• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Anthropology, History, Sociology, Digital Humanities
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Offered in Second Semester 2017
    See Future Offerings

This course considers the ways in which the future has been conceived in the West since the eighteenth century, through an exploration of utopian hopes and dystopian fears in fiction as well as concrete attempts to realize these projects. Drawing on numerous case studies, it will first aim at understanding what underlying assumptions – about the nature of human mind, family, work, sex, emotions, social boundaries in the community – structure these imaginations of the future. Beyond fiction, this course will interrogate to what extent and how utopias have shaped Western representations such as those regarding science, technology, social norms and the State. From the initial map of Canberra inspired by utopian socialism, to current artificial intelligence designers revisiting by Asimov’s writings, through Western constitutions raised in the Enlightenment ideals, how has our social world been nurtured by utopias?

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
  1. Acquire in-depth knowledge about the history of utopias
  2. Analyze the utopic & dystopic projections to the future as a reflect of current social issues
  3. Recognize key social patterns and cultural themes in utopias and science fiction
  4. Examine to what extent directing social change in the West has been inspired by ideals appearing in fictions, critically assessing the links between fiction and actual social change

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial participation (10%) Learning Outcomes 1-4
Mid-Term Examination, 1 hour  (25%) Learning Outcomes 1-2
1,500 word research essay (30%) Learning Outcomes 3-4
Final Examination, 2 hours, held during the formal examination period (35%) Learning Outcomes 2-3-4

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 35 hours of contact: 24 hours of lectures and 11 hours of workshop and workshop-like activities.
b) 95 hours of independent student research, reading and writing

Requisite and Incompatibility

48 units of 1000 level ANU courses including 6 units of SOCY or HIST courses; or permission of the convenor.

Preliminary Reading

Thomas More, Utopia




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $2856
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2017 $4080
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Second Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
10107 24 Jul 2017 31 Jul 2017 31 Aug 2017 27 Oct 2017 In Person N/A

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions