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SOC1000 Approaches to the Social Sciences

Semester 2, 2012 External Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Arts
School or Department : School of Humanities and Communication
Version produced : 30 December 2013

Contents on this page


Examiner: Malcolm Brown
Moderator: Lara Lamb

Other requisites

Students will require access to e-mail and have internet access to UConnect for this course.


The Bachelor of Social Science is a degree designed specifically to provide the skills and graduate attributes required in the government or not-for-profit (NGO) sector. As well as general management and administrative skills, there is a growing need for people skilled in community consultation, needs assessment, policy analysis and development, program development and evaluation. This requires understanding of society, consultative skills and critical appraisal, all of which also help us to make more sense of our lives. Other courses in the Bachelor of Social Science program engage knowledge and competencies from within a chosen discipline, and involve the student in learning experiences with members of this discipline. This introductory course offers students of the Social Sciences an overview of a range of social science theories and approaches to solving social problems. These approaches derive from disciplines such as sociology, anthropology, political science, economics, social psychology, socio-legal studies and indigenous studies. The course is an invaluable introduction to other courses studied in the core of the Bachelor of Social Sciences, and to the different majors. It will assist students in selecting majors appropriate to their needs and interests.


Students will be introduced to a range of social science theories and disciplines such as anthropology, sociology, psychology, law, environmental studies and indigenous studies. These disciplines will also be used to define and provide solutions to a complex social problem, which will be introduced early in the course. The approaches will be theoretical rather than methodological, as the latter will be covered in other courses in the Social Science core. Students will apply these theoretical approaches each week to the selected social problem. The major assignment involves an evaluation of the various disciplinary approaches to the selected social problem.


On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the theories and practice of Social Science;
  2. demonstrate an understanding and critical appreciation of the theoretical approaches of a range of social science disciplines;
  3. demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of the elements involved in planning and implementing a process for problem solving in a multidisciplinary social science context;
  4. apply a range of disciplinary approaches to addressing selected social problems;
  5. evaluate methodological issues and complexities involved in applying social science theories in a multidisciplinary context.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Introduction to the Social Sciences: their backgrounds, approaches and uses 30.00
2. People, identity and behaviour 24.00
3. Social institutions and wealth 23.00
4. From culture to globalisation 23.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Woodward, K 2010, Social sciences: the big issues, 2nd edn, Routledge, London.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Anderson, L 2003, Pursuing truth, exercising power: social science and public policy in the twenty-first century, Columbia University Press, Chichester.
  • Barnes, B 1995, The elements of social theory, UCL Press, London.
  • Cohen, R & Kennedy, P 2007, Global sociology, Palgrave Macmillan, London.
  • Delanty, G 1997, Social science: beyond constructivism and realism, Open University Press, Buckingham.
  • Elliott, LM 2004, The global politics of the environment, Palgrave Macmillan, London.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Directed Study 26.00
Online Discussion Groups 13.00
Private Study 126.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
ASSIGNMENT 1 - SHORT ESSAY 20 20 06 Aug 2012
ASSIGNMENT 2 20 20 02 Nov 2012 (see note 1)
ASSIGNMENT 3 - MAJOR REPORT 60 60 05 Nov 2012 (see note 2)

  1. Assignment 2 - Class Discussion and Contribution and Journal. Students are expected to contribute to class discussion each week. This contribution will be marked on a weekly basis and the total calculated at the end of the semester. Additionally, students will keep a record of key elements of the discussion in a journal which should be handed in at the end of the semester for grading.
  2. Each student will write a report evaluating a selection of theoretic approaches to solving the selected problem. The mark on this report will contribute to 60% of the student's final grade.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    There are no attendance requirements for this course. However, it is the students? responsibility to study all material provided to them or required to be accessed by them to maximise their chance of meeting the objectives of the course and to be informed of course-related activities and administration. Students must attend and complete the requirements of the Workplace Health and Safety training program for this course where required.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an individual assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grades for students will be assigned on the basis of the aggregate of the weighted marks obtained for each of the summative assessment items in the course.

  6. Examination information:
    There is no examination in this course.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    As there are no examinations in this course, there will be no deferred or supplementary examinations.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. The due date for an assignment is the date by which a student must despatch the assignment to the USQ. The onus is on the student to provide proof of the despatch date, if requested by the Examiner.

  2. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be despatched to USQ within 24 hours if required by the Examiner.

  3. In accordance with University Policy, the Examiner may grant an extension of the due date of an assignment in extenuating circumstances.

  4. If electronic submission of assessments is specified for the course, students will be notified of this in the course Introductory Book and on the USQ Study Desk. All required electronic submission must be made through the Assignment Drop Box located on the USQ Study Desk for the course, unless directed otherwise by the examiner of the course. The due date for an electronically submitted assessment is the date by which a student must electronically submit the assignment. The assignment files must be submitted by 11.55pm on the due date using USQ time (as displayed on the clock on the course home page; that is, Australian Eastern Standard Time).

  5. If the method of assessment submission is by written, typed or printed paper-based media students should (i) submit to the Faculty Office for students enrolled in the course in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail to the USQ for students enrolled in the course in the external mode. The due date for the assessment is the date by which a student must (i) submit the assessment for students enrolled in the on-campus mode, or (ii) mail the assessment for students enrolled in the external mode.

  6. The Faculty will NOT normally accept submission of assessments by facsimile or email.

  7. Students who do not have regular access to postal services for the submission of paper-based assessments, or regular access to Internet services for electronic submission, or are otherwise disadvantaged by these regulations may be given special consideration. They should contact the examiner of the course to negotiate such special arrangements prior to the submission date.

  8. Students who have undertaken all of the required assessments in a course but who have failed to meet some of the specified objectives of a course within the normally prescribed time may be awarded one of the temporary grades: IM (Incomplete - Make up), IS (Incomplete - Supplementary Examination) or ISM (Incomplete -Supplementary Examination and Make up). A temporary grade will only be awarded when, in the opinion of the examiner, a student will be able to achieve the remaining objectives of the course after a period of non directed personal study.

  9. Students who, for medical, family/personal, or employment-related reasons, are unable to complete an assignment or to sit for an examination at the scheduled time may apply to defer an assessment in a course. Such a request must be accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation. One of the following temporary grades may be awarded IDS (Incomplete - Deferred Examination; IDM (Incomplete Deferred Make-up); IDB (Incomplete - Both Deferred Examination and Deferred Make-up).

  10. Students may be assigned an "Incomplete" grade to signify that all the requirements of the course have not yet been met. Students who are graded "I" can pass the course by successfully completing such additional work as prescribed by the examiner by a given date. Students who have been awarded an IM, ISM, IDM or IDB grade must access information regarding further work to be completed, in the Student Centre of U Connect. The Grades Page in the Student Centre contains information about further work to be completed. Students who have not completed the additional work to the satisfaction of the examiner by the given date will receive the appropriate Failing grade.

Other requirements

  1. Students can expect that questions in assessment items in this course may draw upon knowledge and skills that they can reasonably be expected to have acquired before enrolling in the course. This includes knowledge contained in pre-requisite courses and appropriate communication, information literacy, analytical, critical thinking, problem solving or numeracy skills. Students who do not possess such knowledge and skills should not expect to achieve the same grades as those students who do possess them.