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[02.003] Social Science: Understanding Behaviour, Culture & Society

Course Description

This subject is an introduction to the social sciences that provides students with the conceptual tools necessary to make sense of the complex problems that they face in the modern world. The subject cultivates an understanding of core issues, fundamental theories and philosophical stances in the social sciences, and explores the manner in which social scientists formulate questions about society that can be addressed with empirical research. Canonical social science texts and methodologies are explored in lecture, discussion and group exercises.

Learning Objectives

After successful completion of the subject, students will be able to:

  • Identify, summarise and explain key points of social science concepts as presented by their main proponents
  • Evaluate the arguments, assumptions, and methods employed in the assigned readings
  • Select and apply appropriate social science concepts to analyze social and cultural phenomena
  • Report on this analysis orally and in writing


Delivery Format: 3-0-9* (1 hr lecture & 2 hr recitation)

Grading Scheme: Students are graded based on assignments, class participation, oral presentations, and team-based design projects.

*The first number represents the number of hours per week assigned for lectures, recitations and cohort classroom study. The second number represents the number of hours per week assigned for labs, design, or field work. The third number represents the number of hours per week assigned for independent study.