Course FAQ


I'm completing my Sociology 1st year requirement this summer. Can I declare a module and register for courses?

You cannot declare a module until you've successfully completed the prerequisite. Once your final grade is available, contact your home faculty's academic counselling office to change your program.

As of mid July, you will be able to register for most sociology and criminology courses because the registration system will see that you're currently taking the prerequisite. For required courses (eg. Soc 2205A/B, 2206A/B, etc.), you will have to wait until your program change has been updated.

I've tried registering, but it won't work. Why?

The Registrar's office assigns registration appointment times for all students based on Intent to Register. These appointments are the first time that you are allowed access to on-line registration. Since courses can fill quickly, it is recommended that you register as soon as you are able.

Registration appointment dates begin mid June. The earliest registration dates are assigned first to 4th year students, 3rd year, and then 2nd year. Please consult the Academic Calendar for beginning and end dates for web registration.

Login to Student Center and select "Open Enrollment Dates" to find your enrollment date.

If you did not complete Intent to Register, you won't be assigned an appointment date and will be unable to register. Please contact your home faculty's Academic Counselling office for a late Intent to Register (for Social Science, fill out this Social Science Counselling Degree/Module/Status Change Form.

Why can't I register for criminology courses?

Students enrolled in criminology modules have first priority for our criminology courses (eg. Sociology 2259, 3260B, etc.) since these are required for their degree. These courses (pending space) will be available to all other students who have the prerequisite as of the stated priority lift date (usually mid to late July).

How do I register for an extra course?

You need special permission from your home faculty’s Academic Counselling Office for a course overload. In Social Sciences, review and fill out the course overload request form.

Are there waiting lists for full classes?

Yes, waiting lists are available for full classes. Please see full instructions on the Registrar's Register in Courses page.

I need information about special permission

What is a special permission?

A special permission is used by a student when they need to receive approval from their home faculty of registration for something that would not be allowed under usual circumstances. An example is when a student needs to take a course without the stated prerequisite(s).

To view the special permission: Login to Student Center and click on 'My Academics' followed by 'View Special Permissions' to view your permission along with its conditions and instructions.

How long does it take for a special permission to be processed?

Special Permissions take about 5 business days to be processed, but in high demand periods can take up to 10 business days.

How do I add the course once my special permission has been processed?

If the special permission to take a course has been approved, you will need to call the Registrar's office helpline (519-661-2100) during business hours or Live chat to add the course.

If a course is full, can I get special permission to enter the class?

The Sociology Department will not increase enrollment capacity on courses. Add your name to the course waitlist.

Can I register for 3000 level sociology courses?

Most of our 3000-level courses are available first for Sociology students who require these courses for their program. As of the stated priority lift date, most of our 3000-level courses will open to students in third or fourth year of any Sociology program or other programs as listed in the timetable. There will be no special permissions to access courses before the priority lift date.

Can I register for 4000 level sociology courses?

Our 4000-level courses are restricted to fourth-year students registered in an Honors Specialization in Sociology or Criminology from the Department of Sociology, main campus. As of the stated priority lift date, and pending space availability, fourth-year Sociology/Criminology Honours Double Major students may register for these courses.

Can I take a course at one of the affiliated colleges?

Students enrolled in a Sociology and/or Criminology module must take all senior level (2000-level or above) courses for this module on main campus. Sociology courses taken at an Affiliate campus will be used as electives only, not toward the fulfillment of module requirements. Exceptional circumstances must be reviewed by the Chair of Sociology/Sociology Undergraduate Program Assistant.

Can I take courses at another University?

We are happy to approve Letters of Permission for students to take courses abroad. However, we no longer grant Letters of Permission for courses that are not officially administered by an accredited University and taught by a faculty member with an advanced degree in Sociology. In order to receive a Letter of Permission, your course must be part of the official timetable at that University and the instructor must have either a Master’s or PhD (or equivalent level degree) in Sociology or a related discipline. In order to have a Letter of Permission approved for the course you wish to take, you MUST provide the following documentation:

  1. A link to the University’s course listing in the course calendar showing a brief course description, and any prerequisites that apply.
  2. A link to the course listing in the University’s timetable showing that the course is being offered during the session in which you plan to take it.
  3. The course instructor's official listing (eg., the faculty listing from the instructor’s home university).
  4. The number of contact hours (hours of official instruction - lecture hours; length and frequency of tutorials or labs, etc.) associated with the course.
  5. A link to the current course syllabus (if the current syllabus is not available, you may submit a link to the previous year’s syllabus but please make every effort to provide us with accurate and up-to-date information).

Please do not pay tuition or arrange travel and/or accommodation for a course until you receive official notice that your Letter of Permission has been approved by Western University. We cannot guarantee approval in advance, even if that course has been approved in previous years.

Please see the Social Science Academic Counselling Letter of Permission page for further information.

Tips for Success

I am having difficulty in my Introduction to Sociology course. What are some helpful tips and resources that are available?

  • Attend all lectures and tutorials.
  • Download the PDF version of the lecture notes from the class site before class and read through them to become familiar with key issues.
  • Read the assigned chapter before class.
  • In class, put your cell phone away and focus on the key concepts presented and main discussions in class.
  • Take notes in class; a few key words to explain a definition or concept may stay with you longer than complete sentences. Key words can act as ‘triggers’ improving recall during an exam.
  • Participate in peer-to-peer class discussions. Apply the concepts to your life and the experiences of those around you.
  • Make an appointment to review your last exam, to see where you went wrong. This will help you avoid similar mistakes in the next exam.
  • During studying, write out concepts and explanations (a few words) to help you internalize the material.
  • Your Teaching Assistant is a great resource for you. See him/her for assistance.

I am having trouble with an essay that I have to write for one of my sociology courses. What can I do?

Here are some things you can do if you are struggling with a paper:

  • Speak with your professor or TA about the assignment.
  • If you are having difficulty finding source material on your topic, contact the sociology librarian at Weldon: Marg Sloan (
  • For information on how to cite or reference using ASA (American Sociological Association) format, see the following: ASA Quick Style Guide
  • For information on grammar and style, check out library reference material at Weldon, or try the following: The Elements of Style
  • Contact Western’s Writing Support Centre
  • Review the statement on plagiarism
  • Don’t hand in your first draft. Edit your work, before you hand it in!