AIFS Abroad

AIFS Study Abroad in Perth, Australia
Fall 2018 and Spring 2019
Course Descriptions


Full Curriculum means that students can choose any course offered at Murdoch University subject to fulfilling prerequisites. To follow is a list of popular courses previous AIFS students have taken; however, a wide range of courses is available each semester, many more than can be listed in this catalog. Please visit Murdoch University’s website for a full list of courses available in your chosen semester.

Australian universities offer 3-year degrees in courses of specialized study. Students begin at the equivalent of the U.S. sophomore level with no introductory courses offered. For each course the number of recommended U.S. semester credits is shown in parentheses. Students can take up to 4 courses, however due to the heavy workload required, the University recommends that students take 3.

July-November Semester
Course Code and Credits: AIS 110 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4)
Course Title: Introduction into Indigenous Popular Culture
Course Description:
While acknowledging the importance of traditional forms of cultural expression such as dot paintings and traditional dance, this course aims to familiarize students with a broader range of Indigenous cultural products. Students will gain an appreciation of the highly varied and exciting ways in which understandings of Indigenous cultures and identities are articulated.
Course Code and Credits: BIO 257 Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (4)
Course Title: Australian Biodiversity
Course Description:
With a focus on the unique flora and fauna of Australia, this unit will introduce you to phylogenetic relationships and classification, adaptations, ecological and cultural significance, and the threats to biological diversity.
Course Code and Credits: CMS 102 Communication and Media Studies (4)
Course Title: Contemporary Culture
Course Description:
Examines the relationship between power, identity and the role of the media in the production and dissemination of culture. We consider how culture and knowledge are produced, communicated, mediated and how they construct ‘selfhood’. You will have opportunities to think critically about these issues via mixed modes of assessment.
Course Code and Credits: COD 201 Community Development (4)
Course Title: Stories of Doing Community Work
Course Description:
This unit provides an understanding and appreciation of the diverse settings and areas of practice within community development in contemporary Australia. In addition, students will learn skills to help with the preparation of funding applications.
Course Code and Credits: EGL 106 English (4)
Course Title: Drama, Theater and Performance
Course Description:
This unit introduces students to a selection of dramatic texts from a range of different periods and cultures, and assists them in developing skills in the analysis and critique of these dramatic texts. In workshops students will learn basic skills in voice, movement and improvisation and will have an opportunity to participate in transforming a text into a performance.
Course Code and Credits: EGL 230 English (4)
Course Title: Popular Literature and Science Fiction
Course Description:
This unit combines analysis of popular literature’s cultural impact with close readings of texts from several genres, emphasizing so-called speculative, or science fiction. We investigate the origins of various generic elements of popular fiction, developing an understanding of their historical and social basis, and their political potential.
Course Code and Credits: ENV 245 Environmental Sciences (4)
Course Title: Global and Regional Sustainability
Course Description:
Enables students to apply their understanding of sustainability and their knowledge of environmental systems to different scales ranging from regional to global. Students will develop competence to unpack the threats to sustainability and their underlying drivers. They will explore strategies to address them which incorporate technical, governance, economic and social approaches.
Course Code and Credits: GAD 154 Games Art and Design (3)
Course Title: Introduction to Games Art and Design
Course Description:
Provides students with basic knowledge in concept art, game engine evaluation, game play, storyboarding, and basic workflow standards. Students are also introduced to games as a wider cultural and philosophical phenomenon.
Course Code and Credits: HIS 302 History (4)
Course Title: Vision Splendid: An Alternative History of Australia (4)
Course Description:
Takes historical themes that have shaped traditional narratives of the nation - colonization, gold rush, federation, world wars, post-war boom, and new nationalism - and provides different perspectives on them. Students will consider alternative topics that extend our understanding of the making of modern Australia, including Aboriginal outlaw heroes, prostitution and the gold rushes, plague and federation, organized crime in the inter-war years, and Australia’s support for Indonesia’s independence post-WWII.
Course Code and Credits: JOU 340 Journalism (4)
Course Title: Journalism and Society
Course Description:
Considers the relationship, roles and functions of the journalist in modern society. Students will investigate a range of issues which highlight the political and cultural significance of journalism in society, its application in the multi-platform media age and its practice in a range of subset disciplines, such as war reporting, business journalism, and its interaction with public relations.
Course Code and Credits: PHO 101 Photography (4)
Course Title: Digital Imaging
Course Description:
The emphasis is on the integration of digital technologies into photographic practices and introduces students to the practice and methods of production of photographers who utilize a variety of digital technologies in their work.
Course Code and Credits: PHL 206 Philosophy (4)
Course Title: Moral and Political Philosophy
Course Description:
Enormous economic and social change, exponential advancement in technology, unprecedented freedom of choice amid increasing inequalities create pressing concerns about how to make the most of our own lives and how we can best live together with other people, locally and globally. This unit explores philosophical responses to these issues in light of different understandings of ethical and political values, the good life, justice and virtue.
Course Code and Credits: POL 226 Politics and International Studies (4)
Course Title: Sex and Gender Matters
Course Description:
Theoretical perspectives on sex and gender are examined through topics including: gender and nature; science of gender difference; masculinities; divisions of paid and unpaid work; politics of sexuality; gender and security; and gender and development. Students are encouraged to reflect on their own gendered positions and to link the personal and familiar with the political and structural.
Course Code and Credits: RAD 374 Radio (4)
Course Title: Popular Music
Course Description:
Students will study the major streams of western popular music such as folk, country, blues, jazz, rock and roll, and hip hop, to discover the many ways in which these styles have influenced each other and the mainstream. The interweaving of popular music and its surrounding society and popular culture, the way the music business acts on and reacts to musical trends, technology’s effect on popular music, and the evolution of the musical artist as a branded product, will be explored.
Course Code and Credits: REL 202 Religion (4)
Course Title: Faith, Conflict and Human Rights
Course Description:
Explores the wide variety of approaches to the study of religion. Specific symbols, rituals, and scriptures from a variety of world religions will be examined to demonstrate the usefulness of different theoretical approaches. These approaches will include: sociology, anthropology, psychology, historical inquiry, and phenomenology.
Course Code and Credits: REL 205 Religion (4)
Course Title: Mysteries, Magic and Myths
Course Description:
This unit explores the various ways ancient Greeks and Romans interacted with the divine, including magic, gnostic speculation, mystery religions, visionary journeys, oracles, and more. We will study not only these religious phenomena, but also the ancients’ own critical reflections on what they were doing.
Course Code and Credits: TOU 102 Travel and Tourism (4)
Course Title: Travel and Tourism in Society
Course Description:
Students will ‘experience’ the world of travel and tourism through the writings of travelers, through the work of social researchers and through their own travel experiences. The main concern in this unit will be the human dimension of tourism, the motivation to travel, the experience of travel and impacts on host communities. At least one field trip will be an important activity during the semester.

February-June Semester
Course Code and Credits: AIS 180 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4)
Course Title: Introduction to Australian Indigenous Studies
Course Description:
This unit introduces students to the discipline of Indigenous Studies, and explores the importance of positioning yourself as a student of Indigenous Studies and the concept of negotiating speaking positions when working with Indigenous people and knowledges. Finally, the unit considers current debates and their impact on the discipline’s future, thus preparing students for further Indigenous Studies.
Course Code and Credits: AIS 206 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4)
Course Title: Country, Nature and Identity: Indigenous Sustainability
Course Description:
Explores the intersections between sustainability, Indigenous community aspirations and cultural-natural resources, and our collective responsibility to better understand and manage Australian landscapes and communities.
Course Code and Credits: BEN 150 Engineering (4)
Course Title: Design Concepts in Engineering
Course Description:
Topics covered include engineering design, sustainability, climate change, ethics, social justice and engineers’ engagement with the community. The material will be delivered using historical episodes to illustrate concepts such as response to needs, learning from the mistakes of others, unintended consequences, and the relative merits of soft and hard path technologies. Case studies will be used to illustrate current practices by organizations that address the need to engage local communities in large scale engineering projects.
Course Code and Credits: BIO 180 Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (4)
Course Title: Introduction to Marine Biology
Course Description:
Students will develop specialist knowledge in marine biology and skills in the identification of marine organisms and the conduct of marine research. The main topics covered are: (i) the marine environment; (ii) the types and variety of marine organisms; and (iii) major ecological categories of marine organisms.
Course Code and Credits: CHE 103 Chemistry (4)
Course Title: Introduction to Forensic Science
Course Description:
The scientific disciplines that may be applied to solving crime are introduced and explored using case studies and examples. Forensic science professionals present guest lectures to provide students with a ‘real world’ perspective. Participation in online discussion groups is utilized to provide students with opportunities for active and cooperative learning.
Course Code and Credits: CMS 304 Communication and Media Studies (4)
Course Title: Communicating Global Issues
Course Description:
Provides students with interdisciplinary perspectives on globalization by addressing key socio-economic-cultural issues as identified by the United Nations including human trafficking, HIV/AIDS in developing and developed countries, the economic effects of transnational corporations, which foreground the connections between gender and cultural politics. Importantly, it provides an opportunity for students to broaden their understanding of these issues and communicate their own responses.
Course Code and Credits: CRM 201 Criminology (4)
Course Title: Policing and Crime Prevention
Course Description:
Students will study the three broad theoretical perspectives in crime prevention (Policing, Situational, and Developmental) and then examine the difficulty faced by modern police forces in protecting the community.
Course Code and Credits: EGL 235 English (4)
Course Title: Australian Literature and Film
Course Description:
A wide variety of texts will be introduced—books, extracts from literary works or documents such as explorers’ notebooks, settlers’ letters and diaries. There will also be opportunities to study film versions of literary texts. The works selected will provide the basis for studying cultural change in Australia in terms of changing attitudes to Europe, Aboriginal history and national identity.
Course Code and Credits: EGL 239 English (4)
Course Title: Acting and Production
Course Description:
Provides students with basic acting and production skills. Students will perform in front of a small in-house audience to test these skills but the emphasis in the unit is on training. At the end of the unit, students will have learned some basic acting and production skills and will have gained experience in the performance of a dialogue and an audition monologue.
Course Code and Credits: EGL 240 English (4)
Course Title: Children’s Theater
Course Description:
The course aim is to develop an ensemble of skilled theater practitioners whose learning processes result in the public performance of an original script for an audience of children. A range of workshop opportunities are offered through which to develop skills, whether as actors, designers, stage-managers, set-builders, musicians or lighting and sound technicians.
Course Code and Credits: ENV 278 Environmental Sciences (4)
Course Title: Nature-Based Tourism
Course Description:
The importance of ecology for maintaining the natural environment on which nature-based tourism depends is overviewed. Planning frameworks for sustainable nature-based tourism, such as the Limits of Acceptable Change and the Tourism Optimization Management Model, are explored and applied. This exploration is linked to gaining an appreciation of the impacts of nature-based tourism and how these can be managed. This course will include field trips to Penguin Island and Shoalwater Marine Park.
Course Code and Credits: EXS 124 Exercise Science (4)
Course Title: Introduction to Sports Science
Course Description:
This unit has 2 main components: health and physical fitness assessment; sports medicine and covers topics including definition and components of sports science and physical fitness; resting and exercise vitals; body compositions; muscular fitness; medical terminology; neurological screening; joint assessment; preventing sports injuries; sports nutrition; drugs in sport; principles of injury management; common sporting illnesses and injuries; common medical conditions affecting athletes.
Course Code and Credits: GAD 241 Games Art and Design (4)
Course Title: Animation
Course Description:
This unit provides students with a solid basis in the theory and practice of 3D animation. It covers the historical, theoretical and practical aspects of animation with an aim of arming students with all the knowledge and skills needed to start creating thoughtful and engaging 3D animated works.
Course Code and Credits: JOU 245 Journalism (4)
Course Title: Media Law and Ethics
Course Description:
All professional communicators need to be aware of their legal and ethical rights, obligations and responsibilities. This unit examines the laws affecting journalists, public relations practitioners and editors in Australia. It will engage students in the ethical issues that face communicators on the job, and consider the ethical issues for each of the communication professions.
Course Code and Credits: POL 192 Politics and International Studies (4)
Course Title: Perspectives on Security and Terrorism
Course Description:
Introduces the concepts of security, risk, terrorism and counterterrorism and examines how various agents in international society perceive and employ them. The unit also analyzes the relationships between terrorism and religion, the media, democracy and international law. It finally examines the way Australia has responded to terrorist threats since the attacks on the U.S. in September 2001.
Course Code and Credits: POL 236 Politics and International Studies (4)
Course Title: U.S. Policies and Global Security
Course Description:
The unit explores a range of American foreign policy actions and involvements from the Cold War to the post-Cold War era, including the Cuban missile crisis, arms control negotiations, alliance strategies, the ‘war on terror’ and the U.S. relationship with global norms using the relationship between identity and security as a guiding theme.
Course Code and Credits: PRO 285 Public Relations (4)
Course Title: Public Relations in Society
Course Description:
Draws on recent scholarship and a socio-cultural approach to present alternative understandings to the functional and normative understandings of public relations, which historically have dominated the field. Rather than viewing public relations as an organizational or management function, this unit explores public relations as a cultural activity influenced by the social, political and cultural contexts and actively involved in the construction of meaning.
Course Code and Credits: SOC 313 Sociology (4)
Course Title: Health and Society
Course Description:
Emphasizes the social construction of knowledge about health, illness and healing, the significance of power relations, and the relationship between power and knowledge. Topics: illness experience and embodiment, inequalities in health, sociocultural constructions of the ‘normal’, ‘healthy’ body, sociological critiques of medical knowledge, especially post-structuralist and feminist critiques, the new genetics, health promotion and the new public health.

Breadth Units Subjects

Murdoch University also offers a series of courses which come under the heading ‘Breadth Units’ and don’t belong to a particular academic discipline. These units form part of the undergraduate degree curriculum across all majors and are open to AIFS students. The idea behind them is to introduce students to knowledge outside their chosen discipline, but more importantly they teach the student to understand how to think and solve problems. The courses change but the following is a sample of what has been offered in the past.

Course Code and Credits: BRD 201 (4)
Course Title: Food Matters
Course Description:
With an overarching global perspective, this unit will explore food production and consumption in the context of history, economics, sociology, ethics, science and technology, and how each of these disciplines influence food attitudes and practices.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 202 (4)
Course Title: Drugs in Society
Course Description:
This unit explores drugs, asking how they are discovered and regulated. It examines social drugs such as alcohol and nicotine, illicit drugs such as cannabis and cocaine, and medicines such as painkillers and anti-depressants. It considers social, ethical and economic issues such as reproductive medicines, drugs in sport and the rise of complementary medicines, as well as future personalized therapies.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 203 (4)
Course Title: Carbon and Climate: A Wicked Problem
Course Description:
This unit describes the nature of the problem with carbon use, which needs to be tackled broadly because there are no simple solutions. Scientific/technical opportunities and limitations are explored together with their economic, legal and social implications, to develop a deeper understanding of the current political controversy.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 205 (4)
Course Title: Crime through the Ages
Course Description:
Students learn that explanations of crime are dependent on many factors, including some entirely independent of crime. It’s an interpersonal, social, political, economic and philosophical issue. Crime and history are the underlay through which students learn the interaction of different perspectives and begin to understand those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 209 (4)
Course Title: Creativity and Innovation
Course Description:
Students will learn the benefits of adopting and applying diverse perspectives and problem-solving tools, especially within interdisciplinary teams, to find better ideas and products. Examples of creative and innovative thinking will be taken from a broad spectrum of disciplines, including science, engineering, the environment, media, ethics, business and indigenous culture.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 210 (4)
Course Title: World of Sport
Course Description:
Drawing on perspectives from psychology, exercise science, pharmacology, sociology, media, ethics and business this unit requires students to consider current themes in sport including the limits of high performance sport, sport for mental and physical health, and sport and Australian culture. Students are encouraged to think critically and analyze a wide range of information and perspectives to better understand why sport has become an important facet of modern life.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 251 (4)
Course Title: Wellbeing
Course Description:
Explores physiological, creative, psychological, historical, philosophical, environmental, emotional and economic perspectives of wellbeing. Integration of these perspectives will assist the student to articulate personal understandings of wellbeing and better apply the concept to their own lives.
Course Code and Credits: BRD 311 (4)
Course Title: Swan River
Course Description:
The Swan River is the most widely recognized landmark in the Perth metropolitan area and affects many aspects of life in and around Perth. For Aboriginal people, it has great cultural significance. Its role in supporting many activities is critically important in the lives of many of Perth’s population. This unit will develop an understanding of the history and geography of the River so that its past can be revealed, its present appreciated and the requirements for its future explored.

Exercise Science Internship Course

Murdoch University if offering study abroad students with an interest in Exercise Science the opportunity to take an unpaid, for credit internship as part of their course load.

Course Code and Credits: EXS 390 (4)
Course Title: Exercise Science Practicum
Course Description:
This Work Integrated Learning (WIL) unit has been designed to provide study abroad students with practical field experience in the area of Exercise Science. The practical skills gained in EXS390 are essential to increasing one’s understanding of the need for exercise programs in a healthy population. From this practical placement, students should begin to recognize the skills that are necessary to develop and implement exercise programs in healthy individuals. Additionally, students will be provided the opportunity to extend classroom theory to the field.

The completion of EXS390 should help in increase student professionalism in the workplace. Dependent on student enrolment, a student in EXS390 will complete up to 120 hours of practical work experience (un-paid) in the field. This experience may include working within a gym setting, sporting team, clinic, or providing assistance to ongoing research within the fields of Sport and Exercise Science. Current research projects within this area include:

  • The use of blood flow occlusion to increase performance in trained cyclists
  • The impact of high-intensity aerobic exercise on cognitive function in older adults
  • The impact of high-intensity resistance training on cognitive function in older adults
  • The use of interval training in pre-diabetes
  • Injury prevention programs in Cricket
  • Determination of visual ques associated with success in striking sports
  • Understanding training load within professional and semi-professional Australian League Footballers

Other courses available in the Exercise Science subject area include:

EXS 124 Introduction to Sports Science (4)
EXS 201 Sport and Exercise Psychology (4)
EXS 203 Health, Fitness and Performance Assessment (4)
EXS 206 Functional Human Anatomy (4)
EXS 303 Exercise programming and Prescription (4)

EXS 103 Strength and Resistance Training (4)
EXS 204 Biomechanics I (4)
EXS 301 Advanced Sport Psychology (4)
EXS 302 Exercise Physiology II (4)

Additional Courses

In addition to the courses in this catalog, courses are available in the following disciplines:

Animal Science
Biological Sciences
Biomedical Science
Chiropractic and Sports Science
Climate Change Management
Community Development
Computer Science
Conservation and Wildlife Biology
Cyber Forensics
Education (Primary and Secondary)
Engineering (Electrical, Environmental and Technology)
English and Creative Writing
Events Management
Exercise Physiology
Forensic Biology and Toxicology
Games Art and Design (Games Technology)
Hospitality and Tourism Management
Information Technology
Law and Legal Studies
Marine Science
Mathematical and Physical Sciences
Media and Mass Communication
Politics and International Studies
Physics and Nanotechnology
Public Relations
Radio, Film and Television
Renewable Energy
Security and Counterterrorism
Social Sciences and Humanities
Theater and Drama
Theology and Veterinary Science

For course descriptions visit Murdoch University's website. Courses are subject to change at the discretion of the University.