The School of Social Sciences was instituted through the dissolution of the Departments of Sociology and Social Work, and History & Politics, with the addition of the psychology unit from the School of Education.. All units have experienced significant growth in student numbers in recent years, coinciding with high rates of staff turnover.
In the area of research and postgraduate studies, activity and enrolments are distributed unevenly across the components of the school, and this calls for a considered re-evaluation of the role and support for postgraduate work in the larger work of the school.
In relation to the faculty and university at large, the school occupies the ambiguous position of providing service courses to other programmes (eg HP101, SE100), serving the needs of defined professions (eg teaching, social work, police) and providing programmes of both general and specific education that have no predetermined career objective (especially sociology and politics). The school therefore embraces diffused purposes with no single constituency or role, and requires a wide focus in teaching methods, research interests and the possibility of external funding.
The vision of the School is to provide high quality education across the range of its responsibilities, and where feasible to be an internationally significant producer of research, notably in relation to Pacific Islands societies.
The following Mission Statement is based on the Mission Statement of the Faculty of Arts and Law.
The mission of the School of Social Sciences is to implement the general mission of the Faculty and the University in the Social Sciences with special regard to the following areas:
- The provision of teaching of the highest possible quality in diverse modes of delivery appropriate to meet the needs of a student body which is highly diverse both culturally and geographically;
- The development and delivery of programmes and courses of study which
- are appropriate to meet the needs of the member countries of the university,
- contribute to the professional preparation of students for a variety of careers, including post-graduate study,
- foster a culture of inquiry and learning
- respond to significant educational demands;
- wherever possible are focused on the Pacific environment and context;
- adhere to the best standards of curriculum development and planning;
- provide significant flexibility as to modes of study;
- encourage the inculcation of life long learning skills.
- The conduct of both collaborative and individualistic research for publication. Interdisciplinary research will be a priority.
- The creation of academic structures for the School which provide for the achievement of the strategic purposes of the School;
- The development of consultancy in appropriate aspects of the school’s areas of expertise.
- The identification and development of new sources of revenue for the School through appropriate entrepreneurial activity;
- The enhancement of community service and professional engagement.
The School consists of the following division
- Gender Studies
- Pacific Policing
- Sociology and Social Work
Each division is headed by a coordinator and in consultation with the Head of School, the coordinators role wis the management of the academic programme and related matters including allocating teaching responsibilities, overseeing course changes and proposals, enrolments, open days, school liaison, calendar entries, moderate examinations, and generally implement the teaching & learning plan and the research plan for the school/division.