Undergraduate Courses

Science and Technology Studies (STS)

Should we cycle to uni instead of driving because of climate change? Why are some people concerned about the health risks of mobile phones whilst others see them as a safe and essential way of communicating? What are the issues with using genetic testing to select for particular traits in future children? Science and Technology Studies (STS) provides you with the tools to answer some of these questions and many more. In STS you can study everything from Galileo's conflict with the Church over his sun-centred theory of the cosmos to international law relating to biotechnology regulation and policy responses to climate change.

Science and Technology Studies (STS) is an interdisciplinary program that covers:

  • history & philosophy of science, technology & medicine;
  • sociology of science & technology;
  • science & technology policy;
  • environmental history & sociology.

STS's emphasis on building critical analytical skills from an interdisciplinary base is widely recognised by international bodies involved in governance, regulation and policy development as providing graduates with invaluable knowledge and experience for addressing the many complex real-world problems facing humanity in the 21st century. The mix of policy-relevant skills and contextual knowledge about science, technology and the environment to which STS graduates are exposed makes them highly employable upon completion of their degrees.

Whether you are enrolled in an Arts, Science, Engineering, Education or Commerce degree, you can do a minor in STS and get credit points toward your degree program.

Students enrolled in either a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies degree can pursue STS as a single major or in combination with another major.

Major Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the Science and Technology Studies major students will be able to:

  1. Critically review how Science and Technology Studies has developed as a discipline and how it relates to other areas of study
  2. Evaluate key concepts from the history, philosophy and social studies of science
  3. Exercise critical thinking and judgment to generate solutions to a range of problems in science and technology policy and decision-making processes
  4. Create coherent analytical narratives which engage with key contemporary science and technology studies theories and consider a range of alternative viewpoints

 

Subjects Required for Major Study

A major in STS consists of a minimum of 54 credit points comprised as outlined below.

Subject Code subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
Core
Select ONE subject from the following:
STS 100 Knowledge, Culture & Social Change: Science, Technology & Society 6 Autumn
STS 112 The Scientific Revolution 6 Spring
Plus:
STS 219 How Science Works: theories, methods and practices in the sciences 8 Spring
STS 250 Social Aspects of Genetics and Biotechnology 8 Autumn
STS 309 Future Tense: Politics and Regulations of Technoscience 8 Spring
STS 320 New Biosciences & the Body:Contemp Issues in Soc Sciences & Medicine 8 Spring
Electives
Plus at least TWO from the following. One of these must be 300-level.
HIST239 Water in Australia: An Environmental History 8 Spring
PHIL220 Knowledge, Explanation and Understanding 8 Autumn
PHIL258 Ethics and the Environment 8 Autumn
STS 218 Environment in Crisis 8 Spring
STS 288 Risk, Media and Communication 8 Autumn
STS 300 The Environmental Context: Imagining a Zero Carbon Future 8 Autumn
STS 399 Research Topics in Science and Technology Studies 8 Autumn, Spring
PHIL380 Bioethics 8 Autumn

Subjects Required for Minor Study

A minor in STS consists of at least 28 credit points from the schedule of the Major. The minor includes one subject at each of the three levels and must include at least three STS subjects.

Subject Code subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
Core
At least ONE from:
STS 100 Knowledge, Culture & Social Change: Science, Technology & Society 6 Autumn
STS 112 The Scientific Revolution 6 Spring
Plus at least ONE from:
STS 219 How Science Works: theories, methods and practices in the sciences 8 Spring
STS 250 Social Aspects of Genetics and Biotechnology 8 Autumn
Plus at least ONE from:
STS 309 Future Tense: Politics and Regulations of Technoscience 8 Spring
STS 320 New Biosciences & the Body:Contemp Issues in Soc Sciences & Medicine 8 Spring
Electives
HIST239 Water in Australia: An Environmental History 8 Spring
PHIL220 Knowledge, Explanation and Understanding 8 Autumn
PHIL258 Ethics and the Environment 8 Autumn
PHIL380 Bioethics 8 Autumn
STS 218 Environment in Crisis 8 Spring
STS 288 Risk, Media and Communication 8 Autumn
STS 300 The Environmental Context: Imagining a Zero Carbon Future 8 Autumn
STS 399 Research Topics in Science and Technology Studies 8 Autumn, Spring

For non-Arts students, STS offers the following 200-level subjects at 6 credit points 

Subject Code subject Name Credit Points Session(s)
STS 209 How Science Works: theories, methods and practices in the sciences 6 Spring
STS 216 Environment in Crisis 6 Spring
STS 251 Social Aspects of Genetics and Biotechnology 6 Autumn
STS 286 Risk, Media and Communication 6 Autumn

Please note that Bachelor of Arts students are not permitted to undertake 6cp 200 level subjects in STS.

Honours

See Bachelor of Arts (Honours).

Credit Arrangements

Credit and articulation arrangements are available from the Course Finder. Refer to UOW's credit arrangements for information on how to apply for credit.

Other Information

Further information is available at:
UOW Course Finder
Email: lha-enquiries@uow.edu.au

Last reviewed: 27 November, 2014