Humanities meets tech: a new degree

In an Australian first, La Trobe University has launched the brand-new Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology - a unique fusion of humanities with business and emerging technologies.

Head of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe, Professor Nick Bisley, said that, as disruptive technologies such as AI and big data gather pace across the world, it is essential a humanities perspective is incorporated into discussions because it ensures a deeper understanding of the human consequences of these technologies.

“Digital disruption is opening up a pandora’s box of exciting opportunities as well as raising complex societal and ethical questions,” Professor Bisley said.

“The Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology is our response to calls from leading scientists and CEOs for graduates trained in problem-solving across humanities, business and technology.

“For example, while big data offers opportunities for companies to increase their efficiency and make better informed decisions, it also raises fundamental questions around privacy and increased cyber security risk.”

Director of Undergraduate Studies for La Trobe’s School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr Sarah Midford, said the new degree bridges an important gap between humanities, business and the science of emerging tech.

“While most degrees that teach emerging technologies focus primarily on the science, our new degree program brings together La Trobe expertise from across humanities, business, science and technology to develop students’ ability to respond to urgent questions around inequality and sustainability brought about by disruptive technologies.”

Dr Midford said students will graduate with a wide range of skills and attributes highly sought after by employers, including critical thinking, complex and ethical problem solving, data analysis and interpretation, as well as digital literacy and adaptability.

“Our new degree is designed to prepare graduates for jobs that don’t yet exist and to be tomorrow’s leaders in this new and exciting space,” Dr Midford said.

“The combination of social, legal, commercial and scientific knowledge will uniquely equip our students to understand the technical and human side of a problem and solve it using ethical reasoning.”

Students will be taught by world-leading La Trobe experts in areas such as cyber law, AI, the internet of things, sustainable development, innovation thinking and economics. They will learn from industry leaders throughout the course, engaging with contemporary real-world issues.

Topics within the Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology include ethical global citizenship, data-based critical thinking, cyber law and policy, and economics for a changing world.

First intake of students will be in March 2020 for the three-year full time (six-year part time equivalent) degree, with applications now open.

More information on the new Bachelor of Humanities, Innovation and Technology, including entry requirements, can be found on the website.

Media Contact: Claire Bowers – c.bowers@latrobe.edu.au - 9479 2315 / 0437279903

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