Research Areas

The quality of the research produced within UNSW Arts & Social Sciences is widely recognised within the University, among our peers and by the broader community. Positioned as one of Australia’s top three research Faculties in the Arts, Humanities, Social Sciences and Education, we have an enviable research environment and culture. We generate research with real social impact and genuine community engagement.

At UNSW Arts & Social Sciences, we are dedicated to generating new ideas, tackling critical social issues, and pursuing practical applications that anticipate and drive social, cultural and economic progress. Our world-leading research expands fundamental and applied knowledge. Our sense of social responsibility drives us to lead, debate and deliver on the pressing issues facing contemporary Australia and the world.  

Asian Studies researchers explore pressing problems of the current era as well as ongoing puzzles about past societies. We seek to enhance progress towards the formation of just societies, social progress and economic prosperity and environmental sustainability in the Asian region and Australia by disseminating informed discussion based on a deep knowledge of Asia.

Australian Studies explores Australian history, culture, society and environment from its first settlement by Aboriginal people until the present. It plays a crucial role in the development of informed and critically engaged citizenship and fosters analytical and creative engagement with Australia in its global relationships.

Environment and Society critically engage the urgent issues of current times, which we understand as contextualised in long histories of human social and ecological interactions. Our research has the main intention of recognising and creating safe and thriving spaces – environmentally, culturally and socially – for all beings.

Research in European Studies cuts across a wide range of subject areas, including Modern History, Cultural and Literary Studies, Area Studies, Human Geography, Political Thought and Philosophy. We place a particular emphasis on the ideas and concepts that shaped Europe, on Europe’s engagement with the world, past and present, and on the debates and controversies about Europe today.

Historical Studies encompasses the study of humanity including human interactions throughout historical time. History at UNSW is distinctive because of its focus on imperial, colonial and transnational histories that rethink the grand narratives of the past. Historians adapt a non-Eurocentric approach and include multi-vocal perspectives in their interpretations that are based on empirical research.

Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies at UNSW concerns complex issues that affect real people in the real world. At local, national, and international levels, translation and interpreting are critical to intercultural communication, access to public services, trade, education, research and development, diplomacy, and cultural and societal exchanges.

Intercultural communication, irrespective of the languages involved, has become an essential part of daily life. Language skills, cross-cultural understanding, and an ability to engage with people from other countries and cultures will prepare you for an international career. The School of Humanities & Languages offers a range of language studies from Chinese to Latin American, German and much more.

Research in Linguistics at UNSW examines the basic properties of human language and explores what the study of language can tell us about the brain, the mind, society, history and communication. Our research programs combine theoretical and applied research with a strong focus on addressing current issues in contemporary speech communities.

Philosophy research at UNSW takes on problems in contemporary society, culture, science and technology from a perspective nurtured by our interest in perennial philosophical questions. Our work is distinguished by its pluralism, with staff working in both analytic and continental European traditions, and our scholarship advancing current understanding of the history of both Western and Chinese philosophy.

Women’s and Gender Studies at UNSW is a vibrant, cross-disciplinary area of study that situates women, feminism, gender, sex and sexualities at the centre of academic analysis. Scholars teach and research across a wide span of areas, including world history, human rights, sex and desire, women’s writing, Asian cultures and queer and gender theory.

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