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Sociology is concerned with understanding social change in a complex global world.

Studying Sociology provides you with the skills to understand society and the patterns of behaviour and structures that shape what people do. We also study cultural identities, social differences, and organisations.

Innovative sociological thinking can provide solutions and opportunities to create positive societal change for the individual, a culture, a city and its population.  Sociology also teaches critical thinking and new ways of engaging with the many social problems and challenges that confront us.

We call it the sociological imagination.

Why study Sociology?

We offer a range of study options that can provide you with expertise in Sociology, electives that can diversify your skills, and the flexibility to study complementary discipline areas.

Your studies will provide you with a critical understanding of the forces shaping the world in which we live, and how Australia relates to its regional and international communities.

With a strong reputation in Sociology research, we offer a variety of postgraduate research courses that will develop your advanced research knowledge and skills, helping you understand issues concerned with conflict and cooperation at the highest level of political analysis.

Read more about our Study Options

Career Options

Our graduates are employed in a range of careers in private, government and non government sectors. Many organisations and business utilise sociologists to evaluate programs, diagnose problems and design solutions to address a range of issues that impact on society and humanity.

  • Academic researcher
  • Lecturer
  • Advocate
  • Ageing and Disability Officer
  • Analyst
  • Blog Writer
  • Community Project Officer
  • Cultural Programmer
  • Current Affairs broadcasting and writing
  • Government Advisor
  • Health Research and Policy
  • Housing
  • Human Resource Management
  • Intelligence Officer
  • Journalism
  • Marketing Officer
  • Migrant Affairs
  • Multi-Cultural Affairs
  • Non-government Organisations
  • Policy Officer
  • Police Service
  • Policy Researcher
  • Political Advisor
  • Program Manager
  • Research Fellow
  • Social Advocacy Officer
  • Social Inclusion Officer
  • Social Researcher
  • Social Worker
  • Youth Officer
  • Youth Support Co-ordinator

Study Options

In studying sociology, you'll learn to examine and explain the social world in deeper and more complex ways. We examine areas such as wealth and power, culture and creativity, families and sexuality, gender and identity, globalisation, the body, nature and the environment, youth, racism, religion and multiculturalism, health and illness, digital cultures, and inequalities between classes and between women and men.

Interested in studying with us? Explore our course and research opportunities below.

Each course and unit is linked to its own page with more detailed information on the Courses & Units website.


In 2019 the School of Social Sciences is offering the below units, including breadth units, which contain content from this discipline. Please refer to course pages to determine which of these units can be included in your course of study, as well as a complete list of units.


Semester 1

  • HGA101 Sociology: Understanding the Social World
  • XBR120 Complementary Medicines in Contemporary Society (Breadth Unit)

Semester 2

  • HGA102 Sociology: Experiencing Social Life
  • XBR120 Complementary Medicines in Contemporary Society (Breadth Unit)


  • HGA138 Society, Culture and Health

Semester 1

Winter School

Semester 2

  • HPP216 Key Concepts in Social Justice
  • HGA223 Social Problems and Social Policy
  • HGA232 HGA332 Working with Offenders
  • HGA259 HGA359 Crime and Deviance
  • HGA318 Tourism, Creativity and Culture
  • HGA224 HGA324 Ethnicity, Race and Religion: Understanding Social Diversity
  • HSS305 Social Sciences Internship
  • HGA377 Sociology of Youth
  • XBR212 Interdisciplinary Social Research (Breadth Unit)

Spring School

  • HGA226 HGA326 Sport and Crime
  • HGA338 Preventing Violence Against Women: Theory, Policy and Practice
  • HGA396 Working in a Globalised World


Our Honours program provides students with an advanced exploration of Sociology. Comprised of specialised core units and a research thesis or project, study at the honours level introduces skills and methods involved in independent research.

In 2019, the School of Social Sciences is offering the below units, including breadth units, which contain content from this discipline. Please refer to course pages to determine which of these units can be included in your course of study, as well as a complete list of units.

Semester 1

  • HGA422 Understanding Contemporary Societies

Semester 1 & 2

Your learning experience in Sociology goes beyond the lecture and tutorials.

You will be taught by experts, and gain perspective from guest lecturers and forums; study abroad for a fortnight, a month, a semester or a year, as part of your degree; have options to complete your studies your way, whether on-campus, online, part-time or full-time;  pursue your passion or specialisation with a range of scholarships, bursaries and financial assistance programs, or meet your career goals with our pathway options.

Sociology and the School of Social Sciences, as part of the College of Arts, Law and Education, offers a growing collection of units that are available to be completed either wholly or partially online to enable flexible study.

* The online availability for each unit is indicated on each individual unit page under ‘Availability’, then ‘Attendance options’ by the ‘Off-Campus’ icon .

Read more about Online Study in Arts and Justice Studies.

As a student of Social Sciences both the University and the School provide access to a variety of scholarships and bursaries at a University, College of Arts, Law and Education and Discipline level. The main application period begins in August, and closes on the 31st October the year prior to study commencing.

Browse Scholarships

The College also offers a financial assistance program for students wishing to undertake Short Term Overseas Study Programs.

Short Term Overseas Study Program College assistance and mobility grants

Don't meet the traditional entry requirements? The School of Social Sciences offers an alternative entry pathway into our undergraduate programs. The Arts pathway is a great introduction into university study, and can assist you in gaining the qualifications and experience you need for your chosen career. This foundation year of study provides students with the skills and knowledge related to study the arts and social sciences, with additional support and guidance to help you succeed.

Whether you intend to study a Bachelor of Arts or Bachelor of Social Science, completing this year of foundation study in Diploma of University Studies (Arts Specialisation) (21A) will assist you in achieving your goals.

Pathway Programs at the University

An overseas study program gives you the opportunity to experience different cultures, study languages, undertake work placement or internships, make new friends and explore the world while receiving credit toward your degree. It provides a 'total immersion' experience in a variety of study areas and locations. You can choose a program length that suits you, from a 2-week fieldtrip, a short-term summer program to a full semester (or two).

Overseas Study opportunities at the College of Arts, Law and Education

Applications for the summer 2019/20 round are open 5 August through 30 August.

Are you studying:

  • law or law/business
  • social sciences * anthropology * archaeology * sociology * community development * cultural heritage * education * environmental management * history * human geography * Indigenous studies * media/communications * film * music * creative arts * STEM
  • health science/social welfare * psychology * social work * paramedicine

Aurora Internship Program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and graduates

Are you interested in a funded internship in your area of study?

See the Aurora Internship Program Flyer | Indigenous (PDF 2.1 MB ) or speak to your Course Coordinator.

Are you keen to experience working in the Indigenous sector?

Do you have an interest in native title, land rights, policy development, social welfare, legal aid, community/environmental development?

See the Aurora Internship Program Flyer (PDF 2.1 MB) or speak to your Course Coordinator.

For more information go to The Aurora Project Internship Program

Take your passion for ideas further than you ever imagined.

We offer a collegial, supportive environment, with experienced supervision, regular seminar series, research skills training, and many opportunities to work with peers and academics on your areas of interest. We supervise across a range of methodologies and conceptual/theoretical approaches, and encourage scholarship that draws on ideas from across diverse fields.

Choose a research topic that reflects your interests and identify a supervisor with the expertise to guide you in your research. Search for a discipline staff member via our staff profiles, or by their area or expertise through the University Research page.

The School of Social Sciences welcomes qualified applicants to undertake a research degree with us in any of our areas of research strengths and interests.

Masters by Research
Doctorates (PhD)

To find out about application procedures, entry requirements, and scholarships, please visit the Research Degrees web page.


Our research in Sociology focuses in particular on housing and community studies, the environment, health sociology, and criminology. Our diverse research interests include housing, religion, green criminology, Indigenous issues, tourism, sport and leisure, identity, and health and illness. Much research in Sociology and Criminology is applied in nature and has a strong focus on social policy.

Our work is published in leading journals and by top-tier academic presses, we have access to an international network of top-flight researchers, and members of our team have received prestigious research grants and fellowships.

We welcome proposals from qualified applicants to undertake research degrees in PhDs and Masters, and are pleased to discuss research proposals that cross disciplines, including law, science, creative arts, business, economics and health sciences.

Read more about our research

Dr Peta Cook

Featured Researcher | Dr Peta Cook

Peta is a Senior Lecturer and the Program Coordinator (Northern Campuses). Her research is primarily concerned with what forms of knowledge count and why; how this knowledge is produced; and personal mean-making and experiences of ageing, and health and illness. She has wide expertise in qualitative research methods, including interviews, focus groups, observation, discourse analysis, and photography.

View Peta's full researcher profile Browse our academic staff profiles