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University of Otago
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Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) in Sociology

This course is available

On-Campus

Level of Study

Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma

Duration

1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024

Campus

University of Otago

Summary

The Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (PGDipArts) requires two semesters of full-time study. It entails a structured programme of postgraduate coursework and, in some instances, a piece of supervised research that counts for one or two of the required papers. The normal admission requirement is a completed Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree in the major of the proposed programme.

Graduates are employed in administration, business, education, government, industry and journalism where their advanced knowledge of an academic area, ability to solve problems, research and writing skills are valued. It is also a recognised qualification for admission as a candidate for the Master of Arts (MA) and, if a dissertation is included, the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

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.

Level of Award of the Diploma

The diploma may be awarded with distinction or with credit.

Diploma in a Second Subject

A student who has obtained the diploma in one subject may become a candidate for the diploma in any other subject.

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Humanities).

Every applicant shall

  • either have been admitted to the degree of Bachelor of Arts majoring in the subject or subjects of study proposed;
  • or have been admitted with the status of one who is entitled to proceed to the diploma;
  • or have a qualification acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor and produce evidence satisfactory to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor of ability to proceed to the diploma.
    • English language requirements

      • IELTS (Academic module) (including IELTS Online) - Overall score of 6.5, no individual band below 6.0.
      • TOEFL iBT - Overall score of 90 and a writing score of 21.
      • C1 Advanced (previously Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE)) & (previously Cambridge English Proficiency (CPE)) - Overall score of 176 (with no individual band below 169).
      • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
      • Language Cert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill.
      • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
      • English New Zealand's Accredited Pathway Assessment - Assessment Level 3 (with no skill lower than Level 2).
      • APIEL Advanced Placement International English Language Examination - Grade 4 or higher.

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