Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

Sociology studies the relationship between human behaviour and social organisation in order to understand how people form shared beliefs and values as well as respond to social change. This unit introduces students to some of the core concepts and perspectives sociologists utilise to understand society and contemporary social issues.   

In this unit students will learn core sociological perspectives on the relationship between the individual and society. Students will also learn how these perspectives help us to understand historical and contemporary social issues. The unit will help students to develop a critical perspective on why society is the way it is and how this relates to contemporary issues surrounding diversity and inequality. 

The aim of the unit is to develop students’ capacity for detailed observation of social patterns and group behaviour and encourages them to understand the relationship between personal experience and wider social processes. This will prepare students for entry into tertiary social science subjects and the ACU Core Curriculum.  

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Identify historical issues of diversity and inequality and their relationship to social change and social cohesion. (GA5).  

LO2 - Describe key sociological concepts using appropriate terminology. (GA5).

LO3 - Apply key sociological perspectives to the analysis of case studies. (GA4, GA5, GA6). 

L04 - Evaluate the ways in which social structures and processes shape the lives of groups and individuals in contemporary culture. (GA4, GA5, GA8).  

Graduate attributes

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA5 - demonstrate values, knowledge, skills and attitudes appropriate to the discipline and/or profession 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account

GA7 - work both autonomously and collaboratively 

GA8 - locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information 

GA9 - demonstrate effective communication in oral and written English language and visual media 

GA10 - utilise information and communication and other relevant technologies effectively.


Topics will include: 

  • The Sociological Imagination  
  • Community and Society  
  • Work and Leisure  
  • Families and Relationships 
  • Australian Indigenous Culture 
  • Multiculturalism and Diversity  
  • Social Inequalities: Race & Ethnicity  
  • Social Inequalities: Economic 
  • Sociology and Contemporary Social Issues  

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

Mode for International Students: Attendance on campus: 5 hours per week 

Mode for Domestic Students: Multi-mode: attendance on campus: 3 hours per week plus 2 hours online learning.  

Classes will be conducted as seminars or workshops built around the exploration of the core topic and readings for the week. Workshops involve both group work and self-directed learning and are designed to develop skills associated with group cooperation, critical thinking and independent learning.  

Each workshop begins with a teacher-led explanation of the topic of the week followed by student-led discussion of the topic in relation to contemporary social issues and the students’ own life experiences. This unit facilitates an active and experiential-based learning experience by encouraging students from diverse backgrounds to reflect upon their own life experiences in discussing the weekly topics and readings.  

Students are required to actively participate in workshops and assigned learning activities to achieve the learning outcomes. They should anticipate undertaking 150 hours of study for this unit, including class attendance, homework and assignment preparation. 

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks will prepare students for the kinds of assessments encountered in undergraduate humanities and social science courses as well as in the Core Curriculum.  

The assessment tasks are designed to assess the knowledge and skills required to achieve all of the learning outcomes. The first two assessments evaluate knowledge of core concepts. The second and third assessments assess higher order skills of analysis and evaluation. In Assessment 1, the group work Padlet, students develop a glossary of terms and concepts which students can draw upon in the individual Assessments 2 and 3.  

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Padlet Page.  

Using Padlet, students will work in small groups of 3-5 to create a mind map of key sociological concepts and perspectives on the relationship between the individual and society. This assessment facilitates collaborative learning and the consolidation of course content.  




Film or Television Show Analysis.  

Students will choose a film or an episode of a television series for analysis. There chosen text is examined sociologically by using the concepts learnt in class. The task aims to relate key concepts and perspectives of the class to themes within a culture text that the students are interested in.  


LO2, LO3 

GA4, GA5, GA6 


10 x multiple choice questions on sociological concepts and 3 x 200 sociological analyses of case studies. The purpose of the case studies assessment is to demonstrate students ability to apply the concepts and perspectives learnt in the subject to real world examples.  


L02, L03, L04 

GA4, GA5, GA6, GA8 

Representative texts and references

Dempsey, D., & Lindsay, J. (2014). Family relationships and intimate life (2nd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Oxford University Press. Chapter 10  

Furze, B., Savy, P., Brym, R., & Lie, J. (Eds) (2011). Sociology in today’s world (3rd ed.). South Melbourne, Vic: Cengage.  

Germov, J., & Poole, M. (Eds.). (2019), Public sociology: An introduction to Australian society (4th ed.). Crows Nest, NSW: Allen & Unwin. 

Macionis, J., & Pluber, K. (Eds.). (2012). Sociology: A global introduction, Melbourne, Vic: Pearson/Prentice Hall. 

Mills, C.W. (1959). The sociological imagination, New York, NY: Oxford University Press.  

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