ATS3855 - Making sense of the social world - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.




Dr Naomi Smith

Unit guides



  • First semester 2017 (Online)


Students need to contact the Arts Student ServicesArts Student Services ( desk to enrol in the unit.


This unit examines the different theories which sociologists use to make sense of the social world. We explore the classical works of the founding fathers (Durkheim, Marx and Weber) and the ongoing legacies of each. The unit also engages with contemporary perspectives and considers how sociologists grapple with important sociological issues such as power, meaning, inequality and social change.


Upon successful completion of this unit, students will have:

  1. acquired a broad understanding of classical and contemporary sociological theories;
  2. The capacity to identify, and differentiate between, different sociological theories and concepts;
  3. the capacity to critically analyse the merits and limitations of different sociological approaches;
  4. gained skills in the written presentation of an argument, including the ways in which sociologists incorporate and acknowledge the ideas of other writers; and
  5. gained experience in applying sociological theory to current social issues.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


ATS2381 or ATS2597


ATS2855, GSC3201, GSC3202, SCY3815, SCY3816