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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Social and Political Science

Undergraduate Course: Introduction to Social Science (Credit Plus) (SSPS07006)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is designed for students on the HSS International Foundation Programme. It is not available to undergraduate students.

Introduction to Social Science (Credit Plus) will provide an introduction to sociology, social policy, politics, economics and government in an interdisciplinary way through a thematic approach. A study skills component will be offered alongside the main course content to enable students to develop skills to progress to further study.
Course description 1. Modernity, Complexity & Science
a. Why a science for society
b. A car accident and act of terror
c. Social responses to problems

2. Societies across Time and Space
a. Love and marriage
b. Health and illness
c. Crime and punishment

3. Investigating Human Nature
a. Can humans adapt themselves?
b. Cultural variations
c. Humanity in common

4. Study Skills Review
a. Note-taking from classes
b. Reading for classes
c. Finding and using readings
Practice summarising exercise due

5. Allocating Resources
a. Identifying resources
b. Need, consumption and scarcity
c. A global problem?

6. The Transition to Urban Life
a. Pre-capitalist markets
b. The 'best' universal system?
c. Negative externalities

7. Poverty and Inequality
a. Defining poverty
b. Debating the causes of poverty
c. The social effects of inequality

8. Working on Assessments
a. Doing your essay plan
b. Handling the set tables/graphs
c. Doing the referencing exercise

9. The Impacts of State Welfare
a. Who supplies welfare?
b. Welfare changes in the UK
c. The rise of state intervention
Essay Plans due

10. Power and Decision Making
a. Aristotle's modes of rule
b. Four dimensions of power
c. Knowledge, authority and order
Referencing Exercise due

11. Disobedience and Disorder
a. Is disobedience disorder?
b. Sophocles' Antigone
c. Nazism and total war

Final Essay to be submitted by the published due date.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2017/18, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 40, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 48 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Stage 1: students will undertake a Summarising Exercise in week 4, aimed at note-taking and identifying key issues in a set document, from which a brief account of the argument will be written, of no more than 250 words (formative exercise).

Stage 2: students will produce an Essay Plan for the final essay by week 9, covering a list of contents, key sources to be used and an outline of their argument (20%)

Stage 3: students will undertake a Referencing Correction Exercise in week 10, where they have to spot missing references and correct errors on a sample document (10 %)

Stage 4: students will submit a 1000 word essay by the published due date (70%)

To pass, students must achieve a minimum of 30% in each assessment and an overall combined mark of 40% minimum.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Explain the role of the social sciences, and the specific contributions of the component disciplines;
  2. Explain the problem of defining and measuring poverty, and evaluate different approaches to poverty and government policy, including liberal economic and welfare based approaches;
  3. Define the concepts of politics and power;
  4. Explain the notions of political obligation and obedience to moral codes, and exemplify instances of justifiable law breaking;
  5. Discuss the issues around 'scientific method' in studying people (in social science).
Reading List

Haralambos, M. and Holborn, M., 2008. Sociology: Themes & Perspectives. 7th edition. London: Collins.
Northedge, A., 2005. The Good Study Guide. New edition. Milton Keynes: OUP.


Giddens, A., 2006. Sociology. 5th edition. Cambridge: Polity Press.
Hinchliffe, S. and Woodward, K., 2004. The Social & the Natural: Uncertainty, Risk, Change. London: Routledge.

Web sources
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will have developed skills for independent learning, including reading texts critically; taking notes; debating ideas and contributing to discussion both individually and in groups; and planning and writing essays. They will also have developed skills in reflective strategies to tackle unfamiliar challenges and tasks.
Special Arrangements Students must only be enrolled by the Office of Lifelong Learning
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Kate Mchugh
Tel: (0131 6)51 1589
Course secretaryMr Benjamin Mcnab
Tel: (0131 6)51 4832
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