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Build a degree that makes you see the world differently

Are you interested in people and social relationships? Do you wonder why some people are marginalised, while others have the power to discriminate? Do you find habits, mannerisms and everyday life interesting? If so, Sociology is for you.

Sociology is useful for anyone working with people, particularly in groups or organisational settings. Sociological research and analysis can make an important contribution to the development of sound social policies that address inequality and promote social justice.

In addition, the study of Sociology will help you to acquire diverse skills that can be applied in a range of settings. These include the ability to:

  • Ask insightful questions about power, human behaviour and social processes
  • Deepen our understanding of social issues using a variety of research methods
  • Critically analyse information
  • Develop your own theories about the social world
  • Propose alternatives that promote social justice

Careers using Sociology

Sociology graduates work in a variety of fields such as:

  • Local and national politics
  • Government departments and non-profit organisations
  • Trade unions
  • Social services
  • Public health
  • Journalism
  • Social policy development
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Human resources
  • Socio-legal associations and academia

Sociology at Otago

Sociology can be studied as a major or a minor subject within the 3-year Bachelor of Arts degree.

Many students who choose to major in the Humanities or Social Sciences include Sociology papers in their degree. Throughout your degree you will be challenged to design and conduct research that explores the operation of social power and the production of social inequality.

In their first year, Sociology students are introduced to key concepts and approaches in local and global sociology.

Topics include race, class and gender; deviance and crime; basic social processes (such as interaction, socialisation and culture); aspects of institutional life (such as family, religion, education, politics and the economy); and drivers of social change (such as globalisation, environmental sustainability and popular protest). Second and third year courses expand on these foundations, and students are given the opportunity to develop their critical and analytical skills by engaging in social theorising, research design and data analysis.

SOCI website 2020

Individual Profiles

Otago Profile


Sociology and the humanities are important subjects because they teach you about ethics.
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Otago Profile

Eman Ghandour thumbnail

After finishing her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology, Eman started working as a Youth Case Worker for the Dunedin Red Cross, focused on how best to settle former refugee youth into New Zealand and Dunedin.
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Otago Profile

Megan Anderson thumbnail

Megan Anderson was the first student at the University of Otago to receive a Bachelor of Arts Degree majoring in Sociology.
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