Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Understanding Sameness and Difference
Academic Year
Semester 1
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Due to Covid-19 students should refer to the module Blackboard pages for assessment details

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 2 Hours   (Written seen exam)  50%
Semester Assessment Case Study Report  (1500 words)  50%
Supplementary Exam 2 Hours   (Written seen exam)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Case Study Report  (1500 words)  50%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Describe how characteristics of sameness and difference have been understood in sociological and related literatures.

2. Identify how characteristics of sameness and difference are constructed in case studies of institutions and policies.

3. Evaluate the implications of institutional and policy constructions of sameness and difference for society.

Brief description

‘Understanding sameness & difference’ introduces students to some of the fundamental issues studied within Sociology; namely the way in which identities and senses of belonging are constructed around various social categories, with implications for policy. Students are also introduced to the ways in which these categories have been understood in academic settings, along with how various institutions have approached these in categories, with implications for equality and justice.


​The module is divided into two parts. In the first half, students will explore how common senses of belonging are constructed through institutions, such as religion, the nation, the community, family, class, etc. Discussion will focus on the way common identities and consciousness are constructed around these categories, employing a critical focus on discussions of contemporary examples to examine ‘who belongs?’. The second half examines identities of difference (e.g. gender, race, corporeality, faith, sexuality, age). Examining these categories includes discussion on how such categories intersect and are constructed as divergent to the mainstream in institutional settings, and attempts to establish more inclusive approaches to diversity. Implications for policy are examined in a critical fashion.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not explicitly developed in this module, though students may use these skills for their essay.
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, as well as on-line sources of policy-related information. 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 policy analysis, 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, including policy reports, 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