Sociology Optional Books

Mastering the Foundations Top Online Sociology Courses for Beginners

The discipline of sociology is dedicated to the scientific study of society. Over the past few decades, a significant change has taken place in society- we have increasingly shifted our social interactions online. Friendships, social networks, family reunions, alumni meets and even work collaboration- everything is now increasingly online. The world of education in general and the teaching of sociology specifically, have also succumbed to this trend. Nowadays, several online sociology courses are available for those who do not have any background in the subject but are keen to study it.

In fact, many successful candidates in the UPSC exam also opt for sociology as their optional. Many of these selected candidates prepare their optional through online sociology courses. It is estimated that out of every 100 students who take sociology as their optional subject for the civil service exam; anywhere from 95 to 98 of them have never had sociology as part of their curriculum during their graduation years. In fact, around 60% to 75% of the candidates opting for sociology optional while preparing for IAS come from science and engineering backgrounds and have zero prior exposure to sociology.

Many leading colleges and Universities, education portals, and YouTube channels provide online sociology courses in lucid and easy to understand language for beginners.

Some of the popular sociology online courses are as follows:

1. Online sociology courses specially for the UPSC exam –Dedicated coaching institutes like IAS Gurukul provide online courses in sociology specifically designed for beginners and targeted at cracking the IAS exam. These courses include various formats; including live classes and recorded lectures. The course duration is around 4 to 5 months; though students have access to the lectures online for an extended period. The course is designed keeping the UPSC sociology syllabus and question papers in mind. Consequently, adequate emphasis is laid on discussing previous years’ questions and answer writing practice and sociology tests.

2. Certification courses in sociology – Short duration certification courses in sociology are provided by some of the leading universities of the world on online platforms like Edx and Coursera. These courses are a part of the massive open online course (MOOC) architecture which has emerged in recent years. These courses are useful for working professionals who want to add an added touch to their sociology expertise.

3. B.A. Honours in Sociology – Several leading universities in India including popular ones like Indira Gandhi National Open University, Sikkim Manipal University, Kurukshetra University, Chandigarh University and Amity University provide online degree courses in sociology. The duration of the B.A. sociology course is 3 years. Eligibility to enrol in this course is that the candidate must have passed 12th standard in any stream.

4. M.A. degree in sociology – Several top Universities offer the students an opportunity to acquire a Master’s degree in sociology in the online mode. Of course, IGNOU is the most prominent of such platforms in India. Other platforms include Lovely Professional University, Integral University (Lucknow) and Sikkim Manipal University. The M.A. course for sociology is typically for a duration of two years. The Universities claim to offer students placement support, guest lectures by industry experts and industry oriented curriculum. Eligibility requirements for enrolment in M.A. vary from University to University; but many seek a Bachelor’s degree in any discipline.

Why online sociology courses are popular?

Sociology is a relatively easy to understand subject since it is directly related to our day to day lives. One need not be an academic expert or a top student to understand the basics of social institutions like family, religion and caste. As a thinking individual, each of us in fact already has some basic understanding of these. And it is these social institutions which are the core subject matter of sociology. This is what partly explains the popularity of sociology as an optional subject. Other important benefits of choosing sociology as an optional for UPSC are its relatively shorter syllabus (compared to other exams), ready availability of good quality study material and resources, and interesting subject matter. Students also choose sociology as their optional because it is easy to understand and because it has given consistent results over the years in the UPSC exam.

Online courses in sociology, in comparison to the traditional classroom coaching, offer greater flexibility to choose one’s pace of learning and one’s study timings, access to updated video lectures and the option to view lectures multiple times. Also, online courses can be accessed from anywhere. So, students don’t need to shift to education hubs like Delhi in order to study online. Thus, online courses tend to be cheaper and hassle free, with the course lectures being viewed from the comfort of one’s own home.

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