Social Sciences Courses

Take Social Science courses overseas to enhance your career prospects! Choose from hundreds of courses in a wide range of subjects, including Anthropology, Cultural and International Studies, Gender Studies, Political Science, Psychology, Sociology, Social Work and more!
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Available Courses by Program
COURSE: CAS SO 352 / CAS WS 352
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Considers the biological and social organization of masculinities; the ways culture reproduces/articulates masculinities, particularly with regard to race and class; how masculine identities are expressed; male privilege; alternative masculinities; and what is at stake in negotiating contemporary masculinities.

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COURSE: CAS PO 300 / CAS WS 304
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Special Topics in American Politics. This course delves into the world of Black Widows and Demon Lovers. Using empirical research, case studies, and drama, the course separates fact from fiction to examine gender and its intersections between recruitment, motivations, and conditions under which women behave violently.

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COURSE: CAS WS 302 / CAS SO 390
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

Topics in Sociology. Examines social forces shaping gender discrepancies in crime. Using a feminist lens, students explore how cultural ideologies about masculinity and femininity shape criminalization, victimization, and offending. Topics include the gendered contexts of crime and punishment, gender-based violence, and intimate labor.

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COURSE: SAR HS 400 / CAS WS 400
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

Prereq: (CAS WR 120) or equivalent.

This course focuses on strengthening students’ knowledge, skills, and ability to construct a critical appraisal of all the determinants, distribution, causes, mechanisms, systems, and consequences of health inequities related to gender. Emphasis is placed on the historical perspective of women as both recipients and providers of health care, including an exploration of psychological, physiological, social, and political barriers to women’s health and professional life as healthcare providers. The course provides both theoretical and topical coverage of gender and its influence on healthcare, both at the system and individual level. It explores how gender influences and is influenced by healthcare systems through an exploration of some of the major historical, social, and scientific developments that have determined contemporary issues.

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COURSE: CAS AN 260
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Cross-cultural examination of changing gender roles, expectations, and activities. Focuses on economic, social, political, and ideological determinants that structure the hierarchy of power and privileges accorded the thoughts, activities, and experiences of women and men in various societies.

Counts towards the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies minor. Carries social science divisional credit in CAS.

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COURSE: CAS SO 240
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 1

Introduction to sociological perspectives on sexuality. Historical and comparative analysis of sexuality, with a focus on the social and cultural institutions that shape sexuality in the contemporary U.S.

Carries social science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.

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COURSE: CAS AA 335 / CAS SO 335 / CAS WS 335
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

Prereq: at least one prior 100- or 200-level sociology course, CAS WS 101/102, or consent of the instructor.

Examines race, class, gender, and sexuality as intersecting axes of stratification, identity, and experience. Draws heavily from feminist theories in both sociology and history in order to analyze how these intersections can be applied to understanding social problems and structures.

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COURSE: CAS AN 263
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

An exploration of female behavioral biology focusing on evolutionary, physiological, and biosocial aspects of women’s lives from puberty through pregnancy, birth, lactation, menopause, and aging. Examples are drawn from traditional and industrialized societies, and data from nonhuman primates are considered.

Counts for Natural Science credit; as a Biology – Specialization in Behavioral Biology – elective; and towards the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies minor. Carries natural science divisional credit in CAS. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.

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COURSE: CAS IR 300 / CAS PO 380
CREDITS: 4 US credits
OFFERED: Session 2

Topics in International Relations. This course studies the evolution and current status of the women’s movement throughout select African countries on issues such as politics and media culture. Its goal is to provide a broad understanding of women’s lives in the region, both in relation to and separate from globalization.

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COURSE: GSDGSR350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 2, A

Beginning with an examination of the “how to” advice manuals common to Italian households during the Renaissance period, this course explores various aspects of sexuality in Renaissance Italy. These aspects range from the aforementioned self-help books aimed at instructing young couples in sexual pleasure, to conception and childbirth, and an examination of the differing social roles of the common prostitute (meretrice) and the high class courtesan (cortigiana). The theme of male homosexuality will also be explored with special focus placed on the intellectual climate of Renaissance Florence where the prevailing interest in Neoplatonic philosophy may have played a part in creating a more lenient moral climate for homosexuals. Discussions will take cue from Renaissance art in which erotic subjects became increasingly popular in courtly circles in the sixteenth century. Museum visits form an integral part of this course.

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COURSE: LACRRM350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

This course examines the relationship between gender inequality and the legal system. Topics include abortion, marriage, divorce, custody, equal pay, sexual harassment, rape, pornography, and prostitution. Students are introduced to basic legal research tools, such as statutes, regulations, cases, and legal literature. Bride kidnapping, also known as marriage by abduction or marriage by capture, is a practice known throughout history and around the world through which a man abducts the woman he wishes to marry.

Specific case studies will be covered such as the “fuitina” in Italy, which was a widespread practice in Sicily and the south. In theory and in some cases, it was an agreed elopement between two youngsters, in practice it was often a forcible kidnapping and rape followed by a so-called “rehabilitating marriage” (matrimonio riparatore). In 1965, this custom was brought to national attention by the case of 17-year-old Franca Viola, abducted and raped by a local small-time criminal, with the assistance of a dozen of his friends. When she was returned to her family after a week, she refused to marry her abductor, contrary to local expectations. Her family courageously supported her decision, and suffered severe intimidation for their efforts. Ultimately, the kidnappers were arrested and the main perpetrator was sentenced to 11 years in prison. The exposure of this archaic and intransigent system of values and behavioural mores caused great national debate. A 1970 film, “La moglie più bella” (The Most Beautiful Wife) by Damiano Damiani and starring Ornella Muti, is based on the case. Article 544 of the Italian Penal Code was amended only in 1981, when by law, rape could not be cancelled by marriage.

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COURSE: LARSRW320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

This course will examine the presentation and position of women in major world religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam. Other religions, including pagan and neo-pagan cults and religions, will be introduced for comparative purposes. Much use will be made of religious texts, feminist criticism, and the study of the visual arts. Lectures will be enhanced by on-site teaching in Florence in order to examine the depiction of female saints in Italian art in the Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque periods.

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COURSE: ASIA AM 50W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Overview of history of feminist theory and intersection of gender, class, race/ethnicity from cross-cultural perspectives, with focus on Asian American women’s lived experiences in U.S. Topics include Asian American women’s roles in family life, work, community organization, social change, and cultural creativity. Examination of broader structural forces that affect women in society, such as racialization, immigration, global capitalism, colonialism and post-colonialism, and social movements.

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COURSE: CHICANO M106B / GENDER M104C / SOL WLF M104C
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Exploration of complexity of variables related to diversity of aging population and variability in aging process. Examination of gender and ethnicity within context of both physical and social aging, in multidisciplinary perspective utilizing faculty from variety of fields to address issues of diversity.

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COURSE: ANTHRO 124S
CREDITS: 5 Units

Examination of human sexual relations and social behavior from evolutionary perspective. Emphasis on theories and evidence for differences between men and women in their patterns of growth, maturation, fertility, mortality, parenting, and relations with members of opposite sex. P/NP or letter grading.

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COURSE: DIS STD M125 / LGBTQS M125
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Exploration of identity as means of understanding cultural formations, dominant/non-dominant power dynamics, and systems of visual representation. Intersectional approach to explore how ability and sexuality intersect, overlap, and change notions of identity. Use of scholarly texts from disability studies, lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender studies, popular culture, performance, and film to investigate factors that shape ability and sexuality as basis for identity. May be repeated for credit with topic or instructor change.

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COURSE: CHICANO 10A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Interdisciplinary survey of diverse historical experiences, cultural factors, and ethnic/racial paradigms, including indigenousness, gender, sexuality, language, and borders, that help shape Chicana/Chicano identities. Emphasis on critical reading and writing skills.

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COURSE: GENDER 10
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to key concepts in study of sex and gender. Exploration of topics such as gender socialization, body image, sexualities, masculinities, and women’s subordination. Special emphasis on interaction of gender with other identity markers such as race, nation, ethnicity, sexuality, class, and other differences.

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COURSE: GENDER M114 / LGBTQS M114
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to history, politics, culture, and scientific study of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, transgendered, and queer people; examination of sexuality and gender as categories for investigation; interdisciplinary theories and research on minority sexualities and genders.

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COURSE: GENDER 103
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Exploration of social production of knowledge about gendered subjects and gender systems. Students engage key issues in feminist theory and feminist epistemology. How do feminist scholars identify and frame research questions? How is knowledge about marginalized subjects produced? How has feminism challenged dominant understandings of knowledge, rationality, objectivity, and scientific method? How have social movements sought to challenge traditional modes of knowledge production?

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COURSE: APPLING 40W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Pre-requisite: English Composition 3 or 3H or English as a Second Language 36.

Prior knowledge of foreign languages not required. Introduction to language from sociological perspective of gender. Use of research and examples in English and other languages to explore nature of male and female “genderlects” and gendered language, as reflected in lexicon, language behavior, phonetics and intonation, and language acquisition and linguistic change.

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COURSE: GENDER 102
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Consideration of how feminist social movements have identified and challenged gender-based subordination and ways feminist theorists have conceived and critiqued traditional theories of power. How have women’s and other social movements defined and challenged social, political, and economic subordination? How have feminist theorists addressed subject of power? How do empire, colonialism, liberalism, neoliberalism, and globalization produce distinctive forms of gendered violence, gendered knowledge, and gendered subjectivities? How are gender and sexuality produced and regulated by law, nation, and economy?

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COURSE: GENDER M165
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Consideration of psychological literature relevant to understanding contemporary sex differences. Topics include sex-role development and role conflict, physiological and personality differences between men and women, sex differences in intellectual abilities and achievement, and impact of gender on social interaction.

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COURSE: GENDER 113
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Analysis of variety of contemporary sex work both in U.S. and abroad from feminist perspective. Examination of how race, class, and gender alter experience and perception of erotic labor, and consideration of critically feminist responses by range of authors to sex work. Topics include brothels, phone sex, strip clubs, sex tourism, military prostitution, and international traffic in persons. Reading of texts by sex workers, as well as articles from current philosophical and policy debates about prostitution.

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COURSE: GENDER M162 / SOCIOL M162
CREDITS: 5 Units

Enforced requisite: Gender Studies 10 or Sociology 1.

Examination of processes by which gender is socially constructed. Topics include distinction between biological sex and sociological gender, causes and consequences of gender inequality, and recent changes in gender relations in modern industrial societies.

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COURSE: DIS STD M161 / GENDER M161
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Since creation of International Olympic Committee in 1894, athletes with disabilities have had, and been denied, formal opportunities to compete with able-bodied athletes. Overview of some major topics of discussion concerning intersections of athletic competition and disability, addressing variety of perspectives and themes on disability and sport, such as passing, sports integration, competition versus charity, and masculinity. Sources include readings, film, television, and biographical writings that address sports, body and disability generally, and Special Olympics specifically.

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COURSE: GENDER M107A
CREDITS: 5 Units

Focus on women writers that may include historical, regional, national, or thematic emphasis, with possible topics such as authorship, self-writing, sexuality, gender, and genre. May be repeated for credit with topic or instructor change.

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COURSE: GENDER M110C / PHILOS M187
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Pre-requisite: Gender studies 10 or one philosophy course.

Examination in depth of different theoretical positions on gender and women as they have been applied to study of philosophy. Emphasis on theoretical contributions made by new scholarship on women in philosophy. Critical study of concepts and principles that arise in discussion of women’s rights and liberation. Philosophical approach to feminist theories. May be repeated for credit with consent of instructor.

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COURSE: DIS STD M121 / GENDER M121
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Ways in which issues of disability are affected by gender, with particular attention to various roles, positions, and concerns of women with disabilities. Approach is intersectional, exploring how social categories of class, race, ethnicity, religion, age, sexuality, nationality, and citizenship affect and are affected by gender and disability. Topics may include law (civil rights, nondiscrimination), representation (arts, literature), education, public policy, health. May be repeated for credit with topic and instructor change.

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COURSE: HIST 119D
CREDITS: 5 Units

Special topics in history of Middle Ages, including religion in society, justice and law, politics of war and diplomacy, economic upheaval and renewal, and cultural representations. May be repeated for maximum of 16 units with topic and/or instructor change.

Middle Ages played critical role in construction of modern Western sexual and gender identities, as well as its conception of love and romance. Through close reading of primary sources, exploration of treatment of sex and sexuality in Middle Ages. Topics include love and romance, gender relations, homosexuality, marriage and adultery, gynecology and medicine, prostitution, masturbation, sexual deviancy, and eroticism.

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COURSE: GENDER M111
CREDITS: 5 Units

Historical issues and critical approaches to women and cinema that may include authorship, stardom, female genres, and images of women in Hollywood cinema, alternative cinema, and independent cinema from silent era to present.

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COURSE: GENDER 101W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Development of critical reading and writing skills necessary for academic success. Students engage assigned readings in conversation with week’s leading question. Generation and continuous development of paper topic as result of in-class discussions and formal writing exercises. Small writing groups assist students in understanding relationship between how written thoughts are presented and how they are comprehended by different readers. Students gain understanding of writing process, including topic conceptualization, objective of writing project, organization of thoughts and resources, selection of objects of study, personal writing style, etc.

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COURSE: COMM3070
CREDITS: 4 US credits / 60 contact hours

This multicultural, gender sensitive course is designed for students who wish to learn strategies and techniques for transforming thought and behavior for the purpose of resolving conflict. The course focuses on techniques that bring about positively focused changes through consistent experiences in community building and self-improvement. The curriculum is based on the Alternatives to Violence Project, which began in New York State in the 1970s. For more than 20 years, CEPPA Foundation’s Center for Peace Studies has implemented this program in Switzerland, Costa Rica and other Latin American countries.

Using an interactive, participatory methodology, we will focus on themes such as self-esteem and self-care, communication skills, cooperation, community building and conflict resolution—including mediation, bias awareness and cultural diversity.

Mandatory fieldwork sessions will be held at a local school, a communal group or penal institution.

COURSE: SOCY 3050
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 48 contact hours

This course will study the LGBTQI+ community and related social issues in the Latin American context. Special attention will be given to the Costa Rican case study where sexuality, identity, expression, health, community, family, and other social, political and lifestyle issues will be discussed. This course offers students one of the only opportunities to study LGBTQ+ Latin American dynamics and issues. It is one of the first of its kind in the region and a pioneering offer for study abroad students in the Costa Rican setting.

This is a young, but growing field of study in Latin America and definitely one that deserves much attention, especially as the Latin American region is home to some of the most homophobic countries in the world and at the same time undergoing radical change in terms of its acceptance of the complete spectrum of sexuality and identity expression. This course has three main objectives: 1) students will be invited to explore LGBTQI+ Latin American community issues, 2) to appreciate how particular countries are advancing in relation to equality before the law while studying the social groups pushing for change, and 3) to critically assess present day contexts that are struggling with recently developed anti-discriminatory frameworks.

COURSE: ISSU9JJ
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 2

Recent advances in feminist and LGBT+ liberation movements have had a visible and global impact on culture, literature, politics and commerce. This module examines gender and sexuality in a Scottish context. As binary understandings of gender and sexuality are increasingly shown to be outdated and outmoded, developments in our understanding of gender and sexuality are making headlines and becoming a regular part of our daily discourse in both our social and working lives. This course enables students to apply their knowledge of identity politics to a dynamic range of relevant texts.

The texts in this module examine the decline of traditional, industrialist, ‘hard man’ masculinities in Scotland. Through an exploration of dynamic, contemporary and highly acclaimed texts, this course examines broken masculinities, resistant femininities, and resurgent Scottish LGBT+ fictions. A select range of relevant secondary sources will accompany this exploration of primary literature, introducing students to iconic theorists, as well as relevant contemporary critics examining Scottish literature from a gendered perspective.

CREDITS: 4 Japanese credits (3 US credits) / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 2

The focus of this course is to give an expansive outline of gender, sexuality and society with a specific spotlight on contemporary Japanese society. Class content exposes material from sociologists, historians, journalists, and literary scholars to analyse how gender and sexuality have been socially developed and experienced in post war Japan.

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