Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Urban Sociology in Practice
Academic Year
Semester 2
Mutually Exclusive
GG22420 or DA22420 ES20320
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 Assessment Individual write up of group project  (2500 words)  50%
Semester Assessment Report on staff led project  (1500 words)  30%
Semester Assessment Group presentation on student led project  (10 minutes)  20%
Supplementary Assessment Individual write up of group project  (2500 words)  50%
Supplementary Assessment Report on staff led project  (1500 words)  30%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation on student led project  (10 minutes)  20%

Learning Outcomes

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

​1. Identify topical and relevant research problems in Sociology.

2. Design field-based research strategies for data collection and analysis that are relevant to designated research questions.

3. Demonstrate proficiency in a range of data collection/analysis/presentation/interpretation techniques.

4. Communicate research findings and synthesize data with current debates verbally and in writing.

Brief description

Through analysis of relevant and topical themes in Sociology, the module will address the following objectives:
To provide an opportunity to apply theoretical and technical methods to the more complex, uncontrolled field environment, and to appreciate how processes that might be regarded as 'general' are mediated by the social and environmental character of a specific place.
To prompt students' capacity to identify a problem or research question, and to develop approaches to solving or answering this through hypothesis testing, research design and data collection.
To encourage, where appropriate, consideration of the ethical aspects of research processes.
To promote certain transferable skills required in practical work and seminars, such as teamwork and observation.


​The module objectives will be delivered through a series of lectures and other classes which will culminate in a residential field course. The topics covered in any particular year may vary, depending on the staffing arrangements, but will include generic and subject-specific themes such as:
Field health and safety
Research design
Training in field data collection, analysis and interpretation
Human – environment relations
Interpreting the built environment.
Global-local relations – economics and politics
Place and the politics of identity
Community and changing places
Memory and commodification
Training in field data collection, analysis and interpretation

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Interpretation of numerical and graphical data is integral to sociological fieldwork. Students will be expected to record and interpret numerical data both in the field and their field reports.
Communication Fieldwork is inherently interactive, and students will be encouraged to communicate with each other through small group exercises. The module is designed to allow a high number of contact hours between staff and students to ensure development of strong communication, and ample opportunities for one-to-one and group discussions.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module is designed to introduce a variety of new field skills and instrumental training, whilst expanding on field skills acquired during the students’ first year. There will be opportunities for formative and summative feedback during the 7-day field course, enabling students to build on this feedback during the residential field course. Multiple independent field-based projects will ensure personal performance improvement throughout.
Information Technology Students will have the opportunity to use a variety of technical instruments in the field, including GPS, augmented-reality software via phones, and cloud-based research dissemination platforms.
Personal Development and Career planning Upon successful completion of this module students will have developed a range of practical field skills integral to many career paths involving sociological research. They will develop research design skills, understand how to survey an area to assess its social topography, how to conduct independent field-based research, how to compile field notes, and how to produce a report.
Problem solving Throughout this module students will need to use a range of field skills to interpret different urban problems e.g. gentrification, social exclusion, unsustainable economic development. During the 7-day residential field course students will conduct independent research, where they will need to decide which field skills to employ and how best to represent their data.
Research skills Independent field research skills will be developed through conducting a variety of staff-led and student-led projects on the residential field course.
Subject Specific Skills Typically including mapping, landscape interpretation, interviews, participant observation and discourse analysis.
Team work The whole fieldtrip is based around group work in teams of 5 or 6 students. Initially groups will be tasked to execute staff-designed projects, but in the latter half of the fieldtrip students will be expected to design, execute and orally present their own group project work.


This module is at CQFW Level 5