Module code: SOC3084

Module Overview

This module examines the sociological understanding of travel and tourism. It begins by examining the historical social conditions that gave rise to what we have today come to call mass tourism. Building on the idea that travel and tourism now play a key role in people’s lives, the course examines core concepts in this area; namely ‘the tourist gaze’ and ‘authenticity’. The module applies these concepts, amongst wider theories, to different forms of travel available to people today. Exploring the significance of holiday parks, party islands, backpacking and studying abroad are used as weekly case studies to develop a theoretical understanding of people’s motivations and experiences of tourism.

Module provider


Module Leader

SEAL Alexander (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 6

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 22

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

Understanding the social conditions that have expanded opportunties for travel and tourism;

Examining motivations for travel;

Exploring different modes of travel (e.g. backpacking, gap year travel and studying abroad);

How people expereince being abroad (e.g. mass tourism vs ‘authentic’ travel);

Social Class and Travel;

Travel as a lifestyle.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1500 WORD REFLEXIVE REPORT 40
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The summative assessment for this module consists of:

1500 Reflexive Report submitted mid-way through the course in which students self-analyse a holiday or travel experience they have had through either the concepts of ‘the tourist gaze’ or ‘authenticity’;

2000 Word Essay submitted at the end of the course in which students demonstrate their understanding of a particular topic through their choice of a theoretical discussion based on reading or through a research project on that topic.

Formative assessment & feedback:

Students are encouraged to undertake preparatory reading for each session and to engage in peer review and feedback during classroom discussion. All questions are then discussed in formative group feedback between lecturer and students.

Students also have the opportunity to produce a formative essay plan prior to submission of each assessment component and to discuss this plan with the lecturer. Classroom time is devoted to discussion and feedback concerning essay and exam techniques.

Module aims

  • Identify a range of theories that explore motivations for and experiences of travel
  • To explore different forms of travel (backpacking, party islands, cultural tourism)
  • Develop skills of critical thinking and applying theoretical understandings to case studies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a critical understanding of a wide range of theoretical perspectives, which seek to explain the origins, nature and workings of travel and tourism
002 Understand the way in motivations for travel are linked to social divisions
003 Have an understanding of the ways in which travel and tourism industries capitalise on people’s motivations and desires for different types of tourism

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:

Convey key information to students through the use of interactive lectures, classroom discussions based on preparatory reading and film/TV/internet clips which acts as the focus for activities and discussion. Verbal formative feedback is given throughout.

The learning and teaching methods include:

11 x 2 hour sessions consisting of both lecture and seminar discussion;

Weekly reading and seminar preparation;

Two Formative essay plans (0%).

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: SOC3084

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Sociology BA (Hons) 1 Optional 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.