Our program investigates the complexity and breadth of living in today’s societies, challenging expectations and assumptions about what it means to live with others.

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory at Melbourne

From the changing nature of work to the emergence of new digital technologies and persisting socioeconomic inequalities, our program conducts rigorous research on issues that influence individual lives, family dynamics and social networks within and between communities. We study pressing social issues such as gender, race and health inequality, and labour market disadvantage within and across generations, in Australia and around the globe. This research aims to inform and shape policy, reduce social disadvantage and improve people’s everyday lives.

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Professor Lyn Craig
Professor Lyn Craig
Sociology is the systematic study of all aspects of our lives and the discipline that matters for understanding and improving our social world. Sociology at University of Melbourne has a strong analytical, empirical and evidence-based focus that engages with real-world problems and is reflected in our teaching, research and engagement activities.

Professor Lyn Craig

Explore our research

Research Narrative: Diverse Lives. Equal Futures

Our program seeks to be at the forefront of academic and public debates on issues around social disadvantage and inequality in order to assess, improve and shape more effective policies.

Most of our research is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), as well as by the local and federal government including the Department of Human Services and Department of Social Services.

Our researchers collaborate with numerous scholars from around the globe and have strong alliances with Melbourne Institute (renowned for its HILDA data) and six Faculties within the University of Melbourne through our joint Hallmark Economic and Social Participation Research Initiative. Researchers also have strong links with non-governmental institutions such as Brotherhood of St Laurence and Scope.

Study with us

Our program strives for excellence in teaching students analytical, problem solving and critical skills so they can understand and address social issues and problems. We deliver programs that transform students into independent scholars and practitioners that can scrutinise complex information and solve complex social situations and issues.


Graduate coursework

Graduate research

Meet our Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory staff

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory at the University of Melbourne brings together a team of seasoned experts in gender and race issues, diversity and Indigenous studies, inequality, cross-national research and public policy.

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Dr Ashley Barnwell

Sociology Discipline Chair; Senior Lecturer in Sociology
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Prof Lyn Craig

Professor in Sociology and Social Policy +61383447840
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Dr Liz Dean

Senior Lecturer (Teaching Specialist)
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Prof Karen Farquharson

Professor in Sociology; President of Academic Board +61390356220
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Dr John Heath

Indigenous Research Fellow
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Prof Belinda Hewitt

Interim Head of School; Professor in Sociology +61383441450
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Prof Keith McVilly

Professorial Fellow in Disability and Inclusion +61383445366
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A/Prof Jens Zinn

Tr Ashworth Associate Professor in Sociology

Sociology, Social Policy and Social Theory honorary staff