Module code: SOC1037

Module Overview

The module provides a critical introduction to a range of specific topic areas of importance to contemporary sociology, with an emphasis on recent and contemporary debates in each as well as the discussion of seminal studies and core foundations. The precise range of topics covered may vary from year to year, partly in order to respond to recent developments, but the aim is to enhance students’ understanding of sociological thinking and research through reference to a range of example topics

Module provider


Module Leader

HARMAN Vicki (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

The module covers a range of core and emerging topics in contemporary sociology. Precise content may vary from year to year in order to accommodate contemporary questions. The following list is indicative. 

  • Changing nature of the family

  • Constructing sexuality

  • Sociology, psychiatry and the self

  • Sociology, deviance and the self

  • Sociology, community and the self

  • Work and the workplace

  • Education 

  • The environment

  • Technology

  • Globalization and culture


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1500 WORD ESSAY 50
Coursework 1500 WORD MEDIA ARTICLE 50

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge of different topics, issues and sociological modes of analysis and their capacity to engage critically with the latter.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

·         One 1500 word essay on the topics and issues discussed in the first half of the module

·         One 1500 media article on the topics and issues discussed in the second half of the module

Formative assessment and feedback

Students will receive formative feedback on group tasks done in class and they will be provided written feedback on their assignments. Feedback from assignment 1 will be given in advance of assignment 2. Students are also given the opportunity to engage with the guidance given for both and are given space to ask questions and get feedback on their plans. 

Module aims

  • Introduce students to a range of specific topics of importance to contemporary sociology
  • Connect classic studies and arguments with contemporary issues and points of discussion in relation to these topics
  • Utilize the topics covered to enhance students' appreciation of sociological ways of thinking about and researching the world

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Appreciate the range of questions and topics with which contemporary sociology engages K
002 Identify some of the continuities and contrasts between classic studies/arguments and contemporary contributions in relation to the topics covered K
003 Recognize specific questions and approaches integral to each topic at the same time as identifying conceptual connections between them C
004 Understand the ways in which different topic areas can draw upon broader sociological ways of thinking C
005 Collate, outline and evaluate the key perspectives on selected topics through written expression CT

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 a broad range of concrete topics and issues which sociologists have sought to analyse, with the aim of stimulating their interest in these phenomena and developing their own analytical skills

The learning and teaching methods include:

 11 x 2 hour sessions of lectures and seminars

Weekly readings and seminar preparation.

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: SOC1037

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 2025/6 academic year.