Department of Sociology: Course Requirements and Curriculum

Undergraduate Course Requirements

Currently, each undergraduate student has to complete 128 credits in order to graduate, among which 34 credits have to be from required courses, 65 from elective courses. Each student is required to take at least 6 interdisciplinary courses:

Two of the 6 interdisciplinary courses have to be from: Regional Studies and Social Innovation, Gender, Theories and Culture, Political Economy. 
Detailed course information can be seen in the table below.  

In addition, among the required 6 credits from the elective courses, students have to choose 2 from the four fields of ‘Political Science’, ‘Economics’, ‘Psychology’ and ‘Second Foreign Language’ to fulfil the graduation requirements.

Year 1
In the fresher year, our undergraduate course design emphasizes the comprehensive training of sociology as a discipline. The students have two required courses - Sociology I & II and Literature Reading and Article Writing (autumn semester) - in the first year. The former opens the students’ eyes to sociology and trains them to explore the basics of sociology through rich course contents, solid reading and discussions, and fieldwork training; the latter equips the students with the necessary reading and writing skills required at the undergraduate level, which includes critical thinking, data collection, literature review and writing academic essays. 

Year 2
In the second year, the students have to take Social Statistics I & II, and Southern Sociology (spring semester). Social Statistics is designed to familiarize the students with basic statistical tools so that they can learn to draw inferences from statistical data. At the same time through the use of quantitative data analysis software such as SPSS and R, we’re developing the project of “A Comprehensive Survey on National San Yat-sen University” in order to understand our students’ living conditions and their opinions on social issues. Through learning the historical process of the development of capitalism, the course Southern Sociology seeks to shed light on the rationale behind the so-called sociology of the south and issues that we need to take note of concerning the development of a sustainable and just society. This course covers topics such as ideology, policy orientation and governance models and issues of inequality based on social classes, national identity and gender identity. 

Year 3
The required courses of the third year include Social Theories and Social Survey and Research Methods.  In Social Theories, the students will learn the academic genealogy of sociology and the contexts in which different schools have developed through reading seminal works by the classical and contemporary sociologists. Based on the spirit of southern sociology on which we founded the department, the course of Social Survey and Research Methods is structured to be fieldwork-based projects; in each semester the class is divided into 6 smaller projects in a small-size tutorial, led by our faculty who introduce basic fieldwork methods and supervise the students. The fieldwork is conducted mainly in the Qijin, Gushan and Yancheng Districts in Kaohsiung while the tutorials combine research methods and sociological theories. In doing so, the students learn the skills of fieldwork and academic writing. The topics that have been developed out of this course encompass labor, environment, religion, cultural innovation and revitalization, aboriginal groups, civil society organizations, fishing industry, immigration, and local history and cultural memories. With the training conducted in small groups and supervised by our faculty, the students learn to conduct further independent research. 

Year 4
The focus of the fourth year is on assisting students in their career orientation. Whether the students opt for continuing their academic work or going into the job market, our courses provide the students with theory-based training and fieldwork skills. Moreover, students will broaden their horizon through diverse programs offered by the department. Courses offered in the Gender Program as well as innovative courses focusing on local practices such as Sustainable Development and Social Innovation (environment, food and agriculture), Community Culture Innovation Program (local culture) and Local Elderly Support and Social Design (long-term care and retirement) will train students to develop skillsets to discover the community’s issues and come up with innovative solutions through social design and social innovation projects. 

Course Design of the Undergraduate of the Department of Sociology at National Sun Yat-Sen University

Required Courses:
First Year: Sociology (hands-on courses included); Literature Reading and Article Writing  
Second Year: Social Statistics (hands-on courses included); Southern Sociology
Third Year: Social Survey and Research Methods; Social Theories

Elective Course: 
Regional Studies and Social Innovation: Science and Society; Gerontology; Social Innovation;  Exploring and Reading Qijin District; Southeast Asian Studies; Social Class and Mobility; Southern Taiwan Studies; Thesis Writing; Non-Governmental Organization Studies; Sociology of Food and Agriculture; Sustainable Development and Social Innovation; Ocean, Social Organization and Civil Governance; East Asian/Asian Development and Transformation; Planning Sociological Projects; Practice: the Development and Training of Social Enterprises; Ocean Governance and Urban Development; Gerontology Practice; Design for Ageing; Spatial Politics and Community Design; Spatial Politics and Community Design (II); Fishing Industry Policies and Local Politics; Community Development and GIS Application

Gender, Theories and Culture: Sociology of Gender; the Sociology of Sex and Sexuality; Feminist Theories; Gender and Social Welfare; Gender and Technology; Gender and Globalization; Masculinity Studies; Body and Work; Language and Culture; Post-colonial Studies; Study of Social Differences; Introduction to Erving Goffman’s Sociology; Sociology of the Family; Sociology of Consumption; Cultural Sociology;  Cultural Anthropology; Anthropology of Religion and Sociology; Southeast Asian History and Culture; Material Culture and Anthropology; Culture Studies

Political and Economic Fields: Economic Sociology; Urban Sociology; Sociology of Law; Social Movement; Labor Studies; Welfare Capitalism; Social Policies; Sociology of Finance; Sociology of Development; Introduction to Political Sociology; Introduction to Participatory Democracy; Finance Capitalism; Political Economy; Intergenerational Support and Pension Schemes; Historical Sociology; Environmental Sociology; Judicial Politics; Social Network Analysis; Transformation of Politics and Economy in China; Sociology of Organizations

 The Graduate School

The current curriculum planned for an M.A. degree requires a graduate student to fulfil 28 credits, 10 of which have to be from required courses and 18 from elective courses.

The first stage: 

The first year of the Master program emphasizes the comprehensive training of the discipline of sociology. Therefore, apart from the three required courses - Sociological Classics, Issues of Southern Society, and Sociological Methodology, the department has planned core courses for sociological training to meet students’ interest and needs. The elective courses consist of Economic Sociology, Sociology of Gender, Sociology of Welfare, Sociology of Migration, Sociology of Asia, Political Sociology, Cultural Sociology, Sociology of the Family, Anthropology of Religion, etc.. The courses we offer at Sun Yat-sen are comparable to the ones offered in other institutes of sociology; these courses aim to equip the students with the knowledge of major approaches in sociology and enable the students to explore research directions of their own.

The second stage: 

This stage plans a combination of project and mentoring system to guide the students to study the subfields of sociology. In doing so, the students combine the study with thesis-writing. Taking into consideration of our faculty’s research interests and the students’ research topics, the courses we offer at this stage consist of: Migration and Welfare, Industry Cluster Studies, Social Movement, Gender and Labor, Political Economy, Globalization and Local Development, Taiwan and Asia, Migration Studies, Comparative Markets and Class, Transnational Migration, Cultural Anthropology, Gender and Politics, Labor Studies, Economics of Migration, Migration and Culture, Population and Family,  and Community Studies. More courses are planned to be included later. Having received the first year’s basic training in sociology, the graduate students will be asked to look for a topic that matches their own interest and the aims of this institute; then learn to write their thesis under the advisor’s supervision.

Master of Indigenous Studies in Sociology

The Master of Indigenous Studies in Sociology requires the students to complete at least 8 courses (24 credits) to graduate, including 4 required courses and 4 elective courses. In addition, the students are required to finish a 6-credit thesis. In total, students have to complete 30 credits to graduate. All courses are arranged on Saturday to allow students to attend the Sunday service. In doing so, part-time students can balance work and family life.

The Master of Indigenous Studies encompasses three areas: “Core Courses”, “History and Culture,”  and "Politics, Economy and Society”. 

The “Core Courses” comprise four required courses: Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Research Methods (including fieldwork methodology and research methods) and Contemporary Topics on Indigenous Peoples I & Contemporary Topics on Indigenous Peoples II. “Introduction to Sociology” familiarizes the students with the basics of sociological research. The ‘Introduction’ course together with Sociological Research Methods  allows the students to be able to conduct research in indigenous communities. In Contemporary Topics on Indigenous Peoples, we invite scholars and practitioners in related fields to share their research findings, developing the students’ academic skills to initiate their research from a sociological perspective. The students have to take at least four elective courses from the other two fields.

    1. Course Courses (required): Introduction to Sociology, Sociological Research Methods, Contemporary Topics on Indigenous Peoples I & Contemporary Topics on Indigenous Peoples II.

    2. History and Culture: Museums and the Conservation of Cultural Heritage, GIS and Surveying Traditional Territories, Comparative Research Methodology: Cross-cultural Studies, Austronesian Culture and Research, Cultural Sociology

    3. Politics, Economy and Society: Food, Agriculture and Society; National Autonomy and Democratic Transition; Environment, Technology and Society; Ethnicity and Class; Sociology of Gender; Genetics and Ethnic Politics; Demography and Health; Indigenous Peoples and Social Policies; Introduction to Taiwan Indigenous Law