Introduction to Social Policy (20 credits, semester 1)
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 (20 credits, semester 1)
This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policymaking 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.
Becoming a Sociologist (20 credits, semester 1)
Thinking Sociologically (20 credits, semester 2)
Together, these two core modules will give you the grounding you need to be an effective sociology undergraduate. They will introduce you to: a variety of key substantive sociological topics (such as order and deviance, material inequality and social class, gender and the family, race and ethnicity); the distinctive concepts and theories that sociology uses to analyse social problems; sociology’s own history, and the how this affects the creation of sociological knowledge and understanding. 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 successfully.
Doing Social Research (20 credits, semester 2)
This is an introduction to key research methodologies, which both complements the conceptual material covered in Thinking Sociologically, and prepares students for the optional Level 5 Research Skills module. This module will enable you appreciate the interdependent relationship between theory and research, the ethical dimensions of research, and the part they play in the research process. Single honours and some combined honours students will take this module in semester 2; other combined honours students will take this module in semester 1, depending on the timetabling of their other programme.
Theorising Citizenship (20 credits, semester 2)
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.
Welfare and Wellbeing (20 credits, semester 2)
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.
Growing Up In Society (20 credits, semester 1)
This module covers some of the most popular content in the degree – the sociologies of education, families and generations. Through a critical exploration of primary and secondary socialisation, you will develop your understanding of the systematic connections between individuals and social and cultural forces and processes.
Space, Place and Social Exclusion (20 credits, semester 2)
This moduleexamines social diversity and social exclusion, extending what you will have learned in the core modules at Level 4 (first year). The assessment for this module has been designed to give you the opportunity to develop key skills for work as well as university study. In conjunction with a local employer, you will be assigned a ‘live brief’ problem to solve, and will engage with qualitative, quantitative and digital data sources.
Power/Knowledge? Re: Thinking Sociologically (20 credits, semester 1)
This module aims to develop students’ conceptual and reflexive abilities, by a critical engagement with how the sociological project is located in relation to the ‘European Enlightenment’, why this is problematic, and how sociology might go forward into the 21C. It will do this through an exploration of late modern social theory and contrasting forms of social thought, in relation to associated debates concerning science, truth, knowledge and power.
Work, Self and Society (20 credits, semester 1)
In this module you will explore major perspectives from the sociology of work, and how these intersect with other key sociological themes such as class, gender, technology, culture and personal identity. The module also has a focus on employability, and includes work shadowing as part of the assessment.
Comparative Social Policy (20 credits, semester 2)
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.
Colonial Worlds, Decolonial Sociology (20 credits, semester 1)
Building on the sociological understandings explored in the Level 4 and 5 core modules, this module aim to critically explore how different axes of difference and disadvantage intersect, and are located in relation to specific social, political, cultural and economic processes, at a global level.
Gender, Sexuality and Modernity (20 credits, semester 2)
In this module, students will explore the complex relationships between gender, sexuality, identity, desire and power in (patriarchal, colonial, capitalist) modernity. To achieve this, it will engage with classic and contemporary debates at both the substantive and theoretical levels.
Individual Study (various formats – details below)
All Sociology and Social Policy students must undertake an individual study, but can choose from three different formats.
1) The 20 Credit Individual Study aims to consolidate and deepen your sociological knowledge and understanding through autonomous work. Working with a designated supervisor, you will be required to define, design and execute an in-depth, literature based, study of your own choice. This module normally runs in semester 2, except for students who have selected the Citizenship and Community option, who must take it across both semesters.
2) The 40 Credit Individual Study is similar to the 20 credit version, in that you will work with a supervisor to define, design and undertake autonomous, literature based research on a topic of your choice. Such projects will be more conceptually / theoretically focussed than the 20 credit studies, and will pursue their analyses to a greater degree of detail and sophistication. This module runs across both semesters, and would be well suited to students considering post-graduate study.
3) Students may register for a combination of two linked modules, Individual Research Design (semester 1) and Individual Empirical Research (semester 2)*. Together, these two modules give you the opportunity to engage in 40 credits worth of individual empirical study. Working with a supervisor, in Individual Research Design you will produce a viable research proposal, including a literature review and detailed methodology, on a topic of your choice. In Individual Empirical Research, you will undertake the research project in semester 1, and produce a research report.
* You must pass Individual Research Design in semester 1 to be able to complete Individual Empirical Research in semester 2
Likely optional modules
Citizenship and Protest (20 credits, semester 2)
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.
Crime, Deviance and Law (20 credits, semester 2)
Building on discussions of social order and deviance begun at Level 4, students who take this module will develop an understanding of the role of law in constructing, maintaining and challenging narratives of crime and deviance, in specific socio-historical contexts. This module will support students in preparing for careers in policing, criminal justice and local government.
Research Skills: Quantitative and Qualitative Data Analysis (20 credits, semester 2)
Building on the Level 4 module Doing Social Research, this module is designed to equip you with practical research skills. It will allow you to develop an in-depth appreciation of the strengths and limitations of various approaches to social research, and also to apply quantitative and qualitative research methods in practice, often working in conjunction with a local community organisation.
Social Psychology of People and Groups (20 credits, semester 2)
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 Sport (20 credits, semester 2)
On this module you will critically examine key issues in sport, both nationally and globally, in relation to key sociological themes such as gender, disability, race, body image, violence, and crime, as well as exploring legal and ethical issues in sport such as doping.
Citizenship and Community (20 credits, across both semesters) (prerequisites apply)
This module 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. Students who take this module must also take a 20 Credit Individual Study.
Contemporary Controversies (20 credits, may be run in either semester 1 or semester 2)
Sociology is not a static discipline, but must constantly adapt and apply its distinctive perspectives and insights to emergent, ‘live’ issues. In this module you will get the opportunity to explore a contemporary, sociologically relevant issue in-depth, grounded in current staff research. As such, the content of the module will vary from year to year depending on what ‘live’ issue is being studied. Students will advised of the details of the each year’s offer at the end of Level 5 so they can make an informed choice as to whether they’d like to take this module.
Globalisation and the Environment (20 credits, semester 2)
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.
Medical Power and Knowledge (20 credits, semester 1)
Medical sociology – the largest sociological sub-discipline - provides an analytical context for understanding health, illness and health care. Drawing on the wealth of empirical and theoretical work within this sub-discipline, this module provides a critical analysis of medical practice and institutions, the production of what counts as medical knowledge, and the social, political and cultural effects of medical practice.
Reading Social Texts (20 credits, semester 1)
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.
Youth and Popular Culture (20 credits, semester 2)
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.