UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is a lively community of scholars and students exploring big ideas. Our academics are leaders in their fields, creating new knowledge and new forms of understanding. We are boldly creative and intellectually adventurous, combining time-tested traditions of scholarship with progressive new ways of thinking to tackle age-old questions, inform social change and enrich public debate.

We are one of the most academically energetic and socially engaged faculties of our kind in the Southern Hemisphere, and a national leader in the Humanities, Social Sciences, Education and Creative and Performing Arts. Our scholarship deepens understanding of the diversity of human experience and challenges traditional ways of thinking about the world. By applying this new knowledge to some of the most urgent challenges of our time, our research makes a significant contribution to public debate and the formation of effective policy. Our researchers and our graduates are not afraid to get their hands dirty as they engage with the complexities of contemporary society.

Arts & Social Sciences attracts bright, imaginative, globally conscious students. We challenge them to think critically, to communicate with creativity and influence, and then to translate their knowledge and skills into exciting and unpredictable careers.

The opportunities for our students, and the achievements of our alumni, demonstrate our claim that Arts & Social Sciences truly offers a licence to explore.

Fast facts


  • One of the largest faculties of our kind in Australia and UNSW’s third largest faculty
  • Celebrated our 50th Anniversary in 2010
  • Offer over 45 undergraduate degree programs, 27 postgraduate coursework programs and a breadth of study options not found in any other single faculty in the Group of Eight Universities
  • Over 6,600 students are enrolled in our programs in 2016
  • Over 54,000 alumni have graduated from our degrees
  • Comprise of four teaching and research Schools and four specialist Research Centres


World University Rankings 

  • 45th in the world - QS World University Rankings 2019
  • 96th in the world - Times Higher Education (THE) World University Rankings 2019
World Rankings by Subject Area
  • 27th in the world and 4th in Australia for Arts and Humanities - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019 
  • 35th in the world and 5th in Australia for Education - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
  • Equal 14th in the world and 2nd in Australia for Environmental Studies - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
  • Equal 48th in the world with three others including Monash and equal 4th in Australia for Social Policy & Adminstration - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019
  • Equal 16th in the world and 4th in Australia for Social Sciences & Management - QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019

Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA)

Research fields ranked well above world standard:

  • Studies in Creative Arts and Writing
  • Historical Studies
  • Literary Studies
  • Film Studies

Research fields ranked above world standard:

  • Education
  • Studies in Human Society
  • Language, Communication and Culture
  • Philosophy and Religious Studies

Faculty structure

The Faculty is governed by the Faculty Executive, the Dean’s Advisory Committee, Faculty Board and portfolios which report to the Dean, including the Dean’s Unit, Faculty Research Office, Learning and Teaching.