UNDERSTANDING SEXUALITIES - 2025/6

Module code: SOC3083

Module Overview

The module explores human sexuality from diverse perspectives and across different topic areas, but central to the module is a sociological approach that regards sexuality as primarily a social construction. The module provides a global perspective on sexuality, drawing on studies and theories from many different societies, whilst paying attention to the historical and scientific roots of sexuality. Topics cover issues related to the diversity of experience related to sexuality and sexual identity, recognizing too the interconnectivity of sexuality with other social identities and sources of social division e.g gender, ethnicity, age, amongst others. The module covers several specific areas of sexuality, which allows students to connect academic topics with ‘real-world’ examples and write critically, analytically and logically thereby increasing employability. The module requires students to undertake individual and group level formative work, thereby enhancing skills of resourcefulness and resilience.

Module provider

Sociology

Module Leader

HALL Matthew (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: 95

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Tutorial Hours: 11

Guided Learning: 11

Captured Content: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

None

Module content

The module is divided into two sections. The first section, sexuality in context, explores our understandings of sexuality in relation to science, history, the social sciences (including sociology) and examines how understanding sexuality means engaging with questions of power, diversity, difference and normativity. The second section, sexuality in society, focuses on three topic case studies to illustrate how ideas and understandings about sexuality has ‘real-world’ impacts. Included in the content of the module are:


  • The scientific study of sexuality

  • The sociology of sexuality

  • Sexuality in historical and global perspective

  • Deconstructing heterosexuality

  • Understanding and questioning categories of sexuality

  • Sexuality and home

  • Sexuality and the workplace

  • Pornographication and the sexualisation of childhood


Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Critical Review 40
Coursework Case Study Essay 60

Alternative Assessment

N/A

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through critical engagement with a wide range of scholarly material.

 

  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:


  • a critical review of a piece of Sexualities literature (one of the essential readings from weeks 2-6 of the module). This assessment addresses learning outcomes 1,2 and 4

  • a case study essay based on using material from weeks 8-10 of the module. This assessment addresses leading outcomes 3 and 4.



 

Formative assessment

Weekly pre-workshop reading/exercises and within workshop activities are designed to build confidence and learning for the summative assessments. For example, pre-workshop reading, questions, discussions in weeks 2-6 are designed to support to writing of Assessment 1. Similarly, workshop exercises, including group poster exercises, in weeks 8-10 are designed to support the writing of Assessment 2. In addition, students watch a pre-recorded video for each assignment (covering format, guidance on structure and writing), as well as two class workshops (week 7 and 11) designed to review topics and address questions related to the assessments. Students can also book or a one-to-one tutorial with the module leader to discuss their assessment plans.

 

Feedback

Students receive weekly verbal formative feedback on workshop activities. Some workshop activities e.g padlet exercises also received written formative feedback. Students create posters in weeks 8-10 to coalesce their workshop discussions and these are collected by the module leader, digitized and given summative feedback on SurreyLearn. Formative feedback is provided in Grademark for both assessments. Students can also book a pre-assessment tutorial with the module leader to talk about their assessment plans. Students can also follow-up on summative feedback provided on summative assessments with the module leader during office/tutorial hours.

Module aims

  • Enable students to identify, examine and critically engage with different approaches to the social construction of sexuality in society
  • Develop students' abilities to communicate issues related to sexuality through specific written formats for both academic and non-academic audiences
  • Develop student's critical understanding of the social organisation, regulation and practice of sexuality in key institutions in society

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 KC
002 Understand the way in which sexuality interacts with other social divisions KC
003 Understand how sexuality is framed by key social institutions in specific settings KC
004 Communicate issues related to sexuality through specific written formats for both academic and non-academic audiences 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:

Enable students to gain key knowledge related to the social construction of sexualities through short lectures and interactives workshops. The module follow a ‘zig zag’ design that enable students to learn about a topic, engage in independent study for a week and then share their learning in the following week’s workshop. Students are encouraged to find contemporary examples e.g. media stories, newly published research to apply what they have learned from lectures and reading. The module also lends itself to exploit current affairs, to host contributions from guest speakers virtually or in-person and to incorporate key events in the equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) calendar e.g. LGBT+ History Month, IDAHOT Day.  

Teaching methods used on the module include: interactive lectures, seminars, tutorials, guided reading, interactive poster exercises, creating padlet infographics, classroom debates/discussions, Q&A exercises based on essential readings.

The learning and teaching strategy are designed to facilitate the assessment strategy and to develop core skills related to transferable and employability skills.

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

https://readinglists.surrey.ac.uk
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC3083

Other information

The Department of Sociology is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability, and Resourcefulness and Resilience. This module enhances students skills in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, and Resourcefulness and Resilience.

 

Digital capabilities.

Students will be required to engage with digital information technologies (such as Surrey Learn, Surrey Search, Google Scholar) to access and utilise academic and media sources for class tasks and assignments. They will also be expected to use a digital platform such as padlet to share and communicate relevant information in workshops.

 

Employability

Students will develop a range of transferrable skills including critical thinking, reading and writing skills, analysis and evaluation skills, verbal communication skills, and the ability to construct and support a well-evidenced argument. Assessment 2 is particularly ‘authentic’ in that it mirrors real-life tasks that graduates might be expected to complete in a range of relevant careers such as gathering, analyzing and conveying key information on a case study topic.

 

Global and cultural capabilities

The module has been designed to draw on both local and global examples to illustrate topics covered in most of the sessions. Students will learn explicitly about the colonial history and legacy of sexualities scholarship/knowledge and the globalization of it. They will also develop their understanding of ways that sexuality intersects with other sources of diversity and social difference, such as class, gender and ethnicity, thus developing intercultural competencies.

 

Resourcefulness and resilience

Students will be required to independently plan and write assignments, as well as engaging with digital teaching resources. They will build their confidence and engagement through participation in workshop discussions and activities, thus contributing to a supportive learning community.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Media and Communication BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
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

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.