Joint-honours information for 2016 entry

(BA) Sociology and Media Studies

Entry for 2016

FHEQ level

This course is set at Level 6 in the national Framework for Higher Education Qualifications.

Course Aims

The media are central to our experience of modern society, helping to build and connect societies locally, nationally and globally. The media shape our views of the world, our identities and dreams. At the same time we live in an era of rapid change with global and technological transformations shaping our lives, cultures, identities and social experiences. Social forces are leading to new social ties and the disintegration of old ones.

This degree offers students the chance to understand and explain the nature and role of the media in society and of the way in which social processes can be analysed and explained.

The degree looks at how various media are produced and how they are used and understood by audiences and how questions about such issues can be approached from perspectives which are theoretical, social, historical, textual, political, creative and practical. Students combine both different perspectives on society with evidence on the way society is structured and changing. Practical and research skills are emphasised as are comparative perspectives and specialisms within Media Studies and Sociology.

The programme offers students the chance to study two historically related and overlapping subjects in a combined degree.

Course Learning Outcomes

At the end of the programme, the successful student will be able to:

1) demonstrate familiarity with major concepts and theories and their applicability in Sociology and Media Studies
2) demonstrate familiarity with key theories or theoretical traditions in Media Studies and Sociology
3) demonstrate knowledge of different societies, and understanding of what may be learned by comparing them
4) show awareness of key philosophical issues arising in the development of explanations in Sociology
5) show familiarity with major methods of data collection, and their appropriate uses
6) demonstrate knowledge of more specialised areas within Sociology and Media Studies; and the ability to evaluate, synthesise and analyse in depth in such specialist areas and through research
7) demonstrate an awareness of social dimensions within which the media in society operate
8) understand the role of the media in social and political structures and processed
9) understand the social, cultural, economic and aesthetic importance of media, contemporarily and historically
10) develop a persuasive argument based on independent research and planning, in writing, in oral presentations, and in other media
11) reflect critically on their own media practices, whether as producer or consumer
12) use media techniques competently and confidently in fulfilling a brief
13) work effectively on collaborative projects, having acquired experience in working as member of a team

Course learning outcomes

explain major sociological concepts and theories, and their application in contemporary sociology

demonstrate knowledge of different societies, and understanding of what may be learned by comparing them

demonstrate understanding and knowledge of key topics and debates in a number of specialised areas in sociology

collate a range of appropriate sources (including paper, audio-visual and electronic sources) and structure material from them to answer a question

assess the strengths and weaknesses of empirical material as evidence for conclusions in specific cases

critically evaluate competing explanations and sociological theories in a range of contexts

formulate research questions and plan how to answer them

identify and use appropriate research methods (including questionnaires, interviews, observations and content analysis)

analyse the ethical implications of social research in a variety of settings

make simple analyses of quantitative and qualitative data using appropriate computer programs

communicate effectively with others and present information both orally and in writing

conduct a literature search and produce a correctly formatted bibliography

manage their time in long-term work programmes

adopt a critical, interdisciplinary and creative perspective on media, communication and culture that synthesizes a range of traditions and approaches

demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of specific areas of media and communication politics, ethics and publics

demonstrate an understanding of forms and practices of media, culture and communication, and how they organise understanding, feelings and meaning

demonstrate an understanding of how factors such as class, gender, ethnicity, nationality, disability and sexuality affect media representations and cultural practices

demonstrate an ability to analyse media and communication forms in terms of production, text and consumption

demonstrate an ability to articulate the significance of media and communications in shaping political and personal experience

demonstrate an ability to develop research and formulate critical questions in relation to the field

deliver work to a given length, format, brief and deadline, properly referencing sources and ideas and making use, as appropriate, of a problem-solving approach

demonstrate skills in research, project design, presentation, teamwork, independent work, and time and information management

Full-time course composition

YearTermStatusModuleCreditsFHEQ level
1Autumn SemesterCoreA Sociology of 21st Century Britain (L4070)154
  CoreQuestioning the Media A (P4006)304
  CoreThemes and Perspectives in Sociology I (L3068)154
 Spring SemesterCoreDebates in Media Studies A (P4061)304
  CoreMaking the Familiar Strange (L4072)154
  CoreThemes and Perspectives in Sociology II (L3069)154
YearTermStatusModuleCreditsFHEQ level
2Autumn SemesterCoreDoing Social Research: working with quantitative data (L3078)155
  CoreNews, Politics and Power A (P4080)305
  OptionBeyond the Vote: Citizenship and Participation in Sociology (L4069A)155
  Classical Sociological Theory (L4053A)155
  Migration and Integration (Aut) (L4081A)155
  Sociology of Everyday Life (L4040A)155
  Sociology of Medicine and Health (L3083A)155
  Sound, Culture & Society B (P4084)155
 Spring SemesterCoreDoing Social Research: working with qualitative data (L3079)155
  OptionAdvertising and Social Change B (P3080)155
  Debates in Screen Documentary B (P4107B)155
  Digital Cultures B (P3067)155
  Journalism in Crisis B (P3074)155
  Power, Deviance and Othering (L4018B)155
  Race: Conflict and Change (L3074B)155
  Researching Media and Communication (P5016)305
  Resistance Movements in Conflict & War (L4106B)155
  Sociology of Globalisation (Spr) (L4080B)155
  TV: Fictions and Entertainments B (P3068)155
YearTermStatusModuleCreditsFHEQ level
3Autumn SemesterOptionCities, Capital, Culture (P5039)306
  Class and Popular Culture (P4109)306
  Consuming Passions (V3036)306
  Contemporary Social Theory (Aut) (L4046A)306
  Death of Socialism? (L2137)306
  Documentary, Reality TV and 'Real Lives' (P4041)306
  Globalisation and Communication (P4114)156
  Identity and Interaction (L4066A)306
  Media, War and Terrorism (P4110)306
  Media and Communications Dissertation Preparation (P5018)156
  Postcolonial Europe? (L3118A)306
  Revolutionary Media (P5040)306
  Social Media and Critical Practice (P4113)156
  Sociology of Humans and Other Animals (Aut) (L4094A)306
  Sociology Research Proposal (L4056)306
  The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment (Aut) (L4091A)306
  The Politics of Representation (P4112)156
 Spring SemesterOptionAlternative Societies (Spr) (L4090B)306
  Celebrity, Media and Culture (P5014)306
  Comedy and Cultural Belonging (V3035)306
  Digital Industries and Internet Cultures (P4102)306
  Everyday Life and Technology (P3020)306
  Media, Publics and Protest (P4016)306
  Media and Communications Dissertation (P4121)306
  Medicine and the Body (L3117)306
  Performing the Urban: postcolonial perspectives (P4101)306
  Sexualities / Intersections (L4062B)306
  Sociology of Fun (L4063B)306
  Sociology Project (L3031)306
  Surveillance, Security and Control (L4109B)306

Course convenors

Photo of Michael Bull

Michael Bull
Professor Of Sound Studies
Subject area: Media
T: +44 (0)1273 678788

Photo of June Edmunds

June Edmunds
Senior Lecturer in Sociology
T: +44 (0)1273 873249

Sarah Maltby
Professor of Media & Communication
T: +44 (0)1273 877855

About your joint honours course

Sussex has always promoted interdisciplinary study by encouraging students to combine different subjects and different approaches to learning. Joint-honours courses are an ideal option if you want to study more than one subject in depth. A key idea behind joint-honours is to experience the range of ways that different academic disciplines use to teach, learn and research. Those differences are stimulating and challenging, but they can also be confusing, so you will find some useful information below to help you get the most out of your course.

  • To find information about the individual modules that make up your course, go to the school that teaches the module. Each module is assessed by the school that teaches it, so on their website you will find (under “student information”) information about the assessment criteria being used, the referencing style you need to use for your work, contact times for your tutors, information about the student reps scheme and lots of other useful information.
  • To find general information about joint honours, use the Frequently Asked Questions list
  • For information about the rules and regulations that govern all Sussex students, start with the general student handbook
  • For help in improving your study skills, using the library and with careers, try the Skills Hub.

And if you have any other questions, contact the convenors for your course; they are here to help you.

Useful links

Please note that the University will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver courses and modules in accordance with the descriptions set out here. However, the University keeps its courses and modules under review with the aim of enhancing quality. Some changes may therefore be made to the form or content of courses or modules shown as part of the normal process of curriculum management.

The University reserves the right to make changes to the contents or methods of delivery of, or to discontinue, merge or combine modules, if such action is reasonably considered necessary by the University. If there are not sufficient student numbers to make a module viable, the University reserves the right to cancel such a module. If the University withdraws or discontinues a module, it will use its reasonable endeavours to provide a suitable alternative module.