SOSC1011 Introduction to Contemporary Society

Bachelor Course Unit

SOSC1011 Introduction to Contemporary Society

Level: 1st year

Credit points: 3

Prerequisites: none

Unit description

This unit is a core unit and introduces the role and contribution of the social sciences in understanding and working in contemporary society. The unit provides an introduction to the social sciences, its historical foundations and its contemporary applications. Introductory topics addressed in the study of this unit include the role of the media in society, class and status especially in Australian society, power and politics, diversity in gender, ethnicity and religion, globalisation, and the environment. These and other issues in contemporary society are explored through sociological perspectives. This analysis aims to provide the student with an appreciation of the role of the social sciences in understanding contemporary society, but even more importantly it establishes a foundational framework through which the analysis of contemporary social issues takes place.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to: 

  • describe and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of applied social science
  • describe and discuss the role of the social sciences in contemporary society
  • survey the historical roots of contemporary society
  • explain the impact of socialisation on social roles and values
  • explore and discuss contemporary social issues such as gender, status and power
  • explore diversity within social environments
  • analyse the impact of change, globalisation and environmental concerns in contemporary society

Unit content

  • Introduction to the Social Sciences
  • Historical Foundations to Contemporary Society
  • Media and Communications in Contemporary Society
  • Theories of Socialisation
  • The Family as an Institution
  • Diversity – Gender and Sex
  • Diversity – Ethnicity and Religion
  • Class and Status in Society
  • Power and Politics
  • Globalisation and the Environment
  • Self and Contemporary Society
  • The Concept of Theory in Society

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 6.5 hours per week.

Assignment summary



Word count


Reflective Essay




PowerPoint Presentation


  8-10 slides


Graduate attributes

The following graduate attributes will be developed in this unit:

  • Knowledge of the framework of counselling theory, and a foundational understanding of the major theories of counselling
  • Understanding of and the appropriate application of counselling skills in a range of contexts and circumstances
  • Understanding what constitutes ethical practice in counselling interactions
  • The ability to effectively and appropriately apply the micro and macro skills of counselling
  • The ability to recognise major transition points in human development and major forms of mental illness and know when and how to appropriately refer clients

Recommended text

Van Krieken, et al. (2013). Sociology (5th ed.). Sydney: Pearson Education.

Relevant journals

Arena Magazine
American Journal of Sociology
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Sociology
Australian Journal of Management
Australian Journal of Social Issues
British Journal of Sociology
Counseling and Values
International Journal for Coaching in Organizations
International Journal of Comparative Sociology
International Journal for Mentoring and Coaching
International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring
International Social Science Journal
Journal of Intercultural Studies
Journal of Sociology
Journal of Sociology and Social Welfare
Journal of Counseling and Development
Management Today
Organization Dynamics
Organization Studies
Politics and Society
Psychotherapy in Australia
Social Science Quarterly
Social Science Review
The Social Science Journal

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to for full details of the Academic Misconduct Policy.


This unit outline may be updated and amended from time to time. To ensure you have the correct outline please check it again at the beginning of the semester.