Society And Sustainable Development
(applicable to Senior Year Admission to Sociology Programme only)

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)
Required Courses
Elective Courses [b]

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: 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)