In Sociology, we explore who we are and our place in the world. Studying Sociology at Waikato will move you beyond popular assumptions. You'll study human relationships and how societies form. Sociology at Waikato is highly respected and is a top 300 QS-rated subject.

Study Sociology

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

You'll ask questions about 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 behaviour is acceptable while other behaviour is less desirable, and who decides what is or is not acceptable. You'll look for solutions to social problems, while also considering how things are defined as social problems.

Sociology at Waikato takes a thematic approach and includes papers on criminology, social justice, activism, popular culture, globalisation and the body.  As part of a degree in Sociology, you can take papers in Social Policy as well as Gender and Sexuality Studies.

Teaching staff provide plenty of mentoring and direction along the way and allow students opportunities to play with ideas in a relaxed and informal learning environment. Studying Sociology at Waikato will open your eyes to how society works and what impact that has on our day-to-day lives.


Career opportunities

Studying Sociology opens doors to a wide range of career possibilities. Here are some examples of roles you might work in after studying Sociology:

  • Community Advocate
  • Community Development Advisor
  • Criminal Justice Worker
  • Criminology Researcher
  • Human Resources Advisor
  • Journalist
  • Market Researcher
  • Policy Analyst
  • Research Advisor
  • Social Researcher
  • Teacher
  • Youth Worker

Izzy Cleaver

Izzy Cleaver

Bachelor of Social Sciences majoring in Sociology and Human Development

"I loved the experiences I had with the teachers I had here at the university, I’m such a nerd, I love learning and they really fostered such a great environment for that. Also meeting so many like minded people, you really do meet the best friends at uni."

Tell me a bit about your background, where you grew up, what did you want to be growing up?

I am originally from the United Kingdom and spent a lot of my childhood travelling between New Zealand and England. I always knew I wanted to help people someway and I was specifically interested in childhood development, how those early years impact the people we become and how that impacts those around us. At first I wanted to be a child psychologist but quickly realised I was much more interested in the community/society aspect of childhood development, hence my choice in majors.

What was the student experience like on campus? (E.g. class sizes, interactions with lecturers, group work, the campus itself?)

In my experience really great! The lecturers were great, so knowledgeable and so willing to help you succeed. I found my class sizes were always well suited to the class. Some where in huge lecture halls which was great and I had others which were really small and prefect for a good class discussion.

If you’ve already completed your studies/graduated, what are you doing now? If you’re employed, talk us through your current role - where (what organisation) are you working and what is your role and responsibilities? How has your study at UoW helped you get there?

I am currently working for youth intact Odyssey house a Alcohol and drug rehabilitation and education service targeting youth between the ages of 12 and 19. It’s a really wonderful holistic service that provides the therapy young people need whilst also supporting them through everything else life has to offer. I’m responsible for that side of thing, going through their hopes and dreams and trying to make them happen, through getting them into education, a job, more physical activity, whanau support, financial support and hopefully a bit of fun along the way. I’m also responsible for community promotions, working in schools and event planning. The university of Waikato equipped me with all the general life skills I needed to be successful in the work environment but the nature of my study is what really helped. Being people focussed, understanding wider social contexts and having a passion for social change is vital in my current area of work.

If you’ve already completed, what skill or piece of knowledge do you use in your current role that you learnt during your study?

Being people focussed, understanding wider social contexts and having a passion for social change is vital in my current area of work. And knowing how to right a good email and a good CV.

Do you feel your degree has put you in good stead professionally? If so, how?

Definitely! Working closely with lecturers, which UOW allowed us to do equipped next with the professional skills to work with other adults. Uni life in general helped with time management and accountability. And an internship opportunity I had really helped me learn how to work with external clients, and learn some of the simple things like communicating with stake holders through writing a good email.

What advice would you give to someone from home or another prospective student, wanting to follow the same study path as you?

Go for it! I loved my experience. Covid/working from home really shook things up for me, you have to be really committed and driven to work through it. But it’s work worth it in the end. Also set your own deadlines, don’t leave assessments until the night before.

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School of Social Sciences

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Phone: 0800 800 145

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Phone: 0800 924 5286