Course Title: Sociology of Law

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Sociology of Law

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


365H Global, Urban and Social Studies


Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2016,
Sem 1 2017,
Sem 1 2018,
Sem 1 2019,
Sem 1 2020,
Sem 1 2021,
Sem 1 2022,
Sem 1 2023

Course Coordinator: Dr Peta Malins

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2110

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 37.4

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities


Course Description

This course focuses on the relationship between law and society, examining both how society shapes law and how law impacts upon society. You will be introduced to a range of sociological perspectives on law, and explore the ways in which such perspectives can help us to better understand law’s role in society. You will learn about law’s impacts in various political, cultural, social and historical contexts, and critically engage with a range of contemporary socio-legal issues, including issues related to gender, sexuality, race and ethnicity, colonialism, class, the environment, corporate responsibility, genocide, human rights. You will discuss the limits and possibilities of law, and consider the role of law in both forms of oppression and forms of revolutionary social change. 

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

Program Learning Outcomes 

In course you will develop the following program learning outcomes: 

  1. Apply a body of professional, theoretical and practical knowledge relevant to the socio-legal field and primary dispute resolution processes
  2. Apply critically reflective thought and analytical thinking to problems related to social-legal issues and dispute resolution in local and international contexts   

Course Learning Outcomes 

Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the theoretical foundations of law, sociology and socio-legal studies;
  2. Apply sociological theories and concepts to contemporary socio-legal problems;
  3. Debate the role, limits, and possibilities of legal regulation and reform in society;
  4. Critically reflect on concepts of justice and the contemporary relationship between citizens, society, law and the state. 

Overview of Learning Activities

This course is delivered through a blend of learning activities, which include interactive workshop activities, role plays, problem solving, guest speakers, presentations, videos, online media and activities and student lead discussions. 

Overview of Learning Resources


There may be a prescribed text for this course. 

You will be given access to a wide range of resources through the Canvas student portal, myRMIT, and RMIT Library resources. You will have the opportunity to contribute collectively to class resources by sharing your own research findings and sources with your peers. 

RMIT will provide you with resources and tools for learning in this course through our online systems. 

There are services available to support your learning through the University Library. The Library provides guides on academic referencing and subject specialist help as well as a range of study support services. For further information, please visit the Library page on the RMIT University website and the myRMIT student portal. 


Overview of Assessment

You will be assessed on how well you meet the course’s learning outcomes and on your development against the program learning outcomes. 

Assessment Tasks 

    Assessment Task 1: Quizzes 20%, CLO1, CLO3, and CLO4  

    Assessment Task 2: Essay, 40%, CLO1-CLO4 

    Assessment Task 3: Exam, 40%, CLO1-CLO4 

Feedback will be given on all assessment tasks. 

If you have a long term medical condition and/or disability it may be possible to negotiate to vary aspects of the learning or assessment methods. You can contact the program coordinator or Equitable Learning Services if you would like to find out more. 

Your course assessment conforms to RMIT assessment principles, regulations, policies, procedures and instructions.