University of Malta

Study-Unit Description
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TITLE Introduction to Social Sciences

LEVEL 01 - Year 1 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Centre for Labour Studies

DESCRIPTION This unit introduces students to social sciences, by first presenting its methods and disciplines. The development of social systems is explored by analysing human and cultural evolution. Socialisation is viewed as an intrinsic aspect of social life. The major social structures of the family, religion, and education are examined in depth. Subsequently, the unit analysis the organization of complex social systems through different forms of government and economic activities. Social stratification and minorities are given particular attention. The effects of urbanization on the environment are also highlighted. The unit ends with an examination of the international dimension of societies, by looking at international political relations, international economic relations, and international institutions and the search for peace.

Study-unit Aims

Social science may be defined as the study of society. This unit aims to introduce students to the major components of social science. They will get an overview of how the scientific method of investigation is used to acquire and analyse data. Students will learn about major aspects of society through the lenses of psychology, sociology, politics, economics and other disciplines of social science.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding: By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- examine the basic principles and distinguish the different branches of social science
- summarise the major stages in the evolution of humans and society
- recognise the way societies function, through particular structures, governments and international relations
- identify how social order is maintained and its consequent benefits and detriments

2. Skills (including transferable [generic] skills): By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

- distinguish scientific from non-scientific methods and knowledge
- differentiate among the most important social structures
- recognise the impact that social systems have on individuals and the environment
- evaluate the way in which international structures and mechanisms interact with governments and societies

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Required Reading:

- Elgin F. Hunt, E. & Colander, D. (2010). Social Science: An Introduction to the Study of Society. USA: Pearson
- Perry, J. & Perry, E. (2009). Contemporary Society: An Introduction to Social Science. USA: Pearson Higher Education

Supplementary Reading:

- Trigg, R. (2000). Understanding Social Science: A Philosophical Introduction to the Social Sciences. USA: Wiley-Blackwell.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Lecture and Independent Study

Assessment Component/s Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment Yes 50%
Examination (2 Hours) Yes 50%

LECTURER/S Manwel Debono
David Parnis

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2017/8, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.
Semester 1 Timetables 2017/2018
Timetables for the Academic year 2017/2018 - Semester 1
Building a Vibrant Europe

PUBLIC LECTURE Speaker: Prof Gerard Kester 


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