Sociology is the study of how people behave and interact in different social contexts. For sociologists, our identities as individuals only emerge in social interaction with the people around us. A major focus of sociological research and theory is how what we understand as the ‘modern’ world came about, as well as the ways in which it is changing today.

When you study sociology you will be introduced through our junior units to key ideas and concepts to help you understand the world. You will also be introduced to methods and techniques that will enable you to undertake your own research. These foundational ideas will be consolidated in senior theory and methods units. Your knowledge will be broadened by the study of particular areas within sociology. Concepts include inequality, power, change, agency and identity.

You will engage with the various aspects of sociology in classroom situations but also in the real world. You will learn to write and think sociologically using essays, reports, oral group work, posters, debates and new social media.

Study plan

A major in Sociology requires at least 36 senior credit points from the unit of study table, including at least 12 credit points of core 2000-level units of study and at least 6 credit points from core 3000-level units of study.

Junior units of study (1000 level)
You complete two junior units: SCLG1001 Introduction to Sociology 1 and SCLG1002 Introduction to Sociology 2. In these units you will learn about:

- Basic methods
- Key topics of analysis (class, gender, race, globalisation etc)
- Classical social theory
- Contemporary social theory

Senior units of study (2000 and 3000 level)
You complete 12 credit points from core senior intermediate (2000-level) units of study:

- SCLG2601 Sociological Theory
- SCLG2602 Social Inquiry: Qualitative Methods or SCLG2632 Quantitative Methods

These core senior intermediate units extend on the introductory material in the junior units and focus on the twin principles of sociology – an understanding of social theories and of empirical methods.

You also complete at least 6 credit points from core senior advanced (3000-level) units of study. Senior advanced units of study will further develop your understanding of sociological theory and research methods.

The remaining credit points for your major can be taken from senior units of study listed under electives in the unit of study table. These units provide specialist content (e.g. Sociology of Religion, Sociology of Inequality, Urban Sociology, Social Movements and Social Policy) enabling you to focus on narrower topics and learn about the particular concepts, theories and methods associated with these sub-fields of sociology and social policy.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

Further study for major

Eligible candidates may proceed to an Honours year in the Bachelor of Arts, or apply for admission to a rich postgraduate program in the humanities and social sciences, comprising advanced learning and professional courses. Master degrees include capstone projects ranging from internships with government and non-government organisations in Australia and overseas, the gallery and museum sector, and leading media organisations, to opportunities for independent research projects which prepare students for higher degrees by research.

Related subject areas

Social Policy, Socio-Legal Studies

Our courses that offer this major