Sociology and Media Studies BA

Media and Communications

Key information

Duration:
3 years full time
Typical A-level offer:
ABB-BBB
UCAS code:
LP33
Start date:
September 2018

Explore the nature and role of the media in society and the way in which social processes can be analysed and explained.

You learn from experts who influence debates on topics from gender inequality to the role of media in the cultural and social world.

Outside the classroom, you gain hands-on experience through research placements and student media projects.

And with 24/7 access to specialist facilities – including a news room, edit suites and a sound-proofed studio – you can access the equipment you need whenever suits you.

I’ve received an unprecedented level of support from staff, who create a course that is both challenging and rewarding.”Sean Trelawny
Sociology BA 

Entry requirements

A-level

Typical offer

ABB-BBB

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Extended Project Qualification

We take the EPQ into account when considering your application and it can be useful in the summer when your results are released if you have narrowly missed the conditions of your offer. We do not routinely include the EPQ in the conditions of your offer but we sometimes offer alternative conditions that include the EPQ. If you wish to discuss this further please contact Admissions at ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk

Other UK qualifications

Access to HE Diploma

Typical offer

Pass in the Access to HE Diploma with 45 level 3 credits at Merit or above, including 24 at Distinction..

Subjects

The Access to HE Diploma should be in the humanities or social sciences.

International Baccalaureate

Typical offer

30 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma)

Typical offer

DDM

Subjects

The BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma  would normally be in Health & Social Care, IT or Public Services.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

Scottish Highers

Typical offer

ABBBB

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced

Typical offer

Grade B and BB in two A-levels.

GCSEs

You should also have a broad range of GCSEs (A*-C), including good grades in relevant subjects.

International baccalaureate

Typical offer

30 points overall from the full IB Diploma.

European baccalaureate

Typical offer

Overall result of at least 75%

Other international qualifications

Australia

Typical offer

Relevant state (Year 12) High School Certificate, and over 85% in the ATAR or UAI/TER/ENTER. Or a Queensland OP of 5 or below.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Austria

Typical offer

Reifeprüfung or Matura with an overall result of 2.2 or better for first-year entry. A result of 2.5 or better would be considered for Foundation Year entry.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Belgium

Typical offer

Certificat d'Enseignement Secondaire Supérieur (CESS) or Diploma van Hoger Secundair Onderwijs with a good overall average. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Bulgaria

Typical offer

Diploma za Sredno Obrazovanie with excellent final-year scores (normally 5.5 overall with 6 in key subjects).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Canada

Typical offer

High School Graduation Diploma. Specific requirements vary between provinces.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

China

Typical offer

We usually do not accept Senior High School Graduation for direct entry to our undergraduate courses. However, we do consider applicants who have studied 1 or more years of Higher Education in China at a recognised degree awarding institution or who are following a recognised International Foundation Year.

If you are interested in applying for a business related course which requires an academic ability in Mathematics, you will normally also need a grade B in Mathematics from the Huikao or a score of 90 in Mathematics from the Gaokao.

Applicants who have the Senior High School Graduation may be eligible to apply to our International Foundation Year, which if you complete successfully you can progress on to a relevant undergraduate course at Sussex. You can find more information about the qualifications which are accepted by our International Study Centre at  http://isc.sussex.ac.uk/entry-requirements/international-foundation-year .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Croatia

Typical offer

Maturatna Svjedodžba with an overall score of at least 4-5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Cyprus

Typical offer

Apolytirion of Lykeion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Czech Republic

Typical offer

Maturita with a good overall average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Denmark

Typical offer

Højere Forberedelseseksamen (HF) or studentereksamen with an overall average of at least 7 on the new grading scale.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Finland

Typical offer

Finnish Ylioppilastutkinto with an overall average result in the final matriculation examinations of at least 5.5.

France

Typical offer

French Baccalauréat with an overall final result of at least 13/20.

Germany

Typical offer

German Abitur with an overall result of 2.2 or better.

Greece

Typical offer

Apolytirion with an overall average of at least 18 or 19/20 will be considered for first-year entry.

A score of 15/20 in the Apolytirion would be suitable for Foundation Year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hong Kong

Typical offer

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) with grades of 5, 4, 4 from three subjects including two electives. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Hungary

Typical offer

Erettsegi/Matura with a good average.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

India

Typical offer

Standard XII results from Central and Metro Boards with an overall average of 75-80%. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Iran

Typical offer

High School Diploma and Pre-University Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Ireland

Typical offer

Irish Leaving Certificate (Higher Level) at H2 H2 H2 H3 H3.

Israel

Typical offer

Bagrut, with at least 8/10 in at least six subjects, including one five-unit subject.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Italy

Typical offer

Italian Diploma di Maturità or Diploma Pass di Esame di Stato with a Final Diploma mark of at least 78/100.

Japan

Typical offer

Upper Secondary Leaving Certificate is suitable for entry to our Foundation Years. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Latvia

Typical offer

Atestats par Visparejo videjo Izglitibu with very good grades in state exams.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Lithuania

Typical offer

Brandos Atestatas including scores of 80-90% in at least three state examinations (other than English).

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Luxembourg

Typical offer

Diplôme de Fin d'Etudes Secondaires.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Malaysia

Typical offer

Sijil Tinggi Persekolahan Malaysia (STPM). As well as various two or three-year college or polytechnic certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Netherlands

Typical offer

Voorereidend Wetenschappelijk Onderwijs (VWO), normally with an average of at least 7.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Nigeria

Typical offer

You are expected to have one of the following:

  • Higher National Diploma
  • One year at a recognised Nigerian University
  • Professional Diploma (Part IV) from the Institute of Medical Laboratory Technology of Nigeria
  • Advanced Diploma

You must also have a score of C6 or above in WAEC/SSC English.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Norway

Typical offer

Norwegian Vitnemal Fra Den Videregaende Skole- Pass with an overall average of 4.

Pakistan

Typical offer

Bachelor (Pass) degree in arts, commerce or science.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Poland

Typical offer

Matura with three extended-level written examinations, normally scored within the 7th stanine.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Portugal

Typical offer

Diploma de Ensino Secundario normally with an overall mark of at least 16/20. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Romania

Typical offer

Diploma de Bacalaureat with an overall average of 8.5-9.5 depending on your degree choice.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Singapore

Typical offer

A-levels, as well as certain certificates and diplomas.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovakia

Typical offer

Maturitna Skuska or Maturita with honours, normally including scores of 1 in at least three subjects.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Slovenia

Typical offer

Secondary School Leaving Diploma or Matura with at least 23 points overall.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

South Africa

Typical offer

National Senior Certificate with very good grades. 

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Spain

Typical offer

Spanish Título de Bachillerato (LOGSE) with an overall average result of at least 7.5.

Sri Lanka

Typical offer

Sri Lankan A-levels.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Sweden

Typical offer

Fullstandigt Slutbetyg with good grades.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Switzerland

Typical offer

Federal Maturity Certificate.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

Turkey

Typical offer

Devlet Lise Diplomasi or Lise Bitirme is normally only suitable for Foundation Years, but very strong applicants may be considered for first year entry. Find out more about Foundation Years.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

USA

Typical offer

We look at your full profile taking into account everything you are studying. You must have your high school graduation diploma and we will be interested in your Grade 12 GPA. However, we will also want to see evidence of the external tests you have taken. Each application is looked at individually, but you should normally have one or two of the following:

  • APs (where we would expect at least three subject with 4/5 in each)
  • SAT Reasoning Tests (normally with a combined score of 1300) or ACT grades
  • and/or SAT Subject Tests (where generally we expect you to have scores of 600 or higher). 

We would normally require APs or SAT Subject Tests in areas relevant to your chosen degree course.

Please note

Our entry requirements are guidelines and we assess all applications on a case-by-case basis.

My country is not listed

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

English language requirements

IELTS (Academic)

6.5 overall, including at least 6.0 in each component

IELTS scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test.

If you are applying for degree-level study we can consider your IELTS test from any test centre, but if you require a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) for an English language or pre-sessional English course (not combined with a degree) the test must be taken at a UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI)-approved IELTS test centre.

Find out more about IELTS.

Other English language requirements

Proficiency tests

Cambridge Advanced Certificate in English (CAE)

For tests taken before January 2015: Grade B or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CAE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Advanced.

Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE)

For tests taken before January 2015: grade C or above

For tests taken after January 2015: 176 overall, including at least 169 in each skill

We would normally expect the CPE test to have been taken within two years before the start of your course.

You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Cambridge English: Proficiency.

Pearson (PTE Academic)

62 overall, including at least 56 in all four skills.

PTE (Academic) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about Pearson (PTE Academic).

TOEFL (iBT)

88 overall, including at least 20 in Listening, 19 in Reading, 21 in Speaking, 23 in Writing.

TOEFL (iBT) scores are valid for two years from the test date. Your score must be valid when you begin your Sussex course. You cannot combine scores from more than one sitting of the test. Find out more about TOEFL (iBT).

The TOEFL Institution Code for the University of Sussex is 9166.

English language qualifications

AS/A-level (GCE)

Grade C or above in English Language.

Hong Kong Advanced Level Examination (HKALE)/ AS or A Level: grade C or above in Use of English

French Baccalaureat

A score of 12 or above in English.

GCE O-level

Grade C or above in English.

Brunei/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

Singapore/Cambridge GCE O-level in English: grades 1-6.

GCSE or IGCSE

Grade C or above in English as a First Language.

Grade B or above in English as a Second Language

German Abitur

A score of 12 or above in English.

Ghana Senior Secondary School Certificate

If awarded before 1993: grades 1-6 in English language.

If awarded between 1993 and 2005: grades A-D in English language.

Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE)

 Level 4, including at least 3 in each component in English Language.

Indian School Certificate (Standard XII)

The Indian School Certificate is accepted at the grades below when awarded by the following examination boards:

Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) – English Core only: 70%

Council for Indian School Certificate Examinations (CISCE) - English: 70% 

International Baccalaureate Diploma (IB)

English A or English B at grade 5 or above.

Malaysian Certificate of Education (SPM) 119/GCE O-level

If taken before the end of 2008: grades 1-5 in English Language.

If taken from 2009 onwards: grade C or above in English Language.

The qualification must be jointly awarded by the University of Cambridge Local Examinations Syndicate (UCLES).

West African Senior School Certificate

Grades 1-6 in English language when awarded by the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) or the National Examinations Council (NECO).

Country exceptions

Select to see the list of exempt English-speaking countries

If you are a national of one of the countries below, or if you have recently completed a qualification equivalent to a UK Bachelors degree or higher in one of these countries, you will normally meet our English requirements. Note that qualifications obtained by distance learning or awarded by studying outside these countries cannot be accepted for English language purposes.

You will normally be expected to have completed the qualification within two years before starting your course at Sussex. If the qualification was obtained earlier than this we would expect you to be able to demonstrate that you have maintained a good level of English, for example by living in an English-speaking country or working in an occupation that required you to use English regularly and to a high level.

Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by the University of Sussex.

List of exempt countries

  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Australia
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Canada**
  • Dominica
  • Grenada
  • Guyana
  • Ireland
  • Jamaica
  • New Zealand
  • St Kitts and Nevis
  • St Lucia
  • St Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • United Kingdom
  • USA

** Canada: you must be a national of Canada; other nationals not on this list who have a degree from a Canadian institution will not normally be exempt from needing to provide evidence of English.

Admissions information for applicants

Transfers into Year 2

No

If your qualifications aren’t listed or you have a question about entry requirements, email ug.enquiries@sussex.ac.uk.

Why choose this course?

  • Sociology at Sussex was ranked joint 1st for employment prospects in the UK (The Guardian University Guide 2018).
  • Be inspired by researchers specialising in health, medicine and science, gender and inequality, identity and everyday life, migration, social theory and political sociology, and crime and transgression.
  • Brighton is one of the UK’s fastest growing hubs for digital and creative media – perfect for your work experience and career opportunities in the media industry. 

Course information

How will I study?

You begin with key themes and perspectives in sociology, and sociological work examining diverse aspects of contemporary life in Britain and beyond. This includes social diversity, class and gender inequalities.

Foundation modules introduce you to the theoretical tools needed to question and investigate a range of media. You learn about contemporary media debates, as well as how to analyse and reflect on institutions, texts and audiences. Or you can choose a practice option in, for example, digital video, sound or photography.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

How will I study?

You learn to frame sociological questions and apply appropriate social research methods to find answers.

You explore issues, topics and texts to suit your interests and develop your research skills. You can focus on topics such as:

  • medicine and health
  • migration 
  • journalism and digital media.

Modules

These are the modules running in the academic year 2017. Modules running in 2018 may be subject to change.

Core modules

Options


Customise your course

Our courses are designed to broaden your horizons and give you the skills and experience necessary to have the sort of career that has an impact.

Gain programming skills and apply them to areas such as digital media, business and interactive design. Find out about our Year in Computing

Study abroad (optional)

Apply to study abroad – you’ll develop an international perspective and gain an edge when it comes to your career. Find out where your course could take you.

Placement (optional)

A placement is a great way to network and gain practical skills. When you leave Sussex, you’ll benefit from having the experience employers are looking for. Find out more about placements and internships.

Please note

If you’re receiving – or applying for – USA federal Direct Loan funds, you can’t transfer to the version of this program with an optional study abroad period in any country or optional placement in the USA. Find out more about American Student Loans and Federal Student Aid

“It was sociology that offered, for me, the best tools to explore ordinary people’s lives and experiences.” Dr Laura MorosanuLecturer in Sociology

Fees

UK/EU students:
Fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. The University intends to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.

The UK Government has confirmed that if you’re an EU student applying for entry in September 2018, you’ll pay the same fee rate as UK students for the duration of your course, even if the UK leaves the EU before the end of your course. You’ll also continue to have access to student loans and grants. Find out more on the UK Government website

Channel Islands and Isle of Man students:
The University aligns fees for Channel Islands and Isle of Man students with fees for UK/EU students. These fees are not yet set for entry in the academic year 2018. We intend to set fees at the maximum permitted by the UK Government (subject to continued satisfaction of the Teaching Excellence Framework). For the academic year 2017, fees were £9,250 per year.
International students:
£19,200 per year
Study abroad:
Find out about grants and funding, tuition fees and insurance costs for studying abroad
Placement:
Find out about tuition fees for placements

Note that your fees may be subject to an increase on an annual basis.

Find out about typical living costs for studying at Sussex

Scholarships

Our focus is personal development and social mobility. To help you meet your ambitions to study at Sussex, we deliver one of the most generous scholarship programmes of any UK university.

Careers

Graduate destinations

96% of Department of Sociology students were in work or further study six months after graduating. Recent graduates from the Department of Sociology and the Department of Media and Film have started jobs as:

  • senior account executive, Key Lime PR & Marketing
  • assistant project manager, FotoDocument
  • marketing assistant, Faversham House.

(HESA EPI, Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education Survey 2015)

Your future career

By studying Sociology and Media Studies you gain practical, communication, critical thinking and analytical skills. You’ll also develop media awareness.

Our graduates work in government, health, social welfare, public and human relations, journalism and business. You’ll also be prepared for jobs in media and communications. This includes working:

  • in press offices and public relations departments
  • for media organisations and institutions
  • towards a career in the creative and cultural industries.

Working while you study

Our Careers and Employability Centre can help you find part-time work while you study. Find out more about career development and part-time work

A Sociology of 21st Century Britain

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module will use contemporary Britain as an empirical base for exploring wider sociological perspectives. As an introductory degree level sociology module the emphasis is on developing a sociological sensibility to the social world. The questions that will be posed throughout the module are how are sociological explanations derived? how do different people come to different conclusions about similar social phenomena? what is distinct about sociological explanations - as opposed to those from other disciplines?

The relationship between empiricism and theory will be explored using examples from recent sociological research. The topics chosen broadly reflect established key themes in sociology however the exemplar material will be drawn from studies no older than five years. We shall be looking at how sociologists have interrogated a range of issues in 21st century Britain including work and employment, family, sport, intimacy, life online, nationalism, death and wealth. 

The first engagement with degree level sociology should be exciting and the module is designed to demonstrate the capacity of sociology to explore the social world in interesting, challenging and critical ways.

Questioning the Media A

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

This module examines ways of questioning media forms, texts and systems. It explores the breadth of media studies through attention to the ways in which media matter in the formation of individual and collective identities and in the practices of everyday life. In the more public world, to what extent are media key to providing knowledge and enabling the debate necessary to the practices of democracy? The module enables you to build on your own experiences of media as consumers, audiences and users. It encourages critical attention to how the field of media studies has historically been forged through its key figures and to the tools for questioning the media they have developed.

The module ranges across media and genres, engaging with both contemporary and historical material. Topics may include: audience pleasure and identity; representations and power; public knowledge; the social impact of the rise of digital media.

Key terms may include: criticism, critical thinking, identity, textual analysis, representation, semiotics, power, public knowledge, institutions.

Embedded in the module is the development of study skills appropriate to the study of media at undergraduate level, including organising study time, note taking, essay writing and referencing, with particular attention being paid to constructing arguments and being critical.

Themes and Perspectives in Sociology I

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 1

Modern sociology developed in the 19th century in tandem with the rise of industrial capitalist society. It had a number of key concerns that reflected the structure of – and changes in – society at the time. These concerns have continued to preoccupy sociologists in the context of contemporary societies, which have redefined key categories and experiences.

This module looks at such themes and at sociological perspectives on them as they have developed in both classical and contemporary forms of the discipline.

Debates in Media Studies A

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Throughout this module, you'll encounter some of the most well-known and widely regarded theoretical and critical approaches used in the study of media today. It will help you to identify and analyse the debates circulating around those approaches. In asking ‘what is the subject of media’ and ‘how should we study it?’, different approaches come up with very different answers. Media can be approached as ritual, (global) industry, meaning-maker, technology, dreamworld, everyday life, work place and sensual pleasure machine. Focus can switch from media production and organisation to analysis of media output, from exploration of consumption and use to the bigger issue of media in society.

In carving a way through this complexity, the module will introduce you to a few key frameworks – for example ‘political economy’, ‘critical race studies’, ‘psychoanalysis’, ‘feminist media theory’ – and alert you to how differences of approach have emerged depending on the specific medium or cultural form (radio, TV, cinema, internet, newspaper, advertising, music etc). However, a repeated reference point for the module is the cultural output of media and methods analysis, especially modes of textual analysis.

Making the Familiar Strange

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Your studies in this module are based on the question - how do sociologists do sociology?

In this module, you are introduced to epistemological and methodological issues in sociology.

From your engagement with epistemology, methodological questions arise. You address these questions, largely demonstrated through examples.

As part of the module, you explore particular epistemological approaches and reflect on worked examples of these.

You do this by counterpoising classic sociological studies with contemporary examples - critically examining the similarities and differences in epistemological and methodological approaches.

The examples you look at in this module open up space for discussion about appropriate ways of understanding social phenomena with particular ontological and epistemological frames.

Themes and Perspectives in Sociology II

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 1

Modern sociology developed in the 19th century in tandem with the rise of industrial capitalist society. It had a number of key concerns that reflected the structure of – and changes in – society at the time. These concerns have continued to preoccupy sociologists in the context of contemporary societies, which have redefined key categories and experiences.

This module looks at such themes and at sociological perspectives on them as they have developed in both classical and contemporary forms of the discipline.

Doing Social Research: working with quantitative data

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The aim of this module is to introduce students to different ways of designing and doing social research. In this part we focus on basic features of quantitative survey research, both analysing other people's research (using secondary data) and creating your own. In Part II we focus on different methods of qualitative data collection and analysis. The aim of the module is to give you important skills for life as well as the labour market, and more prosaically to prepare you to carry out project work in the third year. In both halves of this module you build up activities week by week to carry out a kind of 'pilot' or 'mini-project' on a topic of your choice. This is more closely supported than in year 3: you will discuss ideas for the project in your workshops; you will be helped to apply for ethical review; you will have formative feedback on your proposals and your research instruments (in this case surveys) and lots of help in workshops to bring it all together.

News, Politics and Power A

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module explores media and politics and, more broadly, the media and questions of power. It focuses on current affairs with a stress on news; although other forms of factual content (for instance TV docudrama, web blogs, broadsheet lifestyle spin-offs) are also covered. This module considers the role media can play in producing our understanding of the globalizing world in which we live. It asks how media frames, organises, and contextualises events, both as they take place, and in relation to the collective memories that emerge after the event. It also asks how the media themselves are managed, manipulated, and influenced – variously by governments, media owners, professional newsrooms codes, and/or by public pressure.

You will examine the role the media play in relation to the citizen and the state. It is through the optic of citizenship, particularly in relation to the public sphere, that questions concerning the power of the media are addressed. You will also explore how a wide range of media contribute to the maintenance or erosion of a democratic society and an informed citizenship.

Doing Social Research: working with qualitative data

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

You will be introduced to thinking about how to conduct sociological research using different methods. In this part you will focus on qualitative approaches. You will be introduced to debates in the social sciences related to research design, epistemology and studying sensitive and ethical issues, and will get practical experience in key methods for gathering and analysing qualitative data including interviewing, participant observation and textual analysis. Assessment will include a mini- or 'pilot' project carried out using one method.

Beyond the Vote: Citizenship and Participation in Sociology

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

Citizenship and participation is a module looking at the sociology of political involvement beyond the vote. It introduces different forms and sites of citizenship in the contemporary state - in relation to welfare, health, work, consumption, family life and the city or urban community - and also considers different expressions of social or civic activism, from volunteering to violent protest. The use and limitations of direct democratic experiments is examined, through analysis of various types of deliberative forum and citizen polling, and we consider the appeal of notions of 'responsibility' and 'choice'. You will learn through examining specific cases each week.

Classical Sociological Theory

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The aim of this module is to provide a reasonably comprehensive introduction to classical sociological theories and theorists and issues arising from their work. We will cover classical sociological theory from its origins in the Enlightenment period to the post World War II period. The module is concerned with these broad movements of thought with a focus on specific theorists and a close reading of extracts from classic texts. You will acquire an in-depth knowledge of the work of major classical sociological theorists.

Migration and Integration (Aut)

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you examine key questions and theoretical approaches related to the process of migration, the integration of migrants and their children in their societies of settlement, and their ongoing connections to the home communities.

These aspects are addressed in comparative perspective and illustrated with studies from Western Europe and North America.

Looking at the experience of documented and undocumented migrants, low-skilled and high-skilled workers, intra-European mobility and lifestyle migration, you:

  • develop an appreciation for the increasing variety and complexity of migration and integration patterns.
  • explore discussions of migrants' integration at destination and their 'home'-oriented ties and practices, evaluating the possibility, benefits, and constraints of living in more than one society.

You learn about:

  • the determinants and process of migration, highlighting the role of networks in migration decisions, routes, and destinations.
  • the context of reception by looking at state responses and attempts to control migration, and reactions to newcomers from the local population.
  • patterns of integration of migrants and their children.
  • theoretical models and studies on how migrants settle and fare in their host society, from an economic and socio-cultural perspective.
  • recent, transnationalist, approaches that bring migrants' home society into focus and emphasise the continuity of ties with the place of origin.
  • migrants' cross-border practices, activities and identities
  • how migration transforms home communities.

You also question if integration in the host society and transnational engagement are competing or compatible processes.

Resistance Movements in Conflict & War

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

In this module, you examine the sociology of war by investigating the intersection between violence, politics, social and economic issues, and human rights.

You undertake a sociological and criminological exploration of various groups throughout history who have 'broken the law' in order to achieve some type of positive social change.

You explore a range of interesting academic theories and concepts, including social movement theory, resistance theory, and other related issues around collective behaviour, rational choice theory, and framing, for example.

You put these theories into context by studying various groups who achieved what is now generally deemed to be positive social change throughout history. These may include various resistance movements against the Third Reich during World War II, and Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress, for example.

You also examine changing political and social values, ideologies and goals of resistance movements, where support and condemnation have been attached to
the same group over a relatively short period of time, including the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Sociology of Everyday Life

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The aim of this module is to encourage you to think sociologically about everyday life, by 'making the familiar strange'. You are asked to suspend any taken for granted assumptions you have about the rules and routines of social life, and instead to question these patterns of behaviour from the perspective of an external observer.

The module will introduce you to some of the key theories of interpretivist social theory, such as ethnomethodology and symbolic interactionism, and encourage you to look for the unspoken rules and norms of behaviour that govern social life in different contexts. Thus the substantive topics to be covered include the home and domestic routines, interaction on the street, shopping and consumption, eating and drinking rituals, time and schedules, shyness and embarrassment, holidays and leisure, and the sociology of sleep. There will be a session about (and where possible, a visit to) the Mass Observation archive, which you will be encouraged to use as a source of data. An exercise will be set each week relating to the topics; the collection of these exercises will be submitted as part of the assessment task. You will also be asked to give a non-assessed presentation on a text from one week of the module.

Sociology of Medicine and Health

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

The module begins by considering the relationship between socio-economic inequality and health outcomes industrialiSed countries, especially in Britain. You then examines the role played by the state, and the National Health Service in particular, in the heath of the nation. The position of medical and health professionals is also analysed in order to understand processes of professionalization and medicalization. Attention then turns to medicines themselves, how they are tested for safety and effectiveness by the pharmaceutical industry and how this process in regulated by governments. The implications of pharmaceuticals and drug prescribing for public health will be carefully scrutinised. You will also gain sociological insights into reproductive technologies and some of the health and social implications of the 'new genetics'. Finally, the module discussed lay public and mass media perspectives on medicine.

Sound, Culture & Society B

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 2

This module introduces you to the role of sound in human culture and society. It seeks to foster an understanding of aurality in the past and present and the relationship of sound to various modern media. It provides you with interests in film, television, radio, music and journalism with a solid and wide-ranging introduction of the main historical, theoretical and practical thinking around the subject of sound. It encompasses music and speech but places them in the context of sound and listening more broadly. The approach is global and interdisciplinary combining historical perspectives with textual analysis of contemporary films, programmes and soundscapes with emerging work on auditory cultures and online media in both 'Western' and 'non-Western' parts of the world.

Subjects covered would include:

  • Hearing and the senses (including perception, mood, and memory)
  • The concept and history of the 'soundscape'
  • Sound before and after modernity (including the concept of 'oral culture', the role of sound in political and social struggles through history, the electrification and recording of sound)
  • Sound and ethnography (eg sound in everyday life in varous cultures)
  • The voice (including styles of speech and the ways in which 'personality' is supposedly revealed through voice and gender)
  • Cinema and sound (including film sound design in the past and present)
  • Music and new media (including new forms of music production and reception, and the production of taste).

You will also be introduced to some of the key terms and concepts used in analysing sound, both in the study of soundscapes and in the study of soundtracks.

Advertising and Social Change B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module engages with the historical development of advertising and opens up a critical understanding of its contemporary place within media economies, culture and society. In the 21st century, advertising has been transformed by the rise of branding, the maturing of the internet and the emergence of new media forms like social media. Traditional advertising forms and the funding model for media which advertising has provided are under threat.

It asks questions about advertising in relation to (social) change, considering whether it is quite the conservative force it is sometimes believed to be reproducing 'dominant ideologies', trading in 'stereotypes', blocking or hiding change, and whether it is perhaps scapegoated when blamed for causing undesirable social changes, such as obesity. To think of advertising in another way, we explore how advertising as an institution and commercial tool is tied into the dynamics of capitalist modernity so that it also trades in the 'new': forever trying to capture the 'mood' of the moment or articulate the current 'state of play'. We consider how some scholars argue that advertising can be therapeutic, managing change and resolving the tensions of modern life rather than simply inciting anxieties for which capitalism has the remedy: go shopping.

We also explore the contradictions of advertising, as both commercial tool for capitalism helping to sustain consumer expansion and a cultural communicative artefact, offering pleasures and irritations, provoking memories, constructing multiple identities and like other cultural output contributing to how we feel, think, talk and culturally connect and disconnect from others.

Through lectures and seminars, group work and independent study, the module engages with these questions and issues through the study of historical and contemporary ad examples, scrutinising both commercial ads and those geared to social marketing, eg. charity ads. It equips you with the tools of analysis to engage with the 'work' of ad campaigns and the broader phenomenon of branding and promotion. But it also provides you with knowledge of the ad industry and the work that ad agencies do. Through engagement with a wide scholarship, you will be introduced to theorisations which give you ways to understand why and how advertising has changed and how it can be thought about in relation to broader developments in society.

Debates in Screen Documentary B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will introduce you to the major debates in documentary film studies, a burgeoning field within the discipline of film studies. The documentary is notoriously difficult to categorize or define, but John Grierson’s provisional definition as ‘the creative treatment of actuality’ is as good a place as any to start the investigation of this shapeshifting form.

Gaining in popularity and expanding in form well beyond its traditional televisual format, documentary studies has become an exciting area of research with a literature that is expanding exponentially. A survey of the field will include (but is not limited to) interrogations into questions of:

  • representation of reality
  • documentary authorship
  • objectivity and subjectivity
  • the essayistic and experimental modes
  • other key themes.

Movements and trends in documentary will be covered including a range of practices that have spurred heated debate, such as the mockumentary, the interactive documentary, and the incursion of documentary into the art world. Case studies from international documentary will be integrated into the module, depending on the specialism of the convenor.

Digital Cultures B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module examines interactive leisure forms and practices based on digital technologies. It understands digital media as a significant and expanding new media formation; one that is transforming both the content and economics of the culture industries. The module will consider the cultural, political and social implications of new forms of interactive media designed for leisure and entertainment. Areas covered will include computer gaming, networked new media such as networked games, networked social spaces, pornography and other on-line entertainment. In addition the module will consider new forms of convergence between previously discrete media forms - for instance Net-TV collaboration and net-served films.

Journalism in Crisis B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module offers a diversity of approaches for studying journalists and journalism around the world, and charts the opportunities, challenges and crises facing journalism in an increasingly global field.

The module examines the impact of developments in journalism that have resulted in it becoming an international phenomenon operating in global networks as opposed to within national or cultural borders. It looks at journalism in crisis (as a practice) and journalism as it responds to and communicates crises in the world. It explores the blurring between entertainment and news, as well as the formerly clear division between journalism, public relations and business communication. The module draws on specific examples of global media events to examine these issues and enables you to creatively and critically explore the challenges of consuming and producing globalised stories.

Power, Deviance and Othering

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module falls into two parts. In the first part, the concepts of crime, deviance and social control will be considered alongside the exploration of the sociological explanations for the existence of crime and deviance in society. The module will also critically examine the data sources used to support these perspectives. In the second part of the module, these perspectives will be applied to the study of substantive areas of deviance comprising institutions of social control (the police, the courts and prisons); the distribution of crime and the use of official statistics; the mass media; juvenile delinquency; mental illness; and sexuality.

Race: Conflict and Change

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module will examine and explore the issues of race, racism, racial conflict and race relations in contemporary Britain (Please note: although we will mainly refer to Britain, examples from other countries in Europe and the West will be frequently used). Beginning with colonial discourses of the racial 'other', the post-1945 period following the start of mass colonial immigration to Britain, through to the present day you will examine the various historical, social, political, economic and cultural forces and processes through which the concept of race and the racialised subject have been constructed, shaped and changed over time.

The module is taught through lectures and seminars, each focusing on a particular historical, social, political, cultural or theoretical topic, issue and problem related to race in Britain. These range from: the construction and status of race through various discourses and contexts of colonialism, immigration and multiculturalism, issues of identity, representation, power, equality and difference, the relationship between race and other social-political identifications, categories and divisions such as nationality, class, gender, ethnicity and religion, the relationship between race and the law, crime and civil unrest, the history of racial conflict and the development of anti-racist activism, policies and legislation, forms of cultural politics, expression and resistance and, finally, current issues and debates concerning the status of race in Britain.

Researching Media and Communication

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module introduces you to the importance of studying research methods, enabling you to critically evaluate the work of researchers – and your own. It will also enable students to reflect on the issue of research ethics.

The module is taught through a lecture series plus seminars. The lectures cover quantitative and qualitative approaches commonly used in media and communications, such as questionnaires, content analysis, textual and visual analysis, interviewing, and ethnographic approaches.

The seminars provide you with a general training in these research methods, including research design, collection, analysis and interpretation of data.

Resistance Movements in Conflict & War

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

The module will examine the sociology of war by investigating the intersection between violence, politics, social and economic issues, and human rights. It will be a sociological and criminological exploration of various groups throughout history who have 'broken the law' in order to achieve some type of positive social change.

The module will explore a range of interesting academic theories and concepts, including social movement theory, resistance theory, and other related issues around collective behaviour, rational choice theory, and framing, for example.

These theories will be put into context by studying various groups who achieved what is now generally deemed to be positive social change throughout history, including various resistance movements against the Third Reich during the second world war, and Nelson Mandela and the African National Congress.

The module will also examine changing political and social values, ideologies and goals of resistance movements, where support and condemnation have been attached to the same group over a relatively short period of time, including the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Sociology of Globalisation (Spr)

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module looks at the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of globalisation. The module will examine the meaning and definition of globalisation and its history since premodern times to the present day. It will assess perspectives on globalisation from globalist to sceptical and at the critical theories of sociologists such as Bauman and Bourdieu. It will examine the growth of global media corporations and discuss whether these impose western cultural imperialism or if global culture is more heterogenous and hybrid because of globalisation. We will look at causes and patterns of migration and whether migration has the negative effects it is often portrayed as producing. The module will examine the experience of globalisation in global cities. We will assess whether the world economy has been globalised and globalisation is a solution to global inequality and poverty. The module will examine whether globalisation has eroded national democracy and autonomy and whether it leads to neoliberal policies being imposed on nation-states. We will discuss global social movements and global protest. We will assess the balance of global power between states such as the USA and China and at the future of war and conflict globally.

TV: Fictions and Entertainments B

  • 15 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 2

This module focuses on the textual and contextual study of television's key fiction and entertainment genres - soap operas, sitcoms and other styles of comedy, game shows, lifestyle television, daytime television, and music television among others. You will be encouraged to explore the defining generic characteristics of these televisual categories, their representational strategies, their ideological implications, their particular pleasures and their relationship with audiences. The primary focus will be on British television, although material from other broadcasting contexts will be used where appropriate for comparative purposes. Most of the primary material will be drawn from current or recent TV, but students will also be required to investigate the history of popular TV genres to understand their evolution over time.

Alternative Societies (Aut)

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Socologists often analyse and criticise the world, and this module examines the alternative societies implied by sociological assessments and criticisms. We will look at alternative societies such as:

  • communist and other kinds of non-capitalist and non-market societies
  • libertarian and decentralised societies
  • communes and alternative types of living.

The module will cover areas such as alternative education, alternative economies and co-ops, participatory types of political organisation, non-patriarchal society, non-racist society, alternative societies for developing countries, green and sustainable societies, societies without work, society without borders, media, technology and alternative societies, and the politics of transition to alternatives. We will look at the role of sociology as critical, utopian and normative.

Consuming Passions

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores consumption practices within specific social, cultural and historical contexts. It will build upon other modules you have undertaken throughout your degree and enable you to draw interim conclusions to processes through which people make sense of objects – and other culturally significant things – and how they are appropriated into everyday life. It also explores consumption as a basic human activity through which people engage with and understand their position in the world. It will locate social, historical and culturally specific consumption practices within wider processes of identity-creation and differentiation. Finally, consumption will be discussed in the context of the development of 'consumer cultures' and globalisation.

'Consuming Passions' will take a dynamic and deliberately interdisciplinary approach to a number of key concepts central to the study of 'culture'. It will draw upon and critically examine the variety of ways in which cultural and sub-cultural groups acquire, interpret, use and develop such things as film, music, food, sexuality, fashion, literature and art, and include the study of material and visual cultures.

The weekly topics are related and have been chosen deliberately to interact with one another in intriguing and unexpected ways. You are strongly encouraged to make original and imaginative leaps and connections during seminar discussions and in both your coursework and your extended essays, in which you may also re-examine, in greater depth, some of the topics you may have encountered in earlier modules.

Death of Socialism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module looks at the contemporary condition of socialism following the collapse of state socialism in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere, the erosion of the central principles of Western social democracy and the prevalence of free market and capitalist ideas at the start of the century. Is socialism a relevant, feasible or desirable idea in contemporary society? Or is it dead, merely a historical relic of the 20th century?

We will start by looking at the two predominant conceptions and experiences of socialism of the twentieth century - ­ Marxist and social democratic socialism. What are the main features of these models of socialism? You will then examine criticisms of socialism from liberals and libertarians ­ such as Hayek and Nozick ­ and from new social movements ­ such as the women's movement and the green movement. What critical points are raised by these perspectives and how telling are they? We will look at reasons for the collapse of state socialism in the late 1980s and at attempts in the West to rethink socialism during an era in which neo­liberalism was a predominant force. Do liberal and new social movements' criticisms and the collapse of state socialism suggest that socialism is dead? Do attempts to redefine socialism (as market socialism or radical democratic socialism) escape the criticisms of liberals and the new social movements and the problems experienced under old social democracy and state socialism? Or do they indicate that the era of socialism has well and truly passed?

In the final two topics we shall address this question a little more. We will examine the attempt of New Labour and current European social democrats to respond to the crisis of social democracy and will ask whether there is anything remaining of socialism in such attempts. And we shall examine theses such as that of Fukuyama: that the day of socialism has passed and that capitalism has won the battle.

Documentary, Reality TV and 'Real Lives'

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

During this documentary module you'll analyse documentary production in its historical and cultural context and focuses on new developments in documentary production, reality TV formats, feature documentary and alternative documentary production. In addition we'll address emerging documentary production in the developing world.

The module covers foundational thinking in documentary; theorisations of different modes of documentary; reality TV; debates over documentary's truth claims; the boundary between documentary and fiction; dramatisation and reconstructions; and international independent documentary production.

Globalisation and Communication

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module studies the role of the media (broadly understood to include all forms of telecommunications, the Internet and computers, print and televisual journalism, the music industry and all forms of visual media) in the era of globalisation. It will begin by investigating various forms of globalisation and by asking how it is explored through various registers.

We will focus on the relations between globalisation and the media regarded through the lens of global political-economies, through culture and its flows, and through the register of the symbolic. We will then address the specific role of the various media forms/formations in initiating, consolidating and sustaining both the idea and the practice of globalisation.

The module will also consider the risks, possibilities, hopes and anxieties circulating around the figure of accelerating globalisation, as it operates in the arena of media culture. This module will deliver the necessary information and theoretical background for you to understand the key processes and dynamics of globalisation. More specifically, you will be asked to come to terms with the meaning of our current historical moment as it is expressed through the use of the term globalisation in a number of disciplinary fields (politics, economics, cultural studies, media studies, etc). The module is designed to encourage you to then relate the general conception of globalisation to particular case studies in media and culture.

Identity and Interaction

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores microsociological theories of the self, social identity and social interaction, drawing particularly on Symbolic Interactionism and Goffman's dramaturgical theory. The aim is to show how the ostensibly private world of individual selfhood is created and shaped by social processes, culture and interaction order.

The first half of the module examines different approaches to understanding identity: from the philosophy of mind and personhood, through theories of group membership and categorisation; narrative and biographical models of the 'storied self'; performativity; and poststructuralist ideas about identity fragmentation, multiplicity and the discursive constitution of subjectivities.

The second part of the module looks in detail at two related theories of social interaction - Symbolic Interactionism and Goffman's dramaturgy - and their empirical applications, using illustrative examples from published studies. Topics covered here include: role-making, taking, play and conflict; meanings, gestures and symbols; strangers and outsiders; Goffman's theatrical analogy; behaviour in public places (etiquette, civility and interaction rituals); deviant and stigmatised identities; the negotiated order of institutional life; and secrecy, lies, betrayal and deception.

The module will be assessed by a 6,000 word essay, in the form of either a critical commentary on the social formation of one type of social identity or a reflexive portfolio of self-identity.

Media and Communications Dissertation Preparation

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Media, War and Terrorism

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module explores in depth the complex role of modern media in the conduct and public understanding of contemporary war and conflict. It seeks to foster an understanding of the methods used by militaries, journalists and film makers and in the shaping of discourses around war and conflict in both the past and present.

It will provide you with interests in film, television and journalism with an indepth overview of the main historical and theoretical thinking around the subject of war and media. The approach is global and interdisciplinary, combining historical perspectives with textual analysis of contemporary media including news, documentary, film and emerging online media in both ‘Western’ and non-Western parts of the world.

Subjects covered might include:

  • an analysis of the key theoretical perspectives through which the relationship between media and war can be examined
  • the history, development and debates around military-media management strategies (for example, official and un-official censorship, access clauses, embedding, public relations and strategic communications) through which the military attempt to manage (predominantly mainstream) media coverage of their activities
  • an critical exploration of the ways militaries utilise their own media in the conduct and strategizing of contemporary war and conflict where media (leaflets, radio, social media) is integrated into battlefield strategy, particularly in counter-insurgency warfare. These strategies might include, for example, psychological operations; influencing activities, target audience analysis
  • current debates around war (and peace) journalism as a distinct practice (including war journalism and objectivity, peace journalism)
  • current theoretical and political understandings of the cumulative effects of military management and journalistic practice on the conduct of war and conflict (including the debates around the CNN effect, media and conflict generation, mediatisation)
  • the role of media actors (war correspondents and film makers in particular) in representing war and implications for public understandings
  • war, media and memory including ongoing debates and theorization of the relationship between media, memory and history in specific relation to war and conflict.

Migration, Identity, and Home

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Science and the Media

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Scientific controversy makes for a good story but it is also an important site of enquiry for media and science students. From human cloning to the internet, science and technology make up a central aspect of the form and content of the contemporary media. Science communication, public engagement with science, and scientific imaginaries, are key components of both factual and fictional genres from the press and the cinema, to the arts and science policy. Understanding the media as a central feature of contemporary science and techno cultures, and science and technology as central to media cultures, equips successful students with the ability to evaluate some of the key contemporary issues in society.

Using historical and contemporary case studies such as nuclear energy and biotechnology, the module might include any of the following issues:

  • fact and fraud
  • hypes and hopes
  • media publics and science
  • science and art
  • science communication and public engagement with science
  • relationships between science practice and science fiction
  • cultures of news production and science reporting
  • science as culture

The module considers the relationship between scientific cultures and key institutions in the UK and globally. These include (for example) Hollywood, the Wellcome Trust and the Science Media Centre. The role of science fiction and feminist interventions in science and technology studies also provide cross cutting aspects of the course.

Social Media and Critical Practice

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Social media has become the way of framing much internet and mobile media and the implications of this turn are important. We use social media platforms in our everyday life and they have become influential in journalism, promotional culture, education and across the media industries. However, their pervasiveness and significance goes unchallenged and largely celebrated through the language of participation, communication and freedom. This module aims to stand back from the everyday ubiquity of these forms to question and analyse them by using them critically and creatively.

The module examines a range of social media platforms by engaging and using them and by equipping students to critically analyse this. We look at the promise and perils of these new forms, the histories of their emergence, their institutional and structural shape and power, and the politics, economics, aesthetics and pleasures attached to them.

You will engage social media platforms to create a small practical project and interrogate this engagement through an extended critique of use and practice.

Sociology of Care: caring and work (Aut)

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

Explore the question of how and why people 'care' for each other and who gets 'cared for' in different social settings.

You study concepts and theories from a range of perspectives including feminist social theory, sociology of nursing, health and illness and disability studies.

You explore experiences of care giving and receiving by family and professionals through a range of empirical cases.

You will also study debates about:

  • the value and cost of care work and emotional labour
  • the commodification of care
  • the implications of new populations in need of care
  • the concept of vulnerability and its intersection with care needs and provision
  • the meaning of care across the life course with particular reference to people with specific disabilities or chronic health conditions.

Sociology of Fun (Aut)

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

This module introduces you to the idea of a sociology of fun, where fun will be treated as a key component of modern social relations. This is a completely new area of sociological enquiry – you will be involved in social science as it is being developed.

Whilst there is a large literature on well-being, psychological and physical health and leisure – addressed in the module – there is almost no social scientific literature on experiences of fun. Early work on 'fun morality' disappeared by the end of the 1950s, as concerns about the longer term implications of good health, well-being and (more recently) happiness – related to discourses of the productive worker – came to dominate writing on the positive and negative aspects of our socio-emotional lives.

This module addresses a central theme – that the under representation of fun in literature is because of a social representation of it as frivolous and fleeting. Throughout the module this is counterpoised with data illustrating the importance placed on fun by a variety of people in a variety of settings.

Here fun will be presented as something distinct from well-being and happiness due to the temporal impermanence of the phenomenal experience. But fun resonates through the telling and re-telling of the experience of having fun – which in itself stimulates fun.

Sociology Research Proposal

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module is to give you direct experience of carrying out a small-scale research project, from the initial stages of design to the final stages of presenting your findings. It is intended to consolidate and build upon the knowledge base gained from the DSR research methods module in the second year, as you will use these skills to research a topic of your choice. You will be assessed on how well you interpret and apply the relevant methodological issues to your research design, manage the practical side of the project, and reflect on the effectiveness of your chosen strategies. You work mainly through independent study, under the guidance of a supervisor. The assessment consists of a research proposal, presentation and 8000-word written report.

The Cultural Life of Capital Punishment (Aut)

  • 30 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you look at sociological, criminological, socio-legal and cultural approaches in order to study capital punishment.

You will engage with a 'cultures of punishment' perspective on the death penalty, drawing on capital punishment scholars such as David Garland (2010), Austin Sarat (2001) and Franklin Zimring (2003).

This perspective emphasises the need to understand the symbolic meanings generated by punishment and how these relate to social change.

You also study capital punishment in its historical and contemporary contexts. After establishing this theoretical framework, you study a broadly chronological approach from the nineteenth-century to the present.

You explore the following topics:

  • spectacle and public execution
  • the campaign to end public executions
  • mid twentieth-century abolitionism
  • public views on capital punishment in England
  • American reinstatement of the death penalty
  • cultural portrayals of capital punishment
  • women and the death penalty
  • 'new abolitionism' and the innocence movement in the United States
  • European cosmopolitan identity and the campaign for worldwide abolition
  • current use of the death penalty worldwide with a focus on Singapore, Japan and China.

You mainly focus on European countries and the United States, although the final topic includes a wider international dimension.

The Politics of Representation

  • 15 credits
  • Autumn Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module is to examine the ways in which representations (in the broadest sense) both orchestrate and animate our social and cultural worlds. By representation we mean the texts, institutions and practices that are circulated via various forms of mediation (mainly through the written, the visual, and the auditory forms that circulate in culture). Identity has been a key issue here and the representation of gender, sexuality, ethnicity, nationality, class, age, disability, religion (and so on) will be one theme for investigation.

Similarly the use of representation to articulate political forms of life (for instance neo-liberalism and its associated agendas) will be a key concern. The module will provide a thorough exploration of a number of key approaches to contemporary and historical representational forms and will endeavour to place these approaches within wider political, cultural and social contexts.

Celebrity, Media and Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Celebrities are an enduring feature of popular culture, from cinema to the news. Spectacular individuals permeate our media landscape via social media, high fashion and internet gossip.

This module encourages you to engage with historical and contemporary cultures of celebrity. It fosters a critical understanding of the construction of stardom, and of the political and cultural climates in which different kinds of celebrities and their fans emerge. In looking across the spectrum of celebrity in transnational and local contexts, you will engage with notions of:

  • intimacy and distance
  • authenticity and performance
  • intertextuality and emotion
  • glamour and disgust
  • labour and identity.

Comedy and Cultural Belonging

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Comedy is, above all, a cultural form that invites its audiences to feel that they belong – to a social community, a class, a locality, a nation, a subculture, a gender, a sexual identity, an ethnic group, a community of interest, or a complex intersection of several of these.

This module explores the relationship between comedy and belonging by considering a number of conceptual fields, such as:

  • theories of the comedic
  • questions of identity formation
  • notions of representation and stereotyping
  • structures of power and resistance
  • the sexual politics of jokes
  • concepts of carnival and excess
  • the idea of a 'national sense of humour'
  • the use of comic strategies by 'minority' groups
  • the complexities of camp
  • the role of class in cultural consumption.

The initial focus is on 20th-century British popular comedy. The comic texts and practitioners studied might include Alan Bennett, Mike Leigh, Victoria Wood, the music hall tradition, the Ealing comedies, the Carry On films, Morecambe and Wise, The League of Gentlemen and The Royle Family.

Contemporary Social Theory (Spr)

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module provides a critical assessment of the some of the most prominent sociological theorists in the late 20th century. This period can be described as post-classical in the sense that the various schools of classical sociological theory associated with Marx, Weber, Durkheim and their later followers gave way to a range of new approaches such as those linked to post-structuralism, such as Foucault - as well as to new interpretations of the classical approaches, such as social constructionism, western Marxism and critical theory. The central aim of the module is to show how contemporary thinkers have understood the major transformations in modern society (ie from industrial to post-industrial society, globalisation, new social movements such as feminism, environmental movements, identity politics). This will involve a consideration of some of the most important debates in sociological theory, such as the debates about modernity versus postmodernity, structure versus agency as well as the influence of psychoanalytic social theory emanating from feminist theory and from post-structuralism.

The weekly topics include: social constructionism; Foucault and govementality; Habermas and critical theory; recognition theory (Honneth); marxism after postmodernism; Bourdieu and recent French sociology; poststructuralism and psychoanalysis: Derrida, Lacan, Deleuze; Bauman's postmodern ethics; network theory: Latour and Castells; theories of modernity; cosmopolitanism and social theory; culture and social theory (performativity, Alexander).

Development, Human Rights and Security (Spr)

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Human rights, development and security are essential to current international social and political concerns and are becoming ever more interlinked. This module sets out to consider from a critical perspective recent intellectual developments in the field with a view to answering contemporary social and political questions through analytically rigorous and empirically grounded approaches. The module is comprised of three core sections: development, human rights and security, each of which cover pressing current affairs informed by classical and contemporary theory. It will take you through the evolution of development theory starting with the classical approaches and ending with intellectual challenges from post-development theory and feminism. It will then move onto an equally critical analysis of the intellectual evolution of human rights and its contemporary application before exploring the topical themes of securitisation, terrorism and transnational Islam in the post-9/11 period.

Everyday Life and Technology

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The module investigates the overlapping technological, cultural and social dimensions of technology (particularly communication technologies, but also other domestic technologies) as they are encountered in everyday life. It explores these issues through an investigation of historical and contemporary examples (the telephone, the radio, the television, the mp3 player, the fridge, the computer and the internet) and discusses how domestic technologies are socially shaped, re-shaped, experienced and consumed. During the module you will consider major theoretical approaches to the study of everyday technologies as well as debates about their consequences and significance.

Feminism and Digital Culture

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Media and Communications Dissertation

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This dissertation module allows you to draw upon material taught in your third year autumn modules in order to write and research your 8,000 word dissertation.

It is aimed to build upon appropriate critical, theoretical and methodological approaches encountered in those modules. As such the course will enable you to draw together and reflect upon the skills and knowledge acquired not just in Year 3, but throughout your degree course.

The module is largely self-directed permitting them to focus upon their specific and individual  topic of research. Introductory lectures, tutorials both group and individual and research workshops will guide students through the process of planning, researching and writing their dissertation.

Migration, Identity, and Home

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Europeans have become increasingly mobile in recent years.

In this module, you explore how being part of the European Union affects the lives and identities of ordinary European citizens 'on the move'.

Specifically, you examine intra-European forms of mobility, tracing the experiences of different categories of EU citizens who take advantage of the 'freedom of movement' or aspire to do so, from Erasmus students and holiday makers to professionals, lower-skilled workers, and lifestyle migrants.

Drawing on migration and Europeanisation studies, you look at whether and how cross-border mobility affects Europeans' sense of identity, and engenders forms of belonging beyond the 'national'.

Performing the Urban: postcolonial perspectives

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

Performance cultures provide a unique insight into urban and social transformation. Addressing urban dance, music and language scenes, among other things, this module opens up a range of debates on the relationship between performance cultures and the urban. This in-depth exploration engages critically with theoretical perspectives on performance and and addresses the main frames through which performing the urban can be understood. You will, for example, consider the history of urban performance cultures and how they are made in different places. Developing these intellectual tools, you will enter into a series of applied discussions on performance culture’s relation to youth politics, multiculture and cosmopolitanism, and cultural technologies whilst considering the intersection of these topics with race, class and gender. You will consider how we might understand contemporary urban politics and perhaps even counter stories of its demise. You will discuss the multicultural and diasporic formation of urban performances, and how the use of YouTube by urban musicians might be similar or different to the use of sound systems or pirate radio. In the final session, you will look out to consider the future of performance cultures in the context of the urban, and indeed how the weeks’ prevision discussions prefigure different futurities.

This module will engage with a range of materials of interest to UK, EU and international students. Discussions on the relation of time to performance culture will draw on examples of changing language use in urban places. Analyses of space will engage with performances of the ‘hood, ghetto and post-code. The evaluation of struggle will consider the politics of riots/uprisings in addition to more mundane expressions of racialised, classed and gendered resistance drawn form urban ethnographies. The analysis of multiculture and cosmopolitanism will engage with the biographies of singer songwriters such as Prince, MIA and Wiley in addition to South Asian dance music. The analysis of transforming relationships between performance culture and technology will include a comparative exploration of sound systems, pirate radio and online music videos.

The module’s engagement with music, digital media, film, and everyday cultural practices, will be of interest to undergraduate students in cultural studies, media and communications, and music and film, in addition to students from wider social science and humanities disciplines. In particular it will build on MFM second year modules on ‘culture, race and ethnicity’, ‘digital cultures’, ‘gender, space and culture’, ‘media, memory, history’ and ‘sound culture and society’; and joint second-year cultural studies modules such as ‘cities and urban lives’ and ‘culture and performance’.

Overall, the module will provide you with the substantive, historical and theoretical means to analyse and engage with the complexities inherent in performing urban culture.

Subjects covered include:

  1. An introduction to urban performance culture, including an outline of foundational studies on urban culture.
  2. Key theoretical perspectives through which urban performance culture has been addressed, in particular focusing on ‘performativity’, vernacular and dialogue.
  3. A discussion of performance cultures in time, their relation to the past and the creative transformations they undergo.
  4. An evaluation of how performance culture is constituted in space (in particular urban space).
  5. An critical discussion of performance culture as a site of political struggle and how this intersects with class, race and gender.
  6. An analysis of performance culture as a manifestation of multiculture and cosmopolitanism.
  7. An analysis of the transforming relationships between urban culture and technology.
  8. An evaluation of the future of urban culture.

Political Communication

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

This module will present a critical review of key aspects of contemporary theory, research and practice in political communications. It will allow you to explore how these may be challenged by and transformed by new technologies and by sophisticated methods for shaping personalised messages. Using an interdisciplinary perspective, you will examine the key theoretical concepts pertaining to political communication as normally understood in the West, then pose normative and empirical questions on how they can be assessed outside those contexts.

The module will provide you with the ability to assess the role and function of communication in the public sphere and to evaluate the management and practice of communication within the political process. Throughout, you'll be encouraged to consider and reflect on political communication within and across different national and regional contexts.

Sociology Project

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The aim of this module is to give you direct experience of carrying out a small scale research project, from the initial stages of design to the final stages of presenting your findings. It is intended to consolidate and build upon the knowledge base gained from the DSR research methods module in the second year, as you will use these skills to research a topic of your choice. You will be assessed on how well you interpret and apply the relevant methodological issues to your research design, manage the practical side of the project, and reflect on the effectiveness of your chosen strategies. You work mainly through independent study, under the guidance of a supervisor. The assessment consists of a research proposal, presentation and 8,000 word written report.

Surveillance, Security and Control

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

In this module, you examine key developments and controversies in surveillance and security.

You focus on the deployment of surveillance in diverse contexts including:

  • crime control
  • national security
  • welfare
  • border control
  • consumption.

You are introduced to a range of historical, theoretical and empirical contexts that advance your understanding and the critical analysis of surveillance in society.

Through specific case studies - including DNA databases; the Snowden Affair; the 'internet of things' and military surveillance - you are encouraged to analyse contemporary surveillance trends in the light of shifting constellations of power, politics, resistance and control.

The Body: current controversies and debates

  • 30 credits
  • Spring Teaching, Year 3

The body has recently become a key focus for sociological theorising and research. Much of this work has focused on defining the body as a socially constructed phenomenon, and exploring how it is produced through various social and cultural practices and discourses, and categories such as gender, class, race and sexual orientation. However, the body is also highly politically charged; a key site at which oppression is meted out, and is a focus of regulation and governance at individual, group, national and international levels. Bodies, and particularly women's bodies, are also at the nexus of some of the most controversial debates of our time.  

This module looks at the politics of the body from a sociological point of view, exploring themes of embodiment and power through a variety of controversial issues such as HIV/AIDS, sexual violence, sex work, abortion, cosmetic surgery and eugenics. You will think through various debates in relation to a broad canon of theories from feminism and sociology, around notions such as rights, bodily autonomy and integrity, structures and discourses, and the formation and regulation of identities. Gender will be a central thread throughout, and attention will be paid to how it intersects with other social categories such as class, 'race', sexual orientation, age, and (dis)ability.
 
 

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