Module code: SOC1038

Module Overview

Within this module we will begin to explore 20th century sociological thinkers and how they offer key perspectives that inform our understanding of everyday life (Cf. Scott 2009).  This involves exploring ideas of social order (Parsons and his critics) and rituals and routines (Chicago school, Strauss Goffman, ethnomethodology). We conclude the module with a discussion of critical issues including feminism. 

Module provider


Module Leader

EVERGETI Venetia (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: 106

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:


1.      Introduction to the Hobbsian ‘problem of order’

2.      Chicago School of Sociology; first generation, symbolic interactionism, Goffman, Strauss

3.      Parsons and his critics (Habermas, C W Mills)

4.      Ethnomethodology

5.      Critical Issues and Feminism

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COURSEWORK 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have developed an understanding of these core thinkers and can ‘think critically/reflect’ with this knowledge. The assessment is linked to the learning aims and outcomes of the module and it aims to encourage students to think critically – both about the traditional theories covered and contemporary societies.


Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

One essay which counts for 100% of the final mark.


Formative assessment and feedback

Students are encouraged to submit a 1 page essay plan prior to the essay deadline.  They then receive one-to-one oral feedback on this plan. Feedback takes the form of suggestions of how to develop their essay and their critical engagement with the literature. Students also receive ongoing feedback throughout the semester through in-class discussions and interactive activities as well through the feedback and consultation office hours.

Module aims

  • To introduce students to the ‘problem of order' and to encourage them to consider this a key issue in all societies
  • To introduce students to key 20th century sociological theorists – and especially their work on ‘social order and social change'
  • To encourage students to think critically – both about these theories and 21st century/contemporary societies

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Have developed an initial understanding of some key aspects of contemporary sociological theory, laying the groundwork for further study in this area K
2 Have a good understanding of the types of questions and issues which concerned sociology/sociological theory in the 20th century K
3 Be able to (critically) apply theory to their own sociological work KCT
4 Be familiar and comfortable with the notion of ‘thinking sociologically KCP

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: introduce students to core ideas from 20th century sociological theory and encourage them to think about how these help us to ‘think sociologically’ about our everyday lives.

The learning and teaching methods include:

Weekly lectures and seminars (where ideas are explored through more interactive group activities); guided learning activities on Surrey Learn and during the seminars, captured content and the provision of core readings and other material on SurreyLearn to support Independent Learning.  

At the end of each week, students are ecouraged to reflect on their notes from lectures, seminars, readings, activities and notes about how they link.  They are encouraged to ‘drop-in’ in the feedback and consultation office hours each week if things are unclear or if they would like to further discuss the material covered.

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: SOC1038

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology and Sociology 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 2022/3 academic year.