The Panjab University has commenced an Integrated Five year Honours programme in social sciences in the session, July-August 2015. Open to students who have completed 10+2, the new innovative course will provide a multi-disciplinary foundation for an overall perspective on polity, economy and society, at the undergraduate level, with further specialization at the post graduate level, to inculcate a holistic and interdisciplinary orientation towards the social sciences. The Panjab University has joined the ranks of a few premier institutions in the country which have introduced such a pioneering course.
The Five Year Integrated Programme in Social Sciences is based on the Honours School pattern, which is the mainstay of the success story of the Sciences in the Panjab University. This programme was first introduced at the Punjab University Lahore in 1919 and was revived by the eminent faculty in the Panjab University in the 1960.s. At that time it was envisaged that a similar programme would be initiated for the social sciences as well. For several reasons it could not be implemented despite efforts for the same. With the vision and support of the Vice Chancellor, Dean University Instructions, Dean Arts Faculty and the faculty members of the social sciences, an innovative programme has now been introduced for students with interest in the social sciences.
The programme is devised over ten semesters to provide varied perspectives, encourage analytical skills and understanding for solving crucial problems confronted by contemporary society. The 3 year BA Honours, of six semesters, and 2 year MA Honours programme, of four semesters, has an exit option after 3 years. Students who complete the BA Honours programme can continue at the Master.s level in a discipline in which they have majored in semesters V and VI. The Integrated Five years Honours programme will provide foundational knowledge in Geography, History, Economics, Political Science, Sociology and Public Administration, alongwith an introduction to main concepts in Psychology, Philosophy and Natural Sciences, among other themes. Students will have the choice of opting for some other papers as per their interests, from the subjects of Philosophy, Psychology, Life sciences, Statistics, Law, Disaster Management, Contemporary Issues, Computer application, among others. Thus, providing a wide base of skills for understanding the society around them and the issues of contemporary times.
The integrated honours programme in social sciences is structured at three levels- discipline specific core papers; choice based credit electives and skill enhancing papers, as per the latest UGC requirements. Semester I-IV comprise of five core discipline specific papers; two choice based credit papers and one/two skill development papers. Semesters V-VI focus on one major discipline of the students choice with 3 specialized papers; one minor paper of an allied discipline; two choice based credit papers and one/two skill enhancement papers. Semester V-VI will have a written interdisciplinary project, of the students major choice, as well. The credits for each semester is 25 and the BA Honours has a total of 250 credits. At the MA level semester VII and VIII have two interdisciplinary papers, four discipline specific and two skill developing papers; while semesters IX and X comprise of four subject specific papers and skill enhancing work related to research.Each semester is of 25 credits and the MA component is of 100 credits.The integrated honours programme in social sciences is of 250 credits.
The Five Year Integrated Honours programme is a full time one, with English as the medium of instruction. It envisages a continous evaluation system through assignments, term papers and seminars,(50%) with an end semester examination(50%). Regular assignments/workshops on a weekly schedule will enhance not only perceptions but also comprehension, writing and analytical skills. The course will utilize a variety of instructional methods, including class interaction, tutorials, study of classical texts, case method, role playing, problem solving, library work and discussions.
Special lectures by eminent scholars are envisioned as part of the integrated programme and would expose students to some of the best minds in the field and this experiential learning would add to their understanding of the social sciences. The programme envisages a focus on logical reasoning, use of classical texts and development of writing skills to analyse and present evidence, through tutorials and a mentor system. The faculty members in the Panjab University campus social science departments, USOL, DES, and UILS would collectively participate in teaching this new programme.
The Integrated five year honours programme in social sciences intends to train students to become reflective and critical thinkers, independent learners and specially equipped in interdisciplinary skills for social analysis and research. The programme allows for indepth study in each discipline. It will prepare them with a strong foundation for teaching and research opportunities, competitive examinations and employment in civil society, government and the corporate sector. The five year integrated honours programme intends to provide additional perspectives to comprehend the significant issues of the region, nation and the world today. Our endeavor is to mould the students who come to us into remarkable young men and women who are leaders in the field they may choose to go into, and who will usher in change for a new, progressive tomorrow.
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