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University

University of Otago
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Bachelor of Arts (BA) Majoring in Sociology

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Bachelor's Degree

Duration

3 years

Next start date

Expected Feb 2025

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Bachelor of Arts (BA) is Otago's most flexible undergraduate degree programme, enabling students to study from a selection of more than 40 arts and social science subjects, as well as papers offered elsewhere in the University. Academic breadth is complemented by in-depth knowledge gained through majoring in one or two subjects with the option of minors in one or two others.

Students are taught by research-active scholars, are expected to undertake a diverse range of learning tasks and are challenged to develop their intellectual independence. Graduates of the programme are well-informed, versatile, independent thinkers with the information literacy, communication, research and interpersonal skills necessary for a career or further academic study. The completed BA is an possible qualification for the PGDipArts in the major subject of the degree.

Why study Sociology?

If you believe that Sociology has meaning, relevance and applicability beyond the University, you are already one step ahead in developing your sociological imagination. This term was coined by the American sociologist, C Wright Mills, who wanted us to see how our “private troubles” related to “public issues”.

For instance, instead of blaming people for their circumstances, with our sociological imagination we can begin to see how political arrangements, economic forces and the broader social order operate to create a world in which some people have the opportunities to advance, while others do not.

While the experience of being poor, unemployed or discriminated against is felt very deeply at the personal level, our sociological imagination encourages us to understand how the thoughts, feelings and actions of the individual relate to broader structural and historical realities.

In the words of Mills, “The sociological imagination enables us to grasp history and biography and the relations between the two within society. That is its task and its promise. To recognize this task and this promise is the mark of the classic social analyst.” (Mills, 1959, p12)

By igniting your sociological imagination, you will begin to understand how personal choice is shaped by social context.

What will I study?

Are you interested in people and social relationships? Do you find habits, mannerisms and everyday life interesting? If so, Sociology is for you.

Sociology is useful for anyone working with people, particularly in groups or organisational settings. Sociological research and analysis can make an important contribution to the development of sound social policies that address inequality and promote social justice.

In addition, the study of Sociology will help you to acquire diverse skills that can be applied in a range of settings. These include the ability to:

Ask insightful questions about power, human behaviour and social processes.

Deepen our understanding of social issues using a variety of research methods.

Critically analyse information.

Develop your own theories about the social world.

Propose alternatives that promote social justice.

Careers using Sociology

Sociology graduates work in a variety of fields such as local and national politics, government departments, non-profit organisations, trade unions, social services, public health, journalism, social policy development, advertising and marketing, human resources and academia.

Entry criteria

We recognise many other qualifications as equivalent to the New Zealand qualification for entrance.

We also accept the following international qualifications:

  • International Baccalaureate: IB Diploma with a minimum of 24 points.
  • Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) GCE Advanced Levels: minimum Numerical Score of 8
  • A minimum of CCC across the NCUK IFY
  • Satisfactory completion of one year's study at a recognised tertiary institution.

English language requirements

  • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.0, no individual band below 5.5.
  • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 80 and a writing score of 20.
  • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) or C2 Proficiency (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 169 (with no individual band below 162)
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 50 with no communicative skills score below 42.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 4 Academic endorsement
  • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 2 (with no skill lower than Level 1)
  • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 3 or higher

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