Module code: SOC2071

Module Overview

This module builds upon the knowledge that students have developed at level 1, and focuses on some key issues within the critical side of sociological thinking. It examines differences between forms of critical sociological explanation discussed within their socio-historical context and in relation to such broad issues as the nature of social organisation, the workings of power, and modes of everyday behaviour, and such more specific issues as inequality, capitalism, the culture, social change and environmental degradation. It also considers the value of each past and contemporary critical sociological perspective and of the more general critical sociological enterprise. 

Module provider


Module Leader

HALL Matthew (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

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:

  • The critical traditions of Marxism and Western Marxism

  • The critical tradition of feminism

  • Race critical theory

  • Environmentalist critiques

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework COMMENTARY 40

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

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

knowledge of the differences and similarities between different forms of critical sociological thinking and a capacity to apply them to their own experiences as social actors

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  •  A commentary giving students the opportunity to apply concepts and ideas covered on the module to a current social phenomenon (week 8)

  •  A choice between writing a critical review of a selected article OR writing a research proposal using theories/concepts from weeks 7-11 (Week 13)

Formative assessment and feedback

Verbal feedback in tutorials

Module aims

  • Cover some key paradigms within sociological theory
  • Consider the relevance today of these paradigms
  • Compare and evaluate critical and descriptive forms of sociological thinking 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Have an understanding of some key theoretical traditions within sociology, and the points of contention between them K
2 Have a sense of the relevance today of 19th and 20th Century sociological theory KC
3 Be able to use sociological concepts and theories to question widely held cultural assumptions and critically assess aspects of social organisation CT
4 Appreciate the different ways in which sociological thought can illuminate everyday life CT
5 Have developed skills in writing, in exam conditions, on pre-prepared topics PT

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 different forms of sociological thinking and encourage them to assess their respective applicability to the world around them.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • 11 lectures and 11 seminars OR student-centred learning (weekly 2-hour bloc) depending on student numbers

  • Weekly reading and seminar preparation

  • Seminar discussions

  • Summative commentary to encourage students to apply forms of sociological thinking to the world around them

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: SOC2071

Programmes this module appears in

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