Graduate Diploma of Social Science

Courses Australian courses Graduate Diploma of Social Science

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Graduate Diploma of Social Science

Flexible study options mean you can design a social science course that's just right for you.

Townsville, Cairns
Start dates
1 year full-time
Part time available
Study mode
On campus

Career opportunities

The flexibility of this course means, after consultation with the course coordinator, you can select a course of study from one of the discipline areas, or you can choose to study an approved combination of these or other disciplines. These areas of study include:

  • Anthropology
  • Archaeology
  • History
  • Political Science
  • Sociology.

Course highlights

Our Graduate Diploma of Social Sciences is designed for graduates from other disciplines who wish to pursue further studies.

Course overview

Students will have access to The Cairns Institute – an important centre for national and international scholars. It brings together the expertise and intellectual resources of more than 20 academic disciplines, creating a uniquely robust and relevant research, consulting, training and teaching hub for Northern Australia, South and South-East Asia and the Pacific.

How to apply

Complete an online application through our Online Application Portal.


Graduate Diploma of Social Science

Handbook year


Course code


Course type

AQF Graduate Diploma (AQF Level 8)


Division of Tropical Environments and Societies

Award Requirements

Admission Requirements

Course pre-requisites

Completion of an AQF level 7 Bachelor Degree, from this or another university, or

Other qualifications recognised by the Dean of the College of Arts, Society and Educations as equivalent to the above.

Minimum English language proficiency requirements

Applicants of non-English speaking backgrounds must meet the English language proficiency requirements of Band 1 Schedule II of the JCU Admissions Policy.

Additional selection requirements

Students must have obtained a minimum of a Credit average (65%) across 15 credit points of subjects in their final year of study of an AQF level 7 Bachelor Degree.

Academic Requirements for Course Completion

Credit points

24 credit points as per course structure

Additional course rules

A student whose previous qualifications do not include formal research methods subjects must include at least six credit points of graduate level Social Science Research Methods in their program.

Course learning outcomes

On successful completion of the Graduate Diploma of Social Science, graduates will be able to:

  • Demonstrate coherent and advanced knowledge of social theory, practice and professional ethics in at least one discipline in the social sciences

  • Demonstrate knowledge of research principles and methods in at least one discipline in the social sciences

  • Analyse critically and evaluate social systems, institutions, structures and/or practices

  • Review, analyse, consolidate and synthesise perspectives, arguments and sources of qualitative and/or quantitative data pertinent to complex social, political, historical, economic, environmental and/or cultural issues, particularly those related to quality of life in the tropics worldwide

  • Present a clear and coherent exposition of research to a variety of audiences through advanced proficiency in written and spoken English language and, where appropriate, numeracy skills

  • Design, plan and execute a social science research project with some independence

  • Apply social theory to research, demonstrating advanced understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in some areas in at least one discipline in the social sciences

  • Respectfully and responsibly apply knowledge of diversity and difference among people, especially vulnerable and Indigenous peoples, in research and scholarship.

Course Structure


SS4100:06 Social Science Honours or Graduate Diploma Thesis Part 1 of 2

SS4101:06 Social Science Honours or Graduate Diploma Thesis Part 2 of 2


Select one of the following social science disciplines:


AN4007:06 Ethnographic Research Methods


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate level 2 or 3 AN subjects


AR4007:06 Archaeological Research Methods


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate level 2 or 3 AR subjects


HI3424:03 History of Western Political Systems

HI5001:03 The History of Global Connections


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate level 2 or 3 HI subject

Political Science

PL4002:06 Theory and Method in Political Science


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate level 2 or 3 PL subjects


SY4017:06 Classical Social Theory


Select 6 credit points of any undergraduate level 2 or 3 SY subjects





Archaeology discipline not available




Expected time to complete

1 year full-time or equivalent part-time

Maximum time to complete

3 years

Maximum leave of absence

1 year


Course progression requisites


Course includes mandatory professional placement(s)


Special assessment requirements


Professional accreditation requirements


Maximum allowed Pass Conceded (PC) grade


Supplementary exam for final subject

A student who has failed the final subject towards the award and who gained 40% or more of the marks for that subject may be granted a supplementary examination in that subject. However if that subject is required for accreditation, then the criteria specified by that accreditation will apply.

Advanced Standing


Students may apply for advanced standing for previous tertiary study in accordance with the Credit and Articulation policy and associated procedures.

Maximum allowed

12 credit points


Advanced standing will be granted only for studies completed in the 10 years prior to the commencement of this course.


Advanced standing gained for any subject shall be cancelled 13 years after the date of the examination upon which the advanced standing is based if, by then, the student has not completed the course of study prescribed for the Diploma.

Other restrictions

Not applicable

Award Details

Award title


Approved abbreviation


Inclusion of majors on testamur

Not applicable - this course does not have majors

Exit with lesser award

Not applicable

Course articulation

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Diploma of Social Science and who obtain at least a Distinction for their Research Dissertation (SS4100 and SS4101) are eligible to apply for entry to the Master of Philosophy [Society and Culture] or the Doctor of Philosophy [Society and Culture].

Students who successfully complete the Graduate Diploma of Social Science are eligible to apply for entry to the Master of Social Science (Coursework).

This website is intended as general guide. Prospective students should contact the university to confirm admission requirements and the availability of courses. James Cook University reserves the right to alter any course or admission requirement without prior notice.