Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
OfferedSouth Africa First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Fay Hodza


The unit aims to integrate sociological theories, research methods, and specific research topics for students to develop both critical and analytical skills in their research areas of interest. The unit will concentrate on special or current debates in specific sociology areas and students will examine a variety of topics in line with their research focus which may include social class and social justice; gender, power, and inequality; the social dimension of health and illness; youth and youth culture; the sociology of communication and the media; youth, media and social processes; social justice. Students will be active learners through the presentation of seminars and will lead discussions and provide written review of topics that are related to their specific interests. The course delivery will incorporate all lecturers in sociology who will concentrate on their areas of expertise and interest.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an in depth knowledge of sociological theories in general and applying them to specific sociological topics.
  2. Integrate sociological theories into core research interest.
  3. Examine and discuss the underlying assumptions that underpin sociological ideas and research.
  4. Identify key areas in sociology and explain their relevance in understanding contemporary social formations.
  5. Engage in contemporary debate in selected areas of sociological enterprise.
  6. Develop a broad capacity to conceptualize an explanatory model for an honours thesis.
  7. Critically review the scientific literature relative to a defined research topic.


Assessment Task 1: Formative Assessment - Participation
Assessment Task 2: Class Presentation and Assignment (1500 words)- 20%
Assessment Task 3: Class Presentation and Assignment (1500 words)- 20%
Assessment Task 4: Report on a contemporary social problem (5000-6000 words)- 60%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

Total weekly workload of 24 hours comprising:
2 hours face-to-face contact per week in weekly seminars.
22 hours for preparing seminar presentations and assignments, and research and writing of final report.

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Bachelor of Arts or BSocSci or similar degree at another institution, with specialization/major in Sociology.


AZA4450: Researching for social sciences and humanities
AZA4778: Social Science honours dissertation A
AZA4779: Social Science honours dissertation B