Our History

60 Years of Education, Research & Knowledge Advancement

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences was founded in 1960. As a constant over this period of knowledge development and acquisition, the enduring values and traditions of the humanities, the social sciences and the creative and performing arts have been paramount. Our illustrious history serves to build upon our success and inform future decisions. 

Over the years, the focuses of the University and UNSW Arts & Social Sciences have evolved. In recent years, as the quality of faculty research outcomes has soared and we have used our strength in research to augment the quality of our teaching, our aspiration to be a leading research-intensive university in the Asia Pacific has become a realisation.  

Today we immerse ourselves in contemporary and social issues with the viewpoint of making a meaningful change on a human level.  

UNSW Arts & Social Sciences combines outstanding scholarship in foundational disciplines and emerging interdisciplinary fields with a commitment to public engagement and social impact. The social responsibility our early founders based their work on is a key faculty value to this day.  

Recent Times 

Over the past five years, UNSW Arts & Social Sciences has undergone significant structural innovation and cultural change. 

New undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programs have been introduced, and existing degrees and subjects have been reviewed and revised. Student preferences have significantly increased. Domestic enrolments have remained strong, and international enrolments have grown substantially allowing us to position ourselves as a truly global university. The passion of our faculty staff who are experts in their fields has ensured student satisfaction has remained high.

UNSW ranked highly in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) report, placing us as a national leader in a number of disciplinary areas. New research centres have been established, and the Faculty has made many esteemed academics join the faulty, in research and educational capacities.

Looking to the Future

Our future will continue to uphold our commitment to promote the importance of education and research in the humanities, social sciences and creative and performing arts.

To achieve this we must fully leverage the contribution made by our practical insights, critical understandings and theoretical analyses across global dialogue, public discourse, efficacy in public policy and the combatting the pressing socio-cultural issues of today.