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


Science and technology influence much that happens in our world. Understanding the social context of science and technology are an important part of scientific literacy. This unit provides students with an advanced capstone experience covering the relationships between science and technology and the larger world they shape, especially (but not only) for students enrolled in the Science and Technology Studies major.

Upon completion of this unit, students know how scientific knowledge is made and understand the diverse contexts in which this knowledge is applied and translated to achieve social goals. They have high levels of critical science literacy, enabling them to address complex challenges at the interface between science, technology, and an increasingly connected world. Special attention will be paid to the biosciences and biotechnology, broadly construed, and the social and historical contexts in which they have been developed and applied.

6 points
Not available in 2024UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 3 core unit in the Science and Technology in Society major sequence
  • Level 3 elective

Students are able to (1) analyse how scientific knowledge is made and be able to interpret scientific information; (2) interpret the social context in which scientific knowledge is created, debated, critiqued and applied; and (3) evaluate problems in the humanistic study of science and technology.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short research essay; (2) long research essay; and (3) 5 fortnightly journal reports. 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 Rob Wilson and Dr Remco Heesen
Unit rules
Successful completion of
48 points
Advisable prior study
ANIM2001 The Darwinian Revolution PHIL2001 Bioethics PHIL2005 Exploring the Nature of Science GEND2903 Sex, Gender, Technology and Science
Contact hours
lectures: 1 hour
workshop or tutorial: 2 hour
  • 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.