Study Abroad in Perth, Australia

Study Abroad in Perth: Courses

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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. 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. Students wishing to take the Specialized Certificate Programs should contact the AIFS Admissions Officer for a list of courses in each study area.

July-November Semester

AIS 110 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4) | Introduction into Indigenous Popular Culture

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.

BIO 257 Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (4) | Australian Biodiversity

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.

CMS 102 Communication and Media Studies (4) | Contemporary Culture

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.

COD 201 Community Development (4) | Stories of Doing Community Work

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.

EGL 106 English (4) | Drama, Theater and Performance

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.

EGL 230 English (4) | Popular Literature and Science Fiction

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.

ENV 245 Environmental Sciences (4) | Global and Regional Sustainability

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.

EXS 390 (4) | Exercise Science Practicum

This 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.

GAD 154 Games Art and Design (3) | Introduction to Games Art and Design

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.

HIS 302 History (4) | Vision Splendid: An Alternative History of Australia

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.

JOU 340 Journalism (4) | Journalism and Society

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.

PHL 206 Philosophy (4) | Moral and Political Philosophy

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.

PHO 101 Photography (4) | Digital Imaging

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.

POL 226 Politics and International Studies (4) | Sex and Gender Matters

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.

RAD 374 Radio (4) | Popular Music

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.

REL 202 Religion (4) | Faith, Conflict and Human Rights

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.

REL 205 Religion (4) | Mysteries, Magic and Myths

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.

TOU 102 Travel and Tourism (4) | Travel and Tourism in Society

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

AIS 180 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4) | Introduction to Australian Indigenous Studies

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.

AIS 206 Australian and Indigenous Studies (4) | Country, Nature and Identity: Indigenous Sustainability

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.

BEN 150 Engineering (4) | Design Concepts in Engineering

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.

BIO 180 Biological Sciences and Biotechnology (4) | Introduction to Marine Biology

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.

CHE 103 Chemistry (4) | Introduction to Forensic Science

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.

CMS 304 Communication and Media Studies (4) | Communicating Global Issues

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.

CRM 201 Criminology (4) | Policing and Crime Prevention

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.

EGL 235 English (4) | Australian Literature and Film

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.

EGL 239 English (4) | Acting and Production

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.

EGL 240 English (4) | Children’s Theater

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.

ENV 278 Environmental Sciences (4) | Nature-Based Tourism

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.

EXS 124 Exercise Science (4) | Introduction to Sports Science

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.

EXS 390 (4) | Exercise Science Practicum

This 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.

GAD 241 Games Art and Design (4) | Animation

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.

JOU 245 Journalism (4) | Media Law and Ethics

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.

POL 192 Politics and International Studies (4) | Perspectives on Security and Terrorism

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.

POL 236 Politics and International Studies (4) | U.S. Policies and Global Security

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.

PRO 285 Public Relations (4) | Public Relations in Society

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.

SOC 313 Sociology (4) | Health and Society

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, socio-cultural 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.

BRD 201 (4) | Food Matters

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.

BRD 202 (4) | Drugs in Society

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.

BRD 203 (4) | Carbon and Climate: A Wicked Problem

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.

BRD 205 (4) | Crime through the Ages

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.

BRD 209 (4) | Creativity and Innovation

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.

BRD 210 (4) | World of Sport

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.

BRD 251 (4) | Wellbeing

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.

BRD 311 (4) | Swan River

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 is 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.

EXS 390 (4) | Exercise Science Practicum

This Work Integrated Learning 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 with the opportunity to extend classroom theory to the field.

Dependent on student enrollment, a student in EXS390 will complete up to 120 hours of practical work experience (unpaid) 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 use of interval training in pre-diabetes
  • Injury prevention programs in Cricket
  • Determination of visual cues associated with success in striking sports.

Public Policy Internship Course

Murdoch University is offering study abroad students with an interest in Public Policy the opportunity to take an unpaid, for-credit internship as part of their course load.

POL 390 (4) | Public Policy Internship

A Public Policy Internship is a cooperative arrangement with the Western Australia State Parliament and Western Australian Public Service. Students will undertake research under the collective guidance of a Member of Parliament (MP) / public sector representative and a Murdoch University academic supervisor. Assessment is a combination of participation in the placement, a research project and a presentation.

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
Veterinary Science

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