HUMN 7045 Theories of the Social

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 102179

Coordinator Sky Hugman Opens in new window

Description This subject examines the notions that humans are intrinsically social beings who are at once products of and producers of their own circumstances. By providing an overview and critical engagement with a wide array of social theories, the subject explores key aspects of human society including structure and agency; knowledge and power relations; culture and identity; class, economy and consumption; self, society and the public sphere; social change and social justice. Students consider the social, political and discursive processes through which theories are made and applied, and how theories may both limit and create possibilities for research and practice. Throughout the subject students will be encouraged to use critical social theory to not only expose and analyse social systems but also to engage in reflection about how theoretical perspectives can inform practices of change.

School Social Sciences

Discipline Studies In Human Society

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your fees via the Fees page.

Level Postgraduate Coursework Level 7 subject

Equivalent Subjects HUMN 7043 - Theories for Critical Practice HUMN 7050 Theories of the Social


Students must be enrolled in a postgraduate program.

Assumed Knowledge

Undergraduate degree in the Social Sciences or equivalent.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:

  1. Critically reflect the inter-relationships between theory, research and social practices in a discipline/field of practice
  2. Appraise core assumptions operating within a discipline and/or field of practice
  3. Demonstrate high level judgement in the deployment of key theoretical constructs within a discipline and/or field of practice
  4. Contribute to contemporary theoretical debates within and across disciplines and fields of practice.
  5. Develop an advanced critical understanding of how social theory can inform transformative practice on an individual and collective level.

Subject Content

Foundations of social theory
Marx and Historical Materiality
Ideology, discourse and power
Critical Theory
Subjectivity, existentialism and phenomenology
Post-structuralism, post-modernity and feminism
Psychoanalysis as social theory
Post colonialism and southern theory
Structuration and multiple modernities


The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Type Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Reflection 1,500 words (min 8 online submissions) 30 N Individual
Annotated Bibliography 1,500 words 30 N Individual
Essay 2,000 words 40 N Individual

Structures that include subject