Learning outcomes

The undergraduate sociology program at the University of Victoria equips students with the theoretical and methodological skills needed to critically assess social issues and synthesize sociological evidence. Sociology students gain mastery of sociological knowledge and practice in at least eight ways.

How sociology contributes to a critical understanding of social reality.

This entails being able to:

  • a) describe how sociology is distinct from other social sciences;
  • b) apply sociological principles and concepts to understand one’s own and others’ personal experiences in social context.

The nature, relevance, and interrelatedness of key sociological concepts.

Students gain mastery of the following concepts:

  • a) agency, social interactions, culture, social change, and socialization;
  • b) social structure, social problems, and social institutions;
  • c) race, gender, and sexuality;
  • d) health, aging, and healthcare;
  • e) family, population, and the life course;
  • f) crime, deviance, law, and social control;
  • g) social justice, globalization, and social inequality.

The place of theory in sociology.

This entails the ability to:

  • a) define theory and understand its role in building sociological knowledge;
  • b) compare and contrast foundational theoretical orientations;
  • c) apply sociological theories to understanding social reality.

The role of evidence and methods in sociology.

Students are able to:

  • a) identify and distinguish key methodological approaches;
  • b) understand the role of methods in building sociological knowledge;
  • c) interpret quantitative and qualitative data;
  • d) understand the skills and knowledge base required for independently carrying out a research project.

The skills needed to find research materials and analyze research findings.

Students are able to:

  • a) conduct effective library database searches;
  • b) locate and access original published research;
  • c) interpret quantitative and qualitative research findings;
  • d) conduct research independently.

An in-depth understanding of at least one area or specialization in sociology.

Students are able to:

  • a) summarize basic questions and issues in the area(s) of specialization;
  • b) compare and contrast basic theoretical orientations in the area(s);
  • c) summarize current research in the area(s).

The skills needed to accurately convey data findings.

Students are able to:

  • a) understand and apply ethical research practice;
  • b) communicate effectively about sociology with peers in other disciplines;
  • c) communicate with communities outside the university who may be unfamiliar with sociology.

A range of skills sought after by employers.

Such skills include:

  • a) technical reading and writing;
  • b) conducting qualitative and statistical analyses, designing and carrying independent research;
  • c) effective oral communication.