Module Information

Module Identifier
SA20120
Module Title
Contemporary Debates in the Social Sciences
Academic Year
2016/2017
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Dr Felix J Rosch (Senior Lecturer - Coventry University)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 11 x 1 Hour Lectures
Seminar 10 x 1 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment 3 x Media Reports  (3x 750 words, on topics of Lectures 2, 5 and 7)  40%
Semester Assessment 3 x Seminar Presenations of Media Reports  (presented in seminars 3,6 and 8)  30%
Semester Assessment 1 x 2000 word Dissertation Proposal  identifying key themes and literatures, preliminary aims and reserach questions, the proposed methods, and ethical implications, and the timetable of research.  30%
Supplementary Assessment 3 x Media Reports (3 x 750 words)  40%
Supplementary Assessment 3 x 600 word Written reports in lieu of Seminar presentation  30%
Supplementary Assessment 1 x 2000 word Dissertation proposal  30%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Identify and explain the significance of social science knowledge and approaches in the world today.
2. Critically evaluate how contemporary social science issues are reported and represented in the media.
3. Present the findings of their media analysis exercises in a clear and professional manner.
4. Develop a detailed outline of their proposed dissertation project, demonstrating a clear awareness of the ethical implications of their research, and be prepared to undertake empirical research in a safe and ethical way.

Brief description

This module introduces students to contemporary debates in the social sciences, focusing on key political, social, geographical and historical issues that are in the media when the module is delivered. After introducing students to key issues and debates, students will be encouraged to think critically about the selectivity of media interest in the social sciences. At the core of the module will be an examination of three core topics – 'Political Implications of National and Global Events', 'Social Challenges in the News', and 'Geographies of Contemporary Social Relations'. Students will undertake media analysis, a media report and assessed seminar presentation on each topic. In addition, the module will introduce students to the year three social science dissertation, ensuring that students have a clear awareness of how to plan and execute the project. Students will complete an outline plan as part of the module, and they will be in a position to undertake empirical research from June onwards.

Aims

This module aims to provide students with an introduction to contemporary debates in the social sciences, focusing on key political, social, geographical and historical issues that are in the media when the module is delivered. It will encourage students to think critically about how and why the media focus on certain topics, and the selectivity of media interest in the social sciences, as well as equipping students with the skills and practical experience of undertaking media analysis on the 'Political Implications of National and Global Events', 'Social Challenges in the News', and the 'Geographies of Contemporary Social Relations'. The module will also prepare students for their year 3 Social Science Dissertation, equipping them with the knowledge to identify and assess key ethical debates relating to their field of study, and helping them to prepare a detailed outline plan of their proposed project.

Content


1. Contemporary debates in the Social Sciences (Lecture)
Social Science in the Media (Lecture)

2. Political Implications of National and Global Events (Lecture)

3. Political Implications of National and Global Events (Seminar with Student Presentations)

4. Introduction to the Social Science Dissertation (Lecture)

5. Social Challenges in the News (Lecture)

6. Social Challenges in the News (Seminar with Student Presentations)

7. Geographies of Contemporary Social Relations (Lecture)

8. Geographies of Contemporary Social Relations (Seminar with Student Presentations)

9. History Today: Historical Events in the News (Lecture & Seminar)

10. Feedback Session on Dissertation Outlines (Seminar)

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not explicitly developed in this module
Communication The module will develop students' written communication skills through the requirement to complete written assessments. In addition. students will develop their oral communication skills through team-working and involvement in class
Improving own Learning and Performance Student attendance and participation in the lectures will help them to enhance a range of learning skills. The module also requires students to participate in group discussions and extensive self-directed study.
Information Technology Students will be required to undertake research for the module using bibliographic search-engines and library catalogues. They will also utilize standard word-processing packages in the completion of the coursework.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will help students to develop a range of transferable skills including time management, self-discipline, research planning and team-working in class exercises.
Problem solving The module will develop students' problem-solving skills in a number of ways. Students will be required to analyse a range of sources and texts in class exercises and as part of their independent research and coursework assessment.
Research skills Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic source material in preparing for classes and for their assessments.
Subject Specific Skills The module will enable students to develop and practice subject-specific skills from the constituent departments teaching on the module, namely human geography, politics, history and psychology.
Team work The classes will include problem-solving exercises and group discussions which will provide opportunities for students to develop team-working skills and discuss their thoughts with the

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 5