INS200 - Introduction to the Social Sciences II

Outline info
Last revision date 2019-03-18 09:08:22.297
Last review date 2019-03-18 09:08:49.567

Subject Title
Introduction to the Social Sciences II

Subject Description
This course provides a foundation for further study in the social sciences by introducing students to their basic subject matter and theory, focusing in particular on political science and economics. It is designed for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies, forming a basis for upper level social science courses. It will also serve as a Liberal Studies course to introduce social science topics to the broader body of Seneca College students. The course is unified via a focus on central themes relevant to all the social sciences, such as power and human nature. Through lectures, readings, discussions, and assignments both online and in-class, this course offers a comprehensive interdisciplinary introduction to these central issues, integrating diverse social science approaches to different topics in social science. The course emphasizes the development of critical thinking and writing skills, facilitates the practical application of student learning, and promotes the integration of social science insights into students' broader understanding of themselves and their world. Introduction to the Social Sciences I is not a prerequisite.

Credit Status

Required Social Science course for students in the Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies degree program; also a Liberal Studies Option (LSO) for Seneca degree students.


Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  • Describe the subject matter and basic theoretical concepts of political science and economics.
  • Explain the research methods employed in political science and economics.
  • Explain the findings and significance of selected pieces of social science research.
  • Apply basic social science theory to contemporary social issues using appropriate vocabulary and concepts.
  • Analyze key issues such as power and human nature using basic theoretical perspectives from political science and economics.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Academic Integrity
Seneca upholds a learning community that values academic integrity, honesty, fairness, trust, respect, responsibility and courage. These values enhance Seneca's commitment to deliver high-quality education and teaching excellence, while supporting a positive learning environment. Ensure that you are aware of Seneca's Academic Integrity Policy which can be found at: Review section 2 of the policy for details regarding approaches to supporting integrity. Section 2.3 and Appendix B of the policy describe various sanctions that can be applied, if there is suspected academic misconduct (e.g., contract cheating, cheating, falsification, impersonation or plagiarism).

Please visit the Academic Integrity website to understand and learn more about how to prepare and submit work so that it supports academic integrity, and to avoid academic misconduct.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Accessibility Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.

ENG 106 or one lower-level liberal studies (LSO) or Critical Thinking course.

Topic Outline

  • Introduction
  • Political Science Basics
  • Corporations
  • The Financial Crisis
  • Austerity and Aftermath


Mode of Instruction
In this course we will employ theory, concepts and research from a variety of social sciences. These will include anthropology, sociology, psychology, economics, history, and political science. This approach will allow us to explore the diversity of the social sciences, forming a foundation for further social science studies, and to engage the issues of power and human nature in a comprehensive and integrated way.

Prescribed Texts
Reading will be assigned on a weekly basis. 

Reference Material
Students are referred to the following web site for the Seneca College Library APA Style Guide and Guide to Integrating Quotations (APA Style):

Student Progression and Promotion Policy

Grading Policy

A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online ( or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices (

Modes of Evaluation


All term work assignments must be completed prior to the time of the final exam or last class.  Students must contact faculty in advance of an assignment due date to discuss the possibility of an extension.  Late assignments will be subject to a late penalty resulting in a lower grade.

Make-up opportunities for assignments must also be arranged in advance of the scheduled due date.  If an assignment is missed due to class absence, official documentation must be submitted to the faculty on or before the next scheduled class. Make-up opportunities may not apply to all graded assignments.

Assignments 50%
Mid-Term Test 25%
Final Exam 25%
Students are graded on form as well as content. Marks (up to 5% of the final grade) may be lost for poor organization of ideas and errors in spelling, grammar, capitalization and punctuation.
Students are not permitted to use instructional aids during tests or exams.
To be successful in this course, you must complete all course work as specified, and achieve an overall grade of 50% or more.  It is expected that students have a sufficient command of the English language to express themselves clearly in both written assignments and class discussions. For further information on evaluation and academic standing, see the Academic Policy at

Approved by: Chair - Business Studies Danielle Mercier