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Bachelor of Arts (BA) majoring in Sociology

Key information

Level of study:
Bachelor's Degree
Tuition fees:
3 years
Start date: 22-February-2021
University of Canterbury
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Course details


The Bachelor of Arts is a flexible degree so you can specialise or study a wide variety of topics. Over the three years of your degree, you will gain the critical thinking, creative problem solving, and communication skills that employers want. Unique practical experiences such as internships are on offer too. The Bachelor of Arts requires a minimum total of 360 points. Each major has specific course requirements, but all consist of a minimum of 135 points in a single Arts subject. Of these, at least 60 points must be at 300-level and at least 45 points at 200-level.

If you want to study how the modern world came to be the way it is, what is happening and why, and what alternatives are possible, sociology is for you. Sociology is a craft, a vocation, and to study and engage with the subject can be a transformative experience; once you have acquired a sociological imagination you will never be able to see the world in quite the same way again.

Sociologists investigate the structure of societies, organisations, groups, and everyday lives. Their subject matter is as varied as society itself.

Why study Sociology at UC?

  • We teach courses that deal with subjects as diverse as crime and justice, cities, religion, health and medicine, gender and sexualities, death, migration, and much more.
  • We want you to graduate with a Sociology degree that has value out there in the real world so we make sure you learn how to apply Sociology’s core methods to particular areas of life. Our courses are hands-on and we give our students the opportunity to do meaningful research, to create and analyse evidence, and to draw their own conclusions. You can apply the skills of sociological study to many careers. Our graduates go on to work in a variety of jobs in local and central government, the health sector, the police, teaching, and NGO's to name a few.

Double degrees

It is possible to combine an Arts degree with other degrees.

Further study

The College of Arts has a wide range of options for postgraduate and graduate study with excellent research facilities. Pathways include: Bachelor of Arts with Honours; Master of Arts; Doctor of Philosophy (PhD).

Career opportunities

Sociologists are employed in a diverse range of occupations in the private and public sectors of the economy. Their skills are drawn on in private sector research organisations, consultancies, social policy, criminal justice, media firms and a wide range of social movements or community development projects.

They also carry out research for government departments on topics such as the distribution of income and wealth and gender and ethnic equality. Employment in government departments can also involve policy development and analysis, drafting new legislation and analysing the benefits and costs of different social policies.

The broad skills gained from a Bachelor of Arts such as research, writing, critical thinking and communication are all highly valued by employers and can open employment opportunities in careers as diverse as international relations, heritage, PR, teaching, publishing, advertising and more.

Sociology graduates make for good teachers and researchers in universities, polytechnics, continuing education providers and schools.

Entry criteria

Applicants must have completed New Zealand University Entrance through NCEA; or Cambridge International Examinations (CIE); or International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB) or any other equivalent overseas qualification.

Applicants must also satisfy our English language entry requirements:

  • IELTS (Academic): Minimum overall score of 6.0, with no band score lower than 5.5.
  • TOEFL (IBT): Minimum overall score of 80, with a minimum score of 19 in Reading, Listening and Writing.
  • PTE (Pearson Test of English - Academic): Overall score of 50, and no communicative skills score below 42.

Undergraduate application deadline: Semester 1 (February start) by 31 October; Semester 2 (July start) by 30 April.


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