. While they are studying, we also provide students with work placements in welfare agencies, so that they can see what it’s really like to work in these areas.
Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies
This is an interdisciplinary program drawing on language, cultures and literature. Much of the work deals with comparative or world literature; cultural studies which is the study of literature in relation to other arts and media e.g. film and television; and critical theory which is the study of contemporary approaches to literary and cultural criticism.
Criminal justice addresses the complex issue of crime and the way in which it affects the lives of us all. It draws on diverse areas including psychological studies, sociology and Indigenous studies to stimulate fresh thinking. Students compare regional, state, national and international crime and crime prevention policies, while also considering radical alternatives for dealing with crime.
Crime is an issue that all citizens and governments confront on a daily basis. In this study area, students debate the causes of crime, the problem of crime, and how it should be dealt with. They also gain the skills to understand the complexities of crime and how to critically analyse its workings and tensions.
English students combine a love of reading with a passion for thinking, debating and analysing. English at Monash focuses on English literature and language, and its uses for a range of communication and cultural purposes. We aim to equip students with excellent communication skills, knowledge of a wide range of literary genres, and an understanding of the theoretical frameworks that underpin reading, writing and language use.
English as an International Language
English as an international language provides students with a new perspective on the use of English in today’s globalised world by looking at the implications of intercultural communication. Students explore the use of English in a range of contexts – academic, professional, and international.
European and European Union Studies
In this study area, students learn about Europe’s past, present and possible futures; its peoples and nations; its cultural, political and economic life; and the relationships that link today’s Europe and the European Union to the rest of the world.
Film and Television Studies
This teaching program extends and enhances everyday ways of thinking about film and television into more sophisticated and specialised methods and approaches. Students explore the film and television cultures of Asia, the United States and Europe, looking at everything from contemporary popular Hollywood to documentary film, and everything in between.
French is spoken in 42 countries over 5 continents. It is one of the five official languages of the United Nations and is used by important international bodies such as the World Health Organisation, the International Court of Justice, the OECD and the International Olympic Committee. Learning French at Monash gives students access to a culture with a key role in the past, present and future development of western civilisation. Students develop a critical understanding of fundamental areas of French studies, such as literature, film, philosophy and politics.
Not so long ago, issues such as gender, sexuality and the relationship between the sexes were not theorised, researched or even taught. Today, however, there is such a large body of knowledge and theory on these topics that a new branch of academic study has been formed – women’s studies and gender studies. Gender studies frequently challenges students’ existing understandings and extends their horizons. Students engage with topics including gender and the body, media representations, new reproductive technologies, employment and education, and ethnicity and racism.
Geography and Environmental Science
Geography and environmental science is concerned with natural environments, societies and communities, as well as human environment relations and environmental management. Students develop an analytical understanding of the current state of the global environment and have many opportunities for hands-on experience through field studies both within Australia and overseas.
Our German program is designed for students who want to specialise in German language, linguistics and culture. Students explore each of these areas and look at how they relate to German society.
History is not simply about dates and facts, but about new ways to interpret and understand the past, allowing us to make sense of the world today. History at Monash delves into different aspects of the human experience, and considers societies and civilisations across a range of periods and continents. Students can study everything from medieval and renaissance Europe to contemporary worlds, Asian civilisations and nations at war.
Monash has been teaching Indonesian culture and language for 50 years. Our Indonesian language students come from a range of backgrounds and begin at a variety of levels – from no prior knowledge of the language to proficient speakers. Students develop knowledge of the broader social, political and cultural contexts that make up the Indonesian environment and are encouraged to engage with our community of scholars who specialise in Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region.
As the world globalises and nations and economies become more integrated, understanding our world and the ideas and beliefs of our neighbours is vital. International studies criss-crosses history, politics, international relations, sociology and economics.
Knowledge of Italian is useful in itself, but is also essential to the study of other areas like history, literature, music, art and economics. Italian studies students at Monash explore contemporary literature, cinema and theatre, as well as medieval and Renaissance history and culture.
Communicating in Japanese requires cultural knowledge as well as language ability. At Monash, we have established ourselves as a national leader in developing innovative and effective programs for teaching Japanese. In additional to language skills, students learn about Japanese culture and society, history, the media, and its broader Asian context.
Jewish civilisation units at Monash are offered by the Australian Centre for Jewish Civilisation (ACJC). A primary objective of the centre is to provide students with an understanding of Jewish civilisation in its many aspects – language and literature, history, theology, philosophy, law, politics and sociology. As a result, students are able to study a diverse range of units covering the spectrum of Jewish civilisation – such as the Holocaust in an age of genocide, modern Israel, and Jewish philosophy and Kabbalah – just to name a few.
Our journalism program is the largest undergraduate journalism program in Australia. Our students are taught by real journalists. Through a combination of academic and practice-based work, students gain a solid foundation in all production technologies – print, video, radio and online – in metropolitan, regional and international contexts.
Did you know that Korean is Australia’s second largest trading partner? This means that employers in business and trade, law firms, schools and universities, and Federal and State Governments have a need for people with Korean expertise. Teaching of Korean at Monash incorporates interactive and multimedia resources to enhance students’ learning and bring Korean culture to the classroom.
Put simply, linguistics is the study of language. It looks at the structure of language, such as grammar, its meaning and how it is used, or in other words, its context. Students explore how languages differ and how they are alike, and learn techniques and principles to use in analysing any language. Examples of practical applications of linguistics include communication within organisations, the development of language policies in government and education, and intercultural communication.
Become the complete 21st century musician by surrounding yourself with some of the finest professionals in their fields at one of the best music schools in Australia – the Sir Zelman Cowen School of Music. Students receive one-on-one teaching to develop their solo and ensemble performance skills, and also explore composition, musicology (the academic study of music), and ethnomusicology (the study of music of different cultures).
What sorts of things exist in the world and how are they related? How are the mind and matter related? Philosophy raises questions such as these about the basic assumptions of every form of human inquiry – and attempts to find the answers. Students explore the notions of logic, critical reasoning, and both personal and professional ethics.
Politics at university is more concerned with explaining how and why different political systems are constructed, and how they work, than surface level politics such as current affairs. Students look at what happens, but also investigate why, such as the causes of political events and hidden meanings and motivations.
Psychological studies provides a sequence of units that cover popular applied areas of psychology, such as forensic psychology, the psychology of sport, and psychology and work. It is ideal for students who are not intending to take up psychology as a profession, but want to complement studies in education, social welfare, journalism, criminal justice and sociology.
Taught by the Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences in Australia, and the School of Health Sciences at Monash South Africa.
Psychology draws on a range of phenomena including remembering and forgetting, thinking, learning, problem solving, how we communicate, our emotions, and our social interactions. It allows us to examine how we respond to the world around us, providing valuable insights in how we can interact with the world more effectively and safely.
Religion and Theology
Is there more than what we see? It is important for all of us to acquire an appreciation of the various religions and spiritual traditions that shape our world. Only in doing so can we truly understand contemporary debates and the relationship of different religious and spiritual traditions with the modern world. Students have the opportunity to study a range of religious traditions, beliefs and theological systems within a variety of contexts.
Slavic studies engages with research into Russian and other Slavic literatures, post-Soviet and post-Yugoslav studies, Slovak popular culture, Russian and Slavic linguistics, and Russian, Serbian, Croatian, and Bosnian topics in translation studies.
Sociology explores people and the relationships that they have in different contexts such as families, schools and workplaces. Sociologists look to things like social class, gender, ethnicity, power and culture to understand and explain the differences in how people live, think and feel.
Spanish and Latin American Studies
Spanish is the language of over 400 million people. It is spoken officially in 23 countries, and is the second language of the US. While developing their language skills, students also explore the rich diversity of Spanish and Latin American cultures, including literature, film, music and history, allowing them to develop cultural competency alongside their linguistic skills.
Theatre and Performance
Theatre and performance is concerned with both performance and analysis of theatre texts and processes. The program covers Asian theatre, contemporary and postcolonial drama, music theatre, performance, theatre practice and process, and script development.
Students develop skills in translation to and from English and another language, and an awareness of practical and theoretical approaches to translation and translation studies. Languages available include Arabic, Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Other languages may be available depending on student numbers.
At Monash, Ukrainian studies is taught by the Mykola Zerov Centre for Ukrainian Studies. Students develop skills in written and spoken language, while exploring the culture, history, literature, and everyday life in the Ukraine today.
Visual culture involves a critical engagement with all types of visual expression and communication in society, ranging from the traditional fine arts such as painting and sculpture, to recent visual media such as advertising, fashion, film, and cyber-culture.
Writing at Monash offers students the opportunity to understand a range of writing practices and to become familiar with different kinds of writing and language use for different audiences and purposes. Students gain a detailed understanding of the range of techniques used in contemporary writing practice, and graduate with valuable analytical, editorial and creative skills, applicable to a variety of careers.