SOC-10021 - Investigating Social Issues
Coordinator: Emma Head Room: CBC0.012 Tel: +44 1782 7 33898
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

'Investigating Social Issues' gives you the chance to explore the world around you with a distinctively sociological lens. It will make use of key sociological readings alongside a range of other sources including film, podcasts, and documentaries to explore contemporary social issues and problems.
The module encourages students to think about the different approaches that sociology as a discipline takes to understanding different aspects of social life. It will also encourage critical reflection on the methods and study skills students need to be able to formulate social issues sociologically. Indicative content: environmental catastrophe, smartphones, platform capitalism, elites and the super-rich, digital media, and the idea of `fake news┐.

- To show how social life and sociological debates change over time.
- To examine how different types of sources describe and explore social problems in different ways.
- To develop links between academic and experiential knowledge.
- To explore the wider structural force which shape social problems which can be viewed as individualised events.
- To engage students in debate and group work.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Explore the distinctive character of sociological approaches to understanding social issues in relation to other disciplines, and everyday life explanations: 1
Describe how a sociological approach highlights the connections between individual experiences and wider public events and social, economic and political forces: 1
Explore potential solutions to current social problems: 1
Use a range of academic and non-academic sources (media reports, grey literature) to explore the nature and causes of social problems: 1
Reflect on personally held knowledge, assumptions and practices in relation social problems and sociological and everyday explanations for these:

Study hours

22 contact hours (one hour lecture and one hour seminar weekly or a two hour weekly workshop dependent on student numbers)
44 hours seminar/workshop preparation
84 hours assessment preparation.

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 100%
1500 word, reflective essay
A 1500 word essay where students reflect on what they have learnt about key social issues. In this essay, students will reflect on the on the ways the module has challenged or extended their understanding of social issues, using examples from the module (i.e what kinds of insights are gained by a sociological perspective). Students will be expected to consider how social issues are constructed in different sources and to reflect on potential solutions to key challenges facing contemporary societies. It is envisaged that students will focus on two or three topics from the module in their reflective work.