Best universities for social sciences degrees in Australia 2024

By Joy.Hunter@tim…, 1 December, 2023

Top 5 universities in Australia for social science degrees 2024

Scroll down for the full list of best universities for social sciences in Australia

Australia social science rank 2024  Social science rank 2024  University City
1  =31  Australian National University Canberra
2  51  University of Sydney Sydney
3  59  University of Melbourne Melbourne
4  =75  Monash University Melbourne
5  =77  The University of Queensland Sydney

The social sciences include a range of subjects such as geography, politics and sociology.

Social science is one of the largest fields of study in Australia, second only to business and management. Most Australian universities offer both undergraduate and postgraduate courses across a range of social science subject areas.

Below are the top universities in Australia for social science degrees, according to data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024.

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5. The University of Queensland

The School of Social Science at The University of Queensland offers nine undergraduate study areas: anthropology, archaeology, archaeological science, criminology and criminal justice, development, health and social policy, environment and society, sociology, and social science. There are also two additional postgraduate areas of study: museum studies and development practice.

The university also offers summer and winter research scholarships, giving social science students the opportunity to work alongside faculty as they conduct research in the field.

The school’s Anthropology Museum is renowned for its collections from the Pacific region and Aboriginal Australia.

4. Monash University 

The School of Social Sciences at Monash University covers five disciplines: anthropology, criminology, human geography, politics and international relations and sociology. You can study any of these disciplines for your major at the undergraduate level. 

There are a further two specialist undergraduate degrees in criminology and politics, philosophy and economics. At the postgraduate level, you can study master's programmes in international development practice, international relations, public policy or environment and sustainability studies. 

You can also study a range of research-based doctorate degrees. The school boasts three flagship research centres; the Gender Peace and Security Centre, the Gender and Family Violence Prevention Centre and the Migration and Inclusion Centre.

3. University of Melbourne

The University of Melbourne is home to a number of schools including the School of Social and Political Sciences, which splits into five discipline areas: anthropology and development studies, criminology, gender studies, political science and sociology, social policy and social theory. Students can study a range of courses at both undergraduate and postgraduate level.

The school also has two of its own research units: the Indigenous Settler Relations Collaboration and the Policy Lab. The Policy Lab works with the government and other organisations to explore public policy decision-making and policy design.

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2. University of Sydney

The University of Sydney’s Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences includes six schools: economics, languages and cultures, literature, art and media, philosophical and historical inquiry, social and political sciences, and the Sydney School of Education and Social Work.

There are more than 20 undergraduate degrees, 40 postgraduate coursework degrees and a range of research degrees on offer in the social sciences.

The faculty is also home to more than 40 specialist research centres, institutes and groups. One is the Sydney Social Sciences Advanced Research Centre, which focuses on conducting research on the world’s biggest problems, from climate change to racism.

1. Australian National University (ANU)

The Australian National University (ANU) is located in the heart of Canberra, the capital of Australia.

The university offers a range of social sciences courses including political science, criminology and international relations. There are a range of both undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes available. There are also flexible double degrees on offer for students wishing to combine a social sciences degree with fields such as business, engineering or advanced computing.

Social sciences students at ANU are often given the opportunity to study abroad as part of overseas study tours and field trips. These short-term courses have previously taken place in Italy, France, Cambodia, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.

There are a number of centres at the university that facilitate research programmes such as the Centre for Aboriginal Economic Policy Research, the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies, and the Centre for Digital Humanities Research.

Top universities for social science degrees in Australia 2024

Click each institution to view its full World University Rankings 2024 profile

Australia social science rank 2024  Social science rank 2024  University City
1  =31  Australian National University Canberra
2  51  University of Sydney Sydney
3  59  University of Melbourne Melbourne
4  =75  Monash University Melbourne
5  =77  The University of Queensland Sydney
6  =100  UNSW Sydney Kensington
7  101–125  Queensland University of Technology Brisbane
=8  151–175  Griffith University Brisbane, Gold Coast, Logan
=8  151–175  University of Technology Sydney Sydney
=10  176–200  Macquarie University Sydney
=10  176–200  RMIT University Melbourne
=12  201–250  University of Adelaide Adelaide
=12  201–250  University of Canberra Canberra
=12  201–250  Curtin University Perth
=12  201–250  James Cook University Cairns, Townsville
=12  201–250  University of Newcastle Newcastle
=12  201–250  The University of Western Australia Perth
=12  201–250  Western Sydney University Sydney
=12  201–250  University of Wollongong Wollongong
=20  251–300  Deakin University Geelong
=20  251–300  La Trobe University Melbourne
=20  251–300  Murdoch University Murdoch
=20  251–300  University of South Australia Adelaide
=20  251–300  Swinburne University of Technology Hawthorn
=20  251–300  University of Tasmania Hobart
=26  301–400  Edith Cowan University Joondalup
=26  301–400  Flinders University Adelaide
=26  301–400  University of the Sunshine Coast Sunshine Coast
=29  401–500  Southern Cross University Lismore
=29  401–500  University of Southern Queensland Toowoomba
=31  501–600  Bond University Gold Coast
=31  501–600  Charles Sturt University Bathurst
=31  501–600  Federation University Australia Ballarat
=31  501–600  Victoria University Melbourne

Explore the best universities in Australia for social sciences degrees, using data from the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024

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