Major Overview


Science and technology influence much that happens in our world. Understanding the social context of science and technology is an important part of scientific literacy. The SCTS major innovatively integrates the skills and knowledge relevant to both science and humanities education. As the only program of its kind in WA, the SCTS major will appeal to students and employers alike who value this integration. In the SCTS major, students receive a broad grounding in historical, philosophical, and social dimensions to science and technology with a focused thread on biological sciences and technologies running through all core units in the major. Drawing on units from four schools at UWA, the SCTS major integrates science, technology, and the humanities. Students will gain substantive knowledge of SCTS as an established interdisciplinary area of study. They will also develop the corresponding analytic, technical, and integrative skills much in demand by employers seeking students with flexible suites of learning skills.


Students are able to:

  1. analyse how scientific knowledge is made and be able to interpret scientific information
  2. interpret the historical and social contexts in which scientific knowledge and technology are created, debated, critiqued, and applied
  3. apply key theories and concepts within the fields of the history and philosophy of science and of science and technology studies to a range of contexts
  4. evaluate problems arising for the development and application of scientific knowledge and technology
  5. demonstrate a capacity for self-reflection and an understanding of philosophical and ethical issues in science and technology.
Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so and to pursue as many areas of interest as you can during your course of study. At the same time, we know that many of you value the University's guidance and assistance in planning your enrolment throughout your course, so we offer the following suggestions for your consideration as possible avenues to broaden your degree. Do always remember, however, that there is no wrong way to broaden your studies as long as you complete at least four units not associated with your Degree Specific Major.

The critical study of science and technology central to the SCTS major will involve examining specific scientific theories, practices and technologies. For broadening units with the SCTS major we particularly recommend picking up a minor in a science (or a second major) so you can bring a relatively solid understanding of a particular field to your SCTS studies (and, conversely, have SCTS inform your education in your science minor). For this reason we recommend any of the following minors: Women's Health, Mineral Resource Development, Sport and Exercise Physiology, Physical Activity and Health, Biological Anthropology, Anatomical Sciences, Human Systems Physiology, Data Science, Earth's Environmental Challenges, Applied Statistical Learning, Environmental Biology, Behavioral Data Science, Environmental Chemistry, Understanding the Environment, Ecology, Environmental Economics, and OneHealth: Human Health and Environment. Other minors that would also pair well with the SCTS major include Science Communication, Environmental Humanities, Cross-Cultural Communication, Science and Policy: Climate Change, Environmental Planning and Urban Environments, Active Citizenship, and Digital Citizenship.


Science and Technology in Society can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:

No study plans found for this major. See study plans for more information.


Key to availability of units:
Semester 1
not available in 2024 – may be available in 2025 or 2026

Although students are required to take just 2 of the 3 Level 1 units in the sequence, they are encouraged to take all three, where their background and degree programs allow them to. Students may also be in a position to take 1 of the Level 2 units during their first year of study.

Level 1

Degree-specific major units

Take unit(s) to the value of 12 points:

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 INDG1150 Aboriginal Encounters: Strangers in our Backyard
HIST1100 Aboriginal History
S1 PHIL1001 Ethics for the Digital Age: An Introduction to Moral Philosophy
PHIL1107 Ethics, Free Will and Meaning
S1 SCOM1101 Communicating Science
Successful completion of
ATAR Subject(s) ATAR Mathematics Applications
or ATAR Subject(s) WACE Mathematics 2C/2D or equivalent
MATH1720 Mathematics Fundamentals
or MATX1720 Mathematics Fundamentals

Level 2

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (24 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 ANIM2001 The Darwinian Revolution
Unit(s) ANIM1001 The Darwinian Revolution (ID 5787)
S1 GEND2903 Sex, Gender, Technology and Science
Successful completion of
24 points
S1 PHIL2001 Bioethics
any level 1 unit in the Bachelor of Arts, or equivalent
PHIL2201 Social Ethics: Life and Death
S1 PHIL2005 Exploring the Nature of Science
24 points of Level 1 units
PHIL2270 Philosophy of Science

Level 3

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (18 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 ANHB3321 Biological Anthropology: Genes and Society None
S1 SCOM3319 Exhibitions and Interpretation
Enrolment in
Minor(s) MNR-SCCOM Science Communication
or Enrolment in
51580 Master of Science Communication
or Successful completion of
48 points Unit(s)
N/A SCTS3001 Science and Technology in Focus
Successful completion of
48 points