Graduate Modules

Modules Offered and Complete Listings

Students enrolled in the Department's graduate programmes are to read modules in order to complete coursework requirements that are specific to different programmes.

The table below shows the graduate modules (levels 5000 and 6000) which are offered by the Department in the current/upcoming academic year (AY), and the instructors. Alternatively, please go to the Faculty's webpage for an updated listing of offered modules; select Sociology (111) or Cultural Studies (101) and click "Go" to view. For information about the timetable of offered modules, please click here.

For the benefit of CSA-PhD students who wish to view a complete listing of modules applicable to the programme, please click here. For Sociology/Anthropology students, a complete listing of modules is available in the NUS e-Bulletin. Please select on "Arts & Social Sciences", and scroll down to view SC-coded modules at levels 5000 and 6000.

However, for both programmes, please note that the modules listed are not neceassarily offered in every year or semester. This is due to teaching staff availability and resource issues which vary from year to year and, in the case of the CSA-PhD programme, across different departments.

Module Registration

Module registration for graduate students follows a strict schedule on a semesterly basis. Please refer to the Faculty's website for further information how to register for modules. It is the graduate student's responsibility to ensure beforehand that there are no timetable clashes before registering for modules.

Graduate Modules

 Module Code
AY2015/16 Sem I
AY2015/16 Sem II
Graduate Research Methods (1)
Feng Quishi
Quantitative Data Analysis (2)
Vincent Chua
Qualitative Data Analysis (2)
Eric Thompson
SC5219 Tourism, Culture, Society and the Environment - Maribeth Erb
Graduate Research Seminar for Masters Students (3)
Daniel Goh
Sociological Theory (1)
Volker Schmidt
SC6216 The Anthropological Perspective - Emily Chua
Conflict and Power in Comparative Perspective
Indira Arumugam
Social Networks
Joonmo Son
Independent Study
see module description
Graduate Research Seminar (4)
see module description
Daniel Goh
Cultural Studies Theory and Analysis
Daniel Goh
Cultural Studies in Asia (5)
Daniel Goh
Topics in Cultural Studies
Visiting Prof
(refer below)

1. Core module for all Sociology PhD and Masters students
2. Core module for all Sociology PhD students; Masters students can choose between SC5102 and SC5103
3. Core module for all Sociology Masters students only
4. Core module for all Sociology PhD students only
5. This is a required module for all CSA-PhD students (Correct as of 01 Nov 2013)


Description of Modules Offered

SC5101 / SC5101R Graduate Research Methods
This module is designed as an intermediate level of research methods in Sociology. The module covers the following key areas (a) theorising and conceptualization; (b) measurement; (c) sampling approaches; (d) quantitative research methods (including survey research, nonreactive research and experimental research); (e) qualitative research methods (including interviewing and observational techniques); (f) qualitative analysis (grounded theory); (g) quantitative analysis.

SC5102 / SC5102R Quantitative Data Analysis
This module provides a systematic exposition of general linear models in social science research. Topics include relative frequencies, probability distribution, model specification, estimation, hypothesis testing, and remedies for violations of statistical assumptions. The main emphasis is on the hands-on application of statistical techniques to social research. Research articles in sociology are used to illustrate the application of these models and techniques. Extensions to nonlinear models and panel data analysis are introduced in the latter part of the module. The course aims to help students to strengthen their understanding of statistical concepts and modelling techniques, and enrich their capacity to interpret statistical findings.
Pre-requisites: SC5101 and SC3209

SC5103 / SC5103R Qualitative Data Analysis
Increasingly, more qualitative research work is being undertaken in its own right rather than as preliminary research for subsequent quantitative surveys. This explains the broadening of the range of qualitative research techniques. In addition to dealing with traditional fieldwork and participant observation methods, the module will examine a number of qualitative approaches. These include techniques of analyzing data generated by laypersons (as in life-documents: diaries, journals, travelogues), communications materials, material artifacts, and visual information. This course is open to postgraduate students with an interest in qualitative research methods.
Pre-requisite: SC5101

SC5219 Tourism, Culture, Society and the Environment
Tourism is an important part of culture, society and the environment in the modern world. How have social scientists theorized about the role of tourism and its influence in the contemporary world? We will explore the history of the rise of tourism in the contemporary world and its rise as a type of “ordering” that is integrated with other social, political and economic changes of the modern world. What role does tourism have in the lives of people in industrial and post-industrial society? We will explore what it means to be a “tourist”, and what being a tourist means in the social and culture life of contemporary society. What is touristic culture? How does tourism shape culture and nature in the contemporary world? What is eco-tourism? Is tourism a way of solving ecological problems in marginalized and degraded environments? What is tourism’s relationship with power, inequality and morality? This course will explore tourism as an important lens through which to understand our contemporary global situation

SC5770 Graduate Research Seminar For Masters Students
This is a required module for all Masters research students admitted from AY2004/2005. The module provides a forum for students and faculty to share their research and to engage one another critically in discussion of their current research projects. The module will include presentations by faculty on research ethics and dissertation writing. Each student is required to present a formal research paper. Active participation in all research presentations is expected. The module may be spread over two semesters and will be graded "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" on the basis of student presentation and participation.

SC6102 Sociological Theory
Modern society is highly complex and differentiated. Sociological theories help us to make sense of this complexity, to understand and penetrate realities at all levels of social aggregation – at the micro-level of individual interaction and of small collective units (such as the family), at the meso-level of organizations and intermediate institutions (such as business firms) and at the macro-level of society’s basic structure. They enlighten us about hidden forces, principles and interests which shape our daily lives and the reproduction of social structures. This module aims to demonstrate the usefulness and limitations of different theories both as tools of analysis and as concrete guides to social practices.

SC6212 Global Transformations
This module will examine the complexities and the challenges to global social order and peace. With global transformation and the emergence of an interdependent world society, there has been a proliferation of risks. From ecological crises to the intensification of poverty, social inequality and social exclusion to the conflicts and violence on ethnic and religious lines have made the world a risky place. Theories of globalisation will be applied to examine the social contexts and consequences of these crises, risks and violence. Globalisation will be viewed as a complex process of cultural clashes intersecting with modern economy and polity. Using an inter-disciplinary framework, the seminar will explore the possibilities of minimising risks and violence in a new global social order.

SC6214 Gender, Culture and Society
This is a very advanced module which explores various societal domains in which gender plays a definitive role in structuring the way men and women interact, how it constrains or facilitates opportunities. The emphasis is on making sense of the production and reproduction of gender, gender inequalities and gender politics across a range of societal domains, its institutions and cultural practices - using insights from micro-sociological and macro-sociological theoretical perspectives. It is as crucial to adopt a critical approach towards the intellectual (including sociological) approach to theorizing gender, and the role of feminist theoretical positions in shifting the discourse and effecting concrete changes. The overall aim is to generate amongst students sophisticated and nuanced sociological understandings of how gender is understood in contemporary society, and how it intersects and interacts with race, class, political ideologies and sexuality.

SC6216 The Anthropological Perspective
This course will explore concepts that have been prominent in the development of anthropology as a distinctive discipline. Concepts such as culture, cultural relativism, ethnocentrism, ethnography, participant observation, and social structure, will be examined in the context of their development and use by anthropologists over the past century. Other themes will include the historical relationship between anthropology and colonialism, critiques that have been made of anthropology in recent decades over questions of ethnographic authority, and the construction of anthropological objects and subjects.

SC6220 Conflict and Power in Comparative Perspective
Among the themes covered are state power and formation, ideology, political violence and terror, democracy/authoritarianism, and social movements. These are addressed in relation to issues of political economy transformations within societies as well as the changing international political economy. It asks a number of fundamental questions, including: What are some of the defining features of social conflict and of the exercise of power in modern societies? What is the role of the state and of civil society-based organisations in defining social, political, and economic trajectories? Are major social transformations inevitably accompanied by conflict and violence? Has the nature of social conflict and power, domestic and international, been transformed in the post-Cold War and post-9/11 International Order? How has the recent world economic crisis affected the kinds of social conflicts that transpire in the developed and developing worlds? This module is comparative, providing case studies from the experiences of contemporary European, Latin American and Asian societies.

SC6223 The Government of Life in Contemporary Capitalism
This module provides graduate students with an opportunity to engage with current anthropological and sociological approaches to the government of life in contemporary capitalism. We will look at how researchers have employed concepts such as governmentality, biopolitics, neoliberalism and multiculturalism to generate critical understandings of contemporary political conditions. More importantly, we wil situate these works within a broader history of efforts in the human sciences to understand the relation of power and truth, and its implications for human life.

SC6224 Producing Ethnography
Ethnography is the central mode of documentation and representation in social and cultural anthropology. Ethnography, the detailed depiction of human social and cultural experiences and their focused analysis, can refer either to the process of conducting fieldwork and undertaking participant observation or the product of such research, in a written or a visual form. The module recognizes the diverse modes in which anthropologists represent their works, including in visual, oral and digital. The emphasis is on ethnographic writing/ representation in an effort to understand the various methodological, literary and conceptual choices made by authors in the process.

SC6227 Economy and Society
This module covers all aspects of work, employment, and unemployment and their connections with wider social processes and social structures. The changing nature of work under global restructuring will provide the background context to this module, while the intersection of work and the contemporary family will take the center stage. Understanding of the ongoing changes in work and family in industrial societies contributes to the effective management of change at both the national and individual levels. The module will also discuss the nature of time use in contemporary social life, including the changing patterns of work, leisure and consumption.

SC6228 Social Stratification and Mobility
All human societies classify their members into categories that carry significant social meaning. A primary interest in sociology is stratification, which considers hierarchical social structures that rank people with respect to access to resources, and how such structure varies with space and time and enables individuals to move through different ranks over time at varying speed. This module will examine the concepts, methods, and facts in major literature about: class structure, intergenerational transmission of socioeconomic status, factors that affect an individual’s socioeconomic achievement and social inequality. Students will study in greater depth specific situations in some Asian countries.

SC6229 Social Networks
We are living in a connected social world. The quest for a mechanism by which social connection is formed and dissolved and the pursuit of the impact of such mechanism on diverse areas such as economy, politics, culture, collective movement, technological development, or medicine have made social networks a popular topic in and beyond sociology. This advanced graduate module for sociology Ph.D. students aims to (1) introduce the theories of social networks, (2) teach varied methods to measure social networks, and (3) provide practical opportunities for students to apply the methods to their own research projects and doctoral dissertations.
Pre-Requisite: SC3209 or its equivalent undergraduate statistics module

SC6230 Institutional Varieties and Asian Capitalism
This module explores distinctive institutional arrangements in Asian capitalism(s). The module is composed of three parts. The first part reviews foundational studies in comparative capitalism and economic sociology. The second part covers institutional varieties of Asian capitalism such as developmental states, business groups, social networks, and value systems. The last part provides case studies of key capitalist economies in the region. Towards the end of the course, students will assess the relevance and the limitations of existing theories, which have been established based primarily on Western experiences, in explaining the unique characteristics and the internal diversity of capitalisms in Asia.

SC6660 Independent Study
Independent research plays an important role in graduate education. The Independent Study Module is designed to enable the student to explore an approved topic in Sociology in depth. The student should approach a lecturer to work out an agreed topic, readings, and assignments for the module. A formal, written agreement is to be drawn up, giving a clear account of the topic, number of contact hours, assignments, evaluation, and other pertinent details. Head's and/or Graduate Coordinator's approval is required. Regular meetings and reports are expected. Evaluation is based on 100% Continuous Assessment and must be worked out between the student and the lecturer prior to seeking departmental approval.

SC6770 / CSA6770 Graduate Research Seminar
This is a required module for all PhD research students admitted from AY2004/2005. The module provides a forum for students and faculty to share their research and to engage one another critically in discussion of their current research projects. The module will include presentations by faculty on research ethics and dissertation writing. Each student is required to present a formal research paper. Active participation in all research presentations is expected. The module may be spread over two semesters and will be graded "Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory" on the basis of student presentation and participation.

SC6880 Topics in Social Organisation Precludes SC5880
This module deals with specialised topics in Sociology. The topics covered reflect the expertise of visiting academics on emerging issues in Sociology which have practical implications for social research and/or social policy. Such topics include Demographic Transition: Facts and Theory. Major topics include: 1. Education Research & Policy Issues 2. Demographic Transition: Facts & Theory 3. Family Structure & Change 4. Civil Society & Governance 5. Culture & Institutions 6. Economic Change & Social Consequences

CSA6102 Cultural Studies in Asia
This module will examine the various areas of research in Cultural Studies conducted by Asian scholars or scholars locating their research in Asia. It will examine the histories, concepts and analytic strategies that these scholars deploy in the analysis of the changing cultural landscapes and practices in contemporary Asia. Abiding themes of the module will be the conceptual constitution of the idea of 'Asia', the emergence of 'trans-Asian' practices and the possibility of 'pan-Asian' identities that these trans-location practices might engender.

CSA6880 Topics in Cultural Studies in Asia
This module is to be taught by an eminent visiting scholar appointed as William Lim Siew Wai Fellow in Cultural Studies in Asia for one semester. The content of the module will vary according to the specialised interests of the fellow. Past visiting fellows include Professor Maila Katrin Stivens, who taught 'Genders, Sexualities and Globalisation: Emerging Asian Perspectives', Professor Mike Featherstone, who taught "Consumer Culture: Issues in Social and Cultural Theory", and Professor Peter van der Veer, who taught 'Religion and the Asian City: Aspiration and Urbanization in the 21st Century'. For AY1516, the appointed visiting professor is Prof Allen Chun. Click here for course description.