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Academic Programmes > Graduate Studies > Module Information


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 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.

Module Code
Semester I
Semester II
SC5101 / SC5101R
Graduate Research Methods*
Dr Kim Juyeon
SC5102 / SC5102R
Quantitative Data Analysis**
Dr Vincent Chua
SC5103 / SC5103R
Qualitative Data Analysis**
A/P Maribeth Erb
Graduate Research Seminar For Masters Students***
A/P Daniel Goh
Sociological Theory*
Dr Xu Xiaohong
Global Transformations
A/P Volker Schmidt
Gender , Culture and Society
A/P Eric Thompson
Producing Ethnography
A/P Vineeta Sinha
Social Stratification and Mobility
Prof Jean Yeung
Institutional Varieties and Asian Capitalisms
Dr Kurtulus Gemici
Independent Study
See module description
See module description
SC6770 / CSA6770
Graduate Research Seminar****
A/P Daniel Goh
Cultural Studies in Asia#
A/P Daniel Goh
Topics in Cultural Studies^
Visiting Fellow

* Core module for all Sociology PhD and Masters students
** Core module for all Sociology PhD students; Masters students can choose between SC5102 and SC5103
*** Core module for all Sociology Masters students only
**** Core module for all Sociology PhD students only
# This is a required module for all CSA-PhD students (Correct as of 01 Nov 2013)
^ CSA6880 will only commence from 30 Sept 2014 onwards.


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. Prerequisite(s): 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. Prerequisite(s): SC5101

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 multi-culturalism 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.

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.

SC6230 Institutional Varieties and Asian Capitallism
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
The module is a multidisciplinary academic study of the bible and Christianity, open to all interested in these themes. Major topics will include (i) interpretative approaches to biblical texts, (ii) history of the collection of the bible, (iii) biblical authority, (iv) Christianity basic moral code and beliefs, and (v) popular issues (Gnostic Christianity). The course assumes no prior knowledge of Christianity and will count toward the Religious Studies minor.

CSA6880 Topics in Cultural Studies in Asia
This module is to be taught by an eminent visiting scholar in Cultural Studies in Asia, appointed as a visiting teaching fellow for one semester. The content of the module will therefore vary according to the specialised interests of the visiting teaching fellow.

Past visiting fellows include Associate Professor Maila Katrin Stivens, who was appointed the Visiting Associate Professor under the William Lim Siew Wai Fellowship for AY2010-2011 Semester 1. Her selected topic was titled 'Genders, Sexualities and Globalisation: Emerging Asian Perspectives'. For AY2011-2012 Semester 1, the visiting fellow was Professor Mike Featherstone, who was appointed under the Lim Chong Yah Professorship in Arts and Social Sciences. His selected topic was "Consumer Culture: Issues in Social and Cultural Theory".

For AY2014-2015 Semester 1, the visiting scholar is Professor Peter Van Der Veer. Please click here for the course outline. Classes will only commence from 30 Sept 14 onwards.