Introduction to Social Policy (core)
This module will introduce you to the history of social policy, alongside the intellectual approaches that have informed policy developments from the early twentieth century to the present day. You will explore the links between theoretical analysis and empirical enquiry with respect to a range of contemporary issues, such as health and health promotion, education, work and unemployment, housing, ageing, child care, youth, and disability.
Case Studies in Social Policy (core)
This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policy-making processes as they relate to the themes and topics discussed in ‘Introduction to Social Policy’. As such, it aims to deepen your understanding, and encourage you to begin to apply your knowledge to the study of social policy in practice.
Sociological Imagination 1 and 2 (core)
Together, these two core modules explore a variety of key substantive sociological topics (such as: order and deviance; material inequality and social class; gender and the family; race and ethnicity), in relation to the research methods that have been used to produce sociological knowledge of these areas. Alongside this, they will also introduce you to classical and contemporary sociological theory. As such, these modules provide the groundwork you will need in order to develop your capacity to think sociologically throughout your degree. Additionally, they will allow you to acquire a range of key undergraduate learning skills, to help you make the transition into Higher Education smoothly and effectively.
Theorising Citizenship (core)
This module explores the notion of citizenship, through reviewing a number of relevant theoretical traditions and related socio-political concepts, and their connections to social policy.
Who Am I? (core*)
This module draws not only on sociology, but also on cognate academic disciplines, to explore the nature of contemporary identity. It will also help you develop your skills of reflection, through applying insights from the social sciences to your own experiences.
(*students may elect to drop this module in order to take a starred module, when available)
Welfare and Wellbeing (core)
This module aims to promote an enhanced understanding of the institutions involved in the development and implementation of social policies, how these have developed over time, and the themes, issues and debates surrounding them. You will explore the construction of social problems, in different historical periods and different national contexts.
Divisions, Diversity and Difference I (core)
This module will develop your knowledge and understanding of a number of key themes first encountered in your first year, such as: the relationships between individuals and institutions; social change; politics and power; and social exclusion, inequality, diversity and difference.
Theory and Methods (core)
This module will develop your ability to ask and answer sociological questions, through extending your knowledge and understanding of both contemporary sociological theory and research methods.
Citizenship and Protest (optional)
This module will provide you with an informed understanding of the active practice of citizenship in contemporary Britain, building on relevant concepts and theories. Additionally, it will explore how empowered citizenship relates to structural disadvantage and individual and collective agency. This module also forms part of a ‘citizenship pathway’ in the degree, which is relevant to a future career in teaching.
Crime and Deviance (optional)
This module takes a reflective and critical approach to key perspectives, theories and issues in the field of criminology and social order. It also considers how key axes of inequality such as race and ethnicity, gender and age intersect with crime.
Medicine, Health and Society (optional)
The sociology of medicine is the largest sub-discipline within sociology. This module focuses on two main themes: the history, power and dominance of biomedical knowledge and practice and how this may be interrogated sociologically; and the relationship between social inequalities and health inequalities.
Research Skills: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis (optional)
This module has both a conceptual and practical dimension to it. At a conceptual level, it will allow you to develop an in-depth appreciation of the strengths and limitations of various approaches to social research. At a practical level, you will get the chance to apply basic quantitative and qualitative research methods, often working in conjunction with local community organisations.
Social Psychology of People and Groups (optional)
With a focus on group dynamics, this module will allow you to develop a knowledge and understanding of social psychology, and of how the discipline relates to the other social sciences.
Sociology of Education (optional)
This module explores sociological insights into educational policy and practice in the UK, and how this relates to social stratification, social status and meritocracy. If you are considering teaching as a possible career choice, then this module will be of particular interest.
Sociology of Family Life (optional)
Building on the core year one Sociological Imagination modules, you will explore continuity, change and diversity in intimate relationships, and current transitions in families. This module should be particularly relevant if you are considering entering social work or teaching as a career.
Comparative Social Policy (core)
This module aims to explore the ways in which different societies have attempted to tackle social problems and inequalities at different points in history, and to analyse to the impact of policy developments within national and cross-national contexts. You will engage with core theoretical approaches and more recent policy trends and intellectual developments to understand the evolution of welfare systems within distinct national contexts; the cross-national diffusion of welfare models and policy developments; and the ways in which welfare systems have changed over time to meet the demands of a globalised world.
Divisions, Diversity and Difference II (core)
This module will extend your understanding of the key sociological themes which were explored in Divisions, Diversity and Difference I. It specifically focuses on the intersections between different axes of social division. It will also help you prepare for life after university and develop your employability skills.
Individual Study (core (either 20 or 40 credits) – prerequisites apply)
This module aims to consolidate and deepen your knowledge and understanding of social policy through autonomous work. Supported by a supervisor you will define, design and execute an in-depth study on a topic of your choice. The 40 credit version may also involve original empirical research.
Citizenship and Community (optional - prerequisites apply)
This module, which is part of the degree’s ‘citizenship pathway’, combines academic study with practical engagement. You will research, identify and negotiate a volunteering placement in a community setting, and then use knowledge gained in class and through independent research to reflect upon your experience. Please note: it is likely that you will need to secure Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearances in order to take up your volunteering position, and you may need to meet any associated costs.
Globalisation and the Environment (optional)
This module will consider contemporary and historical aspects of globalisation, with a focus on the economic, political and cultural dimensions. It will go on to consider how these impact on current environmental concerns, and how such debates can be theorised and conceptualised.
Mind, Body and Society (optional)
This module explores the intersections between key debates in the sociology of mental health, and the sociology of the body. It will allow you to develop a sophisticated understanding of the ways in which social, historical, cultural and political contexts influence notions of mental and physical normality, focusing on topics such as: schizophrenia; anorexia; obesity; ageing.
Race, Ethnicity and Society (optional)
This module will provide you with a firm grounding in the sociology of race and ethnicity, through an in-depth conceptual, theoretical, and empirical exploration of the roles played by processes of racialisation and othering.
Reading Social Texts (optional)
Designed to help you hone your critical reading and independent research skills, this module will give you the confidence and skill to engage successfully with challenging theoretical primary texts. If you are considering applying for a Master’s degree or a PhD, this module would be a good choice.
Sexuality and Modernity (optional)
This module focuses on the relationship between sexuality and modernity. It problematises naturalistic understandings of sexuality, exploring questions of desire, pleasure, identity, sexual normativity and power in modernity from a broadly social constructionist perspective.
Work, Self and Society (optional)
This module explores the major sociological perspectives on work, and considers how work intersects with a number of key areas of substantive sociological interest, such as class, gender and technology. It will also give you the opportunity to reflect sociologically on any paid work that you have undertaken while at University, or before taking your degree.
Youth and Popular Culture (optional)
Through reviewing historical, social and economic factors, this module will explore the contingent and dynamic nature of youth social action, within a context of social divisions.
"My research examines the ways in which social policies are shaped by ideas about youth and age, gender and family, work and retirement, and a range of other questions. To me, Sociology and Social Policy is about how we understand the world and our role in it: this is what makes it such a fascinating field."