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HSC course descriptions – HSIE (Human Society and its Environment)

Course: Aboriginal Studies

Course No: 15000

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

The Preliminary course focuses on Aboriginal peoples' relationship to the Land, Aboriginal heritage and identity, and an historical examination of colonialism, racism and prejudice from pre-contact times to the 1960s. The course also includes the development of skills in culturally appropriate research and inquiry methods. It involves case studies.

The HSC course provides for in depth study of legislation, policy, judicial processes and current events from the 1960s. During the course, students will undertake consultation with Aboriginal communities and will study the course through the experiences of national and international Indigenous communities. Students apply research and inquiry methods through the completion of a major project.

Main Topics Covered

Preliminary Course

  • Part I: Aboriginality and the Land (20%)
    • Aboriginal peoples' relationship to Country
    • Dispossession and dislocation of Aboriginal peoples from Country
    • Impact of British colonisation on Country
  • Part II: Heritage and Identity (30%)
    • The Dreaming and cultural ownership
    • Diversity of Aboriginal cultural and social life
    • Impact of colonisation on Aboriginal cultures and families
    • Impact of racism and stereotyping
  • Part III: International Indigenous Community: Comparative Study (25%)
    • Location, environment and features of an international Indigenous community
    • Comparison of the key experiences of the international Indigenous and an Australian Aboriginal community in relation to Aboriginality and the Land; and Heritage and Identity
  • Part IV: Research and Inquiry Methods: Local Community Case Study (25%)
    • Methods and skills relating to; community consultation; planning research; acquiring information; processing information; communicating information

HSC Course

  • Part I – Social Justice and Human Rights Issues (50%)
    • A Global Perspective (20%)
      Global understanding of human rights and social justice
      AND
    • B Comparative Study (30%)
      A comparative case study on an Aboriginal and international Indigenous community, in relation to TWO of the following topics: Health, Education, Housing, Employment, Criminal Justice, Economic Independence
  • Part II – Case Study of an Aboriginal community for each topic (20%)
    • A Aboriginality and the Land – The Land Rights movement and the recognition of native title; government policies and legislation; non-Aboriginal responses
      OR
    • B Heritage and Identity – Contemporary aspects of Aboriginal heritage and identity, government policies and legislation; non-Aboriginal responses
  • Part III – Research and Inquiry Methods – Major Project (30%)
    Choice of project topic based on student interest.

Particular Course Requirements

In both courses, students must undertake mandatory case studies. The project log will document all work completed, including the sequential development of the project and the nature and timing of community-based fieldwork.

Course: HSC Ancient History

Course No: 15020

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC
Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

The Preliminary course is structured to provide students with opportunities to investigate past people, groups, events, institutions, societies and historical sites from the sources available, by applying the methods used by historians and archaeologists.

The HSC course provides the opportunity for students to investigate in depth the range and nature of archaeological and written sources that provide evidence for a life in Pompeii and Herculaneum. They also study the key features and sources of an ancient society, historical period and ancient personality.

Main Topics Covered

Preliminary Course

  • Part 1: Introduction
    • Investigating the past: History, Archaeology and Science
    • Case Studies (at least ONE)
  • Part II: Studies of Ancient Societies, Sites and Sources
    • At least ONE study to be chosen.
  • Part III: Historical Investigation
    • The investigation can be either integrated into any aspect of the Preliminary course or attempted as one project, individually or as part of a group.

HSC Course

  • Part I: Core Study: Cities of Vesuvius – Pompeii and Herculaneum (25%)
  • Part II: ONE Ancient Society (25%)
  • Part III: ONE Personality in their Times (25%)
  • Part IV: ONE Historical Period (25%)

Particular Course Requirements

In the Preliminary course, choices of studies in Parts I, II and III, must be chosen from different civilisations. The Historical Investigation and choice of topics in Parts I and II must not overlap or duplicate significantly any topic attempted for the HSC Ancient History or History Extension courses.

Course: Business Studies

Course No: 15040

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

Business activity is a feature of everyone's life. The Business Studies syllabus encompasses the theoretical and practical aspects of business in ways students will encounter throughout their lives. It offers learning from the planning of a small business to the management of operations, marketing, finance and human resource in large businesses.

Contemporary business issues and case studies are embedded in the course to provide a stimulating and relevant framework for students to apply to problems encountered in the business environment. Business Studies fosters intellectual, social and moral development by assisting students to think critically about the role of business and its ethical responsibilities to society.

Preliminary Course

  • Nature of business (20%) – the role and nature of business
  • Business management (40%) – the nature and responsibilities of management
  • Business planning (40%) – establishing and planning a small to medium enterprise

HSC Course

  • Operations (25%) – strategies for effective operations management
  • Marketing (25%) – development and implementation of successful marketing strategies
  • Finance (25%) – financial information in the planning and management of business
  • Human resources (25%) – human resource management and business performance

Course: Economics

Course No: 15110

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

Economics provides understanding for students about many aspects of the economy and its operation that are frequently reported in the media. It investigates issues such as why unemployment or inflation rates change and how these changes will impact on individuals in society. Economics develops students' knowledge and understanding of the operation of the global and Australian economy. It develops the analytical, problem-solving and communication skills of students. There is a strong emphasis on the problems and issues in a contemporary Australian economic context within the course.

Main Topics Covered

Preliminary Course

  • Introduction to Economics – the nature of economics and the operation of an economy
  • Consumers and Business – the role of consumers and business in the economy
  • Markets – the role of markets, demand, supply and competition
  • Labour Markets – the workforce and role of labour in the economy
  • Financial Markets – the financial market in Australia including the share market
  • Government in the Economy – the role of government in the Australian economy.

HSC Course

  • The Global Economy – Features of the global economy and globalisation
  • Australia's Place in the Global Economy – Australia's trade and finance
  • Economic Issues – issues including growth, unemployment, inflation, wealth and management.
  • Economic Policies and Management – the range of policies to manage the economy.

Course: Geography

Course No: 15190

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

The Preliminary course investigates biophysical and human geography and develops students' knowledge and understanding about the spatial and ecological dimensions of geography. Enquiry methodologies are used to investigate the unique characteristics of our world through fieldwork, geographical skills and the study of contemporary geographical issues.

The HSC course enables students to appreciate geographical perspectives about the contemporary world. There are specific studies about biophysical and human processes, interactions and trends. Fieldwork and a variety of case studies combine with an assessment of the geographers' contribution to understanding our environment and demonstrates the relevance of geographical study.

Preliminary Course

  • Biophysical Interactions – how biophysical processes contribute to sustainable management.
  • Global Challenges – geographical study of issues at a global scale.
  • Senior Geography Project – a geographical study of student's own choosing.

HSC Course

  • Ecosystems at Risk – the functioning of ecosystems, their management and protection.
  • Urban Places – study of cities and urban dynamics.
  • People and Economic Activity – geographic study of economic activity in a local and global context.

Key concepts incorporated across all topics: change, environment, sustainability, spatial and ecological dimensions, interaction, technology, management and cultural integration.

Particular Course Requirements

Students complete a senior geography project (SGP) in the Preliminary course and should undertake 12 hours of fieldwork in both the Preliminary and HSC courses.

Course: HSC History Extension

Course No: 15280

1 unit HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

HSC History Extension involves the study and evaluation of the ideas and processes used by historians to construct history. In Part I of the course, students investigate the question 'What is history?' through a selection of readings and through one case study. In Part II, students design, undertake and communicate their own personal historical inquiry.

Main Topics Covered

Part I: What is History? (60% of course time)

Key questions:

  • Who are the historians?
  • What are the aims and purposes of history?
  • How has history been constructed and recorded over time?
  • Why have the approaches to history changed over time?

Students will investigate one case study from a selection of ancient, medieval and early modern, modern and Australian options.

Part II: History Project (40% of course time)

  • An original piece of historical investigation by the student which includes a Proposal, Essay, Bibliography and Process Log.

Particular Course Requirements

The Preliminary course in Modern or Ancient History is a prerequisite for the HSC History Extension course.

Course: HSC Modern History

Course No: 15270

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC
Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

The Preliminary course is structured to provide students with opportunities to investigate the role of key features, issues, individuals, groups, events and concepts from the C19th to the present using the methods of historical inquiry.

The HSC course provides the opportunity for students to investigate in depth a source-based study of World War I. They also study key features and issues in the history of ONE country during the C20th, ONE personality and ONE international study in peace and conflict.

Main Topics Covered

Preliminary Course

  • Part 1: Case Studies (50%)
    At least TWO Case Studies should be undertaken (see below).
  • Part II: Historical Investigation (20%)
    The investigation can be either integrated into any aspect of the Preliminary course or attempted as one project, individually or as part of a group.
  • Part III: Core Study: The World at the Beginning of the C20th (30%)
    A source-based approach is to be used.

HSC Course

  • Part I: Core Study: World War I: 1914–1919: A source-based study (25%)
  • Part II: ONE National Study (25%)
  • Part III: ONE Personality in the C20th (25%)
  • Part IV: ONE International Study in Peace and Conflict (25%)

Particular Course Requirements

In the Preliminary course, one Case Study must be from Europe, North America or Australia (see list A on p.18 of the syllabus).

One Case Study must be from Asia, the Pacific, Africa, the Middle East or Central/South America (see list B on p.18 of the syllabus).

The Historical Investigation and choice of Case Study must not overlap or duplicate significantly any topic attempted for the HSC Modern History or History Extension courses.

Course: Society and Culture

Course No: 15350

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Nil

Course Description

Society and Culture deals with areas of interest and relevance to students and develops knowledge, understanding, skills, values and attitudes essential to an appreciation of the social world. The interaction of persons, society, culture, environment and time and how they shape human behaviour is a central theme of study. Students develop an understanding of research methodologies and undertake research in an area of particular interest to them. The research findings are presented for external assessment in the Personal Interest Project (PIP).

Preliminary Course

  • The Social and Cultural World – the interaction between aspects of society and cultures
  • Personal and Social Identity – socialisation and coming of age in a variety of social and cultural settings.
  • Intercultural Communication – how people in different cultures interact and communicate.

HSC Course

Core

  • Social and Cultural Continuity and Change – the nature, continuity and change, research and study of a selected country
  • The Personal Interest Project – an individual research project.

Depth Studies

Two to be chosen from:

  • Popular Culture – the interconnection between individuals and popular culture
  • Belief Systems – role of belief systems in societies, cultures and personal life
  • Equality and Difference – the nature of equality and difference in societies and cultures
  • Work and Leisure – the nature and role of work and leisure in society.

Particular Course Requirements

Completion of Personal Interest Project.

Course: Studies of Religion I

Course No: 15370

1 unit for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Studies of Religion II

Course Description

Studies of Religion I promotes an understanding and critical awareness of the nature and significance of religion and the influence of beliefs systems and religious traditions on individuals and within society.

Preliminary Course

  • Nature of Religion and Beliefs
    • The nature of religion and beliefs including Australian Aboriginal beliefs and spiritualities, as a distinctive response to the human search for meaning in life.
  • Two Religious Traditions Studies from:
    • Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism
      • Origins
      • Principal beliefs
      • Sacred texts and writings
      • Core ethical teachings
      • Personal devotion/expression of faith/observance.

HSC Course

  • Religion and Belief Systems in Australia post-1945
    • Religious expression in Australia's multi-cultural and multi-faith society since 1945, including an appreciation of Aboriginal spiritualities and their contribution to an understanding of religious beliefs and religious expression in Australia today.
  • Two Religious Tradition Depth Studies from:
    • Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism
      • Significant people and ideas
      • Ethical teachings in the religious tradition about bioethics or environmental ethics or sexual ethics
      • Significant practices in the life of adherents.

Course: Studies of Religion II

Course No: 15380

2 units for each of Preliminary and HSC

Board Developed Course

Exclusions: Studies of Religion I

Course Description

Studies of Religion II promotes an understanding and critical awareness of the nature and significance of religion and the influence of beliefs systems and religious traditions on individuals and within society.

Preliminary Course

  • Nature of Religion and Beliefs
    • The nature of religion and beliefs including Australian Aboriginal beliefs and spiritualities, as a distinctive response to the human search for meaning in life.
  • Three Religious Traditions Studies from:
    • Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism
      • Origins
      • Principal beliefs
      • Sacred texts and writings
      • Core ethical teachings
      • Personal devotion/expression of faith/observance.
  • Religions of Ancient Origin
    • The response to the human search for ultimate meaning in two religions of ancient origin from:
      • Aztec or Inca or Mayan
      • Celtic
      • Nordic
      • Shinto
      • Taoism
      • an Indigenous religion from outside Australia
  • Religion in Australia pre-1945
    • The arrival, establishment and development of religious traditions in Australia prior to 1945.

HSC Course

  • Religion and Belief Systems in Australia post-1945
    • Religious expression in Australia's multi-cultural and multi-faith society since 1945, including an appreciation of Aboriginal spiritualities and their contribution to an understanding of religious beliefs and religious expression in Australia today.
  • Three Religious Tradition Depth Studies from:
    • Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism
      • Significant people and ideas
      • A religious traditions ethical teachings about bioethics or environmental ethics or sexual ethics
      • Significant practices in the life of adherents.
  • Religion and Peace
    • The distinctive response of religious traditions to the issue of peace.
  • Religion and Non-Religion
    • The human search for meaning through new religious expression, Non-religious worldviews and the difference between Religious and Non-Religious worldviews.
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