International studies

International studies is a NSW Department of Education approved elective course.


International studies provides students with an opportunity to explore and recognise their own cultures and appreciate the richness of multicultural Australia and the world. The course enables understanding of cultures from different perspectives and develops skills to engage harmoniously in the interconnected world.

Course structure

Students may undertake either 100 or 200 hours of study in International Studies. Courses are structured in the following ways:

  • a 100-hour course consisting of Core and 2 to 3 options
  • a 200-hour course consisting of Core and 6 to 8 options.

Professional learning

Advice for leaders on whole school considerations, key information and further support for International studies.

Syllabus information for leaders

International studies is an interdisciplinary course that provides a unique conceptual framework for the study of culture, and the promotion of intercultural understanding.

The course has links to Stage 5 HSIE, English, PDHPE and creative arts subjects as well as a range of STEM opportunities.

The course retains much of the content and structure of the previous version with some updates to content and outcomes to align with contemporary culture and student needs.

The content is divided into core and options. The core should precede the options. The options may be studied in any order:

  • 100-hour course comprises the core and 2 to 3 options
  • 200-hour course comprises the core and 6 to 8 options.

The following support is available for schools:

A comprehensive overview of the outcomes, content and requirements for satisfactory completion of the course.


In order to comply with the Curriculum planning and programming, assessing and reporting to parents K-12 Policy and associated policy standards, schools must use the course document to develop educational programs for students.

Illustrative examples of how to sequence the core and options topics.

Scope and sequences

Scope and sequences are flexible documents and may vary according to local school contexts and student cohorts, provided they comply with the course documents.

A range of teaching and learning activities and resources that may be used to deliver the course content.

Teaching resources

Schools may choose to adapt or modify this content or use other materials suitable to their local context, provided they comply with the course documents.

Assessment advice and examples aligning to course content


Department approved elective courses are not eligible for credentialing on the Record of School Achievement (RoSA). Assessment activities should reflect the school's organisation of the course and provide students with opportunities to demonstrate their learning.

Support for department-approved elective courses


Lyndal Bimson

Teaching and Learning Advisor

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