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Sociology

Sociology at Waikato moves you beyond assumptions and explores who we are and our place in the world. You'll study human relationships and how societies form. Sociology at Waikato is highly respected and is a top 250 QS-rated subject.

Holly Snape

Master of Social Sciences
The strong subject offerings within the School of Social Sciences is what attracted Holly to study at Waikato. With a keen interest in sociology and anthropology, she completed a Bachelor of Social Sciences and then went on to do her Masters.


You'll explore how people organise and form groups, form larger social structures, and how societies evolve over time. As a budding sociologist, you'll be challenged to assume little in the hopes of clearing the way for new conclusions.

You'll ask questions like how different groups view social reality and why certain views become accepted within groups over time. You'll dissect the interwoven nature and influence of parents, peers, elders, teachers and the media on society. We'll also challenge you to consider why some societies are war-torn while others remain peaceful – why some behaviour is acceptable while others are less desirable. You'll look for solutions and debate how societies change.

Sociology at Waikato takes a thematic approach and includes papers in criminology, the family, popular culture and theoretical perspectives.  As part of a degree in Sociology papers in social policy, women and gender studies and labour studies can be included.

Teaching staff provide plenty of mentoring and direction along the way and allow students opportunities to throw out ideas in a relaxed and informal learning environment. Studying Sociology at Waikato will open your eyes to the inner workings of society and how people drive them.

Career Opportunities

  • Heritage Presenter
  • Iwi Development Officer
  • Media or Social Commentator
  • Social Analyst
  • Social Researcher
  • Youth or Social Service Worker

100 level

The Nature of WorkLBST10115.0 Points
Introduction to Social PolicySOCP10215.0 Points
Introduction to SociologySOCY10115.0 Points
Applied SociologySOCY15015.0 Points
Women in Society: Representations and RealitiesWGST10115.0 Points

200 level

300 level

Digital Storytelling for the Arts and Social SciencesFASS30120.0 Points
Work PlacementFASS39620.0 Points
Globalisation and the Nation StateLBST30120.0 Points
Social PolicySOCP30220.0 Points
Health, Wellbeing and PolicySOCP30420.0 Points
Contemporary Social TheorySOCY30120.0 Points
Criminology: A Sociological IntroductionSOCY31120.0 Points
Directed StudySOCY39020.0 Points
Gender, State and Public PolicyWGST30320.0 Points

Prescriptions for the GradCert(Socy) and GradDip(Socy)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Sociology at an advanced level in their first degree. Each programme of study for the Graduate Diploma must include SOCY204 and SOCY301.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(Socy), PGDip(Socy) and BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the BSocSc(Hons) in Sociology, a student should normally have at least a B average in either the best three of their 300 level Sociology papers or all their undergraduate Sociology papers.

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Sociology, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally SOCY591), SOCY502, one of SSRP503 or SSRP504 and one of SOCY503, SOCY505 or SOCP509.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSocSc in Sociology, a student should have completed either:

a) a BSocSc with a major in Sociology (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ grade average either in the best three of their 300 level Sociology papers or all of their undergraduate Sociology papers, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Sociology (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

Completion requirements for the MSocSc in Sociology vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including SOCY502, SSRP503, SSRP504 and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B+ average to be admitted to SOCY593 or SOCY593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to SOCY594.

Students proposing to do graduate studies in Sociology should determine their programme in consultation with the convenor of the Sociology programme and relevant staff in Sociology. Students should also consult the Programme's Handbook for Graduate Students.

Prescriptions for the MPhil

The Master of Philosophy is a one year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Sociology MPhil ThesisSOCY800120.0 Points

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Sociology PhD ThesisSOCY900120.0 Points

Sociology is available as a major for the BSocSc. Sociology may also be taken as a second major or as a supporting subject within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Sociology, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in Sociology, including SOCY204, SOCY301 and 80 further points, of which at least 40 must be above 200 level. It is recommended that students intending to major in Sociology include SOCY101 and one of SOCY150, SOCP102, LBST101 or WGST101 in the first year of their programme of study, in order to meet prerequisites at 200 level, and at least one of SOCP302, SOCP304, SOCY311 or SOCY390. It is recommended that students include SSRP202 in their programme of study as part of the methodology requirement for the BSocSc.

To complete a supporting subject in Sociology, students must include either SOCY101 or SOCY150, and SOCY204.

Note: SOCY301 Contemporary Social Theory is normally a prerequisite for graduate study in Sociology.

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.

Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4138
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: socy-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: ansocyth-grad@waikato.ac.nz