The department of Sociology and Social Policy is part of the School of Social and Political Sciences (SSPS).

About the major

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.

Pathway through the major

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.

The units of study for the major can be found in the Table A unit of study table for Sociology. The table shows units of study on offer in the current handbook year. You may find information regarding a full list of units of study available to the major on the departmental website.

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.


Students intending to proceed to Sociology IV honours must have completed at least 48 senior credit points of Sociology or Social Policy with a Credit average or above. You must complete SCLG3602 Sociological Theory and Practice as a bridging unit to the research intensive year of Honours. This unit allows you to undertake work around a specific empirical/theoretical project, pulling together your learning across the major. You are also strongly recommended to take SCLG3601 Contemporary Sociological Theory to strengthen your theoretical capacities.

Please note: from 2015 the minimum requirement for entry into Honours will increase to an average of 70% or above across 48 senior credit points in the intended subject area/s.

Contact/further information

Department website:
Undergraduate Coordinator: Dr Amanda Elliot