Message From the Dean

Image of Prof. David Tennant
Professor David Tennant

Welcome to the Faculty of Social Sciences!

As you move through the 2021-2022 academic year, the world continues to be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. There has not yet been a return to ‘normalcy’, and increasingly societies have begun to grapple with what the new normal way of life will involve. All aspects of human life have changed, from how we socialize, get an education, prioritize spending and conduct business, to how we govern community and national activities. The social, mental health and financial implications of the extended period of physical distancing are only now beginning to emerge. Adjusting to the pandemic and to life in its aftermath will require behavioural change.  Social sciences, the study of human behaviour, has never been more important!  It is in this context that we welcome you to the Faculty of Social Sciences!                                 

As you embark upon, or resume your programme of study in the Social Sciences, you are encouraged to do so with an awareness of the important opportunity that has been presented to you. As a student of the Social Sciences you have an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the critical challenges facing our societies, and to help formulate solutions that will shape the future of our communities, countries and region.

Note, however, that in order to capitalize on this opportunity, you will have to be conscientious in applying yourself to the rigorous processes of learning and personal development that are at the core of the Social Sciences experience. The experience will continue to be a bit different this year, with emphasis on online learning, but the fundamentals of a sound education remain the same. Learning is far more than merely reproducing material and earning good grades. The result of true learning is the ability to be analytical, to think critically and creatively, to be innovative, and to communicate effectively, all while being rooted in a sound ethical foundation. Our students should be inquirers, raising their own questions, conducting research, and yearning for the exhilaration of hard-won insight. 

Our numerous programmes offer you a wide variety of options and are designed to allow you to pursue the areas about which you are passionate.  The surest way to excel in your academic journey is to completely immerse yourself in the experience. Choose courses that excite and challenge you, because they will force you to grow. Focus on what you can learn, rather than what you need to know to pass an exam. Discipline yourself and manage your time effectively. Look for and create opportunities to get involved, to serve others, and to build your leadership skills. 

The Faculty of Social Sciences stands ready to support you in your journey.  The COVID-19 pandemic has necessitated that our courses continue to be offered online, at least for the first semester of this academic year. Our staff stands ready to provide the academic advice and administrative support needed in this environment.  We will best utilize the technology to enhance your experience with us. Remember, however, your learning is your responsibility. Make the most of this tremendous opportunity. We look forward to an enjoyable and productive experience with you.