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HomeWhat is HASS?
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What is HASS? 

HASS Explained


The Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) are critically important to Australia. They play a key role in the national innovation system and underpin the development of our society, culture and individual identity. CHASS works towards greater recognition of people, projects and organisations working in the sector and to strengthen their capacity to contribute.

A 2008 report on the sector by the London School of Economics for the British Academy identifies a broad group of academic disciplines dedicated to the study of society, the economy, business, governance, history and culture. Researchers are also identifying the emergence of new disciplines to tackle some of the major challenges facing contemporary society and cross over with the traditional science areas.

A small sample of these disciplines indicates the breadth and importance of the HASS disciplines. In the humanities, these include philosophy languages, literature studies and history, and anthropology. In the social sciences, they include economics, sociology, education, social policy social work and demography. Emerging areas of crossover include law, linguistics and cultural studies and geography, while the creative arts areas cross into design, architecture and landscape architecture.

Together these disciplines drive activity in major organisations and institutions across Australian society and are major contributors to prosperity and productivity growth. Research, design and development are dependent on their new knowledge. Publishers and museums and galleries are major organisations using HASS skills and knowledge to reach out to Australian communities, while in our universities and research institutions there is a rich tradition of academic study, which give students and graduates knowledge to take a role as citizens and community members.



CHASS Occasional Papers, which include publications on the arts and Australia’s national innovation system, the role of the Social Sciences in public policy research and in design and creative practice
Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia
London School of Economics 2008 Study for the British Academy on research impact
The Australian Institute for Social Research at the University of Adelaide’s study on Connecting Ideas: Collaborative Innovation for a Complex World, including a list of HASS disciplines. 

Learn more about these disciplines and their impact:

CHASS Occasional Papers, which include publications on the arts and Australia’s national innovation system, the role of the Social Sciences in public policy research and in design and creative practice

Academy of Social Sciences in Australia

London School of Economics 2008 Study for the British Academy on research impact

The Australian Institute for Social Research at the University of Adelaide’s study on Connecting Ideas: Collaborative Innovation for a Complex World, including a list of HASS disciplines.


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