Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

Click on an offering mode for more details.

Unit Overview


Technology forms an integral part of our individual and collective existence. Digital technologies, in particular, play a fundamental role in how we socialise, learn, work, consume, and trade. In this engagement, people are often seen as ‘users' of technology, responding passively to technological developments. This unit reorients this frame, through the POWER framework – Power, Oversight, Workers, Environment, Rights. As citizens, and through civic institutions, we have a proactive role in how technology is, and ought to be, shaped and regulated. This unit is designed to help you think critically and informedly about internet-based digital platforms, Big Tech, automation, artificial intelligence, and more. This is not a unit about how people use technology. It is a unit about the big questions that we need to engage with – and answer – around tech, justice, and power, as citizens and as civic professionals. Delivered by research leaders from the UWA Tech & Policy Lab in collaboration with interdisciplinary experts globally, this dynamic, mixed-delivery unit introduces students to essential concepts at the interface of technology and law, politics, labour, and the environment.

6 points
AvailabilityLocationModeFirst year of offer
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the labour and resource implications of digital technologies; (2) demonstrate an understanding of how law operates in the context of digital technologies and tech companies; (3) evaluate the affordances, dependencies, and deficiencies of digital technologies; and (4) develop informed analysis on technology and justice.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) quizzes; (2) assignment; and (3) group project. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Jacqueline Alderson and Associate Professor Julia Powles
Contact hours
3 hours per week. This may include evening sessions at the commencement and end of semester. The unit will comprise of a mix of pre-recorded online and face-to-face delivery.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.