• Offered by School of Sociology
  • ANU College ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences
  • Course subject Sociology
  • Areas of interest Sociology

The unit will focus on current ideas and debates about what 'theory' means for us today. Rather than taking a tour of the big thinkers, we encounter theorists and consider theoretical ideas through the lens of contemporary social issues, such as consumerism, technological change, the biopolitics of life, terrorism, political struggle, the student experience and the role of science. In doing so the aim will not simply be to apply the theories studied to so-called real problems. Rather, it is to show how theory is itself a practice and that thinking can make a difference.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

Upon successful completion of this course, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

1. Interpret original texts and discuss their implications.
2. Evaluate the theories encountered and assess their relevance to contemporary problems.
3. Reflect on the kinds of claims that a theory makes for itself.
4. Produce an argument supported by evidence.
5. Explain and discuss key themes, concepts and theories examined in the course with your peers.

Indicative Assessment

Critical Engagement Exercise, 750 words (20%), LO 1,2,4
Research Essay, 2000 words (50%), LO 1,2,4
Synoptic Essay, 1500 words (20%), LO, 2,3
Tutorial Participation (10%) LO, 1,2,5

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


130 hours of total student learning time made up from:
a) 38 hours of contact: 26 hours of lectures and 12 hours of tutorial-like activities.
b) 92 hours of independent student research, reading and writing.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have completed 12 units of 1000 level SOCY courses; or permission of the convenor. You are not able to enrol in this course if you have previously completed SOCY3014.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $2718
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3876
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

First Semester

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
4380 20 Feb 2017 27 Feb 2017 31 Mar 2017 26 May 2017 In Person N/A

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