• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Australian Indigenous Studies, Science
  • Major code ISCK-MAJ

Indigenous knowledge systems consist of complex webs of social-cultural interaction, developed through relationships among communities and within their landscapes. The Indigenous Science and Knowledges major is designed to provide students with an understanding of Indigenous approaches to science, developing the skills required to work alongside Indigenous peoples. Taking a holistic approach, the major promotes the application of Indigenous epistemologies to the complex problems of the past, present and future.


The major in Indigenous Science and Knowledges allows students to explore Indigenous science and knowledges across a range of science fields. The foundational courses in this major will prepare students to engage with Indigenous perspectives in the sciences before undertaking a major project in their area of interest. In line with Indigenous understandings of science and knowledge production, students are encouraged to explore courses that are relevant to their areas of interest in the sciences.

Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of Australian and global Indigenous history and culture, policies pertaining to Indigenous peoples, and the application of Indigenous knowledges in a scientific context.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of protocols for protecting Indigenous knowledges in the sciences and how to build these into project and research design.
  3. Articulate key approaches for meaningful and reciprocal engagement with Indigenous peoples and communities through the development of cultural awareness and sensitivity.
  4. Critically examine the relationship between Indigenous knowledges and modern science, including their similarities and differences.

Other Information

Indigenous science, knowledges and perspectives can be applied across all areas offered by the College of Science, College of Health and Medicine and beyond. Students are encouraged to meet with the convener to discuss their areas of interest and study plans for the Major.

What 1st year courses should you enrol in?

Students should enrol in INDG1001 and INDG1002.

Additional information:

  • Some courses, especially those that involve field work, may have a cap on enrolments.
  • For students taking ENVS3016 as part of this major, the special topic must be in the field of Indigenous Science and Knowledges, some special topics are run regularly for examples, as Indigenous Peoples in the Murray-Darling Basin or Indigenous Land and Water Management and Policy Issues. Contact the school for more details.
  • Courses taken from the internship/research project/special topics list must focus on the field of Indigenous Science and Knowledges. If you are considering undertaking a research project, internship, fieldwork or special topic course, please contact the Indigenous Science and Knowledges Convenor for advice on which course to enrol in depending on your area of interest.
  • Indigenous Science HPO courses can be found on the ANU College of Science website.
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, of which:

A minimum of 18 units must come from completion of 3000- level courses

The 48 units must consist of:

12 units from the completion of Foundational courses from the following list: 

INDG1001 Country, Kinship and Continuities: An Introduction to Australian Indigenous Studies (6 units)

INDG1002 First Peoples' experiences and ways of being: resilience, agency, resurgence and rights (6 units)

A minimum of 6 units of Indigenous Science Courses:

ENVS3016 Special Topic (which can be taken multiple times as different topics, that must have an Indigenous science focus)

INDG2001 or ENVS2025 - Indigenous Cultural and Natural Resource Management (6 units)

HLTH3001 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health (6 units)

A minimum of 12 units from the completion of Integrative and Contextual courses from the following list: 

INDG3004 Independent Research Project in Australian Indigenous Studies (6 units)

INDG3005 Special Topics in Australian Indigenous Studies (6 units)

INDG3006 Indigenous Research: Practice, Collaboration and Ethics (6 units)

A research project, internship, fieldwork or special topic course with an Indigenous science focus approved by the Indigenous Science and Knowledges Major convenor

A maximum of 18 units from the Science HPO list with an indicated Indigenous Science focus.

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