The contemporary social world we collectively inhabit is a complex one, beset with economic, ecological, social and political challenges. Ideas of community, social difference, regionalism and nation-states remain context-specific, while forces like technology, climate change, finance and migration push us towards thinking in terms of globally entwined lives. Drawing on insights from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology, the Bachelor of Arts (Honours) Major in Social and Political Sciences equips students to approach such complexity from an academic standpoint, to engage critically with persistent social problems and to design daring solutions.

The programme will offer students rigorous training in key debates from the social sciences, and quantitative as well as qualitative methods of data analysis, case study research, archival and document analysis, and participant observation. Learning will involve student initiative through a combination of lectures, assignments and classroom activities. Through projects, internships and apprenticeships, students will be encouraged to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained in the classroom to areas of social concern that they identify around them.

Learning occurs through a combination of lectures, assignments and activities. This hands-on approach allows students to apply the knowledge and skills they have gained to immediate social problems, locally in the city of Ahmedabad and beyond.

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Programme Outcomes

Students of the Bachelor of Arts in Social and Political Sciences will:

  • Analyse intersections of society, state, culture, and economy, identifying social processes, mechanisms and institutions
  • Gain familiarity with key social science concepts and frameworks across Anthropology, Economics, Social Science and Sociology
  • Learn to frame a research question, identify suitable types of evidence, gather and interpret quantitative and qualitative data
  • Engage in academic reasoning and argumentation, and present their analysis using both conventional and digital modes of presentation
  • Connect their personal experiences with social structures

Course Structure

All incoming Undergraduates at Ahmedabad University start with the Foundation programme, an interdisciplinary course that covers fields from Mathematics to Literature through project-based learning.

Gateway Courses

The Social and Political Sciences major begins with three Gateway courses designed to introduce students to critical problem solving. The gateway courses are:

Ahmedabad as a Gateway to the World
Identity, Inequality and Difference
Politics in Independent India

Students take six Theory courses to gain a grounding in core concepts and debates in social and political sciences. These courses are:

Family, Community and Nation
States, Bureaucracies and Citizenship
Economy and Society
The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Production
Political Thought
Locating Globalisation
Methods Cluster

In four Methods courses, students learn how to carry out field research and work with data. Courses include:

Methods of Data Collection
Computational Data Analysis
Qualitative Field Research I
Qualitative Field Research II
Discipline Electives

Students may use six Discipline Electives to take classes related to their research interests. Sample electives may include:

Development and Education
Law, Development and Social Movements
Urban and Economic Geography
Citizenship and Education in India
Digital Ethnography
Nation and the Performing Arts
Undergraduate Thesis

As in all majors at Ahmedabad University, students pursue their own interests with a thesis or capstone project which they complete in their final year.

Other Requirements

All Social and Political Sciences majors must meet certain requirements in English Communication, Mathematics and Statistics by taking courses in other divisions of the University as part of the General Education Requirements.

Sample Course Structure
Semester 1 Foundation Programme Effective Reading and Communication Skills (GER)
Semester 2 Gateway: Ahmedabad in the World Identity, Inequality and Difference (GER) Biological and Life Sciences GER Humanities and Languages GER Advanced Writing (GER)
Semester 3 Family, Community, and Nation Politics in Independent India Visual and Performing Arts GER Probability and Statistics (GER) Methods of Data Collection
Semester 4 States, Bureaucracies, and Citizenship Major Elective I Major Elective II Quantitative Methods (GER) Computational Data Analysis (GER)
Semester 5 Economy & Society Major Elective III Free Elective I GER (any course outside major) Qualitative Field Research – I
Semester 6 The Poetics and Politics of Cultural Production Major Elective IV Free Elective II Free Elective III Qualitative Field Research – II
Semester 7 Political Thought Locating Globalisation Major Elective V Free Elective IV Thesis Proposal and Literature Review
Semester 8 Major Elective VI Free Elective V Free Elective VI Thesis


Faculty Spotlight

Having spent a number of years studying urban transportation in Indian cities, Professor Karthik Rao-Cavale uncovered a strange situation. While there was general consensus in the field on the best policies to implement, few were employed by governments at the local level. This led him to explore the sociological, political and economic forces that shape the governing policies of urban spaces. For instance, he studied the messy reality of street-vendor politics in Mumbai and Chennai, showing how informal workers were led to appeal to the courts. He was interested in how legal institutions function in such unorthodox circumstances. He found that rather than establishing the legality of street vending, the courts allowed street vendors to buy time and forestall their eviction.

Currently, his research is centred around tracing the emergence of ‘rurality’ as a way of thinking about space in India’s development since the early 20th century.

Career Pathways

The degree in Social and Political Sciences from Ahmedabad University will equip graduates with excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and the ability to work in teams and collaborate across specialisations. They will be trained in methods from a range of disciplines. Graduates will be able to pursue higher studies in disciplines such as Anthropology, Development Studies, International Studies, Political Science, Sociology and Urban Planning. In addition to academics, graduates will have the interdisciplinary training they need to pursue careers in journalism, law, new media, the development sector and in civil services.


The Bachelor of Arts in Social and Political Sciences is open to anyone who has completed class 12 or the equivalent.
To know more about the admissions calendar and the selection process - Click here

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