Medium of Instruction

English is the medium of instruction in our Department. Only a few courses are delivered in Cantonese because of the uniqueness of the course content. In 2016-17, for example, close to 80% of the major courses are taught in English, and the rest in Cantonese. The mixture of language use reflects the particular nature of Sociology as a discipline that aspires to universal relevance at the same time as it is sensitive to cross-cultural differences. It also reflects the need to connect sociological scholarship with the bilingual public discourses in Hong Kong and the concerns of a primarily Cantonese-speaking student population.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

All courses adopt an outcome-based teaching and learning (OBTL) approach. Intended learning outcomes for students are identified both at the programme and course levels, while course-level outcomes (CILOs) are aligned with programme-level outcomes (PILOs). Students are informed of the CILOs at the outset of each course, and the CILOs are aligned with the teaching and learning activities as well as the assessment methods.

Teaching and Learning strategies include lectures, tutorials, projects, group discussions, and presentations. Students will learn about theories, concepts, and methods related to different fields of sociology during lectures. Tutorials and group discussions will provide the opportunities for students to examine in-depth exemplary scholarship in specific areas. Students will demonstrate their abilities in integrating theoretical and practical knowledge through projects and field studies.

Students will also acquire a wide range of transferable skills from the teaching and learning strategies. In collaborative group projects, students will develop teamwork and interpersonal skills. In individual projects, they will learn to be self-reliant. Whether working individually or in groups, students will develop time management skills, information technology proficiency, analytical abilities, as well as oral and written competencies in reporting and making presentations.

Assessment methods include formative coursework, term essays, tests and end-of-semester examinations, individual or group projects (including fieldwork or case studies) and oral presentations, and reflective journals.

Students’ knowledge and understanding will be assessed by a variety of assessment methods. Formative coursework will ensure students’ basic understanding of the subject. Examinations and essay writing will allow students to demonstrate their understanding of theory and practice, and their ability to develop coherent and reasonable arguments. Presentations will evaluate their oral and multimedia competencies. Projects and case studies will assess students’ ability to apply their knowledge and skills in designing, conducting and reporting a study. Reflective journals will record students’ observations, reflect their responses and stimulate their thinking in relation to sociology.