Course Outline

SCS110 Australian Society: How does(n't) it work? - An Introduction to Sociology

Course Coordinator:Naomi Smith ( School:School of Law and Society

2023Semester 1

UniSC Sunshine Coast

UniSC Moreton Bay

Blended learning Most of your course is on campus but you may be able to do some components of this course online.


Online You can do this course without coming onto campus.

Please go to for up to date information on the
teaching sessions and campuses where this course is usually offered.

What is this course about?


Australia is a changing society in a rapidly changing world. The benefits and disadvantages of social change are unevenly distributed. Australian society is characterised by significant inequalities of class, gender, ethnicity and power. Change and inequality affect all the institutions in which we live - education, healthcare, work, religion and government. This course introduces you to a sociological understanding of social change and inequality. It questions whether Australian society is working well for all who live here and, if not, how we might change it for the better.

How will this course be delivered?

Activity Hours Beginning Week Frequency
Blended learning
Learning materials – 1 hour of weekly online learning materials for students to study and address in their own time before attending Tutorial/Workshops and seminars. 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – On campus 2 hour tutorials 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Seminar – There will be 2 recorded All-of-Cohort seminars, one in Week 1 and the other in Week 13. 1hr Week 1 2 times
Learning materials – 1 hour of weekly online learning materials for students to study and address in their own time before attending Tutorial Workshops and Seminars 1hr Week 1 13 times
Tutorial/Workshop 1 – Synchronous online tutorial 2hrs Week 1 12 times
Seminar – The will be 2 recorded All-of-Cohort seminars. Students doing the course online will not be required to attend in-person but should view the seminar online. 1hr Week 1 2 times

Course Topics

  • Introduction: Society, Social Inequality and Social Change
  • The Sociological Imagination
  • Modernity and Globalisation
  • Social Theory: Classical and Contemporary
  • Class Inequality
  • Gender Inequality
  • Ethnic and Indigenous Inequality
  • Understanding Power and the State
  • Understanding Work, Religion, Health, Education and Social Movements
  • Understanding Social Change

What level is this course?

100 Level (Introductory)

Engaging with discipline knowledge and skills at foundational level, broad application of knowledge and skills in familiar contexts and with support. Limited or no prerequisites. Normally, associated with the first full-time study year of an undergraduate program.

What is the unit value of this course?

12 units

How does this course contribute to my learning?

Course Learning Outcomes On successful completion of this course, you should be able to... Graduate Qualities Completing these tasks successfully will contribute to you becoming...
1 Demonstrate knowledge of basic sociological concepts for developing a critical understanding of society. Knowledgeable
2 Demonstrate a sociological understanding of the nature of social relationships and institutions; patterns of social diversity and inequality; and processes that underpin social change and stability. Creative and critical thinker
3 Communicate sociological ideas, principles and knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences using effective formats and media. Engaged
4 Apply sociological theories, concepts and evidence to sociological questions. Empowered
5 Critically review, analyse, summarise and synthesise sociological scholarship including research. Creative and critical thinker

Am I eligible to enrol in this course?

Refer to the UniSC Glossary of terms for definitions of “pre-requisites, co-requisites and anti-requisites”.


Not applicable


Not applicable


Not applicable

Specific assumed prior knowledge and skills (where applicable)

Not applicable

How am I going to be assessed?

Grading Scale

Standard Grading (GRD)

High Distinction (HD), Distinction (DN), Credit (CR), Pass (PS), Fail (FL).

Details of early feedback on progress

In week 4 a formative online (worth 20% of your grade) quiz will be administered to provide some early feedback on your engagement with the learning materials covered up to that point. This will enable your tutor to identify any issues you might be having with the material and suggest appropriate strategies for improving your learning.

Assessment tasks

Delivery mode Task No. Assessment Product Individual or Group Weighting % What is the duration / length? When should I submit? Where should I submit it?
All 1 Quiz/zes Individual 20%
One week
Week 4 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 2 Essay Individual 40%
Minimum of 1500 words
Week 10 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All 3 Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece Individual 40%
6-8 minutes
Week 13 Online Assignment Submission with plagiarism check
All - Assessment Task 1:Online test on Basic Sociological Terms
To test your knowledge and comprehension of some basic concepts and terms used in sociology.
Product: Quiz/zes
You will be required to undertake a multiple-choice test that addresses material from the SCS110 readings and learning materials between weeks 1 and 4. To do this you shall need to log onto Canvas and complete the set of questions that appear under Assessment Task 1 in multiple choice form. The test will be available on Canvas and is automatically submitted for an assessment grade through this system. Although the test does contribute some marks towards your final grade its primary purpose is formative. This means it is intended to serve as a preparatory guide to the sociological learning that we expect you to achieve in SCS110. Formative assessment is used to
promote learning. You will be given the correct answers to any questions you may get wrong.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Sociological understanding – clarification of the relevant social causes or meanings giving rise to a human problem/ issue.
All - Assessment Task 2:Major Essay
The purpose of this essay is for you to demonstrate a critical sociological understanding of one of the major substantive areas involving social inequality and/ or change in Australian society (such as poverty, class, gender, racism, education, health-care, work, religion or government) covered in learning materials, tutorials, and tutorial readings, during weeks 1-10
Product: Essay
This is an individual assignment of 1500 (minimum) words, plus references. The list of essay topics will be made available in Assignments on Canvas. The essay shall contain the following 5 elements:
1. Identification and initial understanding of a substantive area of sociological analysis concerning social inequality and/or social change. 2. A clear claim (‘thesis’) statement addressing the topic question/ problem, indicating logical direction of argument. 3. Demonstrated awareness of various sources of knowledge that will be needed to support an argument of this kind (theoretical/empirical, quantitative/qualitative, comparative, historical, documentary, official statistics, survey or interview based). 4. Initial identification of relevant sociological theor(y/ies) that will be used to explain the problem or issue.
5. You will need to use at least 8 academic sources (i.e. sociology journal articles or published sociology books) to pass this essay. See the SCS110 Library Guide if in doubt,
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Sociological understanding – clarification of the relevant ”social causes or meaning” of the issue.
2 3
Critical application of sociological theory.
Synthesis – claim plus evidence = argument.
Communication – clarity, grammar, referencing
All - Assessment Task 3:Video Presentation Applying Sociological Theory
The purpose of the video presentation is to allow students to demonstrate and apply their understanding of the sociological issues concerning inequality and change raised in this course.
Product: Artefact - Creative, and Written Piece
This video of 6-8 minutes is a Power Point presentation where students are required to choose and apply a sociological concept to a current social issue with the purpose of generating social change.

In your video presentation you should:
1. Articulate your knowledge and understanding of a sociological concept
2. Critically analyse how the sociological concept enhances understanding of a specific social issue of Australian or 'glocal' society 
3. Describe the reason why this issue has been chosen 
4. Apply sociological imagination to transform this problematic scenario of social inequality into a  new scenario where social change is possible
5. Justify how the sociological imagination strategies created in item 4 are relevant for enabling social change.
6. Your submission should also include your PowerPoint presentation slides as an attachment.
No. Learning Outcome assessed
Identification and evaluation of a key sociological concept
Application of the sociological imagination (combining theory and evidence) to a current issue concerning social inequality in order to promote social change.
2 3 4

Directed study hours

A 12-unit course will have total of 150 learning hours which will include directed study hours (including online if required), self-directed learning and completion of assessable tasks. Student workload is calculated at 12.5 learning hours per one unit.

What resources do I need to undertake this course?

Please note: Course information, including specific information of recommended readings, learning activities, resources, weekly readings, etc. are available on the course Canvas site– Please log in as soon as possible.

Prescribed text(s) or course reader

Please note that you need to have regular access to the resource(s) listed below. Resources may be required or recommended.

Required? Author Year Title Edition Publisher
Required James Arvanitakis 2020 Sociologic Analysing Everyday Life and Culture 2nd Edition n/a

Specific requirements


How are risks managed in this course?

Health and safety risks for this course have been assessed as low. It is your responsibility to review course material, search online, discuss with lecturers and peers and understand the health and safety risks associated with your specific course of study and to familiarise yourself with the University’s general health and safety principles by reviewing the online induction training for students, and following the instructions of the University staff.

What administrative information is relevant to this course?

Assessment: Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is the ethical standard of university participation.  It ensures that students graduate as a result of proving they are competent in their discipline.  This is integral in maintaining the value of academic qualifications. Each industry has expectations and standards of the skills and knowledge within that discipline and these are reflected in assessment.

Academic integrity means that you do not engage in any activity that is considered to be academic fraud; including plagiarism, collusion or outsourcing any part of any assessment item to any other person.  You are expected to be honest and ethical by completing all work yourself and indicating in your work which ideas and information were developed by you and which were taken from others. You cannot provide your assessment work to others. You are also expected to provide evidence of wide and critical reading, usually by using appropriate academic references.

In order to minimise incidents of academic fraud, this course may require that some of its assessment tasks, when submitted to Canvas, are electronically checked through Turnitin.  This software allows for text comparisons to be made between your submitted assessment item and all other work to which Turnitin has access.

Assessment: Additional Requirements

Your eligibility for supplementary assessment in a course is dependent of the following conditions applying:

The final mark is in the percentage range 47% to 49.4%
The course is graded using the Standard Grading scale
You have not failed an assessment task in the course due to academic misconduct.

Assessment: Submission penalties

Late submission of assessment tasks may be penalised at the following maximum rate: 
- 5% (of the assessment task's identified value) per day for the first two days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- 10% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the third day - 20% (of the assessment task's identified value) for the fourth day and subsequent days up to and including seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. 
- A result of zero is awarded for an assessment task submitted after seven days from the date identified as the due date for the assessment task. Weekdays and weekends are included in the calculation of days late. To request an extension you must contact your course coordinator to negotiate an outcome.


UniSC is committed to a culture of respect and providing a safe and supportive environment for all members of our community. For immediate assistance on campus contact SafeUSC by phone: 07 5430 1168 or using the SafeZone app. For general enquires contact the SafeUSC team by phone 07 5456 3864 or email

The SafeUSC Specialist Service is a Student Wellbeing service that provides free and confidential support to students who may have experienced or observed behaviour that could cause fear, offence or trauma. To contact the service call 07 5430 1226 or email

Study help

For help with course-specific advice, for example what information to include in your assessment, you should first contact your tutor, then your course coordinator, if needed.

If you require additional assistance, the Learning Advisers are trained professionals who are ready to help you develop a wide range of academic skills. Visit the Learning Advisers web page for more information, or contact Student Central for further assistance: +61 7 5430 2890 or

Wellbeing Services

Student Wellbeing provide free and confidential counselling on a wide range of personal, academic, social and psychological matters, to foster positive mental health and wellbeing for your academic success.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 1226.

AccessAbility Services

Ability Advisers ensure equal access to all aspects of university life. If your studies are affected by a disability, learning disorder mental health issue, injury or illness, or you are a primary carer for someone with a disability or who is considered frail and aged, AccessAbility Services can provide access to appropriate reasonable adjustments and practical advice about the support and facilities available to you throughout the University.

To book a confidential appointment go to Student Hub, email or call 07 5430 2890.

Links to relevant University policy and procedures

For more information on Academic Learning & Teaching categories including:

  • Assessment: Courses and Coursework Programs
  • Review of Assessment and Final Grades
  • Supplementary Assessment
  • Administration of Central Examinations
  • Deferred Examinations
  • Student Academic Misconduct
  • Students with a Disability

For more information, visit

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