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 8th in Australia, and in the top 150 universities internationally for Sociology subjects (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2019). La Trobe also ranks in the top 3 universities in Victoria and ‘at world standard’ for Sociology and Anthropology research (Excellence in Research for Australia). In 2019, Associate Professor Raelene Wilding was named Field Leader in the area of Human Migration in the Australian's Special Report on Research in the Social Sciences.

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, Bendigo and Albury-Wodonga and welcome enquiries concerning their activities. The Head of Department, Associate Professor Raelene Wilding, is also available to be contacted on R.Wilding@latrobe.edu.au.

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