Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Key Concepts in Sociology
Academic Year
Semester 2
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 10 x 3 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (Written seen exam)  66%
Semester Assessment Written Essay  (2500 words)  34%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (Written seen exam)  66%
Supplementary Assessment Written Essay  (2500 words)  34%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Describe the key concepts and debates which have pre-occupied Sociology.

2. Understand and evaluate different theoretical approaches to society, social institutions and social difference.

3. Critically discuss contemporary case studies relating to key approaches to society, social institutions and social difference.

Brief description

‘Key Concepts in Sociology’ provides an introduction to the various concepts that are commonly used by sociologists to understand the social world. Attention will be drawn to the core concepts that have structured sociological thinking over the long term, such as family, religion and the state. Students will also be introduced to a range of sociological concepts that have become more significant in recent years, such as the media, identity, social movements and sexuality.


This module will be delivered in two parts. The module will, first, examine the main concepts that have acted as the bedrock of Sociology and sociological enquiry over the long term, including the institutions of the family, religion and the state. Emphasis will be drawn to the way in which sociological understandings of these concepts have changed over time. Second, the module will discuss the way in which sociologists have engaged with a series of new concepts, which, in part, reflect the existence of new social practices and forms. Examples here may include attempts to conceptualize the media, identity, social movements and sexuality. While the discussion of these themes is conceptual in nature, it will also seek to ground these concepts in real-world case studies, including those arising in relation to public policy.

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 exercises.
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 materials in preparing for classes and for their assessments.
Subject Specific Skills The module will enable students to develop and practice subject-specific skills in Sociology.
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 class.


This module is at CQFW Level 4