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Unit of study_

SCLG1001: Introduction to Sociology 1

How does society shape the world we live in? What influences interactions between people in everyday life? Why is society structured the way it is, and is change possible? By delving into diverse topics such as discrimination and inequality to family life and friendship, this unit introduces the conceptual tools sociologists use to explain the world.


Academic unit
Unit code SCLG1001
Unit name Introduction to Sociology 1
Session, year
Semester 1, 2020
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Beatriz Carrillo Garcia,
Lecturer(s) Nadine Ehlers ,
Dinesh Wadiwel,
Sonja Judith van Wichelen,
Beatriz Carrillo Garcia,
Susan Banki,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Small continuous assessment Discussion Board Posts
10% - 1000wd
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO3
Participation Tutorial participation
15% - n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO5
Assignment Review exercise: annotated bibliography
15% Week 04
Due date: 20 Mar 2020 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO2
Assignment Short essay-type answer questions
30% Week 08
Due date: 24 Apr 2020 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO3
Assignment Take-home assessment
30% Week 13
Due date: 31 May 2020 at 23:00
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a High distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a Distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100



75 - 84



65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic honesty, academic dishonesty, and the resources available to all students.

The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic dishonesty or plagiarism seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic dishonesty. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of dishonesty, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 02 Identity 1: personal identity Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Identity 2: national identity, belonging and exclusion Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Alienation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 Rationalisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Power 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Power 2: knowledge Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 08 Culture 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Culture 2: Religion and culture Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Globalisation 1 Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Globalisation 2: postcolonial perspectives Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Globalisation 3: Religion and migration in a globalising world Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

The assigned textbook for this unit of study is: 

Holmes, David; Hughes, Kate; and Julian, Roberta (2015) Australian Sociology: A Changing Society 4th Edition, Melbourne: Pearson Australia.

Reading is essential for success in this course. We have structured the weekly reading to allow you to understand basic sociological concepts, understand how these are applied to contemporary social problems today, but also to have an opportunity to read from "classic" sociologists.

The required readings for each week will thus draw from the textbook as well as from other academic sources, which will be listed in the Canvas site and will be available electronically through eReserve.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. You will be able to understand a range of existing fields of sociological theory and research, and develop skills in develop new knowledge and understanding about social life. In particular, you will: become acquainted with the basic concepts and methods of sociological enquiry and how to apply these in developing your own understanding of the societies in which you live; be able to acquire and evaluate new knowledge through independent research; be able to identify, define, investigate, and solve problems; think independently, analytically and creatively; and exercise critical judgement and critical thinking to create new modes of understanding.
  • LO2. You will learn how to find and use information effectively in a variety of contexts. In particular, you will: i. recognize what types of information you require for particular purposes; ii. become acquainted with the basic concepts and methods sociological enquiry and how to apply these in developing your own understanding of the society in which you live; iii. be able to use academic and non-academic information resources, with a particular focus on how to access both open and proprietary web interfaces; and iv. use information effectively in critical and creative thinking.
  • LO3. You will learn how to work independently and sustainably, in a way that is informed by openness, curiosity and a desire to meet new challenges. You will: i. become an independent learner who takes responsibility for your own learning; ii.set appropriate goals for ongoing intellectual and professional development, and evaluate your own performance effectively; iii. be intellectually curious, open to new ideas, methods and ways of thinking, and able to sustain intellectual interest; iv. respond effectively to unfamiliar problems in unfamiliar contexts; and v. work effectively in teams and other collaborative contexts.
  • LO4. You will develop personal values and beliefs consistent with your role as responsible members of local, national, international and professional communities. You will: i. understand and practise the highest standards of ethical behaviour associated with the discipline; ii. be informed and open-minded about social, cultural and linguistic diversity in Australia and the world; iii. appreciate your ethical responsibilities towards colleagues, research subjects, the wider community, and the environment; and iv. be aware that knowledge is not value-free.
  • LO5. You will develop the capacity to recognise and value communication as a tool for negotiating and creating new understanding, interacting with others, and furthering your own learning. You will: i. develop your written, oral, and multimedia communication skills in a variety of learning tasks; ii. recognise the importance of continuing to develop your oral, visual, and written communication skills; and iii. be able to use appropriate communication technologies.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
Since first year sociology units were re-developed in 2018 we have continued to receive very positive feedback from students. In order to provide further support to students, this year we are introducing the Peer Assisted Study Sessions (PASS) program. PASS is a free and optional peer-facilitated learning program that provides opportunities for students to reinforce key points from lecture and tutorial materials while applying their problem-solving skills. Every year we endeavour to review the curriculum and content in order to provide students with a range of themes and learning resources that are engaging and that provide them with opportunities for critical reflection. The First year Sociology teaching team has been granted a University Strategic Education Grant to re-design the assessment regime in first year sociology, with an emphasis on creating authentic assessment that helps students develop foundational knowledge and skills, reassures students about their progress and stimulates their interest in the discipline of sociology. We have also received a Faculty grant to develop tutorial group work activities that encourage collaborative learning.


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