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2017/18 Taught Postgraduate Programme Catalogue

MA Social and Political Thought

Programme code:MA-SOC&PT-FUCAS code:
Duration:12 Months Method of Attendance: Full Time
Programme manager:Austin Harrington Contact address:a.harrington@leeds.ac.uk

Total credits: 180

Entry requirements:

2:1 BA (Hons) in the Social Sciences, Humanities or related discipline
English Language requirements as directed by School policy.

School/Unit responsible for the parenting of students and programme:

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Examination board through which the programme will be considered:

School of Sociology and Social Policy Exam Board

Relevant QAA Subject Benchmark Groups:

At present there are no QAA Benchmarks relevant to this programme. However, the external reviewer for our existing programme has acknowledged the high standard of teaching, student support and expertise of the teaching staff in this area.

Programme specification:


The programme will continue to have considerable advantage over market competitors in its close relationship to the School's Bauman Institute, founded in 2010. This is a research and teaching centre dedicated to addressing key social problems that affect rapidly changing societies across the globe. The Institute was established in honour of Leeds's Emeritus Professor, Zygmunt Bauman, whose work on international social change and the global impact of major social issues such as consumption, security and insecurity and ethics is internationally renowned.

The international profile of the Institute, evidenced by Professor Bauman's global reputation in addition to the Institute's global online network, continues to offer a clear and distinctive quality to the teaching programme within international markets, as evidenced by burgeoning interest in the Institute from across the world.

The Bauman Institute will continue to expand its reputation as a world-leading centre for sociology and social theory, with its PG programmes translating expertise into teaching practice and helping to recruit higher levels of international PGTs.

As such, the new programme will help to meet identified strategic priorities at all levels, and specifically to:
- increase the impact of international activities in the School, Faculty and University;
- provide an exceptional student experience by exposing students to international research leaders on a programme that will translate research excellence into teaching practice.

Furthermore, there is an emerging aspiration to impact positively upon the research culture of the University by offering an exciting and interdisciplinary focus for the study of key social and political problems. This is being developed in discussion with colleagues in POLIS.

In this context, the new revised programme will continue to explore how theoretical frameworks can be applied within contemporary social research. It will encourage students to consider the positioning and relevance of classical and contemporary theory, including feminist, postcolonial and psychoanalytical perspectives, to an understanding of contemporary economic, social, political and cultural phenomena. Students will consider how the works of key authors from Marx, Weber and Durkheim through to Foucault, Bauman, Butler and Žižek help us to understand the rapid social change occurring around the world. Students will study the sociology of nations, nation-states, capital and markets and inequality in global and comparative perspective. The programme also offers a rigorous foundation for PhD studies in sociology and social research.

Upon completion of the programme students will be able to:
- demonstrate in-depth, specialist knowledge and mastery of social and political theory, social research methodology and more substantive debates, including a sophisticated understanding of concepts, information and techniques at the forefront of current research in this area. The programme will assist students in achieving these outcomes by exposing them to key classical and contemporary schools of thought in social-science analysis, as well as key authors, debates and case studies.

- exhibit mastery in the exercise of advanced critical thinking and analytical techniques appropriate to developing a robust and sustained analysis of social and political realities. The programme serves students in acquiring these skills by engaging them in a correct understanding and application of central technical terms, concepts and frames of analysis.

In its incorporation of the core module ‘Researching Society and Culture’, devoted to social research methods training, the programme will also concentrate in particular on essential philosophical and epistemological issues in the methodology of the social sciences, including positivist, interpretive and emancipatory methodologies and debates about truth and knowledge in their relation to power and authority.


Year 1 - View timetable

[Learning Outcomes, Transferable (Key) Skills, Assessment]

Candidates will be required to study 180 credits

Compulsory modules:

Candidates will be required to study the following compulsory modules:

SLSP5141MContemporary Social Thought30 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5301MResearching Culture and Society30 creditsSemester 1
SLSP5314MUnderstanding Society and Culture30 creditsSemester 1
SLSP5400MDissertation60 credits1 Oct to 30 Sep

Optional modules:

Candidates will be required to study 30 credits from the following optional modules:

SLSP5216MSocial Policy, Politics and Disabled People30 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5302MContested Bodies15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5304MQue(e)rying Sexualities15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5305MSocial Policy Analysis15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5306MSocial Policy Debates15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5307MQuantitative Research Methods15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5308MQualitative Research Methods15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5309MPolicy and Programme Evaluation15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5311MDisability and Development15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5315MPower, Critique & Global Transformations15 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5316MSociology of Media and Culture30 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5360MResearching Inequality in the Media30 creditsSemester 2
SLSP5370MReality TV: Truth or Fiction?30 creditsSemester 2
THEO5355MReligion, Society and Public Life30 creditsSemester 2

Last updated: 28/04/2017

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