University of Melbourne


Available Courses

This subject examines the pressures of technological change on contemporary media institutions and communications practices. Students will be introduced to key debates about media convergence, the relationship between technological change and media practices, and the shift from mass communication to networked communication. A range of case studies drawn from different media sectors including photography, the music industry, television, cinema, and the Internet will be complemented by examination of emerging practices such as video games, digital art and surveillance. Students completing the subject will be able to develop a critical understanding of the forces affecting how new technology is adopted, and will be able to identify the major pressures shaping the media-communications industries in the future.

Entrepreneurship for Sustainability is a project-based subject. Working in teams, learners will propose an entrepreneurial venture to improve Australia’s performance against at least one of the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through this subject, learners will be introduced to the SDG framework and its uses, as well as various tools to elicit and validate an entrepreneurial concept. This subject is for anyone interested in learning, through experience, about entrepreneurial approaches to addressing real challenges to create impact and value – not just learners with entrepreneurial ambitions. The subject contains a high degree of industry and community interaction, including guest speakers who have experience addressing SDGs through entrepreneurial means.

This subject investigates the role of ethics and law in responding to the opportunities, challenges and risks raised by increasingly widespread use in society of artificial intelligence (AI) and related computational processes. Techniques such as expert systems, machine learning, neural networks, natural language processing, and machine vision are affecting almost every aspect of modern society. In particular, these techniques are changing the way in which government and business make decisions and the interaction between humans and machines in almost all facets of life. These developments have many beneficial consequences. They also raise a host of concerns, including about the impact of AI on privacy, employment, interpersonal relationships, and human rights. Developing technical, ethical and legal responses to these kinds of technologies, and those have yet to be developed, requires cross disciplinary insights, including from the humanities, science, design, economics, computing, and law. Drawing on these perspectives, and also industry expertise, “AI, Ethics and the Law” explores these issues through a series of case studies.

This subject will provide students with an introduction to the complexity, challenges and richness of Australian Indigenous life and cultures. This subject gives students an opportunity to encounter Australian Indigenous knowledges, histories and experiences through interdisciplinary perspectives. Across three thematic blocks – Indigenous Knowledge, Social and Political Contexts and Representation/Self- Representation – this subject engages contemporary cultural and intellectual debate. Social and political contexts will be considered through engagement with specific issues and a focus on Indigenous cultural forms, which may include literature, music, fine arts, museum exhibitions and performance, will allow students to consider self representation as a means by which to disrupt and expand perceptions of Aboriginality.

This subject gives students the opportunity to undertake original research in Melbourne. It aims to familiarize students with key issues in urban anthropology that reflect the dynamics of cities across the world. Students will explore processes of place-making, urban migration, spatial segregation, and urban governance and conflict. Working together with peers and teachers, they will conduct ethnographic research by observing and participating in urban events, mapping spatial and social relationships, conducting unstructured and semi-structured interviews, digital ethnography, and much more. Each year, classes will focus on a shared set of themes, sometimes in collaboration with research partners. Overall, this subject will help participants to develop important job-relevant skills, prepare for more advanced study in social sciences, and get to know fellow classmates through collaborative research.

Urban Transport systems face many challenges due to growing levels of congestion and rising levels of environmental, social and safety problems. This subject will use the systems approach as a framework for developing the key skills that need to acquired to develop and implement new transport technologies that can improve the sustainability of urban transport systems. This course will focus on how new technologies can be integrated with existing transport services to improve accessibility, health and safety. Key skills will be attained in the areas of data collection and processing, modelling and evaluation.

Food is a basic human need. Close to 800 million people suffer from chronic hunger. The world’s farmers grow enough food to feed everyone, but it is not properly distributed. At the same time, over a billion people are suffering from diet related illness due to the availability of energy-dense, nutrient-poor foods. By 2050 the world’s population will increase by two or three billion, which will likely double the demand for food. The resources required to grow food are becoming scarce and climate change has the potential to irreversibly damage the natural resource base on which agriculture depends. Through engaging experts from across multiple disciplines, Food for a Healthy Planet subjects explore the global mega trends that are impacting on human health and planetary health and teaches students about the impacts food choices might have on their health and on the environment.

From illegally spray-painted stencils to secret exhibitions in abandoned warehouses to exclusive multi-million dollar art fairs, this subject explores the rise of street art in the contemporary city. The subject examines the diversity of artists, materials and political impulses that drive street art and graffiti and its shift from an illicit subculture to a mainstream practice. Using examples from Melbourne and other key cities such as New York, Rome and Berlin, the subject investigates how the meaning and impact of street art derive from spatial and social contexts and how street art can provide new ways of understanding a city, as well as broader debates about art, public space and urban development. Students undertaking this subject will develop skills in identifying, mapping and designing street art in Melbourne’s laneways.

This interdisciplinary subject will introduce students to the core concepts of One Health in its broadest sense, as a concept that describes the interconnectedness of the health of humans, animals and the environment. Key themes that will be explored during the course, with reference to case studies, will include: The historical progression of animal health, wildlife health and conservation; Sustainable agricultural development, food security and human nutrition across a range of country/development contexts; Emerging infectious diseases at the animal/human interface, the role of infection reservoirs, intermediate hosts and vectors; The ecology of microbial pathogens, including food borne diseases and the development of antimicrobial resistance; Surveillance and response in a One Health framework; Societal norms and behaviours in relation to the intersection of human and animal health; The holistic concept of “One Health” in the context of indigenous health; and Ethical, political, cultural and governance challenges in the “One Health” domain.

In the era of globalisation, contemporary cultures are increasingly shaped by transnational movements: of humans, commodities, and media, among other things. Global Cultures leads students to explore the human, subjective and cultural dimensions of these intensified transnational mobilities with a focus on the Asian region. Central concepts include mobilities, migration, cultural hybridity, translocality, precarity, and superdiversity. The subject introduces students to these concepts by drawing on theorizations from cultural studies and other disciplines in the humanities and, to some extent, social sciences, using contemporary, mainly Asia-based case studies to ground the conceptual material. The subject explores how lived experiences of mobility intersect with the power dynamics of gender, race, sexuality, and class, and engages with critical cultural theory to work toward not simply an understanding of globalisation as a series of social processes, but more importantly a cultural critique of globalisation. It introduces students to representations of mobility and globalisation across a range of popular media that may include film, television, Internet cultures and others, and explores how experiences of mobility––through migration, international education, tourism, mediated imagination and other modes––shape subjectivity.

Responding critically and ethically to contemporary issues, whether they be of local, national or global significance, requires one to go beyond the mere discovering of ‘facts’ and determining of ‘truths’. What one does with these ‘facts’ and ‘truths’ is equally important. What we claim to know may be helpfully understood in its emergence from and application to highly complex and seemingly intractable problems. Addressing such ‘wicked problems’ thoughtfully and collaboratively can reveal the nature of knowledge: how it is generated, how it is applied and contested, and what purposes it serves. Research areas in the Humanities, The Arts and the Social Sciences (HASS) as well as Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) will be introduced and problematised. Building on the ideas or C. S. Peirce, John Dewey and Matthew Lipman, this interdisciplinary subject will therefore focus on developing effective communities of inquiry, where the use of critical but cumulative talk is favored and where good questioning, in‐depth knowledge, sound reasoning and self‐reflection is applied to addressing and critically appraising wicked problems. To this end, the subject will examine wicked problems arising from a wide range of disciplinary areas and cultural perspectives, including: climate change skepticism, Indigenous knowledges, fake news, and major societal issues and innovations arising from recent advances in Science, Technology, and the Arts.

In this course, students will learn about five security concepts and their relevance to security in the Asia-Pacific region. These concepts are order/hierarchy, alliances, polarity/balance of power, international reputation (“credibility”), and historical memory. We will explore these concepts through case studies such as the Korean War, the Taiwan Strait crises, the history (and future) of alliances in Asia, the Vietnam War, the Sino-U.S. rapprochement, the post-war order, and territorial disputes.

Drugs that Shape Society is a University breadth subject available to all second-year students. Using a case-study approach, students will explore the scientific, social, historical and legal issues associated with alcohol, opiates, tobacco, penicillin and thalidomide. Any drug use carries risk – medical, social, ethical and legal. Who has been, or is, responsible for managing that risk? What is the role of policy and regulation in minimising risk and assigning responsibility? These questions will be explored by consideration of the scientific, ethical and economic factors determining drug development; the addictive nature of certain drugs, the striking contrasts between drug marketing strategies, ranging from illegal dealing to professional multi-facted advertising; and the risks associated with legal and illicit drug use and abuse. Lectures will provide basic information about the processes leading to the development of the drugs, their mechanism of action, the historical context of their impact on society, and how this has been handled legally.

This subject will introduce you to the natural history of Australia from the Cretaceous to the present and the influence of Australia’s First Peoples and Europeans on Australia’s environments. You will be observing, recording, and reflecting on the diversity of the natural world. You will explore the major biomes and climatic zones that have existed across the continent in the past and the influence of climate change on their present and future distributions. We will look at the incredible diversity of Australian flora, including the iconic Eucalyptus, and their adaptations for survival in the face of drought and fire. We will consider the biological challenges, adaptations and evolutionary journeys that have led to our current faunal diversity, including Australia’s familiar and our more elusive animal inhabitants – from kangaroos to velvet worms. This subject includes Australia’s marine and freshwater ecosystems and their diversity, from the coral reefs to the inland rivers.A striking conundrum lies at the heart of the inquiry: rather than contributing to peace and prosperity, empirical research demonstrates that natural resource wealth increases the likelihood that a country will experience internal armed conflict. How and why is this the case? What about the role of resource scarcity as driver of violent conflict in developing-country contexts? What sort of policy responses and interventions are available? How might natural resource wealth contribute to peace rather than to conflict? What is the role of political and economic contestation in these struggles over land and natural resources?
The course will be structured around a series of case studies drawn from Southeast Asia and the Pacific Islands. A political ecology framework will be applied to the analysis of how land and different types of resource complexes – including mining, oil and gas, forestry, and oil palm – can be implicated in violent conflict. Alongside these case studies, students will undertake their own analysis of a natural resource conflict in which they will be attentive to the role of different actors – especially the state, communities and corporations – and to questions of scale, power and identity.

This subject examines differences in diverse people’s experiences of urban life, the opportunities and challenges it offers them, and their ability to shape the city. We will examine how social differences such as class, gender, ethnicity, race, and disability have been understood in urban studies from varied theoretical perspectives, including liberalism, Marxism, feminism and postcolonialism. We will explore these themes with case studies from many cities around the world, with a particular interest in Melbourne, where students will undertake independent field research. Specific issues to be investigated include: the social and cultural lives of rich, poor, middle-class and gentrifying neighbourhoods; the negotiation of gender roles and relations in the private and public spheres of the city; intergenerational conflicts in urban housing and labour markets; inequalities in the spatial distribution of urban infrastructures such as roads, transport, education and health services; racial segregation and conflict; the displacement and marginalization of Aboriginal communities in Australian cities, and their activism.

Aiming to enhance travel and/or transcultural experiences, Going Places – Travelling Smarter provides interdisciplinary methods to observe and interpret new environments, identify positive educational, professional and personal opportunities, and report and record reflections and experiences before, during and after travelling. Lectures from diverse disciplinary areas will unpack fundamental precepts and explore key concepts relating to travel, such as cosmopolitanism, cognitive benefits of travelling, stereotyping, global and developing economies, environmental concerns, identity and alterity. Through regular preparatory research and peer review in tutorials, students will develop expertise in a particular region and learn more about the rest of the world from other students in themed modules, covering subjects such as architecture, urban and rural environments, conflict, tourism, language and communication, economics, geography, gastronomy, music and creative arts. This expertise will be demonstrated through collaborative participation in tutorials and in online blog posts. An emphasis on ethnographic methods for negotiating transcultural encounters and new technologies for sharing information will assist students from all faculties and disciplines to improve their ability to engage with their own and others’ mobility.

Kompleks Kementerian Pendidikan, Kebudayaan, Riset, dan Teknologi. Gedung D Lantai 18, Jalan Jenderal Sudirman, Pintu Satu, Senayan, Jakarta, Indonesia 10270

Partners: [email protected]
Students: [email protected]