Module Information

Level 1000 | Level 2000 | Level 3000 | Level 4000 | Graduate Modules

Level 3000

Please note the module listing may be subject to changes. The Department will update and confirm the list closer to the start of academic year.



Semester I

Semester II


Social Thought & Social Theory*
(Precludes EU3224)

Prof Vineeta Sinha

Dr Emily Chua
Dr George Radic


Race & Ethnic Relations

Dr Shawna Tang


Sociology of Education

A/P Anne Raffin


Sociology of Power: Who Gets to Rule?

Dr Manjusha Nair


Urban Sociology

Dr Michiel Baas


Kinship and Social Organization

Dr Indira Arumugam


Religion in Society & Culture

Dr Indira Arumugam


Data Analysis in Social Research
(Pre-requisite SC2101)

A/P Paulin Straughan


Science, Technology & Society

Prof Volker Schmidt


Ethnographic Analysis of Visual Media

Dr Ivan Kwek


Sociology of Life Course & Ageing

Dr Feng Quishi


Law and Society

Dr George Radic



Self and Society

Dr Ho Swee Lin


Sexuality in Comparative Perspective

Dr Leong Wai Teng


Qualitative Inquiry

A/P Ganapathy Narayanan


Social Transformation in Modern China

Prof Jean Yeung


Visual Culture I: Seeing & Representing

Dr Ivan Kwek



Theory and Practice in Cultural Studies


A/P Daniel Goh


Social Capital

Dr Vincent Chua


Markets and Society

Dr Kurtulus Gemici


Modernity and Social Change

Dr Xu Xiaohong


FASS Undergraduate Research Opportunity

See below


Third Year Advisor: A/P Joonmo Son

*essential module for sociology majors


SC3101 Social Thought and Social Theory (Precludes & Cross-Listed with EU3224)
This is a critical examination of central problems in classical social theory, with emphasis on the multifaceted analysis of the larger social processes in the making of modern society. The module will concentrate on the original contributions of major theorists such as Marx, Weber, and Durkheim and explore how their works continue to influence current Sociology. This course is mounted for all students throughout NUS with an interest in classical social theories.

SC3203 Race & Ethnic Relations
Concepts of race and ethnicity and theories/models of inter-group relations provide the tools for understanding and analysing race/ethnic relations and ethnicity in selected societies. This module will refer to Malaysia/Singapore, Southeast Asian, and other societies where relevant. The topics explored also include race/ethnicity and the nation-state; ethnicity and citizenship/ multiculturalism; ethnic identity; gender and ethnicity; race/ethnicity and its representations; race/ethnicity and crime. This module will appeal to students who are interested in understanding how race/ethnicity influences our perceptions of and responses to other races/ethnic groups, and why it continues to be a source of tension and conflict in societies.

SC3204 Sociology of Education
The main objective is to examine and understand the role of formal education - i.e., in school - and education outside of school within contemporary societies. Besides presenting the classic major sociological theories of education, an array of case studies that elaborate on extra-curriculum education will also be presented. We will examine the relationship between education and nation building, the impact of schooling on social stratification, the functions and effects of education, the teaching of discipline through extra-curriculum educational activities, and the relationship between the educational system and the workplace. This course is mounted for all students with interest in the sociology of education.

SC3205 Sociology of Power: Who Gets To Rule?
This module introduces students to political sociology which is broadly concerned with understanding such phenomena as power, state and society relations, and the nature and consequences of social conflict. The main concerns of this module are issues pertaining to modern society and capitalist development, referring to diverse cases from Western Europe to Southeast Asia. We will also be looking at the state, civil society and societal movements, including that of labour, and such contentious contemporary issues as economic globalization, US global hegemony, and terrorism.

SC3206 Urban Sociology
The module will look into the various external and internal forces shaping the development of cities. The following themes will be examined: the development and role of cities in Southeast Asia, cities and the new international division of labour (economic roles of cities in linking their respective countries to the global economy), and the social organization (culture, community, housing, social-economic opportunities) of cities. This course is mounted for all students throughout NUS with an interest in the development and social organization of cities.

SC3207 Kinship & Social Organization
The study of kinship is a classical topic in social anthropology. A comparative approach will be adopted here to examine the meaning and structure of different kinds of kinship organizations. This course will discuss how kinship acts as an idiom for economics, politics, and social organizations. We shall also examine the way in which kinship ties in the family, lineage and clans are formed and manipulated at different historical times and in different places. The module is offered to all students throughout NUS with interests in kinship and family.

SC3208 Religion in Society and Culture
This module has three primary foci: (1) the nature of religions as historically and geographically situated social practice, (2) an introduction to select historically significant/influential theories of religion and influences of these theories within Anthropology and Sociology, and (3) exposing students to contemporary sociological/anthropological research on selected religions/religious practices, which may include Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Taoism and Buddhism. Students will apply social science research methodologies to their own explorations of social practices of religion within the context of Singapore. These research opportunities are designed to have students explore religious practices other than their own and those of their ancestors.

SC3209 Data Analysis in Social Research (Pre-requisite SC2101)
This module aims to equip students with the basic tools for doing social research and data analysis. The module is divided in two parts. The first part focuses on data analysis, and introduces students to statistics which are best suited for different types and levels of data. During lab sessions, students will use SPSS to analyze both small and large data sets. The second part of the module focuses on methodology, and recaps the guiding principles of conducting and managing a large-scale survey. The module is mounted for NUS students with a keen interest in doing social research.

SC3211 Science, Technology & Society
Science and technology shape our lives from the beginning to the end. Sociologists, being scientists themselves, observe the observations which scientists make about the world, look at the ways in which technologies change and shape that world, and try to make sense of processes which, as Weber claims, have divested the world of any meaning whatsoever. In this course, classical and contemporary approaches to the sociology of science, technology and society will be introduced, discussed and exemplified by several case studies. This course is mounted for students throughout NUS with an interest in the influence of science and technology on society.

SC3213 Ethnographic Analysis of Visual Media (Precludes IF3213)
This module teaches a critical appreciation of visual media (photography, film, video) as important documentary resources in the social sciences, and as distinctive modes of representation. A wide range of ethnographic films will be analyzed. The powers of a visual language to say things differently from text, or to show things that cannot be said in writing, will be examined. This module will not only help enhance the marketability of our students but also encourage them to take on the post-graduate programme where a more hands-on module is offered.

SC3214 Sociology of Life Course & Ageing
This module examines life course transitions and experience of aging. The first half of the module provides students with an understanding of the life course perspective and its use in sociological analyses. Topics covered include (1) changes in family dynamics over the life course, (2) changes in work patterns over the life course, and (3) gender differences in life course experience. Comparisons between Singapore society and other societies will be addressed. This module is mounted for students throughout NUS with interest in life course transitions.

SC3215 Law and Society
This module takes the idea and reality of law as a social phenomenon, drawing on classical and contemporary social theories and on empirical studies on the development of law in pre-modern, modern, and contemporary societies. Basic issues include the following: law versus custom; the idea of justice; types and processes of regulation, adjudication and punishment; law in relation to political power, social inequality and ideology; law as a mechanism for social change; the transformations of modern law; and the organization of modern legal systems. This module is mounted for students throughout NUS with interest in law and its implications on the society.

SC3216 Self and Society
This module focuses on self-actualization, i.e., on how the individual may best develop, utilize and express his/her potential for the benefit of society and himself/herself. It consists of four major components: a discussion on the contemporary significance of individuality and the new meaning of self-identity and self-actualization;.an exploration of the major forces that underlie self-actualization; to examine a few essential aspects of the positive making of self identity: self presentation, management of spoiled identity, management of emotion. This module is mounted for students with interest in issues such as self-actualisation and individual freedom.

SC3219 Sexuality in Comparative Perspective
Sex, sexuality and sexual orientations are cultural forms rather than purely “natural” states. This course examines the variety of social dimensions that shape human sexuality. A range of theoretical perspectives and cross-cultural comparisons are drawn in order to unravel the complexities of sexualities and to see how sexualities are shaped by historical norms, social scripts, political structures, global forces and commodification. Students are required to read historical materials, anthropological research and be familiar with political economy and social constructionist paradigms.

SC3221 Qualitative Inquiry
This module will give students an understanding of the value of qualitative research as well as a practical grasp of a variety of qualitative research strategies and techniques (participant observation, ethnographic fieldwork, in-depth interviews, life history interviews, oral history and other qualitative methods). It will introduce student to some key theoretical issues that structure the ongoing debates about qualitative methodology in the social sciences. It will provide the space for learning, experiencing and practising actual qualitative research. The course will involve discussions and presentations on the use of a variety of qualitative methods in relation to a particular study that the student will undertake.

SC3222 Social Transformation in Modern China
China’s transition from a command economy to a market economy has brought fundamental and rapid changes in its social structure and social relationships among members of different subgroups in society. The objective of this course is to offer an overview of emerging social issues in contemporary China, focusing on changes after 1949. This module offers sociological perspectives to examine topics such as changes and new challenges in Chinese families, gender roles, demographic structure and distribution, social safety net, and environment. The class will combine lectures, academic readings, films, sources from the mass media, and discussions.

SC3223 Visual Culture I: Seeing & Representing
This module provides an introductory take on the importance of visual images and acts of looking in contemporary, globalized and technologized societies. It covers some of the major theoretical perspectives on how objectivity, subjectivity and relations of power are expressed by visual means. These perspectives are grounded and assessed with reference to historical and contemporary practices of image-making and imageconsumption, covering a variety of visual media and application domains. At the end of the module, students will have gained familiarity with key repertoires for the study of visual culture, and increased their “visual literacy” as image producers and consumers.

SC3224 Theory and Practice in Cultural Studies (Precludes XD3101)
The course is intended as a 'capstone' to unify and ground the Cultural Studies Minor. As such, it explores the critical tradition from which Cultural Studies emerged and examines some of the directions that this critical tradition went as it encountered and modified institutions and institutional practice in the 20th and 21st centuries. Students gain additional coverage and depth as they work the theoretical terrain underpinning all courses in the minor while also generating essays and projects that reveal this critical ground in an applied fashion.

SC3225 Social Capital
The concept of social capital has gained popularity, both in sociology and outside the academia globally. The theoretical basis of social capital is that resources embedded in social relations affect the life chances of individuals and collectivities. It has also been argued that social capital has a significant impact on occupational mobility, civic engagement, social movement, and economic development. The module will explore (1) the theories of social capital, (2) the empirical work on social capital, (3) linkages between social capital and instrumental and expressive actions, (4) new directions for research extension of the theory of social capital.

SC3226 Markets and Society
This module offers a survey of economic life from a macro-sociological and historical viewpoint. The module will introduce students to important sociological contributions on the organization of economic life, with particular emphasis on industrialization, the rise of market society, employment systems, property rights, fiscal sociology, ideational sources of economic organization, and sociology of firm. The focus of the module is on (1) illustrating the institutional and social foundations of economy, and (2) the consequences of different institutions for the organization of economic life across the world.

SC3227 Modernity and Social Change
This module introduces students to the theoretical and methodological approaches through which sociologists analyze major historical changes that have deeply shaped the modern world, ranging from the emergence of capitalism and nation‐state, revolutions and democracy, empires and colonization, to the formation of modern subjectivity and citizenship. The course will examine various challenges, strategies and reflections on making generalizable arguments based on historical cases and events. Central issues in comparative thinking, understanding of historical specificity and analysis of temporality will be explored.

SC3229 Comparing Deviance: Perverts & Scandalous Improprieties
While norm violations occur everywhere, the responses to them vary. This module is a comparative study of deviance with a focus on empirical case studies. “Nuts, sluts, perverts” is Alexander Liazo’s phrase to refer to deviants from below like mental patients, sex workers and sexual outlaws. “Scandals” involve deviance from above, committed by authorities such as clergy abuse, official corruption and corporate malfeasance. Analyzing the range of underdog and elite forms of deviance in terms of disparities in their social constructions, criminal processing and dispensing of justice would enhance our understanding of structures of inequality and power.

SC3230 Civil Society and Civic Engagement
Civil society is not possible without voluntarily engaging citizens and the culture of civic engagement in the form of volunteerism is hard to grow in a milieu that lacks a tradition of democratic civil society. Given that civic engagement and volunteerism are perceived as a crucial indicator of liveable society, it has been a concern of many countries including Singapore to increase voluntary associations and promote volunteering among citizens. This module thus pursues three main themes: (1) the relationship between civil society and civic engagement, (2) the precursors of volunteers (i.e., what makes people volunteer?), and (3) the outcomes of volunteerism (e.g., life satisfaction, health, or status attainment). .

SC3551 FASS Undergraduate Research Opportunity
Pre-requisite: Students must have declared a Major, completed a minimum of 24 MC in that Major, and have a CAP of at least 3.5
A UROP involves the student working with a supervisor, and usually in a team, on an existing research project. It has relevance to the student’s Major, and involves the application of subject knowledge, methodology and theory in reflection upon the research project. UROPs usually take place within FASS or ARI, though a few involve international partners. All are vetted and approved by the Major department. All are assessed. UROPs can be proposed by supervisor or student, and require the approval of the Major department.
For more information on the FASS Undergraduate Research Opportunity (UROP), please visit the FASS website.
For a list of UROP offered at Department of Sociology in Semester 1, click here.
Please approach the relevant faculty members leading the projects if you are interested.