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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EAST2605 Topics in Contemporary Asia Pacific Societies

20 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Clare Richardson-Barlow

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The Asia Pacific region is a dynamic part of the world, home to some of the world’s largest economies and populations. In light of the region’s significance and diversity, building skills to understand societies in the Asia Pacific is increasingly important. The module will equip students with the vocabulary and the skill set to critically approach societies in the Asia Pacific region. In examining societies from a number of perspectives, the students will develop an understanding of theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of contemporary Asia Pacific societies. In the process, they will also master some key concepts and frameworks that can be applied to their future studies.


This module explores the complexities of contemporary societies in the Asia Pacific region, through studying topics of major social concern, from social inequality to globalisation. It also fosters an understanding of theories and methods of social inquiry.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students should be able to:
1. demonstrate knowledge of different societies in the Asia Pacific region.
2. critically evaluate a range of theories and methods used in the study of contemporary societies in the region.
3. locate and use secondary sources relevant to selected topics of contemporary social dynamics in the region.
4. apply skills for researching and writing about social phenomena in the Asia Pacific and beyond. 

Skills outcomes
Students will be expected to have:
- developed a foundation for critical analysis of the societies in the Asia-Pacific Region;
- enhanced their skills of expression and communication in both written and oral form;
- developed their abilities to plan, organize, gather, comprehend and analyze materials relevant to the study of Asia-Pacific societies.


The module will cover theories and methods of social inquiry through studying topics which may include, social inequality, gender, religion and rituals, gift cultures, ethnic minorities, urbanisation, environmental concerns, migration and globalisation in contemporary Asia Pacific societies.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study will include preparing readings for lecture and seminar sessions (80 hours), preparing to lead seminar discussions (30 hours), and independent learning on a specific social issue as part of writing an essay for assessment (70 hours).

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

On-going monitoring in lectures and seminars (through, for example, questioning to check student understanding; paying close attention to who is answering questions during classroom discussions and calling on non-volunteers; asking students to elaborate on one another's answers; engaging in 1-1 contacts with students about their work; and conducting periodic reviews to confirm students' grasp of material and identifying gaps in their knowledge etc). Students will also be given feedback for leading seminar discussions.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2500 word essay100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:39:00


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