Undergraduate Study in the Department of Sociology & Social Policy

Students enrolling in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy can choose from three majors within a number of different degree programs:

  • Sociology
  • Social Policy
  • Socio Legal Studies

These are distinct but related streams of study. Our staff teach across these majors and we have Units of Study that are shared across the majors and others that are specific to a single major. Many of our students combine majors. So they might undertake majors in both Sociology and Social Policy, or Sociology and Socio-Legal Studies, allowing for study of social issues both historically and comparatively in breadth and depth.


Sociology is the study of human behaviour in its diverse social contexts. The subject matter of sociology includes patterns of social interaction in its institutional, organisational and cultural settings. A major focus of sociological research and theory has been the making of the modern world. The sociology taught at the University of Sydney emphasises both an historical and a comparative approach to the discipline and its subject matter. Major requirements

Social Policy

Social Policy is the study of a range of policies that affect the social and economic welfare of individuals, families and communities. The study of Social Policy enables students to develop an understanding of the arrangements and principles underpinning the provision and administration of social policies. The policy areas studied include: work, unemployment and employment services; youth and children's services; health policies; housing and urban/regional policies; policies for women, policies for Indigenous people; multicultural policies and policies on the environment.
Major requirements

Socio-legal Studies

Socio-Legal Studies is the study of legal ideas, institutions and practices from the perspectives of the humanities and social sciences. It includes study of crime and punishment, medico-legal and forensic practices, legal ideas and institutions. Socio-legal studies enables students to understand the impact of the legal system in different communities. Major requirements