School of Arts

Breadth and Research Units

From Semester 1 2014 a Murdoch University degree will include Breadth and Research Units. Below you will find details of the units that are specifically designated for Arts degrees.

In 2nd and 3rd year you will choose one of a selection of University wide Breadth Units each year. These units have been designed to provide you with the skills and understanding to analyse the world around you, and make a difference in your own life and that of others. We have picked interesting and challenging subjects that benefit from an inter-disciplinary approach, and allow you to understand how others think and solve problems.

To expand your inter-disciplinary awareness and knowledge of disciplines outside your home degree, we have developed a variety of University wide Breadth Units that address timeless themes and issues like World Religions, Metaphors of Mind, Food Matters, and languages such as Japanese and Indonesian.

You are required to enrol in Breadth Units as follows:

Year 1

BAR100 Academic Learning Skills
Semester 1, Semester 2

BAR150 Ideas and Identity
Semester 1, Semester 2

Year 2

BAR200 Developing Research Skills and Methods

You are also required to select one University wide Breadth Unit.

Year 3

BAR300 Bachelor of Arts Research Skills Unit

You are also required to select one University wide Breadth Unit.

Examples of Breadth Units Available in Semester One:

AIS204 Indigenous Australia and the Nation: This unit explores several contemporary issues in the realm of Indigenous affairs. It asks why it is that, after self-determination, land rights, reconciliation and other important movements of recent decades, an 'intervention' into Aboriginal disadvantage was considered necessary as recently as 2007. It attempts to answer this central question by exploring how competing versions of recent Australian history have fostered a division between left- and right-wing politics that continues to confound more subtle, progressive responses to Indigenous inequity.

JPN101 Japanese 1: This unit introduces basic communication skills in Japanese. Great emphasis is placed on oral communication while working interactively in classroom sessions. The unit deals with many topics related to students' everyday life.

IND101 Indonesian 1:  This is a beginning unit for students who have no previous knowledge of Indonesian. The emphasis is wholly on conversation, with reading and writing skills based on conversational materials.

Examples of Breadth Units Available in Semester Two:

AST288 Women in Asian Societies: This unit examines the role and status of women in Asian societies. It considers representations of the feminine in traditional culture as well as contemporary society. Special emphasis will be placed on the implications for women of current social and economic changes in the region including government policies affecting reproduction and the family, women's involvement in subsistence agriculture, industry and the development process. Autobiography and film will be used to supplement anthropological and sociological studies.

PHL209 Metaphors of Mind: Can computers fall in love? Does our subjective experience matter? Are we mindless Zombies? Where is the mind? This unit traces the repeated discovery and loss of the mind by examining the historical trajectory of the mind-body problem as indelibly tied to the history of modern science which links minds to brains or computers. The unit discusses philosophical and psychological approaches to mind in the broader context of the development of the social sciences.

REL101 World Religions: In this unit, the differences between spirituality and religion will be examined. The history, development and expression of several world religions will be explored.

BRD201 Food Matters: The need to eat determines where, how and why we live. Further, we all share a global responsibility for the sustainable provision of food and the consequences of our food choices. With an overarching global perspective, this unit will explore food production and consumption in the context of history, economics, sociology, ethics, science and technology, and how each of these disciplines influence food attitudes and practices.

For a full list of University wide Breadth Units, click here.