Humanities and Social Sciences (HaSS) is the study of human behaviour and interaction in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts. Humanities and Social Sciences has a historical and contemporary focus, from personal to global contexts, and considers opportunities and challenges for the future.

In the Western Australian Curriculum, the Humanities and Social Sciences learning area comprises four subjects: Civics and Citizenship, Economics and Business, Geography and History.

By studying Humanities and Social Sciences, students will develop the ability to question; think critically; make decisions based on evidence; devise proposals for actions; and communicate effectively.

Thinking about, reflecting on, and responding to issues requires an understanding of the key historical, geographical, political, legal, economic, business and societal factors involved, and how these different factors interrelate.

The Humanities and Social Sciences subjects provide students with the knowledge and skills they need to develop a broad understanding of the world in which we live and how people can participate as active and informed citizens in the 21st Century.

Years 7-10 HASS

Humanities and Social Sciences is a diverse learning area where students will study human behaviour and interactions in social, cultural, environmental, economic and political contexts.

Humanities and Social Sciences at Ashdale Secondary College follows the West Australian Curriculum and covers four subject areas:

  • Geography
  • History
  • Civics and Citizenship
  • Economics and Business

Students in Years 7-10 will spend one term per year on each of the four areas developing their knowledge and understanding of the different subjects.

By studying Humanities and Social Sciences students will also develop the skills to be confident communicators, critical thinkers and creative problem-solvers for the local and global issues that our world faces. These skills are taught with a focus on contemporary matters such as sustainability, civic responsibilities, equity, social justice and Australia’s place in Asia and the wider world.

Students will be encouraged to develop their sense of wonder, curiosity and respect for places, people, cultures, events, ideas and environments throughout the world. This is driven by relevant and engaging lessons, field trips, guest speakers and numerous extra-curricular opportunities that are available to Ashdale Secondary College students.

Senior School HASS

Within the HASS learning area, students are able to choose from a number of exciting and valuable subjects in both ATAR and general pathways. We offer courses in Geography, Modern History, Politics and Law, and Economics.

For all ATAR options, we recommend a minimum of a B Grade in Year 10 HASS.


ATAR Geography

The study of ATAR Geography draws on students’ curiosity about the diversity of the world’s places and their peoples, cultures and environments. It provides students with the knowledge and understanding of the nature, causes and consequences of natural and ecological hazards, international integration in a range of spatial contexts, land cover transformations, and the challenges affecting the sustainability of places.

  • Unit One – Natural and Ecological Hazards
  • Unit Two – Global Networks and Interconnections

ATAR Modern History

Studying the Modern History ATAR course enables students to become critical thinkers and helps inform their judgements and actions in a rapidly changing world. Students are exposed to a variety of historical sources, including government papers, extracts from newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, cartoons, paintings, graphs and secondary sources, in order to determine the causes and effect, and motives and forces influencing people and events.

  • Unit One – Understanding the Modern World
  • Unit Two – Movements for Change in the 20th Century

ATAR Politics and Law

The Politics and Law ATAR course provides a study of the processes of decision making concerning society’s collective future. It aims to develop the knowledge of principles, structures, institutions and processes of political and legal systems primarily in Australia. It brings together the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government to demonstrate how society is governed and how each branch of government is held to account.

  • Unit One – Democracy and The Rule of Law
  • Unit Two – Representation and Justice

ATAR Economics

Economics explores the choices which all people, groups and societies face as they confront the ongoing problem of satisfying their unlimited wants with limited resources. The Economics ATAR course aims to develop students’ ability to analyse the allocation, utilisation and distribution of scarce resources that determine our wealth and wellbeing. The study of Economics provides a framework for examining society’s issues and identifying possible solutions which assist decision making.

  • Unit One – Microeconomics
  • Unit Two – Macroeconomics


Students who are looking for a vocational pathway, the HASS department offers General courses in Geography and Modern History and, a Certificate II in Tourism.

General Modern History

Studying this course exposes students to a variety of historical sources, including government papers, extracts from newspapers, letters, diaries, photographs, cartoons, paintings, graphs and secondary sources, in order to understand the historical narrative including cause and effect, and the forces influencing people and events. Though the process of historical inquiry, students are encouraged to question historical sources; identify various representations and versions of history, and communicate their findings in a variety of ways.

  • Unit One – People, Place and Time
  • Unit Two – Power and Authority

General Geography

In this course, students learn how to collect information from primary and secondary sources such as field observation, mapping, case studies and reports. Geography as a discipline, values imagination, creativity and speculation as modes of thought. It develops students’ knowledge about the interconnects between places and explores environments at risk. Students learn about the protection of such environments through management at local, regional and global levels.

  • Unit One – Geography of Environments at Risk
  • Unit Two – Geography of People and Places

Certificate II in Tourism

The Certificate II in Tourism is a two-year course and students will receive their qualification at the end of the second year. This qualification will provide students with the skills and knowledge to be competent in tourism-related skills. Students will be able to work in an office or field-based situations including destinations in the local or regional area, tourist precinct, attractions or onboard forms of transportation. The tourism industry is a growing employment area for Western Australia and new attractions such as the Museum, Stadium and Elizabeth Quay will transform Perth as a tourism destination and create 11,000 new jobs by 2020.

Business Management & Enterprise

Success is never accidental.”

– Jack Dorsey, CEO, Twitter

Real-world experiences are at the heart of the Western Australian Business Curriculum.  Whether it’s learning how to manage a small business, or delving behind the advertising jingles to investigate the real world of marketing, students will gain an appreciation of how the world of business operates.

The General Business Management and Enterprise course focuses on establishing and operating a small business in Australia; covering topics such as the factors that impact on business innovation and success, and the legal aspects of running a business.

The emphasis of ATAR Business Management and Enterprise is on business planning, marketing and growth, and the opportunities provided by technology and globalisation.  Students undertaking this course will learn how to strategically manage organisations within a global context to maximise business performance.

In a society where business principles pervade all aspects of our lives, financial and business literacy are critical to success.  Studying business equips students to participate proactively in the world of business, behave responsibly and demonstrate integrity in business activities.

Career and Enterprise

Career education involves learning to manage and take responsibility for personal career development. The Career and Enterprise General course involves recognising one’s individual skills and talents and using this understanding to assist in gaining and keeping employment. The course develops a range of work skills and an understanding of the nature of work.

Key components of the course include:

  • the development of an understanding of different personality types and their link to career choices;
  • entrepreneurial behaviours;
  • learning to learn; and
  • the exploration of social, cultural and environmental issues that affect work, workplaces and careers.

Workplaces have different structures which impact on their practices and processes and how they operate. Each workplace is unique, and its organisation governs workplace settings and patterns of work.

The Career and Enterprise General course has been constructed using and is strongly aligned to, the knowledge, skills and understandings from the Core Skills for Work Development Framework (2013) and the Australian Blueprint for Career Development (the Blueprint).

At Ashdale SC, General students have the opportunity to complete four blocks of work experience.  During Career and Enterprise classes, our teachers and Workplace Learning Coordinators work with students to identify opportunities in a range of industry areas and support students to communicate and use initiative sourcing and securing an appropriate placement.