Fields of study

Courses in Australia are categorised in to ‘Fields of education’, also called ‘Fields of study’. It is a classification system used by Australian institutions to describe courses, specialisations and units of study.

Natural and physical sciences

Natural and physical sciences is the study of all living organisms and inanimate natural objects, through experiment, observation and deduction. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Atmospheric sciences
  • Biological processes
  • Chemical reactions
  • Geological composition and structures
  • Laboratory methodology
  • Mathematical and statistical techniques
  • Observation and measurement
  • Scientific method
  • Subatomic particles and quantum mechanics
  • Thermodynamics and entropy

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the workings of the universe, and to extend the body of scientific knowledge.

Information technology

Information technology is the study of the processing, transmitting and storage of information by computers. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Computation theory
  • Computer programming
  • Data format and coding
  • Management, storage and retrieval of information in a computer environment
  • Robotics programming and artificial intelligence
  • Systems analysis

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of information systems, programming languages, information management and artificial intelligence, and the ability to apply them to solve problems.

Engineering and related technologies

Engineering and related technologies is the study of the design, manufacture, installation, maintenance and functioning of machines, systems and structures; and the composition and processing of metals, ceramics, foodstuffs and other materials. It includes the measurement and mapping of the earth’s surface and its natural and constructed features. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Aeronautics
  • Engineering and manufacturing technology
  • Food technology
  • Land information technology and remote sensing
  • Materials science
  • Principles of design, drafting, planning and commissioning
  • Plant and machine maintenance

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the conversion of materials and energy, the measurement and representation of objects, and the operation of plant, machinery and transport systems.

Architecture and building

Architecture and building is the study of the art, science and techniques involved in designing, constructing, adapting and maintaining public, commercial, industrial and residential structures and landscapes. It includes the study of the art and science of designing and planning urban and regional environments. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Aesthetics and space dynamics
  • Building economics
  • Building science
  • Building techniques and technologies
  • Construction management
  • Architectural design and drawing
  • Town planning

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of integrating structural and aesthetic elements in buildings and environments, and construction methods, techniques and materials.

Agriculture, environmental and related studies

Agriculture, environmental and related studies is the study of the theory and practice of breeding, growing, gathering, reproducing and caring for plants and animals. It includes the study of the interaction between people and the environment and the application of scientific principles to the environment to protect it from deterioration. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Crop production
  • Animal production and management
  • Environmental impact and assessment
  • Forest resource management
  • Soil and water conservation
  • Aquatic resource management

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the management and use of natural resources, and the production of primary agricultural products.

Health

Health is the study of maintaining and restoring the physical and mental wellbeing of humans and animals. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Disease processes and mechanisms
  • Restoration and maintenance of health
  • Diagnosis
  • Principles and practices of public health

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the principles and practices of identifying, treating, controlling and preventing injury and disease. It is also involves developing an understanding of the principles and practices of providing preventative, curative, rehabilitative and palliative care.

Education

Education is the study of the process of learning. It includes the theories, methods and techniques of imparting knowledge and skills to others. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Curriculum development
  • Processes of learning and skill acquisition
  • Teaching methods

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the processes and methods of teaching and learning in pre-schools, schools, tertiary educational institutions and other settings.

Management and commerce

Management and commerce is the study of the theory and practice of planning, directing, organising, motivating and co-ordinating the human and material resources of private and public organisations and institutions. It includes the merchandising and provision of goods and services and personal development. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Management and administration
  • Human and material resources management
  • Sales and marketing
  • Finance and financial management
  • Human behaviour and time management

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the theory and practice of decision making and policy formation, organisational development, planning, financial management, and the marketing and selling of goods and services.

Society and culture

Society and culture is the study of the physical, social and cultural organisation of human society and their influence on the individual and groups. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Belief and value systems
  • Cultural expression
  • Human development and behaviour
  • Human populations and their environments
  • Politics of power
  • Social organisation and structure
  • Social research methodology

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of human behaviour and interaction, beliefs and values, cultural expression, and social structure and organisation.

Creative arts

Creative arts is the study of creating and performing works of art, music, dance and drama. It includes the study of clothing design and creation, and communicating through a variety of media. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Artistic and technical aspects of audio-visual communication
  • Artistic and technical aspects of creating and producing art and craft, photographs and fashion apparel
  • Artistic and technical aspects of creating, producing and performing music, dance and drama
  • History, development and theory of the visual and performing arts

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of composition, performance, artistic production, choreography, design and creativity, and technical production.

Food, hospitality and personal services

Food, hospitality and personal services is the study of preparing, displaying and serving food and beverages, providing hospitality services, caring for the hair and body for grooming and beautification, and other personal services. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Application and use of skin care and cosmetic products
  • General beauty care
  • Hair cutting, styling, colouring and treatment techniques
  • Housekeeping
  • Hygienic work practices in relation to the food and hospitality industry
  • Preparation, display and service of food and beverages

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop an understanding of the preparation of food and beverages, and the provision of hospitality services including housekeeping, cleaning and food and beverage service. It also involves developing a knowledge of beautification and beauty treatments.

Mixed field programmes

Mixed field programmes are programmes providing general and personal development education. The theoretical content of this field of study includes:

  • Literacy and numeracy skills
  • Personal, social and workplace relationships

The main purpose of this field of study is to develop a basic understanding of reading, writing and arithmetic along with an elementary understanding of other subjects such as history, geography, natural science, social science, art and music. It also involves developing an understanding of key competencies and skills that are needed for job search activities, employment and personal survival skills.

Last updated: Tuesday, 1 October 2013 12:04:54 PM

Rate this page

  • Rate as Helpful44 Helpful votes
  • Rate as Not helpful13 Not helpful votes