New Stream to be introduced in 2022/23: Society and Sustainable Development (Sociology Programme)
Sociology and Sustainability
Sociology is at the core when building a sustainable future. For centuries, sociologists have contributed to the study of key developmental challenges facing societies – from poverty, inequality, migration, industrial relations and economic development in early modernization, to gender equality and diversity, urban life, health and wellbeing, education, and climate justice in the globalized era. Sociologists engage each of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals with the scientific investigation of the social causes and consequences of human behaviour, social change, and social life (ASA). Humanity is reaching another turning point in history, signalled by the recent COP26 climate deal that initiates the phasing out of fossil fuels. Sociology is the discipline offering theoretical foundation, transdisciplinary connections, and cutting‐edge research methodology to envision a pathway for transition to a post-carbon society. It helps you to understand and develop ways to make the community you are living in more sustainable.
Protesters at Global Climate Strike holding a banner with the message "Act now or swim later". Photo by IvanRadic@flickr (CC BY 2.0)
A Unique Stream
Society and Sustainable Development (SSD) is a new stream introduced in 2022/23 under the Sociology Programme (Non‐JUPAS Senior Year Admissions) in collaboration with the Earth System Science Programme and the Gender Studies Programme.
New Senior Year Admission places will be assigned to the Sociology Programme to admit students with an appropriate Higher Diploma / Associate Degree from a recognised institution. The SSD stream addresses the complex nature of sustainable development through bridging Social Science and Science, resulting in two unique knowledge clusters under the concentration: the Climate Knowledge Cluster and the Diversity Cluster. Students admitted to the SSD stream will follow a specified study path from the start, which allows them to study selected courses from across the three Programmes mentioned above. Students will first undergo foundation training in sociology, and then proceed to: 1. expand scientific knowledge and technical skills essential to the study of global climate change; 2. advance social science knowledge in the area of gender and diversity study, and explore the relevant policymaking process to achieve sustainable development goals.
Cow/Crowd at Ngong Ping, Hong Kong. Photo by wwikgren@flickr (CC BY 2.0)
Structure of the SSD stream
Students entering SSD stream are required to complete a minimum of 61 units of courses as follows:
Foundation in Sociology
30 units from the Sociology Programme:
SOCI1001, 1002, 2003, 2004, 2104, 3003, 3223, 3231, 4010, 4020
15 units from the Sociology Programme
‐ Take 15 units from the following: SOCI2116, 2208, 2216, 2218, 3002, 3102, 3204, 3208, 3227, 3230, 3237, 3238,3239, 4020[a], 4202, 4204, 4210, 4410/4420[b]
Climate Knowledge Cluster
7 units from the Earth System Science Programme
‐ Take ESSC1000 Exploring the Earth System (1 unit) and ESSC2020 Climate System Dynamics (3units)
‐ Take 3 units from the following: ESSC3600, 2800, 3220, 3300, 3800, 4240, 4260
9 units (at least 6 units from the Gender Studies Programme):
– Take GDRS1001 Thinking Gender: An Introduction to Women’s and Gender Studies (3 units) and GDRS3006 LivingFeminisms (3 units)
– Take 3 units from the following: ANTH2380, 2440, 3340, 3324, GDRS1002, 3003, 3005, 3006, 3007, 3008, 3009, 3012, 3021, 3024, 3025, 4006, 4007, 4008, 4011, 4012, SOWK2160, 2140, 2150, 2190, 2202, 2203, 2204
[a] Graduation Thesis II (SOCI4020)
The Graduation Thesis should have a strong component matching the theme of a particular concentration inorder to fulfill the requirement of that concentration area.
If a student declares to take two concentration areas, units earned from the course “Graduation Thesis II” will be counted towards the fulfillment of the requirement of one area only, subject to the course supervisor’s endorsement. The student should indicate towards which area the units are counted when declaring the concentrations.
[b] Directed Studies I/II (SOCI4410/4420)
The Directed Studies should have a strong component matching the theme of a particular concentration in order to fulfill the requirement of that concentration area.
If a student has taken SOCI4410 and 4420, and both are of the samet heme that can be counted towards the fulfillment of the requirement of one concentration only, then only up to 3 units from either one course can be counted towards the fulfillment of the concentration requirement, also subject to the course supervisor’s endorsement.
Students completing the SSD stream will benefit from transdisciplinary knowledge and skillset essential to meet the key challenges of the 21st Century. The integrated academic training from the three collaborating CUHK Programme allows you to think beyond a single discipline and to seek innovative solutions for sustainable development from both social science and science knowledge domains. The SSD stream offers three kinds of ‘literacy’ training that help to build your career:
In face of climate change and as nations further their effort to institutionalize net zero-emission targets, ‘Climate Literacy’ becomes an important asset to both governments, private and NGO sectors. ‘Climate literacy’ is an understanding of the mutual influence between climate, individual and society, and the ability to understand the Earth’s climate system, to know how to access or generate scientifically credible information about climate, to communicate climate knowledge in a meaningful way, and to make an informed and responsible decision with climate action (Coalition for Climate Education Policy). Our Climate Knowledge Cluster aims to help you to master climate literacy.
Source: Nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement, Revised synthesis report by the secretariat. FCCC/PA/CMA/2021/8/Rev.1, UNFCCC
The increasingly interconnected global village of the 21st Century requires one to possess the ability to think critically about complex social issues over identity, power and difference. Learning how knowledge, skills and practice of inclusion and equity shapes lives and workplaces become essential to navigate multicultural settings and to appreciate the cultural assumptions of others. People who are diversity literate value differences and recognize how it influences lives, and develop the potential to set up good governance for inclusion and social equity (Department of Philosophy, University of Louisville). Our Society Cluster and Diversity Cluster helps you to develop such soft skills like skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving for developing good governance
Credit: www.wordclouds.com communication
Computational thinking is a core asset for graduates who wish to develop a better career in the age of Industrial 4.0. Selected sociology courses will help you master the computational method to analyze and solve complex social research problems, drawing large‐scale data from social media, dynamic networks, real‐time digitised and administrative records, and social simulations. Computational training from earth system science will enable you to understand and build climate and basic emission models. These are skillsets for you to attract the attention of private or public organizations looking to strengthen their environmental governance or to solve problems with computational methods.
Learnt to use R to analyze network data in the course SOCI3102 Social Networks and Social Capital @ CUHK Sociology (Photo credit: SiqiHan)
According to the Global Employability Rankings and Survey 2021 (GEURS, Times Higher Education), CUHK graduates rank third among universities in Hong Kong in terms of employability. GEURS also identified ‘Soft Skills and Digital Literacy’ as the most important consideration factor for employers, followed by Specialization (Technical and Research Expertise). Our SSD stream will help prepare you for a job market that increasingly looks for talents with SDGs knowledge and technical expertise.
Office: (852) 3943 6604 / (852) 3943 6606
The number of intake places is indicative only and subject to changes or confirmation.
Every effort has been made to ensure that information contained in this leaflet is correct. Changes to any aspects of the stream may be made from time to time due to unforeseeable circumstances beyond our control and the University reserves the right to make amendments to any information contained in this leaflet without prior notice. The University accepts no liability for any loss or damage arising from any use or misuse of or reliance on any information contained in this leaflet.
Any aspect of the course and course offerings (including, without limitation, the content of the course and the manner in which the course is taught) may be subject to change at any time at the sole discretion of the University. Without limiting the right of the University to amend the course and its course offerings, it is envisaged that changes may be required due to factors such as staffing, enrolment levels, logistical arrangements and curriculum changes.