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Socio-Legal Studies

Major

Socio-Legal Studies is the study of legal ideas, practices and institutions in their social, cultural and historical contexts. Examine the institutions that make and enforce laws –parliament, the courts and the police. Learn about legal practices and their impact, including arrest and imprisonment, the use of CCTV surveillance, how law has shaped the LGBTIQA+ community, Indigenous peoples’ experience of the law and policing, enforcing human rights and prosecuting international war crimes and consider the broader question of what justice is. 

In your first-year units you will be introduced to the key ideas and concepts that socio-legal scholars have developed to help understand the world. Understand the foundations of the Australian legal system and examine how law and society interacts by engaging with contemporary socio-legal issues. You will also become familiar with the methods and techniques that will enable you to undertake your own research. Your senior units will consolidate your grasp of theory and methods and enable you to focus on particular topics in socio-legal studies, such as the philosophy of law and justice, the changing international regime of human rights, crime and punishment and medico-legal and forensic practices.

You will engage with these aspects of socio-legal studies in lectures and tutorials, but also in the real world. You will learn to write and think in socio-legal terms using essays, reports, oral group work, posters, debates, and new social media.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

This major is offered by the Department of Sociology and Social Policy.

Graduate opportunities

Our graduates enter a wide range of careers. Examples include:

  • Business and government consultant 
  • Correctional services officer 
  • Criminal investigator 
  • Human resources officer 
  • Journalist 
  • Policy analyst 
  • Public relations adviser 
  • Public service positions

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.