Social Sciences Courses

Take Social Science courses overseas to broaden your horizons and 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
CREDITS: 20 UK credits / 40 hours face to face in class lecture + tutorial hours

This module focuses on the ways in which non-fiction media such as news, documentary, advertising, lifestyle journalism and popular factual television articulate and explore contemporary experiences of profound social change. It focuses especially on the changing landscape of social class, race and ethnicity and asks how the media engages with these changes and presents them to its publics.

This course is a second year module (Level 5 of British system).

COURSE: ICBS302
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours

This seminar course will provide an overview of theoretical perspectives, research methods, empirical findings, and practical applications of psychological research on prejudice, stigma, and intergroup relations. Students will better understand psychological principles underlying prejudiced attitudes and discriminatory behaviours, gain a more objective view of their personal beliefs and behaviours, and further develop their ability to critically think about the nature of evidence and arguments from a scientific perspective.

COURSE: ICSS 306 M01
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours

This seminar course considers the ways in which New York has been rebuilt and redefined by people and institutions since the late nineteenth century. Topics include: Wall Street and trusts; Gilded Age politics; water, parks, and mass transportation; apartment houses, tenements, and housing reform; class warfare and the labour movement; fine arts and popular amusements; national mass culture and the 1920s boom; Depression and Fiorello La Guardia; Robert Moses and urban renewal; suburbanisation; the urban crisis; the new immigrants; globalisation and postindustrial reform.

COURSE: IS 320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 1 and 2

This course will examine various aspects of the relationship between sport and society in Spain, with a particular emphasis on sports with a long tradition in Catalonia. We will examine both the impact of sport on Spanish society and the influence of society on the practice of sport in Spain. The course begins with a consideration of general theoretical questions in the study of sport before moving on to an account of the historical development of sports in Spain in general and in Catalonia in particular. We also examine the reciprocal influences of sport violence, gender, race and ethnic and national identities in Spain.

CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: Session 1

This course examines the main political and socio-economic processes that help understand present-day Barcelona, particularly after the 1992 Olympics turned it into a vibrant global city. Through the lens of politics, human geography and history, students will explore topics like massive tourism, gentrification, environmental sustainability, the real state bubble, or immigration dynamics. Special attention will be paid to the tense power relations between Catalonia and Spain, the political heritage of Franco’s fascist dictatorship and the rise of the Catalan independence movement.

COURSE: FWFSIF320 / LSSOIF320
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 3, B

The course examines the development and structure of the Italian family through history with the following topics: Sexuality and the development of relationships, study of individuals, groups, and families, diversity in modern families, community regulations/policies addressing issues of family change, crisis, and maintenance. Students will conduct evaluation of different styles and examples of interpersonal communication behaviors. The course will also compare and contrast family/individual behavior patterns associated with human life cycle transitions and examine various social issues associated with the study of Italian families.

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COURSE: FWCACC350 / FWFCCC350
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: A, B

Though food diversifies throughout the world according to local cultural backgrounds, there is a common ground in the universal approach to food: it is a part of everyday life and sharing food is still one of the greatest examples of humans acting as “social creatures”. Italy represents a unique case for now food is both celebrated and is involved in cultural celebrations that are still fundamental in Italian society. This course will provide students with a full immersion in the relationship between food and the local community in Italy, focusing on the many moments that represent conviviality in Italian culture and society. Coursework includes a wide variety of field learning activities through which students will be introduced to local and traditional crafts, food markets, typical street food vendors, local purchasing groups, community-supported agriculture, and countryside food festivals as fundamental milestones in the Italian gastro-social tradition. Through hands-on experiences and on-site activities students, will learn the fundamentals of community-geared food production and will acquire a deeper understanding of food as an essential element of society. This class includes experiential learning with CEMI.

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COURSE: LACMHM380 / LAHSHM380
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 4, B

This course discusses the origins and development of the Mafia in the context of Italian politics, economics, and society from the nineteenth century to the present day. It analyzes the nature of Mafia activities and their international relevance. Special focus will be given to judicial procedures against the Mafia and the experiences of key individuals and groups contrasting their illegal activities.

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COURSE: GSDGSR350 / LAHSSR350
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: LAPYSP300 / LSHHSP300
CREDITS: 3 US credits / 45 contact hours
OFFERED: July Sessions: 1, 3, A, B

“We see the world as we do, not because that is the way it is, but because we have these ways of seeing” (Wittgenstein). Social psychology is a scientific discipline that explores how the individual is influenced by social contexts. Students will learn to identify how social, environmental, and cognitive factors shape our thoughts, feelings, and actions. The course covers theories regarding attraction, aggression, conformity, and pro-social behaviour. As this course is taught in Italy, students will have the advantage of observing and testing theories learned in class in a foreign environment.

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COURSE: COMM 157
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Analysis of how following personal lives of media-created celebrities impacts self-esteem, connectedness, and personal relationships from cultural studies and social sciences perspectives, and how entities cultivate celebrity for financial gain. Topics include celebrity gossip and privacy, news sharing, public relations, and impact of social media on fan support, image construction, and damage control.

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COURSE: CHICANO 180
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Overview of Chicana/Chicano schooling issues in U.S., with special emphasis on several important historical events that exemplify struggle for educational justice and equity that affected Chicana/Chicano education–Mendez versus Westminster (1947) desegregation case and 1968 high school Chicana/Chicano student walkouts. Through oral history projects, documentation of legacy of Sylvia Mendez, who experienced segregation in one Mexican school in 1940s, Sal Castro, Chicano teacher and central figure in 1968 walkouts, and Chicano Youth Leadership Conference (CYLC). Examination of how historical, social, and political forces have impacted Chicana/Chicano educational experiences.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 134
CREDITS: 5 Units

Theories of relation of variations in personality to culture and group life, in primitive and modern societies, and influence of social role on behavior.

Designed for juniors/seniors.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 101
CREDITS: 5 Units

Comparative survey of basic concepts and theories in sociology from 1850 to 1920.

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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: PUB AFF 80
CREDITS: 5 Units

Overview of major theoretical, conceptual, and empirical traditions in study of human development. Exploration of how diverse cultural, social, socioeconomic, and historical contexts interact with biological, cognitive, and psychological processes to affect individuals during key developmental periods (such as early childhood, childhood, adolescence, early adulthood, and late adulthood). Topics may include historical changes in families, schools, neighborhoods, and workplace; economic conditions of families, schools, and neighborhoods; enduring effects of childhood on adult well-being; and impact of ascribed characteristics such as gender, race, and nationality on individuals’ environments, pathways, and outcomes.

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COURSE: URBN PL 120
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Survey of urban history and evolution in U.S., urban social theory, current growth trends, system of cities, urban economy and economic restructuring, traditional and alternative location theories, urban transportation, and residential location and segregation.

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COURSE: INTL DV 1
CREDITS: 5 Units

Exploration of historical and contemporary context of socioeconomic inequalities between Global South and Global North. Focus on cultural, political, and economic realities of developing world, which includes countries of Asia, eastern Europe, Africa, Middle East, and Latin America.

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COURSE: LBR&WS 10
CREDITS: 5 Units

Assumptions about work, including why some work is favored, whether those with good jobs really are better people than those without, and how this understanding of work and value came to be common sense. Unpacking of these and other assumptions about work, value, and power, with focus on low-wage workers, their communities, and their place in contemporary society.  

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COURSE: SOL WLF 100A
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Origin and development of major U.S. social welfare programs and policies guiding them, with emphasis on analysis of policy developments/issues related to provision of social welfare services. Study of historical and current responses of profession to major social problems.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 20
CREDITS: 5 Units

Introduction to methods used in contemporary sociological research, with focus on issues of research design, data collection, and analysis of data.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 1
CREDITS: 5 Units

Survey of characteristics of social life, processes of social interaction, and tools of sociological investigation.

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COURSE: URBN PL M140
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Examination of key issues (work, housing, and neighborhoods) in urban poverty, with particular focus on Mexican and Central American immigrant populations in Los Angeles. Exploration of major theoretical models that explain urban poverty and application of them in comparative context while exploring differences between Mexican and Central American immigrants. Social conditions and forces that help us understand lives of poor people in comparative context while looking at differences between two major Latino-origin populations in Los Angeles. Critical analysis of new forms of urban poverty in contemporary American society.

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COURSE: APPLING 30W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Exploration of range of topics related to study of language and social interaction in both mundane and professional settings, particularly how language affects social lives and how social organization affects use of language. Topics include different approaches to study of language in social interaction (theories and research methodologies), issues regarding language and social identity (such as socioeconomic status, race, gender, and situational identity), and issues concerning language and culture (such as cross-cultural misunderstanding and language socialization). Satisfies Writing II requirement. Letter grading.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 169
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Specific topics may include law in preindustrial and industrialized societies, legalization of contemporary social relations, participants’ experiences of legal processes, lay perceptions of justice, social movements toward equal justice, roles of lawyers and judges, social impact of court decisions.

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COURSE: CHICANO M102
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Theoretical and empirical overview of Chicana/Chicano educational issues in U.S., with special emphasis on disentangling effects of race, gender, class, and immigrant status on Chicana/Chicano educational attainment and achievement. Examination of how historical, social, political, and economic forces impact Chicana/Chicano educational experience.

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COURSE: DIS STD M139 / PSYCH M139
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Genealogy of autism as diagnostic category and cultural phenomenon from its historical roots as new, rare, and obscure condition in early 1940s to its current contested status as minority identity and/or global epidemic. Examination of material sourced from various fields and disciplines invested in autism, including psychology, neuroscience, arts and humanities, popular media, anthropology, activism, and critical autism studies. Students encounter and analyze multiple perspectives on autism and put them in conversation with one another. Attention paid to way people on spectrum define, explain, and represent their own experiences of autism and discussion of what ramifications of these multiple framings are in context of autism intervention strategy and disability policy today.

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COURSE: DIS STD 101W
CREDITS: 5 Units

Creation of critical framework for understanding concept of disability from sampling of disciplinary perspectives. Organized around productive and central tension in disability studies–between disability as lived subjective experience that is both individual and communal, and disability as objective, medical, legal, and sometimes stigmatized category. Students encouraged to make connections between units and to create their own perspectives on disability in field that defines itself by how it changes. Not open for credit to students with credit for course 101.

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COURSE: URBN PL 141
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Overview of planning history, theory, and contemporary issues that affect low-income communities, communities of color, and underserved neighborhoods, particularly in Los Angeles area. Field of planning offers distinct perspectives and opportunities for improving vulnerable communities. Topics range from discussion of intersection between race and income, critical race theory, community development, residential segregation, spatial mismatch, and environmental justice to social justice.

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COURSE: RELIGN 11
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Introduction to varieties of religious experience in Los Angeles and its environs. Presentations, required readings, and (where possible) site visits to examine selected faiths and spiritual practices throughout Southern California and provide deeper understanding of myriad ways that sacred is made manifest and encountered. Foundational academic orientations within study of religion (anthropological, historical, psychological, sociological, etc.) used as framework to examine and interpret almost unparalleled religious diversity of City of Angels. Recognizing that spiritual traditions are crucial reflection of region’s ever-changing demographics, emphasis on role of ethnicity, gender, nationality, and race in shaping of religious landscape.

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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: GEOG 145
CREDITS: 4-5 Units

Pre-requisite: One course from Geography 3, Geography 4, Anthropology 3, Gender Studies 10 or Sociology 1.

Exploration of how, why, and to what ends human trafficking has been conceptualized as global problem that warrants international response. Examination of recent activist, governmental, scholarly, and media responses, and reflection on what is and is not accomplished by them. Questions of human trafficking are implicitly geographical, requiring consideration of ways freedom is spatially defined and how movement across borders is encouraged and regulated. How questions of labor, migration, sexuality, rights, ethics, embodiment, representation, and governance pertain to human trafficking. What people mean when they speak of human trafficking as slavery. Meanings of slavery and freedom in world today using examples from U.S. and Europe, with focus on Philippines as case study for exploring both contemporary examples and historical forms of enslavement.

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COURSE: PSYCH 135
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Interrelationships between the individual and his social environment. Social influences on motivation, perception, and behavior. Development and change of attitudes and opinions. Psychological analysis of small groups, social stratification, and mass phenomena.

Lecture, three hours; discussion, one hour. Requisites: courses 10, 100A. Designed for juniors/seniors.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 147A
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Sociological theories of social origins, organization, and meanings of crime and criminal behaviors.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 128
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Sociological theories and explanations of social conditions shaping and producing emotional experiences; effects of individual expression of emotions on social conditions; relations between thought, sensations, and emotions; self and emotions; social construction of emotions.

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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: COMM M147
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Studies in relationship between mass communication and social organization. Topics include history and organization of major media institutions, social forces that shape production of mass media news and entertainment, selected studies in media content, and effects of media on society.

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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: 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: ANTHRO 146
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Designed for junior/senior social sciences majors. Introduction to modern industrial cities and urban life. Examination of notion of urban space in context of social relations by drawing from historical and cross-cultural urban ethnographies. Urban space is created according to needs of capital and actions of urban subjects. Exploration of ways in which class, gender, race, and geography shape or contest perspectives and priorities on urban issues. P/NP or letter grading.

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COURSE: PUB AFF 110
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Examination of potentialities and challenges of 21st-century urban revolution in global context. Introduction of theoretical frameworks and conceptual methods used by urban studies and planning to study cities and urban transformations, and historical and contemporary analysis of urbanization to learn about key urban processes such as agglomeration, segregation, gentrification, and suburbanization. Students learn about institutions and policies governing transportation and housing, and forms of community organizing and civil society that seek to redress urban inequalities. Introduction to key theories of space and utopian visions of urbanism.

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COURSE: SOCIOL 158
CREDITS: 4 US credits

Description and analysis of urbanization and urbanism in the U.S. and world.

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COURSE: ISSU9DM
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 1

This strategic communications module will give an introduction to methods and tools for the understanding, analysis and manipulation of social data. Students will learn about social network analysis, sentiment analysis and topic modelling. They will develop an understanding of how these can help marketers work on their strategies, how journalists write their stories and policymakers take decisions. This module gives students the opportunity to learn about the basic models of social data analysis and cutting-edge methods and software for data analysis.

COURSE: ISSU9RC
CREDITS: 10 UK credits (24 contact hours + independent study & full-day excursion)
OFFERED: Session 1

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the sociological and analytic study of religion, identity, conflict and violence within a local, national and global context. It will examine issues such as nationalism, colonialism, international affairs and the role of those charged with reporting such conflicts. Extensive attention will be paid to the representation of religious conflict in the arts, such as literature and films, alongside a detailed examination in of the violent groups that have arisen as an apparent reaction to religious fundamentalism as a rising narrative of a new cultural war.

Excursion(s): Students will attend a guided visit to Stirling Castle.

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

This course will provide a general overview of Japanese society and culture in the postwar period. This course will introduce students to the historical background and modern social implications of contemporary Japanese culture. We will explore a wide range of artistic mediums including music, art, manga, animation, fashion, advertising, and film. Topics will include hikikomori (shut-ins that refuse to leave the home for work or school), chronic over-work including karoshi (death from overworking), declining population and the population bomb, and extreme population density in cities. In addition, the concepts of kaizen (continuous improvement), and wa (social harmony) will be introduced and analysed.

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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