The Department of Sociology and Social Policy aims to support student achievement in as many ways as it can, and one element of that is recognition of particular individual achievement in sociology, social policy and socio-legal studies.

Those who might be interested in making a donation to help support the high standards of scholarship and engagement with important social issues should contact the Chair of Department.

The prizes offered by the Department are:

Alan Davis Memorial Prize

This prize is awarded to undergraduate student who has the best results in the junior sociology units SCLG1001 Introduction to Sociology I and SCLG1002 Introduction to Sociology II.

The prize commemorates the contribution of Associate Professor Alan Davis (1941-1996), a former member of the Department, and instrumental in the establishment of a Sociology program at The University of Sydney. He pioneered a number of new developments in the Department, including the sociology of health and the environment. He was widely acknowledged to be an inspiring teacher, much loved by students at both the undergraduate and postgraduate levels. He was committed, as Professor Charles Kerr has said, ‘to justice and equity in public policy and a fair deal for the socially disadvantaged’. He carried his profound knowledge of the discipline lightly and with modesty. His passion for encouraging intellectual curiosity and learning is appropriately celebrated by this prize for first year students. He delighted in opening young minds to fresh questions by provoking students (in the gentlest possible way) with an uncertainty that moved them to seek deeper involvement and knowledge. A memorial plaque is located outside the ground floor of the RC Mills Building.

Bettina Cass Prize in Social Policy

This prize Is awarded to the undergraduate student who has achieved the best results in SCPL2601 Australian Social Policy.

Professor Bettina Cass was formerly Chair and Professor of Sociology and Social Policy and Dean of the Faculty of Arts at the University of Sydney. She is internationally renowned for her research and publications in the field of social policy. Professor Cass is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia. She has worked extensively with state, national and international organizations and been the Director of a number of large government Inquiries and reviews that cover areas as diverse as family policies and family income support, social security, labour market policies, the housing needs of women and children, ageing, retirement incomes and disabilities. Her contributions to this field of research as well as her on going commitment to active engagement in policy reform was recognized with an Order of Australia for services to welfare policy. She is presently a Professorial Fellow at the Social Policy Research Centre at UNSW.

Raewyn Connell Prize in Sociological Theory

This prize is awarded to the student with the highest marks in SCLG2601 Sociology Theory.

Professor Raewyn Connell holds a University Chair in the University of Sydney. She is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences in Australia, a recipient of the American Sociological Association's award for distinguished contribution to the study of sex and gender, and of the Australian Sociological Association's award for distinguished service to sociology in Australia. She has published 21 books many of which have been translated into 13 languages. In the Australian Sociological Association list of the most influential books in Australian sociology Professor Connell had 4 in the top 10. Ruling Class, Ruling Culture topped the list. The book Making the Difference (1982) is the most discussed Australian study of social inequalities in education while in Gender and Power (1987) Raewyn developed an influential sociological theory of gender. Her recent book Southern Theory (2007) has made an important contribution to the development of global sociology by exploring sociological theory from the South.

Qualitative Methods Prize

This prize is awarded to the student who achieved the highest marks in the core senior level sociology unit SCLG2602 Social Inquiry: Research Methods. This unit of study has long been a crucial element of the sociology program’s core, alongside Sociological Theory, and establishes the foundation for the development of students’ empirical research skills, one of the central strengths of the major in Sociology.

Quantitative Methods Prize

This prize is awarded to the student who achieves the highest marks in the core senior level sociology unit SCLG3603: Quantitative Methods for Social Science.
The Department always aims to strengthen the range of empirical research skills with which Sociology and Social Policy students become familiar, and the introduction of quantitative methods unit is an important aspect of that aspiration to broaden students’ research strengths.

Socio-Legal Studies Prize

This prize is awarded to the student who achieved the highest marks in the two junior level core units in Socio-legal Studies, SLSS1001 Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies and, SLSS1003 Law and Contemporary Society.
The Socio-Legal Studies program began at the University of Sydney first with the commencement of the first-year Introduction to Socio-Legal Studies unit within the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in 2005, and then as one of the foundational units in the Bachelor of Socio-Legal Studies in 2006, from 2012 the Socio-Legal Studies major in the Bachelor of Arts.