Learning outcomes

Sociology students at the University of Victoria will learn to:


1 – Articulate complex social, political, and cultural phenomena and the many dimensions and inequalities at play in the social world.


2 – Learn and engage multiple research methods and approaches to researching social phenomena and conducting research with people.


3 – Develop various research questions about social phenomena.


4 – Apply sociological theory, approaches, and concepts to our contemporary social world.


By the end of each year of our program, most students should be able to:


First year

  • Demonstrate a broad understanding of what Sociology is.
  • Describe several classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives, and apply various theoretical perspectives to contemporary issues.
  • Demonstrate basic understanding of how culture, socialization, social situations, social structure, and individual agency shape personal behaviour, ideas, choices and social opportunities and barriers.
  • Articulate a general understanding of social stratification, and be able to explain the role of social relations like gender, class, racialization, and ethnicity in society.
  • Examine the impacts of colonialism in Canada.


Second year

  • Develop an understanding of sociological knowledge.
  • Use library resources to identify and locate relevant primary and secondary sources to help answer research questions.
  • Articulate how classical social theorizing applies to contemporary society.
  • Describe how various research methodologies can help explore the social world.
  • Learn basic statistical models and employ related software that assist with analyzing and interpreting survey results.
  • Access, interpret, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data relevant to sociology.
  • Demonstrate a growing understanding of social issues and the processes by which they are created, maintained, and potentially overcome.
  • Examine the contexts and conditions that breed social inequalities.
  • Use library resources to identify and locate relevant primary and secondary sources to help answer research questions.
  • Begin to explore how sociologists think about topics like health and medicine, family, crime, deviance, social justice, and globalization, gender, sexuality, and racialization among many topics and issues.
  • Learn new ways of writing about topics sociologically in the form of research papers, literature reviews, op-eds, and creative scholarship.


Third year

  • Articulate how contemporary social theorizing applies to modern society. Be able to articulate what theory is and how it is used.
  • Describe how multiple social factors (e.g., genders, sexualities, racialization, status, education, health, environment etc.) influence both individual and collective realities.
  • Design and be equipped to carry out qualitative research using such methods as interviewing, participant observation, and focus group interviews, and employ them with an awareness of, and compliance with, ethical standards.
  • Define an appropriate research question using statistical models, gather necessary data using various methods and present their written findings and analyses.
  • Design and carry out sociological research in a variety of styles, approaches, and different methods, including understanding the role of community engaged scholarship.
  • Learn new ways of writing about topics sociologically through written mediums such as literature reviews, research papers, reports, op-eds, creative scholarship.
  • Learn about colonialism and inequalities in Canada and globally.
  • Learn about the many areas of research of UVic Sociologists in Special Topics courses.


Fourth year

  • Articulate a sociological perspective and apply sociological theories, concepts, and principles to understand social phenomena.
  • Apply sociological knowledge to everyday life, and think about the application of Sociology to social issues.
  • Produce and present coherent and persuasive written arguments (citing relevant literature), with attention to academic integrity and a respect for diverse perspectives and disparate ideas.
  • Identify, distinguish, and critically evaluate scholarly arguments, the assumptions behind them, and their theoretical foundations.
  • Present coherent arguments, analyses, and research findings orally to an audience of one’s peers.
  • Engage in critical social inquiry into contemporary social issues in Canada and beyond. Recognize and be able to critically assess social inequalities and inequities, and be able to articulate potential solutions across various “levels” of society. Understand the role of power, politics, and global economy on contemporary social issues.
  • Analyze how social forces shape policy and everyday life.
  • Participate in Community Engaged Sociology.
  • Acquire an in-depth understanding of at least one area or specialization in sociology.