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Unit of study_

GCST2612: Youth and Youth Culture

Semester 2, 2023 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

This unit examines academic, public and popular ideas about youth and practices of youth culture. It will introduce students to some of the current parameters for studying the experience of youth and youth cultural forms and practices. We will pay particular attention to the ways young lives are gendered and the role gender plays in the institutions and other contexts in which young people live. Other points of focus include changing conceptions of youth, relationships between policy and youth, images of youth and youth culture, and discourses on (im)maturity, training, and identity.

Unit details and rules

Unit code GCST2612
Academic unit Gender and Cultural Studies
Credit points 6
12 credit points at 1000 level including 6 credit points from Gender Studies, Cultural Studies, Sociology, Anthropology, Media Studies, English, History, Philosophy, Education, Political Economy, Psychology, Social Work, or Law
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Grace Sharkey,
Lecturer(s) Ellen Mcgeoch,
James Gardiner,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Close Reading Exercise
Close Reading Exercise
10% -
Due date: 01 Sep 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Short essay
Short essay
30% -
Due date: 06 Oct 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Assignment Final Take-Home Assignment
Final Take-Home Assignment
50% -
Due date: 17 Nov 2023 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8
Participation Participation
Active, scholarly participation assessed in tutorials throughout semester
10% Progressive n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO8 LO7 LO6 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2

Assessment summary

Further infromation available on Canvas

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

For more information see



This guide indicates broadly the qualitative judgements implied by the various grades which may be awarded. A more precise evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of individual essays will be provided in examiners’ comments. Evaluation is made with due consideration of the different standards likely to be achieved by students in junior and senior units.

85%+ (High Distinction)

Work of exceptional standard.

Written work demonstrates initiative and originality in research and reading; clear, critical analysis of the examined material; and innovative, insightful interpretation of evidence. Interdisciplinary work at this level effectively incorporates different perspectives to develop a rich and thorough analysis of its object of study. It makes an important contribution to debate, engages with the values, assumptions and contested meanings contained within original evidence, and develops abstract or theoretical arguments on the strength of detailed research and interpretation. The work is properly documented, and the writing is characterised by creativity, style, and precision.

75-84% (Distinction)

Work of a superior standard. 

Written work demonstrates initiative in research and reading, complex understanding and original analysis of subject matter and its context. The work takes a critical, interrogative stance and makes a good attempt to move beyond the underlying assumptions of a topic, recognizing key concepts, theories and principles. Interdisciplinary work at this level successfully integrates differing perspectives. The work is properly documented and the writing is characterised by style, clarity, and some creativity.

70-74% (High Credit)

Highly competent work, demonstrating clear capacity to complete Honours successfully. This level of work is considered “above average”. 

The work shows evidence of extensive reading and initiative in research, a sound grasp of subject matter and appreciation of key issues and context. The work engages critically and sometimes creatively with the question or task, and attempts an analytical evaluation of material. It makes a good attempt to critique various interpretations, and shows evidence of the ability to conceptualise and problematise issues and to go beyond the face value of core concepts. It demonstrates some evidence of the ability to think theoretically as well as in concrete terms. Interdisciplinary work at this level has a reasonably strong awareness of the fields and contexts that inform the work. Well written and properly documented.

65-69% (Low Credit)

Very competent work though not necessarily of the standard to complete Honours

Written work contains evidence of comprehensive reading and some evidence of independent thought. It offers a synthesis and critical evaluation of material and takes a position in relation to various interpretations. It makes a coherent and sustained argument, drawing on relevant concepts from readings. Interdisciplinary work at this level demonstrates some awareness of the fields and contexts that inform the work. Well written and properly documented.

60-64% (High Pass)

Work has considerable merit, though Honours is not automatically recommended. 

Written work contains evidence of a broad and reasonably accurate command of the subject matter and some sense of its broader significance. It offers some evaluation and synthesis of material and demonstrates an effort to go beyond the essential reading. The work contains clear focus on the principal issues, understanding of relevant arguments and diverse interpretations, and a coherent argument grounded in relevant evidence, though there may be some weaknesses with regard to clarity and/or structure of the argument. Clearly written and properly documented.

55-59% (Medium Pass)

Work of a satisfactory standard. 

Written work meets basic requirements in terms of reading and research, and demonstrates a reasonable understanding of subject matter. Offers a synthesis of relevant material and shows a genuine effort to avoid paraphrasing. The work has a logical and comprehensible structure and acceptable documentation, and attempts to mount an argument, though there may be weaknesses in particular areas.

50-54% (Low Pass)

Work of an acceptable standard. 

Written work contains evidence of minimal reading and some understanding of the subject matter, offers descriptive summary of material relevant to the task, but may have a tendency to be purely descriptive, to paraphrase or rely on polemical assertion rather than careful analysis and argumentation. The work makes a reasonable attempt to organise material logically and comprehensibly and to provide scholarly documentation. There may be gaps in any or all of these areas.

Below 50% (Fail)

Work not of an acceptable standard. 

Work may fail for any or all of the following reasons: unacceptable levels of paraphrasing; irrelevance of content; polemical assertion without evidence or analysis; presentation, grammar or structure so poor it cannot be understood; submitted very late without extension.

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

5% per calendar day, with a mark of 0 applied after 10 days.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Weekly Lectures, weeks 1-13. Tutorials, weeks 2-13. Lecture and tutorial (38 hr) LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5 LO6 LO7 LO8

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: Students are expected to attend all scheduled tutorials and seminars.
  • Lecture recording: All lectures will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.


Students are required to:

  • attend lectures and tutorials (or seminars);
  • participate in class discussion;
  • complete satisfactorily such written work, presentations and examinations as may be prescribed; and
  • meet the standards required by the University for academic honesty


Attendance requirements

Departments in the School of Humanities require satisfactory class attendance as part of participation in a unit of study. Attendance below 80% of tutorials/seminars without written evidence of illness or misadventure may be penalised with loss of marks. Students should be aware that non-attendance at 50% or more of classes without due cause is likely to result in them being deemed not to have fulfilled requirements for the unit of study; they thus run the risk of an Absent Fail result being returned.


Attendance at less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons for the absences, will automatically result in the student’s case being referred to the Discipline's examiners’ meeting for a determination as to whether the student should pass or fail the unit of study, or, if a pass is awarded, the level of penalty that should be applied. Students should not take a unit of study unless they can meet the above attendance requirement.


For further details see the Faculty of Arts Attendance Policy at:

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings will be visible in the ‘Reading List’ tab in the Canvas page for this unit.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. identify some of the key theories which have been used to understand youth and youth cultures
  • LO2. develop critical and creative approaches to youth and youth culture
  • LO3. develop skills in drawing on materials from a range of different disciplines to form critical and constructive perspectives on youth
  • LO4. analyse cultural, textual, and empirical phenomena by drawing on critical theories of youth and youth cultures
  • LO5. understand the key ways youth and youth culture have been understood and theorized in popular culture and public discourse
  • LO6. critically evaluate and draw upon different sources of information in order to understand contemporary and historical youth cultures
  • LO7. demonstrate skills in independent learning, including taking responsibility for research directions in assessments, and developing new ways of thinking about youth and youth culture as differently defined by gender, sexuality, ethnicity and location
  • LO8. demonstrate skills in communicating and articulating complex critical and conceptual perspectives on youth and youth culture, including through learning group discussion.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

No changes have been made since this unit was last offered.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.