About the Department

The Department of Social Inquiry is home to four of La Trobe's most dynamic social science-based programs - Anthropology, Sociology, Community Planning and Development, and Crime, Justice and Legal Studies.

The Department of Social Inquiry is renowned for both its subjects and research areas. We rank 7th in Australia, and in the top 100 universities internationally for Sociology subjects, 10th in Australia Anthropology subjects and 8th in Australia for our Social Policy & Administration subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2016). La Trobe also ranks in the top 3 universities in Victoria and ‘at world standard’ for Anthropology research (ERA 2015-2016 assessment).

Each of these programs have established records of excellence in teaching and research. Together, their expertise and creativity provides a unique platform for interdisciplinary collaboration, inquiry and innovation. The activities of the Department are underpinned by a shared commitment to fostering critical ethical inquiry, community engagement and social justice.

The Department values teaching and consistently receives excellent feedback for student and graduate satisfaction.  It is a significant contributor to the Bachelor of Arts with offerings that extend from discipline-based majors such as Sociology and Anthropology through to offerings in interdisciplinary areas such as Aboriginal Studies and Sustainability and Development. The Bachelor of Criminology is co-taught by staff from the Department of Social Inquiry and the Law School. The Community Planning and Development Program offers professionally accredited graduate courses in planning from its base in Bendigo.

The Department has particular research expertise in applied social sciences. Department staff are major contributors to two of La Trobe's Research Focus Areas, Transforming Human Society and Building Healthy Communities, and to two research centres, the Thesis Eleven Centre for Cultural Sociology and the Philippines Australia Studies Centre. The Department also has a large cohort of postgraduate students drawn from across Australia and abroad.

Department staff are located at Bundoora and Bendigo and welcome enquiries concerning their activities. The Head of Department, Dr Sue Davies, is also available to be contacted on s.davies@latrobe.edu.au.

The Department of Social Inquiry is located within the College of Arts, Social Science and Commerce.