Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Title Sociological Theory
Code SOCI101
Coordinator Dr ML Kearney
Sociology, Social Policy and Criminology
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2023-24 Level 4 FHEQ Whole Session 30


- To introduce key classic and contemporary sociological theories.

- To give students an appreciation of the relevance of sociological theory in producing knowledge of the social world.

- To support and guide engagement both with a series of canonical sociological texts and the critiques thereof (and with specific respect to their gendered and ethnocentric nature)

- To describe and examine a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches within sociology and evaluate their application in differing contexts

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Familiarity with key sociological theories and their inter-relation

(LO2) An ability to evaluate the respective contribution of specific sociological theories/theorists to the discipline

(LO3) A capacity to identify and assess the relative merits of sociological theory for the analysis of the social

(LO4) An appreciation of the complexity and diversity of social life

(LO5) Competence in using major theoretical perspectives and concepts in sociology, and appreciation of their contribution to knowledge

(S1) Improving own learning/performance - Reflective practice

(S2) Information skills - Critical reading

(S3) Critical thinking and problem solving - Critical analysis

(S4) Improving own learning/performance - Self-awareness/self-analysis

(S5) Global citizenship - Cultural awareness

(S6) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Listening skills

(S7) Communication (oral, written and visual) - Presentation skills - written



The first semester of the module is organized around a comprehensive introduction to the theories of 'classical' theorists Karl Marx, Emile Durkheim, and Max Weber. Addressing key theories and concepts employed by this trio of major intellectual figures, the module provides an overview of their most significant studies of the rapidly changing nineteenth and early twentieth societies of which they were a part.

The second semester addresse s contemporary theories and theorists through engagement with a range of themes (including globalization, identities, the role of technology, violence) and approaches (for example feminism, critical theory, functionalism, ethnomethodology, postmodernism, postcolonial theory, and actor-network theory).

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Attendance Recorded: no
Notes: Designed to signpost key ideas and to provide the structure for independent study and seminars (see below)

Teaching Method 2 - Seminar
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Organised around a series of classic and contemporary readings and related exercises, and are based on student participation

Teaching Method 3 - Workshop
Notes: Assessment and feedback workshops - phased around assessment deadline

Self-Directed Learning Description: Your independent study time will primarily be spent reading some of the most important sociological texts of the last 150 years. In combination with the more directed reading that forms the basis of seminar exercises, and the lectures that signpost key ideas and concepts, comprehensive engagement with a wide reading list will introduce some of the major intellectual traditions in sociology with which you are encouraged to engage in the module.

Module leader providing an additional two office hours per week, supported by additional VLE resources (e.g. a module FAQ discussion board), their purpose and details being signposted upfront and regularly throughout. These office hours can be conducted in-person or remotely as the situation allows.

Otherwise, scheduled contact time will remain the same (albeit with some differences in format where required by the hybrid/online model).

Lectures pre-recorded (in digestible "chunks") and uploaded by the weekly scheduled lecture period. These can also be supported by additional resources available on the VLE (e.g. links to other content/readings, etc) where required, such that a comparable amount of content is provided across all lecture sessions.

Seminars will take place synchronously at the times allotted in the schedule, with materials being made available in advance on the VLE and supported by other VLE resources ( e.g. reading lists, seminar group discussion boards, FAQs). Should changing circumstances dictate there be a need to deliver seminar teaching remotely, these small-group sessions can be conducted synchronously (i.e. at their scheduled times) via teleconferencing software, with session details shared by seminar tutors from within the VLE. These will be supported by the same range of materials outlined above.

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 24


Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 255


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :1    50       
Assessment 2 A 1500 word essay due at the beginning of the three week examination period (as essay content will reflect the full breadth of the semester). This will be worth 50% of the overall mark    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.