Social Sciences
& Advocacy

A voice for the community

Change the world one community at a time and advocate for those who don’t have a voice. Learn how to promote social justice effectively in a range of situations and settings.

Whether you’re interested in health promotion, criminology, or human geography, studying social science and advocacy will equip you with theoretical knowledge and practical skills so you graduate ready for the workplace.

Social Science

Psychological Science and Criminology

Public Health


Advocacy and Human Services

Social Work


Sustainable Communities and Geography

Occupational Health and Safety

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Postgraduate Coursework


Postgraduate Research


Belong to one of the best

Study in social sciences and advocacy can lead in many directions. At UOW, you have an opportunity to explore all aspects of your chosen field in your first year as an undergraduate, before going on to specialise. You might choose to pursue epidemiology or health promotion, sociology or human geography, criminology or psychology; or focus on the wellbeing of children and their families or indigenous communities.

Whatever your passion, you’ll be supported by dedicated academic staff, and a network of academic and career support services so that you’ll graduate ready to apply your skills in the workplace.

Study Social Work

At UOW we focus on teaching you the practical skills that you need to succeed in the workplace:

  • Our social work courses contain a total of 1000 hours of work-based placements, giving you an invaluable opportunity to learn practical skills first-hand.
  • As a UOW student you’ll also have access to work-integrated learning opportunities embedded in your degree, giving you practical experience while you study.
  • You’ll also benefit from the career support services offered by UOW’s Careers & Employability (formerly Careers Central), helping you plan and prepare for your career before you graduate.

UOW courses focus on teaching you the knowledge and skills you need to make a successful transition to the workplace:

  • Graduates of our public health degrees are eligible for full membership of the Public Health Association of Australia and Australian Health Promotion Association.
  • Our social work courses are accredited by the Australian Association of Social Workers (AASW), meaning that you are eligible for AASW membership on graduation.

You can be sure you’ll graduate with the skills you need in practice, and those sought after by industry.


Study Public Health


UOW has a strong health-based research portfolio, and is home to one of the most advanced research facilities in the region.

The Australian Centre for Health Engagement, Evidence and Values (ACHEEV) is focused on social research, deliberation and public engagement to better understand, engage with, and advocate on health challenges. 

Our research students have access to advanced research support from our Graduate Research School, helping to ensure they meet key milestones and meet or exceed international standards.


Social science: Study at our ý campus. A limited offering is also available at our Shoalhaven campus.

Undergraduate social work: Study at our ý and Shoalhaven campuses.

Postgraduate social work: Study at our ý and Liverpool campuses.

Public health: Courses offered at our ý campus and online.

Geography: Study at our ý campus.

Please check the course information page for delivery details.

outdoors main campus

Top 200

UOW ranked among the world's top 200 universities for scientific impact in the study area of social sciences and humanities.

CWTS Leiden Ranking 2020

5 stars

UOW undergraduate Social Work received a 5-star rating for student support.

The Good Universities Guide 2023

Become one of the world's most employable graduates

A career in social sciences and advocacy can be very diverse and rewarding, with opportunities in management, policy development, education, environment, human resources, the public service, and the community sector.

No matter your path, your UOW degree is appreciated by employers. The latest QILT Employer Satisfaction Survey (2021) ranked employers' overall satisfaction with UOW graduates at 91.7% (84.7% national average), placing UOW 1st among all universities nationally.

Here are just some of the careers you could pursue:

  • Aged care manager
  • Child protection officer
  • Community planning and development manager
  • Criminologist
  • Disability care worker
  • Environmental health officer
  • Environmental officer
  • Epidemiologist
  • Family and community services manager
  • Health care manager
  • Health promotion officer
  • Indigenous health officer
  • Indigenous housing officer
  • International policy advisor
  • Mental health advocate
  • Policy analyst
  • Public health nutritionist
  • Public health program coordinator
  • Public health project manager
  • Public health research officer
  • Refugee services advocate
  • Social or market researcher
  • Social planning advisor
  • Social worker
  • Town planner
  • Youth worker

Read more: What can I do with my degree?

Meet Toby

I think the common thread that I have encountered with the people who have taught or studied Social Science is that desire to create a positive impact on their society. My degree contained a diverse range of practical experiences and there were always opportunities to be involved and become engaged beyond the theory and assignments. Toby Bachelor of Science (Population Health) Manager, IRT Foundation

For a sustainable future

Taneesha studied a Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Human Geography at UOW. She has always had a passion for ocean and environmental conservation, and she hopes to use this, along with her degree, to create a sustainable future.


[Taneesha - Bachelor of Social Science (Human Geography)]
My name is Taneesha and I studied a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in human geography. Growing up I kind of always had a passion for environmental and ocean conservation. I chose Human Geography because it allowed me to study that and explore that passion in a way which incorporated people. I want to use my passion for ocean and environmental conservation, combined with the skills I've learned in my degree, to create a sustainable future.

Real-world experience

Katelin Smith and lecturer Dr Delia Rambaldini-Gooding on why they’re passionate about social sciences.


[Katelin Smith - Bachelor of Social Science] Social science allows people to understand society in a different way than what you're taught in high school.

[Dr Delia Rambaldini-Gooding - Academic Program Director, Social Sciences] I think students choose to study social sciences because they genuinely want to make the world a better place. They're interested in social justice issues and they're interested in the factors that contribute to social disadvantage and inequality, and they're really interested to learn about how they can improve people's health and well-being.

[Katelin] The teachers, they're very professional. They know exactly what they're talking about, they're so passionate about it and they want to see a change as well.

[Delia] I've had a lot of work experience in third sector organizations, working in policy and research areas, so I've really tried to bring those experiences into my research and teaching.

[Katelin] They have first-hand experience on the matters of society. They've worked in various roles; they know what they're talking about.

[Delia] A social science degree really equips students to become the change-makers of tomorrow, by developing skills that are transferable to lots of different career opportunities in government organisations, private organisations and in third sector community organisations.

[Katelin] I'm really looking forward to our placement next semester. It's going to allow me to put all the skills and knowledge that I've learnt in the last two years into practice.

[Delia] So in a social science degree we've really worked hard to embed work-integrated learning throughout the subjects; from the very foundational subjects in first year, right through to third year subjects where students get an opportunity to do a work placement.

[Katelin] It's allowed me to broaden my horizons and my knowledge and also kind of what i believe in as well.

[Delia] That work placement gives them the opportunity to put into practice all of the skills and knowledge that they have learned throughout their degree, and it also gives them the opportunity to see how those skills that they have learned at university are transferable to the workplace. So embedding work-integrated learning from the beginning right through the degree really helps students develop those work ready skills.


A brighter future starts here

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