Surrey University Stag


Module code: SOCM074

Module Overview

This module will examine the sociological understanding of human sexuality. It begins with a critical analysis of the various theoretical approaches to the study of sexuality, and the implications they contain for our understanding of the origin, nature and regulation of human sexuality. Building on this theoretical understanding the remainder of the course will explore the culturally and socially varied ways in which sexual desire and its resultant identities have been conceptualised, deployed and regulated in a variety of social institutions and practices Overview This module will examine understandings of human sexuality emanating from a range of perspectives. It begins with a critical analysis of various scientific approaches to the study of sexuality, and the implications they contain for our understanding of the origin, nature and regulation of human sexuality. It contrasts these to sociological approaches, before the remainder of the module explores the culturally and socially varied ways in which sexuality has been conceptualised, deployed and regulated in a range of social institutions and practices.

Module provider


Module Leader

KING Andrew (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

JACs code:

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 118

Lecture Hours: 10

Seminar Hours: 10

Practical/Performance Hours: 2

Guided Learning: 10

Module Availability

Semester 2

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

This includes learning about:

  • Scientific approaches to understanding sexuality

  • Sociological approaches to understanding sexuality

  • The relationship between sexuality and other social divisions

  • The social organisation of and practice of sexuality in society, using a range of case studies

  • Social control, power and resistance in relation to sexuality

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Review of a piece of Sexualities literature 40
Coursework Policy Brief 40
Oral exam or presentation Presentation of Summary of Policy Brief 20

Alternative Assessment

If unable to undertake the presentation, a 500 word executive summary of the policy brief can be submitted

Assessment Strategy

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

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A 1500 word Critical Review of Piece of Sexualities literature, chosen from a selection of essential readings weeks 2-6.

  • A 2000 word policy brief, based around the topics of the workshops weeks 8-10

  • A 10 minute recorded presentation, outlining the key points of the policy brief i.e a verbal executive summary

Formative assessment is provided through the optional submission of assignment plans

Feedback - is ongoing and provided during workshops, through informal submitted class exercises, in response to Discussion Board posts, in email correspondence and on formative assignment plans.

Module aims

  • To identify and scrutinise different approaches to the social construction of sexuality in society
  • To explore the social organisation, regulation and practice of sexuality in key institutions in society
  • To explore issues relating to sexuality, social control, power and resistance

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Have a critical understanding of a wide range of theoretical perspectives, which seek to explain the origins, nature and regulation of human sexuality CKPT
002 Understand the way in which sexuality interacts with other social divisions CKPT
003 Have an understanding of the social organization of sexuality and the way this is enacted in a variety of social institutions CKPT

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 and written formative feedback is given throughout.

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: SOCM074

Other information


Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Sex, Gender and Sexualities MSc 2 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 50% 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 2024/5 academic year.