Why Sociology?

pdf Sociology at Western brochure

What is Sociology?

Sociology is the study of social life, social change, and social inequality. Sociologists investigate the structure of groups, organizations, and societies and how people interact within these contexts. Sociology looks at a wide range of issues from the intimate family to the hostile mob; from environmentalism to religious traditions; as well as race, Indigeneity, gender, sexuality, and social class.

What skills do I gain with a Sociology degree?

Sociology students bring many important skills to the workforce when they graduate such as:

  • Understanding the causes and effects of social inequality across multiple dimensions (such as gender, race, ethnicity, Indigenous identity, age, sexual minority status, and social class);
  • Data collection and interpretation;
  • Qualitative analysis (interviewing skills, focus groups);
  • Quantitative analysis (survey data analysis, statistics, demographic analysis);
  • Synthesizing and communicating complex ideas;
  • Presenting ideas and data clearly;
  • Writing and oral presentation communication skills;
  • Identifying and understanding social trends and social change


What kind of jobs can I get with a Sociology degree?

The skills and educational background gained in sociology are well-suited for work in the following industries and functions:

  • Analytics;
  • Communications;
  • Community health;
  • Data analyst;
  • Education;
  • Government;
  • Human resources;
  • Immigration;
  • Justice;
  • Market research;
  • Non-profit sector;
  • Public Policy Analysis;
  • Health Policy Analysis;
  • Public Relations;
  • Research.


Opportunities in Sociology, a pamphlet from Canadian Sociological Association about career opportunities.  


1. Apply to Western

The first step in pursuing a degree in Sociology or Criminology is to Apply to Western University. Admissions decisions are made by The Office of the Registrar Admissions Department, not by the Sociology Department. Read the Admissions Office page for details.

Students have the opportunity to declare an area of interest when applying to Western. This area of interest does not mean you are entered into Sociology or Criminology yet.

All first year students are considered part of a home faculty. Generally, students who have an interest in Sociology or Criminology apply to Western in the Faculty of Social Science.


2. Include Sociology in your first year courses

All modules in the Department of Sociology require that students complete 1.0 credits of courses in Sociology at the 1000 level. Enrol in two half-year courses offered at the 1000 level:

  • Sociology 1025A/B Society and You

  • 1026F/G Controversies in Sociology

  • 1027A/B Life is Not Always Fair

3. Declare a Sociology module

Degree Structure

Western University offers three undergraduate degrees:

  • Honours Bachelor Degree (four-year; 20.0 courses)
  • Bachelor Degree (four-year; 20.0 courses)
  • Bachelor Degree (three-year; 15.0 courses)


A module is a structured set of courses specified by a Department, Faculty, or Affiliated University College, to fulfill the requirements of an Honours Specialization, Specialization, Major or Minor.

There are four module types that combine in degrees:

  • Honours Specialization
    An Honours Specialization is available only within the Honours Bachelor Degree and requires that a student complete 9.0 or more Sociology credits, as specified by the Sociology Department. Read more about our Honours Specialization modules.
  • Specialization
    The Specialization in Sociology is available only with the Bachelor Degree (four-year), and requires that a student complete 9.0 or more Sociology credits, as specified by the Sociology Department. Find out more about our Specialization in Sociology module.
  • Major
    A Major is available within all three degrees, and requires that student take 6.0 Sociology credits, as specified by the Sociology Department. Find out more about our Major modules.
  • Minor
    A Minor is available with all three degrees, and requires that a student take 4.0 Sociology credits, as specified by the Sociology Department. A Minor must be combined with one or more modules in a degree.  Find out more about our Minor modules.

You can include more than one module in your degree. Western's Academic Calendar includes a useful chart listing all approved module combinations for degrees.

How to declare a module

Every year there is an Intent to Register period in spring, when students use Student Centre to request registration in an academic program and/or module for the subsequent fall/winter term. You will receive announcements regarding this period by email each year. Attend ITR information sessions, held by our Sociology Program Assistant, to get answers to any questions you may have about Sociology modules and requirements.

Note: The grades you achieve in your first-year courses will qualify you for different Sociology modules. See First Year Requirements above.

When to declare a module

You can declare a Sociology module during the Intent to Register of your first year, or you can delay this decision. Sociology courses at the 2100 level and 2200 level may have course pre-requisites, but do not require enrolling students to be in a Sociology module. However, higher level courses often do require enrollment in a Sociology Department module. It might be useful to examine the pre-requisites for 3000 level and 4000 level courses that interest you, to determine what Sociology module will best satisfy your interests. Be sure to declare your module in the Intent to Register period before you hope to take those higher level courses.

Expand your Sociology Experience