Department of Human Behavioral Sciences
About Department of Human Behavioral Sciences
Research and education conducted in this department aim towards a comprehensive and interdisciplinary understanding of the special qualities of human behavior and the relationship of human beings to societies and cultures in light of the various problems faced by modern society, such as educational issues and cultural conflict. The work in this department emphasizes analysis, understanding and theorization based on empirical data and behavioral science methodologies such as fieldwork and experiments. By requiring students to gain an understanding of empirical research methodologies in the behavioral sciences, this department aims to help students develop their abilities to objectively observe real people and societies. Courses in this department will cultivate individuals suited not only to research professions at universities and research institutes but equipped with a high level of professional knowledge and expertise in the fields of education and welfare as well as the information industry and government offices. This department consists of the following courses based on academic focus and research methodologies: Sociology, Psychology, Education, and Geography.
Features and Content
Through the study of advanced sociological knowledge that analyzes the correlations between humans and society, the Sociology Course aims to develop human resources who can play an active role in society as highly-skilled professionals, as well as enhancing their qualifications as researchers.
At present, graduate students in this course are working hard on their own research topics. As for employment, Ph.D. students have assumed education and research positions at universities and research institutes. Graduates of the master's program go onto the Ph.D. program, as well as increasingly finding employment in general fields, as public servants, as teachers, and in NPOs. The presence of a large number of international students is another characteristic of the Sociology Course. Students present their research at the Japanese Sociological Society, Kansai Sociological Association, the Japan Association for Media, Journalism and Communication Studies, and elsewhere.
Since its founding, the Sociology Course has promoted a good balance between basic theoretical research (such as family and cultural sociology) and empirical research (such as urban sociology). Therefore, it offers a hands-on curriculum in which issues are approached from both theoretical and methodological perspectives through lectures and seminars. Starting in the 2010 academic year, it became possible for students to obtain certification as a “Professional Social Researcher” from the Japan Association for Social Research by taking subjects in this course.
Graduate students in the Sociology Course are provided with a variety of opportunities to deepen their own research topics, in addition to learning through classes, primarily lectures and seminars. All graduate students must take a class in which they present their own research and listen to that of others as part of their master's/ doctoral thesis preparation. All faculty members also participate. In addition, as a teaching assistant (TA) for “Sociology Practice,” a specialized subject in the School of Literature and Human Sciences, and other lecture subjects, students are given the opportunity to train while participating in educational practice.
The Department of Sociology has published a peer-reviewed journal since 2000 as a medium for graduate students to present their research. Many graduate students have used the journal as a training opportunity to develop their research before submitting their papers to national and specialized academic journals.
* Entitled Osaka City University Journal of Sociology because it was first published at Osaka City University.
The Graduate School of Human Sciences offers a master’s program and a doctoral program in Psychology, with a maximum enrollment of four and two students, respectively. The Psychology course aims to train researchers in the fundamental fields of psychology and create individuals with a high level of expertise who will be able to address the various problems facing contemporary society from a psychological perspective. We aim to achieve this through education and research supervision rooted in experimental psychology in the specialized fields of behavior and physiology, cognition and development, and society and culture. Hence, we have devised systems for education and research that emphasize empirical scientific methodologies; students are able to study and research various topics ranging from foundational to applied psychology in all fields, except for clinical psychology. The course is also fully equipped with laboratories and a broad range of experimental equipment.
The Psychology course provides education and research supervision rooted in experimental psychology in the specialized fields of behavior and physiology, cognition and development, and society and culture.
The cornerstone of the master’s program is a general psychology class “Advanced Studies in Fundamental Topics in Psychology” and its related seminars, as well as a methodological class “Advanced Studies in Experimental Psychology” and its related seminars. Students also take “Research on Special Topics in Psychology A and B” and its related seminars or enroll for elective classes from those offered by the Sociology, Education, and Geography courses. Students also take two classes from “Research in Human Behavioral Sciences A, B, C, and D,” which are classes shared with the Department of Human Behavioral Sciences. In addition, students must take the “Supervision of Master’s Thesis” module for the purpose of writing their master’s thesis and receiving guidance from their supervisor in this regard. Students in the doctoral program are required to take the “Thesis Guidance” module implemented by their supervisor, thus receiving specific guidance from their supervisor for writing their doctoral thesis.
This course focuses on studying the organization and methods of school education. We adopt an educational historical approach that examines related topics in terms of how they have developed and changed over time, alongside an international comparative approach that examines these topics in terms of their global scope.
Recent doctoral theses written by students include “An Empirical Study of Methods for Developing Children’s Self-Evaluation Skills” and “Generating Meaning through Physical Expression in Musical Appreciation Classes: From the Perspective of Dewey’s Theory of Communication.” Recent master’s theses include “Student Council Activities as Citizenship Education: A Study Using Bernard Crick’s Political Literacy Tree,” “The Significance of Professional Development and Classroom Research in the Teaching Profession: Focusing on the Changes in Collaborative Teacher Culture in China,” and “The Current Status of the Board of Education’s Collegiate System: An Analysis of the Minutes of the Board of Education.”
We publish the research journal Studies in Education of Osaka City University Education Society once a year. The journal contains papers written by faculty members and graduate students, and decisions regarding the suitability for publication are made through peer review. Individuals who have completed their study in the course and are currently engaged in research at universities also contribute research essays in the form of short reports. The latter part of the journal comprises the yearly bulletin of the Department of Education, and a list of doctoral theses, master’s theses, and graduation theses.
We plan and organize the Educational Research Forum several times a year, thus providing a space for faculty members and graduate students to present their research results. We also sometimes invite guest speakers to participate in the forum. Joint seminars (online) are held with overseas universities and other institutions.
Career paths of students from this graduate school include teaching at elementary, middle, and high schools; teaching at universities; and civil service.
Studies in Education of Osaka City University Education Society was first published in 1975 as an academic journal of the Department of Education of the Faculty of Literature at OCU. From Issue 29 (2003), the editorial rules were clearly defined, and a peer review system was introduced. With the inauguration of the Osaka City University Education Society in AY 2011, from Issue 38 the journal was renewed as Issue 1 of Studies in Education of Osaka City University Education Society, and in the 2022 academic year, the academic society will become the Osaka Metropolitan University Education Society (tentative name).
In the Geography course, students can study various fields in geography, including urban and economic geography, cultural and social geography, political geography, and geographic information theory. We provide an environment that is conducive to research in terms of both hardware and software, with a focus on education in small groups. There are also a large number of independent research groups, some comprising a combination of faculty members and graduate students, others with solely graduate students, and others with collaborations between courses and graduate schools. Our goal is to foster graduate students who are skilled in fieldwork, who are sensitive to the issues of the contemporary world, and who have a holistic approach to thought and action. We also have an active program of research exchange with overseas universities and take a proactive approach to accepting international students. We have built up a wealth of experience of accepting students from other universities, and with inclusive supervision, more than 30 such students have already taken up research positions at universities and other similar organizations. As a center for graduate-level learning in the Kansai Region in the field of human geography, we have established a reputation for excellence in research, education, social contribution, and international exchange.
Students in the master’s program will focus on writing their master’s thesis while taking classes with an emphasis on seminars. Students in the doctoral program are required to make oral presentations at academic conferences and submit papers to academic journals. Students are also encouraged to make presentations at international conferences. While there are no particular restrictions on the research topics of graduate students, it perceived that in recent years many have chosen to specialize in urban research. Both master’s and doctoral students are assigned a chief supervisor and an assistant supervisor, respectively, to provide detailed one-on-one supervision. Students are eligible to request a doctoral degree after completing the third year of the doctoral program. As a general rule, students are required to submit at least three papers published in peer-reviewed journals and at least 300–400 pages of original content on 400-character manuscript by the designated submission date. A student was granted a doctorate of letters in AY 2006, three students in AY 2008, one student in AY 2009, and one student in AY 2011.
Work with Academic Societies
We are primarily active with the Human Geographical Society of Japan, and many students and staff from this course are active as researchers at the COE Urban-Culture Research Center and Urban Research Plaza.