Sociology is concerned with the study of social life: the structural arrangements and cultural patterns that shape group behaviour at every level of social action whether local, national or global.

Sociology examines the forces that shape individual lives, the interactions between individual and community, societal unity, division and conflict. It develops an informed and disciplined way of thinking about self, identity, family, work, and the nature of institutions.

Sociology at La Trobe has a strong reputation both in Australia and internationally, ranking in the top 150 universities internationally (QS World University Rankings by Subject 2022). La Trobe also ranks ‘at world standard’ for research in Sociology (ERA 2018-2019 assessment).

Sociologists at La Trobe specialise in critical social theory and social policy, and the study of migration and mobility; emotions, intimacy and relationships; culture, ethnicity and religion; health, mental health and wellbeing; social inequalities, work and youth.

La Trobe offers a broad range of undergraduate sociology subjects. We have a thriving postgraduate program and a strong research culture with extensive national and international links. Staff and postgraduates provide editorial assistance to the international critical theory and historical sociology journal Thesis Eleven. Our staff also have a strong track record in attracting competitive research grants.

Sociology is home to an important centre:

Undergraduate Sociology Subjects

Year Level Semester 1 Semester 2 Term 6

1st year

Society and Culture: Introduction to Sociology (SOC1SAC)

Global Issues, Local Lives (SOC1GIL)


2nd year

Making Sense of Modern Social Life (SOC2TCS)

Sociology of Emotions (SOC2SEM)

Sociology of Emotions: Gender, Intimacy and Relationships (SOC2SOR)

Mind, 'Madness' and Society: An Introduction to the Sociology of Mental Illness (SOC3001)


3rd year

Methods in Sociological Research (SOC3MSR)

Culture, Meaning and Social Life (SOC3SOC)

Ethnicity and Identity: Social and Political Approaches (SOC3EAI)

Worlds of Exclusion: Global Social Inequalities (SOC3WOE)

View course information