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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP1171 Understanding and Researching Contemporary Society

20 creditsClass Size: 135

Module manager: Dr Roxana Barbulescu

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module will provide students with the research and skills to study at undergraduate level. This module introduces key knowledge and training in the social sciences by teaching students the underpinnings of social research, how to undertake ‘real world’ research. Students will learn how to think critically about the social world around them and about their everyday lives.


This module will:

- Develop understanding of different aspects of social life and of sociological concepts and approaches for examining them

- Introduce students to sociological ways of thinking about the social world and how to apply these to a range of different topics

-Develop the core academic skills and competencies required to engage in undergraduate study

- Familiarise students with key academic resources they will use during their studies, including journals, books, data, and social science repositories, and how to access them

- Develop understanding of the research process and of different social science research methods, and the skills to evaluate different research approaches

- Support students to evaluate the value and impact of social sciences in society

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will be able to:

1. Use concepts from primary texts to think critically about contemporary society

2. Demonstrate an understanding of key sociological concepts and methodologies

3. identify appropriate sources of secondary data that can be utilised in social science research

4. develop arguments and communicate effectively about complex social issues

5. make connections between social theory, social research and everyday life

6. demonstrate good practice in referencing, developing arguments, seminar discussion, literature searches, and assignment writing.


This module provides key knowledge and training in social science by teaching students the underpinnings of social research, how to undertake research and think critically about the social world around them, their own everyday life. Student will also develop key academic skills to help them with the transition into university education.

The beginning of the module elaborates the meaning of social research, its traditions and the intellectual underpinning of social research. Students will then be introduced to a range of substantive topics, in later weeks. They will explore these critically and curiously thinking about how they might be researched, their resonance in everyday life and broader debates in social science.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning111.000.00
Group learning111.0011.00
Private study hours178.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students will receive formative feedback during tutorial discussions and at tutor’s open-door hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQReferencing Test0.00
In-course MCQSecondary Data Test20.00
Project1 x 800 word blog80.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/09/2023


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