BA (Hons) Sociology

Sociology Seminar

Global Development, Politics and Sociology

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Fees and Funding

Here's the fees and funding information for each year of this course

Overview

WHAT YOU'LL LEARN

MODULES

  • Core Modules
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    Knowledge, Skills, Practice and the Self: Mental Wealth

    This module will allow you to acquire tangible evidence to support your employability narrative at interviews as you progress through your academic studies. The module recognises the importance of acknowledging the value of skills, competencies and experience (SCE) beyond academic subject assessment to aid you in securing a job and support your career acceleration. It forms the foundation of the Career Passport pathway in the Communities cluster of the Cass School of Education and Communities, anticipating the more in-depth approach to skills at Levels 4 and 5.

    The focus will be on knowledge of the labour market and the range of individual intelligences and digital proficiency, required for social sciences related employment. The module will consider the relationship between skills, technology and work by introducing you to debates surrounding contemporary work theories. Concepts such as ‘skill’, ‘de-skilling’, ‘re-skilling’ and ‘under-utilisation of skills’ will be explored. You will draw on your own experiences of work and consider how university prepares you for careers in the 21st century, including that of social entrepreneurship; this will include group work and presentation skills. Digital proficiency will enable you to use ICT effectively, encourage technological literacy and reflections on your use of social media and your digital footprint. You will be encouraged to examine personal experience of technologies and how technologies are part of our private worlds - what Sherry Turkle terms ‘the inner history of devices’ and issues related to inequalities and the digital divide. You will develop their emotional, social, physical and cognitive intelligence in preparation for success at Level 4.

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    Exploring Communities as Social Scientists

    This module extends your understanding of local and global communities through applying the sociological concepts of community, identity, place, social memory and migration. It builds on your existing knowledge of the global and local contexts of your future academic study and employment. Cultural capital and knowledge of the complexities of communities will be introduced through topical readings, a guided walk of a London neighbourhood and a visit to a museum that you will prepare for and reflect on, using the key concepts of identity, place, social memory and migration. The module frontloads key academic skills required for university education and consolidates them throughout the module in order to support your learning in other modules at this level and above as well as your future careers.

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    Researching Changing Communities

    The module extends your previous knowledge and understanding of how and why local ‘communities’ change over time. ‘Communities’ will be defined either geographically - such as a territorial neighbourhood/post code or culturally - such as an ethnic, linguistic or religious group. It builds on your experiential knowledge of local and global communities through introducing you to academic and policy-related literature and to sociological concepts, research methods, skills and ethics. The module also consolidates core academic skills valuable in other modules as well as your future career. You will carry out a small, guided research project that will include a semi-structured interview with an individual professionally or socially connected to the ‘community’ combined with secondary research reading academic and policy literature) into the chosen ‘community’. In addition, the research project allows you to engage with and apply sociological concepts studied in all other L3 modules on this programme (for example crime, surveillance, globalisation, as well as core career related modules.).

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    Reimagining the Work of a Social Scientist

    This module brings you into contact with the communities and professional settings that you, as social scientists, may aspire to engage with and/or work within. The module engages you in flipped classroom activities and real-world issues through visits, external speakers and group activities. Through engagement with people who work in social science related fields the module builds your social and cultural capital for future employment and helps you become a flexible thinker. It focuses on understanding inclusivity in the workplace and society. This module will also allow you the opportunity to acquire tangible evidence to support your employability narrative, including preparation for future placements and interviews, as you progress through your academic studies, The focus will be on professional communication skills, team work and industry and community connections. The module will consider the relationship between community action, critical thinking outside the classroom and career aspirations by introducing you to real world settings where social science and social theories are currently applied. It challenges you to think critically about the everyday.

    External visits include group visits to art gallery or a museum, community organisation or an NGO supporting and advocating for people with vulnerabilities and other professional organisations. These visits are followed by guest speakers and lectures which engage you in similar debates. You may also make an independent visit to a court, political organisation or a museum and develop your organisational, independent research and professional communication skills through such visits.

    Optional Modules
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    Crime, Justice and Surveillance

    This module introduces you to crime and surveillance from sociological and criminological perspectives and offers you theoretical and practical skills and experiences that prepare you for your journey as a criminologist. It considers how surveillance overlaps with many fields, including crime detection and prevention and the management of dangerous spaces and people.  It also offers an introduction to Cybercrime and you will be  asked to produce a public information leaflet that outlines the dangers of the internet. It includes a field trip to see a court in action as part of the teaching for coursework two.

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    Reading the Body Psychosocially

     

    In this module, you will consider the choices you make in relation to your own body and its presentation to others and in so doing will consider how a psychosocial approach to the body embraces choices informed rationally and irrationally. The latter incorporate the personal and political as well as changing attitudes to health and life.

    The human body and the nature of embodiment constitute a critical area of academic research and are central to cultural and social change. In a rapidly changing globalised world the body is a prime terrain of identity formation through popular discourses, surgical interventions, the aesthetisation of everyday life and online practices. At the same time, the commodification of the body, whereby the body becomes fragmented into a series of parts, objectified and represented through the media and promotional culture, is normalised as ‘ideal’. But what of its counterparts: the diseased body; the ageing body; the disabled body or even the monstrous body, the subject of literature and film since Shelley’s Frankenstein and the postmodern turn to vampires and zombies?

    This module adopts a Psychosocial approach (as an integral part of the Social Sciences), whereby the body can be explored as a contested site for the operations of affect, power and identity, and explored via social categories such as gender, race, class and dis/ability. Bringing together sociological and cultural theory with basic concept of Freudian psychoanalysis, this module provides you with a succinct and focused introduction to interdisciplinary thinking within the Social Sciences.

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    Introduction to Digital Sociology

    This module introduces you to Digital Sociology by exploring what it means to be a sociologist in the rapidly developing technological world. It will also introduce you to digital social research methods, asking what issues there are for social researchers in a digital society; what new material is available to social researchers; how social scientists can harness the new tools available to them and how they can navigate through this space in a secure, mindful and ethical way? 

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    Globalisation and Society

    This module introduces you to key issues and debates about globalisation and society.  Knowledge of the complexities of globalisation is introduced through [a] topical readings [b] a guided tour of Parliament [c] a visit to the British Museum that you will prepare for and reflect on, using the key concepts of political economy. As well as the two core visits, the topics are presented and examined through lectures, seminars, workshops and film.

  • Core Modules
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    What’s going on (how do we know, and what can we do about it?): Mental Wealth 1

    The module aims to ground and complement other shared or common level 4 programme modules by providing an introduction to the key Vision 2028 ‘UEL Graduate Attributes’, such as the psychological and physical determinants of human performance that are difficult or impossible to be replicated by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The module takes a psychosocial approach to exploring ‘the self’ in both personal and professional contemporary contexts. The module aspires to provide an intellectually integrative and socially cohesive workshop experience.

    The module will provide an opportunity for students to review their own personal development to date self-reflexively.

    With these ends in mind, the module introduces students to theories of individual and social inequalities and how the latter can inform one’s approach to ‘community businesses ‘that is, all kinds of activities and enterprises run by local people for local people’). In the context of understanding the concept of, designing and exploring a community business, students will identify their employment and career aspirations and their personal, professionally relevant skills and potential abilities. Students will learn to develop skills with a psychosocial approach to research by gathering and presenting data in relation to their proposed community project.

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    Constructions of Identity

    This module offers a solid introduction to the different aspects of identity and to ways of understanding who we are as individuals and members of various groups. Adopting a psycho-social approach, which consists of enriching fundamental sociological and cultural debates in the Social Sciences with insights from psychoanalysis and critical psychology, the module focuses, in equal measure, on individual experiences of identity and the symbolic frames and formations of society and culture that underline and support them. The module invites you to appreciate the historical, ideological, sociological and inner reality coordinates of contemporary identity. The linking and mapping of psychoanalytic concepts onto sociological and cultural theory is a priority for this module, as are the objectives of cultivating fluent expression and theoretically informed debates, promoting tolerance and dialogue, understanding the roots of prejudice and stereotyping and, in general, gaining a multi-faceted appreciation of what ‘construction’ means in the remit of the Social Sciences.

    All key concepts and debates are made easily accessible and relevant to employment through a wide range contemporary case studies and examples from different cultures, communities and media. At the same time, you are encouraged to bring into class and make the most of their own life experience.

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    Social Theory 1

    This module is about decolonising social theory which means looking at how social theory as an attempt to understand 'modernity' needs to incorporate, rather than relegate the significance of colonialism and empire.

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    The Mess We Are In (And How We Got Here)

    In this module we will consider the representation of the present as a moment of crisis. This will include consideration of:

    • Economic crisis, including welfare reform and austerity
    • Political crisis, including democratic deficits and populism
    • Ecological crisis
    • National crisis, including questions of identity, racism and justice
    • Emotional crisis, including links between individual well-being and social structures.

    The module will introduce students to histories of empire and colonialism in order to understand long-standing processes of expropriation and ecological degradation in the name of progress.

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    Digital Sociology and the 4th Industrial Revolution

    Since the 1970s when social theorists like Bell and Touraine proclaimed the coming of post-industrial society there has been a growing interest in the implications of technological change on society and in particular on the central role of information in these transformations. 

    This module is about the relationships between technological change, i.e. the emergence of the so-called 4th Industrial revolution (Schwab 2017) and social relationships. Moreover, it is also concerned with the implications of all of this for are capacity and ability to make sense of these changes via social science and the arguments that we need to develop a 'digital sociology' (Orton-Johnson and Prior 2013, Lupton 2015, and Marres 2017) to do this.

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    Issues in Contemporary Society

    This module introduces students to key debates in contemporary society, including discussions of gender, sexuality, and feminism; the legacy of imperial histories; racism and the media; new technologies; ecological crisis; democratic deficit.

  • Core Modules
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    Mental Wealth 2: Social Enterprise

    This module aims to introduce students to a range of planning and fundraising models and techniques used in the third sector. It will build their competence and confidence in designing and presenting their own projects and fundraising ideas. It will be delivered in collaboration with UEL Enterprise and other partner third sector organisations. This is the second of 3 modules running through the BA (Hons) International Development with NGO Management, which will incrementally build a full set of competencies for work in the not-for-profit sector.

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    Qualitative Research Methods for Social Sciences

    This module is designed to support students in identifying, reflecting on, and developing their research skills.

    The module provides an introduction to social research process as well as qualitative methods, giving students a wide appreciation of the purpose of research and its value as a tool for social inquiry. For beginners, research might be considered as a potentially difficult subject, as it tends to use a specific language. Yet, all students need to be able to understand and apply research. Therefore, the purpose of this course is to help students to become familiar with a number of aspects of research in social sciences, to understand research terms, to be able to critically analyse a piece of research, and to learn how to formulate a research question.

    One of the main goals of the module is to support students in identifying, reflecting on, and developing general and transferable 'graduate' skills and capacities (such as project management, time management, professional conduct, ability to follow methodological guidelines, report writing) that will enhance their employability.

    This module is a prerequisite for any student who will take the Dissertation modules on Level 6. The module is aimed to equip students with the necessary skills to undertake the Psychosocial and Sociology dissertation. 

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    Social Theory 2

    The aim of the module is to provide a comprehensive introduction to classical and contemporary sociological theories as they developed from the 19th century to explain the emergence of 'modern' societies and continued to track the development and transformation of modern societies in the 20th century and the emergence of what has been increasingly understood as globalisation by the start of 21st century. 

    The module examines five major ideas that have structured the development sociological theories since the establishment of the discipline. These ideas are the industrial society, democracy, individualism and modernity which in turn emphasise the economic, political, social and cultural aspect of the social. In addition, the module will also look at the more recent development of ideas of globalisation.

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    Space, Bodies and Power

    This module introduces students to debates about bodies and embodiment and the exercise of power across spaces. We will discuss practices of surveillance, bordering and the relation of these practices to colonial practices of ordering and to ecological crisis. We will revisit questions of inequality, inclusion and stigmatisation. This will include a consideration of questions of sexuality and sexual rights and disability rights.

    Optional Modules
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    The Sociology of the City

    As Short (2014:1) observed, in 1800 only 3 out of every 100 people lived in cities now it is just over 1 out of every two people that do. This module considers the various approaches that social sciences and others have made to making sense of the growth and transformations of modern cities.

    It begins by looking back to some of the key attempts to develop a theory of the urban via the work of Weber, Simmel Benjamin and Lefebvre. Then it moves on to consider the empirical tradition which sought to describe and reform the modern city from Booth in London, Du Bois in Philadelphia, to Park and others in the famous Chicago School.

    We will also look at the role of planners and utopian modernist visions of the city before revisiting the anxieties over the perceived loss of community in the post-war period, the growth of suburbs and debates over what direction developments should take. We then move on to consider Marxist approaches to the city and how these have developed in an era of globalisation. 

    The module will also consider questions of politics and power in the city as well as issues of representation difference and culture before looking at possible future developments for cities and theories of them.

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    Understanding Social Change

    This module examines the nature, variety and forms of social change in contemporary societies. It begins by looking at what is meant by the term and how it has been approached theoretically with social science.

    Then it looks at the history and various key dimensions of social change before turning to economic, political and cultural aspects social change.

    The module will also consider what social change looks like at the individual level of experience as well as a process working at institutional and wider levels.

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    Intersectionality and Digital Culture

    Intersectionality is a way of understanding our multiple identities and the impact of intersecting structures of inequality on our lives. Increasingly, in our digital world, processes of discrimination, harassment and hatred take place through digital means. At the same time, we live mediatised lives, presenting ourselves online and crafting new identities for pleasure and for work. This module will introduce students to debates about intersectionality and the place of digital cultures in staging and remaking our identities and relations to each other.

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    Generations Age and Meaning

    The aim of this module is to explore the meaning of age and ageing throughout the life course, by exploring the relationship between ‘biographical aging’ (Randall and Kenyon 2001), and social structure. How do individuals experience aging throughout their life course, and how are these experiences mediated by social institutions? Aging has often been constructed as a ‘problem’ affecting isolated individuals at the end of their lives.  Adopting a critical gerontological perspective, this module will examine the assumptions built into such a construction, explore their origins and implications

  • Optional Modules
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    Optional placement

    This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

    The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

  • Core Modules
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    Applied Research Project in the Social Sciences

    This module allows you to apply your understanding of key social scientific theories and concepts as well as issues and methods in social and community work to a research question of your choice. The module introduces necessary research and evaluation tools and methods and ethical procedures, data collection and analysis methods and starts you on your journey to becoming independent researchers. You will complete an independent research project or an evaluation of a project you have been involved with through placements, volunteering or work experience. You will receive support and guidance throughout the independent research and are encouraged to reflect on the methodological, ethical and theoretical issues that you face in the course of your research experience.  

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    Mental Wealth 3: Placement Reflections

    The Placement Reflections module aims to bring together learning from reading, lectures, coursework and discussions during the first two years, first by applying the skills learned in a real- life work environment, then by reflecting on the Placement experience and relating it to the key concepts and debates in your area of study. To achieve this, you are required to work for at least two days a week for a minimum of 10 weeks (or 20 working days total) as a volunteer for an organisation with a speciality in your area of study. During this time, you should carry out an identifiable project agreed with the host organisation for this Module. The Module Leaders of each programmes will provide guidance and briefings for you on securing a suitable placement.

    During the work placement you are expected to:

    • Improve skills for future employment
    • Engage in “real -life” projects which will enable students to put academic knowledge into practice and place practice into an academic context.
    • Develop key personal and professional skills such as team-working, time management, working under pressure and self-evaluation.
    Optional Modules
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    Constructions of 'Race' in Culture and Politics

    The aim of this module is to examine the ways in which concepts of race have developed historically in the West and to look at some of the key social, political, and theoretical consequences of this. The module begins with looking at the argument that 'race' is a social construct then the module examines the ways in which this has been constructed and reconstructed in different historical periods, and the political struggles that have surrounded this.

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    Life Histories

    The module is designed to develop understandings of the relationship between the personal and the social dimensions of identity.  It examines this relationship through an exploration of life accounts.

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    Bordering and Governance

    After decades in which the importance, or even existence, of borders were seen as waning in a world increasingly dominated by the rise of globalisation, economic, cultural, political, re-bordering states has become a symbol of resistance to pressures emanating out of neo-liberal globalisation.

    Borderings, as the dynamic spatial and virtual processes which construct, reproduce and contest borders play central roles in a variety of local, regional and global political projects of governance and belonging, determining individual and collective entitlements and duties as well as social cohesion and solidarity.

    In this module, you will explore how social scientists have conceptualised these 'bordering processes' and examine in-depth case studies of re-bordering in the UK and globally. You will also reflect upon your and others' positioning in relation to the underpinning political projects of governance and belonging.

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    Surveillance and Society

    This module will build on your existing knowledge of routine surveillance to enable you to recognise security breaches, ethical issues raised by mishandling of sensitive data and the value of confidentiality/privacy as a human right.  It provides you with invaluable skills at a personal and professional level essential for research, employment and your daily life.

    To live in the 21st century means experiencing multiple systems of surveillance, in what is termed a ‘surveillance society’.  This interdisciplinary module introduces students to the functions of a society that has overlapping systems that track, measure and judge individuals on a continuous, daily basis in a more pervasive way than could have possibly been imagined.  We have become habituated to incessant surveillance to the extent that we share aspects of our everyday lives on social media and increasingly popular reality shows embed it into our culture leading to even greater acceptance of it.

    This module looks at the origins of surveillance right up to the latest emerging automated surveillance systems and pre-crime surveillance.  It considers how surveillance ‘works’ on persons to modify behaviour and how categorisation of individuals results in social sorting that can affect our life chances.  It also explains how surveillance capitalism functions and if we can employ means of ‘digital self-defence’ to protect ourselves from such intrusion.

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    Gender Studies

    The aim of this module is to familiarise you with key concepts, issues, questions and debates in gender studies and explore and analyse gender relations in a range of social spheres and institutions such as education, work, culture, law and the family.

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    Culture, Media and Politics

    This module introduces students to key debates in the field of cultural sociology, including debates about fashion, media, memory and the presentation of self.

HOW YOU'LL LEARN

HOW YOU'LL BE ASSESSED

CAMPUS and FACILITIES

Docklands Campus

Docklands Campus, Docklands Campus, London, E16 2RD

WHO TEACHES THIS COURSE

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

YOUR FUTURE CAREER