Module code: SOC3033

Module provider


Module Leader

HARMAN V Dr (Sociology)

Number of Credits


ECT Credits



FHEQ Level 6

JACs code


Module cap (Maximum number of students)


Module Availability

Semester 1

Overall student workload

Independent Study Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 50%
Examination ONE HOUR SEEN EXAM 50%

Alternative Assessment

Essay can replace exam

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module overview

This module will explore the formation of racial and ethnic identities within the context of cultures of racism in the West. The module will examine the historical construction of ‘race’ in the 18th and 19th centuries before considering theoretical approaches to the study of ‘race’ and gender, ‘race’ and class, multiculturalism and citizenship, the ‘racial state’, space and segregation, diaspora, hybridity, mixed-race studies and critical whiteness studies. The module will also consider the possibility for post-racial identities.


Module aims

To provide an introduction to theorisations of racism and ethnicity

To explore media responses, policy debates and popular discourse around ‘race', racism and ethnicity

Introduce students to the ways in which racism and ethnicity interact with other forms of social difference such as ‘nation', ‘gender’, and ‘class’.

Encourage students to evaluate the role of racism in the structure of British society.

To explore current theoretical debates around multiculturalism and citizenship, segregation, mixed-race, ‘post-race', and critical whiteness studies. 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
Have knowledge of a range of theoretical tools to understand contemporary debates about ‘race', ethnicity and difference K
Be able to critically engage with these key texts and theoretical ideas and apply them to contemporary media, policy and popular discourse C
Understand the relationship between ‘race', ethnicity and other forms of social difference KC
Demonstrate an awareness of the role of ‘racism' in the structure of contemporary British society KC
Have a critical understanding of contemporary developments in the sociology of  ‘race' and racism in the UK KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Module content

Indicative content includes:

 Historical perspectives: ‘race’, entlightenment and Empire
‘Race’, ethnicity and social theory
‘Race’, class and gender
‘Race’, state and nation
Multiculturalism and citizenship
‘Community cohesion’, space and segregation
Diaspora and hybridity
Critical Whiteness
Post-race and neo-liberalism

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to provide students with an introduction to key topics in ethnic and racial studies. The lectures will expose students to key theorists and key debates and these will be supported by required reading each week. The seminars provide the opportunity to discuss these ideas in more depth and work in groups on particular tasks which encourage them to think critically and independently, and will help them in the writing of their essay. The seminars will also involve specific ‘news tasks’ which are allocated to different groups each week and encourage them to present a discussion of a news article in class. This will develop their presentation skills and demonstrate how concepts and theories discussed in class relate to contemporary issues and events.


The learning and teaching methods include:


·         1 hour lecture per week x 11 weeks

·         1 hour seminar (class discussion/group work) per week x 11 weeks

                        Weekly readings and seminar preparation



Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their understanding of key debates in ethnic and racial studies in some depth. The summative essay will enable them to demonstrate their ability to construct an argument in relation to these debates that is well structured, well supported with academic literature and shows an appreciation of academic techniques and practices.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

A 2000 word essay
A One hour seen exam

Formative assessment and feedback

Students can provide the module leader with an essay plan for formative feedback. Class activities will support student preparation for the seen exam.

Reading list


Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2017/8 academic year.