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Sociology Syllabus

One of the reasons why sociology is a popular optional is because of its short syllabus. There are 2 sociology papers - Paper 1 is Fundamentals of Sociology. It deals with concepts related to society developed mainly by western scholars. Paper 2 deals with the study of Indian society.
Download the complete UPSC sociology optional syllabus in PDF.

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Sociology Online Course

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Sociology Classroom Course

Sociology classroom course at IAS Gurukul is focussed on helping the classroom students clear the Civil Services Examination by ensuring...

Sociology Optional UPSC


Sociology optional is one of the most popular optional subjects in the UPSC Civil Services Examination. Many students with sociology optional typically clear the IAS exam year after year. Syllabus is limited and the concepts can be grasped with a person who has no academic background in the subject.

At IAS Gurukul, located in Delhi, we attempt to provide one of the best Sociology optional coaching classes in India. Sociology at IAS Gurukul is taught by Pranay Aggarwal, who (with his years of experience teaching sociology to CSE aspirants) is regarded as one of the leading sociology optional teachers and UPSC preparation faculty in India.

Sociology Optional Course: Key Features

Sociology courses at IAS Gurukul offer students several advantages, such as coverage of the complete syllabus, focus on conceptual clarity, personal interaction to clarify doubts and mentoring, daily revision, emphasis on answer writing, UPSC pattern Mock Tests series, updated Study Material, Daily Doubts Clearing, Personal Attention to every student, Online Backup of missed classes, highlighting of linkages with current affairs, latest studies & reports to fetch more marks in the exam and Lifelong Association & Support.

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Students at IAS Gurukul are encouraged to think for themselves, develop powers of critical analysis, and focus on clarifying their concepts and to continuously engage in debate and discussion. Learning at IAS Gurukul therefore is a continuous affair for the faculty as well as the students. Classes are decidedly and deliberately interactive which, in our assessment and experience, produces better results.

Sociology optional Online and Offline Classes

Sociology regular classroom batches at IAS Gurukul have limited seats. Large numbers of students who are unable to secure a seat or cannot travel to Delhi for classes opt for our Sociology Online course which is also hugely popular amongst the UPSC aspirants and is availed by students across the country.

About Us

IAS Gurukul is India’s leading institute for sociology optional preparation for the civil services examination.117 of our registered students were selected in CSE 2020 and 65 of our students were selected in CSE 2019 by UPSC.

Pranay Aggarwal is the Sociology faculty at IAS Gurukul. He has mentored thousands of civil services aspirants, several of whom have been successful. He has qualified the UGC NET examination for Assistant Professorship in Sociology, conducted by the CBSE for the Ministry of HRD, Government of India.

He has studied till the Masters level and has completed a course in Classical Sociological Theory from the University of Amsterdam and a course in International Women's Health and Human Rights from Stanford University (USA).

He is a member of the UNESCO-established International Sociological Association and a member of its Research Committee RC04 on Sociology of Education.

What's New!


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Pranay Aggarwal write for The Hindu newspaper regarding selection of optional for the IAS exam.


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What makes you a worthy UPSC Aspirant?

  • ✓ Small Syllabus: Covered well fully in 3.5 months
  • ✓ Consistent results: 130+ selections in CSE Every Year since 2011
  • ✓ High Scoring: Realistically possible to score 300+
  • ✓ Easy to understand
  • ✓ No prior background required
  • ✓ Overlaps with GS and Essay papers
  • ✓ Limited books to be read
  • ✓ Interesting subject matter
    It is suggested that one’s preparation strategy should be simple, time bound and ensure coverage of the full syllabus of the sociology papers. Some important pointers to keep in mind while preparing for sociology optional are shared below. Make them a part of your sociology preparation strategy:
  1. Restrict yourself to a limited number of sources such as class notes and few standard books.
  2. Focus on conceptual clarity- whether by attending classes, online lectures or referring to books.
  3. Adhere to a timeline to complete the optional - Devote sufficient time to optional preparation but no more. Do not fritter away the advantage of choosing a short syllabus optional subject by stretching your preparation to more than the required time.
  4. Doubts clearing- Always clear your doubts with your mentor. Do not hesitate.
  5. Regular answer writing- Start writing answers alongside your preparation. Do not leave it for later. The more answer writing you do, better and more confident you will be at it.
  6. Multiple revisions- Attempt at least 2 full revisions of the whole syllabus before the actual exam.
Approx. 3.5 to 4 months.
6 in Paper 1 and 3 in Paper 2.
Yes. Sociology is a very generic subject and is not technical. It does not require any prior expertise or knowledge. The subject is very relatable. You can understand it well even when you begin with a layman’s understanding of society. In fact, 95% UPSC aspirants with sociology optional do not have an academic background in it. The same holds true for those who eventually clear the exam.
For Paper 1- refer Essential Sociology by Seema & Nitin Sangwan and Sociology Themes and Perspectives by Haralambos & Holborn (selectively). Use these along with your class notes. For Paper 2- refer Essential Sociology by Seema & Nitin Sangwan and Sociology of Indian Society by CN Shankar Rao. Use these along with your class notes.
Since 2011, every year more than 130 students with Sociology Optional are selected by UPSC in the Civil Services. Data is available on the UPSC website till CSE 2017, which is as follows:
Civil Services Exam Year No. of Final Selections with Sociology optional
CSE 2011 177
CSE 2012 230
CSE 2013 150
CSE 2014 193
CSE 2015 173
CSE 2016 132
CSE 2017 137
Simply, ask! You can clarify your doubts with Sir in class or outside classroom, in person or on phone. Call him on 85870 80919 to ask your doubts.
Yes, answer writing is a part of every course offered by IAS Gurukul. You will be regularly given Test Assignments to continuously evaluate your preparation of each syllabus topic.
Yes. Your answer submissions will be evaluated, awarded marks and comments given wherever required to improve the content and answer presentation.
Yes, you can. You are welcome to meet or call Sir to clarify any doubts at any stage of your preparation.
Yes. While the class notes are comprehensive, you are advised to refer some standard books alongside the course.
Call Hari Bhandari on 99996 93744 for course- related queries and Pranay Aggarwal Sir on 93104 36695 for academic doubts.



Jagrati Awasthi, IAS, AIR 2, CSE 2020

Approach Pranay Aggarwal Sir, ask him about the doubts because you should not leave any kind of conceptual problem. Whenever you have any doubts, you can approach him, call him or meet him…Thank you, IAS Gurukul.


Meera K, IAS, All India Rank 6, CSE 2020

To all the students of IAS Gurukul, you have a very good mentor and very good system in place there.. I think that is exactly what is required for sociology.


Maithreyi Naidu, IFS, All India Rank 27, CSE 2020

I wish the students of IAS Gurukul all the very best in CSE. You have Sir here. You can always access him and try to get your doubts cleared. You have classes going on, you have material. Ask Sir how you can improve your answer writing.


Vinayak Chamadia, IAS, All India Rank 47, CSE 2020

Pranay Sir has quite a lot of experience teaching sociology. He has mentored a lot of students. So follow whatever he tells and you will succeed. Thank you, Sir.


Adarsh Shukla, IPS, AIR-149, CSE 2020

Sir’s methodology of those three steps - that is quite critical and i found that very instrumental. I’ll just say that utilize that experience that you are having in this institution. Thank you.


Shrikant Yashvant, IAS, AIR-335, CSE 2020

IAS Gurukul is a very prestigious mentorship program. I have seen Pranay Sir’s attitude towards the aspirants.Thank you very much IAS Gurukul and thank you very much Pranay Sir.


Kavali Meghana, IAS, AIR-83, CSE 2020

To all the students of IAS Gurukul, all the efforts that Sir and you guys are putting will only show when you have constant tests…So get in touch with Sir, write and present well. Thank you very much, Sir.


Sanjita Mohapatra, IAS, AIR-10, CSE 2019

To all the students of IAS Gurukul, you have taken a very good decision. If you are studying here, you have a mentor. Use that mentor judiciously. He knows so much. Extract as much as you can. Thank you so much, IAS Gurukul.


Shrestha Anupam, IAS, All India Rank 19, CSE 2019

To the students of IAS Gurukul, I wish you a bright future ahead. I agree with whatever Pranay Sir does, they definitely work in the examination. Definitely answer writing is a very important part of this examination.


Ruchi Bindal, IAS, All India Rank 39, CSE 2019

I wish the students of IAS Gurukul all the best. Have faith in yourself, have faith in the teacher. The teacher is there after a lot of experience.. So listen to the teacher’s experience. There is interaction in the class.


Harshit Kumar, IAS, All India Rank 150, CSE 2019

IAS Gurukul is a very reputed coaching institute for sociology. Sir has taught for a lot of years and has been giving consistent results throughout. I recommend you listen to what he is teaching, ask your doubts and write a lot of tests.


Jasmeet Sandhu, IAS, All India Rank 3, CSE 2015

You require good mentors, right? I have had Pranay Aggarwal Sir as an overall mentor. I have utilized his understanding in test series. Teachers like Pranay Sir have given me an overall mentorship.


Amrita Banerjee, Indian Foreign Service, All Indian Rank 110, CSE 2015

Pranay Sir and his team are doing commendable work as mentors. Pranay Sir gives individual and personalized attention to each student. He is a very approachable person. You can anytime walk up to his room and clarify your doubts.


Sharnga Pani, Sr. Deputy Collector, SDM Office, Muzaffarpur District, Bihar

I joined sociology classroom course of Pranay Aggarwal Sir in 2015. I will recommend his classes to those taking up sociology optional. I greatly benefited from his guidance. After 5 years of my coaching, I am still in touch with Sir.


Gundala Reddy Raghavendra, IPS, All India Rank 180, CSE 2018

I will strongly recommend those who have science background like me to take sociology optional in IAS Gurukul. I thank Pranay Sir. He personally mentored me and did not hesitate to help me till last few days of my journey.


Rohan Apurv Sinha, IAS Gurukul's Online Sociology Course Student, 2020

Hands down the best sociology optional teacher you would get. He makes you think and not just teach. Best thing is he is available anytime...just call him or ping him, he'll be there and not just for sociology but for whole preparation.


Akhila, IAS Gurukul's Online Sociology Course Student, 2020

I took the online classes. I must say it's really worth of it. It's a 5 🌟 from my side. Sir's dedication and commitment towards the class is 10 on 10.


Abhinav Pareek, IAS Gurukul's Online Sociology Course Student, 2020

Sociology is a subject of diverse opinions and Sir surely knows that. He has holistically covered all the topics, his Class never feels like a burden. I'm glad I studied from sir.


Dr. Lovely Chaudhary, IAS Gurukul's Online Sociology Course Student, 2020

Being a medical student, I was very unsure whether my choice of sociology as an optional subject for UPSC was good. But Pranay Sir has made studying sociology a cakewalk. Thank you so much for making it so easy Sir.


Manika Upadhyaya, IAS Gurukul student in 2018

My experience at IAS Gurukul was marvellous. I enjoyed as well as learnt a lot about Society in a short span of time. Sir explains topics really well, provides questions regularly and dictates notes wherever necessary.

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