Sociology

Sociology is the study of how societies work. We study social life at every level, from personal relationships to institutions, nations and global interconnections. Sociology enables us to understand the structures and dynamics of societies, and their intricate connections to patterns of human behaviour, public issues, everyday life, politics, culture and individual life chances. It examines how various social forces produce social order and social change and in so doing influence what we do and how we think.

With courses as diverse as Surveillance and Visibility to the Sociology of Crime and Delinquency to Consumer Culture, the Sociology department is reputed for its emphases in Criminology and the Law, Media, Information and Surveillance, and Inequalities and Social Justice.

See our Major Map to learn more

Location: 
Mackintosh-Corry Hall
Room number: 
D-431
Telephone: 
Department Head: 
R.Beamish
Undergraduate Chair: 
Martin Hand
Graduate Studies Coordinator: 
Annette Burfoot

Degree Options

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) - BAH

Major in Sociology
A major is an intensive course of study in one discipline, with approximately half of your courses within the discipline with room for an optional minor in any other Arts and Science discipline.

Medial in Sociology
A dual course of study in Sociology and any other Arts discipline.

Minor in Sociology
A minor is a less intensive course of study in the discipline that must be combined with a major in another discipline.

For a full list of Degree Plans, see the Academic Calendar

Graduate Degree Options

Sociology - PhD
Sociology - MA

Job and Career Opportunities for Sociology Grads

Sociologists critically assess ’common sense’ answers to all questions about social relationships, and undertake research that contributes to more adequate, thoughtful and systematic understandings of all aspects of the social world. Sociology offers a broad range of courses that equip students theoretically, methodologically and substantively for graduate work, professional programs, and careers in media, management, the non-profit sector including international development and social, health and personal services. For example, the Surveillance Project is an exciting, multi-disciplinary research project that explores why information about people has become so important in the 21st century and examines the social, political and economic consequences of this trend.

Some of our Sociology grads work in the following industries:

  • Advertising
  • Child and Youth Care
  • Communications
  • Consulting - Management
  • Consumer Services
  • Corporate Training / Development
  • Corrections
  • Counselling - Relationships, Addictions, Career
  • Criminology
  • Cultural Studies
  • Demography
  • Education
  • Ethics
  • Finance & Banking
  • Gerontology
  • Human Resources
  • Human Rights
  • Immigration Services
  • Informatics
  • International Development
  • Investment & Pensions
  • Journalism
  • Law
  • Linguistics
  • Marketing
  • Media – Broadcasting, Internet
  • Mental Health Services
  • Political Science
  • Parole and Probation Services
  • Public Administration & Policy
  • Public Health
  • Public Relations
  • Publishing – Newspapers, Books and Magazines
  • Recreational Therapy
  • Rehabilitation Therapy
  • Social Work Statistics
  • Volunteerism

Career paths for Sociology grads handout from Career Services >

Surveillance Studies Centre at Queen's

Surveillance of many kinds is growing rapidly throughout the world and the Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) at Queen’s University is committed to high quality research to follow such developments. Current active research explores camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls – indeed on many aspects of contemporary monitoring, tracking, management and control. While much research happens on the Queen’s University campus, the SSC is also part of a broad network of surveillance research that is both multi-disciplinary and international.

Read more about the Surveillance Studies Centre >

Alumni Profile

Recipient of the Governor-General’s Academic Gold Medal Award, Nicole Watson graduated from Queen’s University in 2010 with her Masters in Sociology. She is currently the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Toronto South Local Immigration Partnership Canadian Centre for Victims of Torture where she manages a network of over 150 representatives from more than 60 different organizations to identify regional priorities, cultivate partnerships and lead collaborative initiatives to improve service delivery to vulnerable newcomer populations within the City of Toronto.

Undergraduate Course Highlights

Sociology offers a diverse and exciting range of courses that focus on contemporary social changes that are shaping the world in which you live such as Consumer Culture, Deviance and Social Control, and Social Psychology. Some popular courses within Sociology include Crime and Delinquency, Information and Communications Technologies, Cities: Urban Societies, Space, and Culture, and Race, Sex and the Body.

Undergraduate Admission to Sociology

Students apply to Queen’s Arts (QA) through the OUAC (Ontario Universities Application Centre) website (ouac.on.ca). Secondary School prerequisites include six 4U and 4M courses, including a minimum of three 4U courses, one of which must be ENG4U. Applicants outside of Ontario may have additional requirements.

Research in Sociology at Queen's

The Sociology Department at Queen's University provides a dynamic research environment with internationally renowned faculty. Our faculty specialize in various research areas including  our four major streams:

  • CIT - Communication and Information Technology
  • Feminist Sociology
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Sociological Theory Research

Special Research Project

The Surveillance Studies Centre (SSC) is a multi-disciplinary and international research initiative based at Queen's University, Kingston, Canada. The SSC at Queen's University is committed to high quality research focusing on current surveillance developments such as camera surveillance, ID systems, biometrics, social media, border and airport controls.

Graduate Studies in Sociology

The Graduate Program in the Department of Sociology at Queen's offers rigorous academic degree programs at the MA and PhD levels. Our dedicated faculty members make every effort to provide comprehensive support to each and every graduate student.

The Master's and Doctoral Programs in the Department of Sociology focuses primarily on the four areas of specialization:

  • Communication and Information Technology
  • Feminist Sociology
  • Socio-Legal Studies
  • Critical Sociological Theory

"I started my Ph.D. at another school. I felt like I was nothing but a number there. I got lost in the shuffle, so I transferred to Queen’s. It was like night and day. The department here is small and I had no trouble forming a committee. The supervisors are easy to talk to. It’s unbelievable in terms of support. It’s a very friendly environment, and when you’re not from Kingston, it’s nice to have that support." April Girard, Ph.D. graduate from Queen's Sociology