Study with the Department of Social Inquiry

The Department of Social Inquiry offers degrees and majors at La Trobe University’s Melbourne and Bendigo campuses, and online.

Our graduates develop skills in critical thinking, creative problem-solving and research methods that help them to grapple with the complex social and cultural issues of justice, inequality and change in Australia and abroad.

The result: Our students are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need to understand and transform the world we live in.

Aboriginal Studies courses

Aboriginal Studies courses

Learn about Aboriginal self-determination, politics and the impact of government policy on Indigenous Australians.

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Anthropology courses

Anthropology courses

Discover how humans from diverse cultures understand, live in and shape the world around us.

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Crime, Justice and Legal Studies courses

Crime, Justice and Legal Studies courses

Learn how law and society shape activism, crime trends and the perception of justice.

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Planning courses

Planning courses

Change the way we live by studying our local environments, cities, geography and communities.

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Sociology courses

Sociology courses

Explore how social structures and practices influence our lives and social interactions.

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Sustainability and Development courses

Sustainability and Development courses

Use development to addresses social, economic and political issues.

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Graduate research degrees

Graduate research degrees

Understand the social and cultural issues of justice, inequality and change in Australia and abroad.

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Student experience

Our students have diverse backgrounds and identities. Together, we are learning to understand the world in all its complexity, to make a positive difference to the communities we serve.

We are committed to providing a learning environment and workplace where students and staff feel valued, respected and supported to achieve their full potential.

Find out how we set our students up for success.

At La Trobe University, we have a longstanding commitment to diversity, inclusion and social justice.

Our students are among the most diverse of all Australian universities, and we are committed to providing a learning environment and workplace where all students and staff feel valued, respected and supported to achieve their full potential.

We care about building a connected community that actively champions diversity and inclusion to help people thrive. We achieve this by supporting our people, valuing diverse thinking as a key driver of innovation, and holding ourselves to account in delivering a culture where equity is a way of life.

La Trobe is committed to promoting equal opportunities and support for all students and staff, with a focus on six key pillars: cultural, disability, gender equality, Indigenous, LGBTIQA+ and life stages.

Find out more about our services and events.

We want our students to have an excellent experience with us and hope they return as they progress through their professional careers.

We consistently receive high scores in our Student Feedback on Subject surveys. Many of our educators have also won University teaching awards that reflect their commitment to providing and outstanding learning experience.

We also believe that wellbeing is just as important as success. La Trobe offers extensive support services to optimise the student experience.

Find out more about how we support our students to excel at La Trobe.

Our students have the opportunity to put their theoretical learning into practice by undertaking an industry placement with an organisation of their choice.

Our Planning students, for example, work on projects with professionals and practitioners. They also undertake placements with councils that often lead to full time employment.

Our major in Crime, Justice and Legal Studies is regarded by Victoria’s Department of Justice and Regulation as a preferred course for students wishing to pursue opportunities within Community Correctional Services. Past students have undertaken placements in a range of community, policy, corrections, policing and research organisations that often lead to employment.

Our undergraduate and postgraduate Development students work on simulated projects under the direction of experienced practitioners. Our Master of International Development students also have the opportunity to complete internships in the domestic or international development sector.

We also have a range of study tour and industry-relevant placement options available to students in Aboriginal Studies, Anthropology and Sociology. These include opportunities at organisations working to support Indigenous communities, as offered through the Aurora Internship Program.

Our students have access to a range of international study tours funded by the New Colombo Plan Mobility Program.

These tours provide students with global exposure and intercultural learnings in countries such as India, Malaysia, Philippines, Greece, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Recent examples: Our students have undertaken study tours to India to participate in heritage planning, and online internships to develop local tourism strategies in Indonesia.

Our Crime, Justice and Legal Studies students complete six-week work placements in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, funded by the New Colombo Plan.

We recognise that many of our students are unable to travel overseas at present, but global experiences are still on offer. Our Master of International Development, for example, connects our students with practitioners in Thailand, Pacific Islands, Africa, Indonesia and the Philippines through an online mobility experience.

Find out more about our exchange programs.

Photo of Dr Tarryn Phillips

Our degrees equip students for careers in policy, research, community development, criminal justice and more. Employers love our graduates because they are not only good communicators and creative problem-solvers, but they are also empathetic, curious, critical thinkers with a passion for social justice.

Dr Tarryn Phillips
Department of Social Inquiry

Study tours

Our students learn about the human condition. Then, our study tours give them real world experiences.

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