BESC1101 Introduction to Contemporary Society

Bachelor Course Unit

Level: 100

Credit points: 6

Prerequisites: none

Mode of Study: On Campus and Blended Delivery

Unit Description

The unit provides an introduction to the social sciences, its historical foundations and its role in understanding and working in contemporary society. Concepts studied in this unit to understand social inequality are structural theories about gender, class, diversity, politico-economic systems, social institutions, culture, colonisation, globalisation, neoliberalism and (post)modernity. Students will also explore postmodern concepts of agency, lived experience, identity, knowledge, self and subjectivity. This analysis aims to provide students with an appreciation of the role of the social sciences in understanding contemporary society, but even more importantly it establishes a foundational framework through which the analysis of contemporary social issues takes place.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • Define and apply key sociological concepts to contemporary social issues
  • Analyse the influence of socialisation on social roles, beliefs and values
  • Discuss and apply sociological concepts such as gender, class, status and power, structure and agency, and analyse how these contribute to social inequality
  • Explore diversity within social environments and analyse historical patterns of social inequality
  • Describe and discuss the role of the social sciences in contemporary society

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.

Assignment summary

Please refer to the document available here.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:


Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing. Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.