Module code: SOC1047

Module Overview

This module aims to provide a critical and reflexive approach to everyday popular cultural forms and practices, paying
close attention to everyday and mediatised practices. The course covers the everyday significance of contemporary
cultural and media forms, including visual/screen media; therapeutic culture and celebrity/tabloid culture. It also focuses
upon the analysis of consumer culture, the social significance of phenomena such as music and fashion and the
distinction between popular and high forms of culture.

Module provider


Module Leader

SEAL Alexander (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • Why it is important to understand and explain popular culture and everyday life

  • Understandings of consumer and leisure cultures

  • Notions of subculture and of fan cultures.

  • The growth of tabloid, entertainment and celebrity culture

  • The relationship between aesthetics, everyday life and popular culture

  • The construction of distinctions between popular and ‘high’ form of culture.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1000 word critical appraisal 40
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate

Assessment one is focused particularly on students’ ability to independently identify and critically discuss different forms of literature (lo5), but the substance of this discussion also entails and assessment of all the other learning outcomes. Assessment two focuses directly on learning outcomes on use of literature and critical commentary (lo5 and 6) but also tests awareness, understanding, ability to deploy appropriate vocabulary and relating areas of cultural and media sociology to wider debates. It is specifically intended that the skills developed in assessment one will feed into work on assessment two.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • 1000 word critical appraisal of two journal articles around a theme covered on the module

  • Essay (2000 words), requiring students to select one from a list of specific questions pertaining to different topics or debates covered on the module.

Formative assessment and feedback

Students gain formative feedback throughout the semester via the interaction of their ideas with peers and the seminar tutor. There are also limited discussions in the lecture whereby ideas are exchanged and the lecturer provides feedback. All students are encouraged to ask questions and test ideas in relation to the assignments during the weeks preceding their submission.

Module aims

  • To provide an introduction to theoretical understandings of contemporary popular culture
  • To explore a range of topics relating to such understandings, from consumer and leisure cultures, to celebrity culture to
    understandings of popular and high art
  • To enable students to connect specific topics relating to the study of popular culture with broader understandings of media
    and of society

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Understand sociological and cultural studies approaches to popular mediatised culture KC
002 Demonstrate an awareness of current debates with respect to consumer culture, visual culture, fashion, popular music and broader theories of popular culture KC
003 Deploy appropriate vocabulary in the academic discussion of popular culture and everyday life KT
004 Independently search for, identify and discuss appropriate literature relating to popular culture and everyday life PT
005 Produce written critical commentary which demonstrates an understanding of theories of popular culture and everyday life KPT
006 Relate substantive areas in cultural and media sociology to wider theoretical understandings of popular culture and everyday life KCT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Lectures focus upon providing a core background, enthusing students about the significance and importance of the topics and arguments, and enabling the understanding of core concepts and examples. Seminars enable students to develop greater depth of understanding through practical exercises and discussions centred on reading and connecting to key concepts from the lecture.

The learning and teaching methods include:

The teaching strategy consists of 11 x 1 hour lectures and 11 x 1 hour seminars. Students complete compulsory readings each week as preparation for the seminar discussions.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC1047

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Media and Communication BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sociology BSc (Hons) 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2020/1 academic year.