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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Sociology

Undergraduate Course: Contemporary Issues in Sociology (SCIL10080)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis rapid response sociology course will deal with the latest social issues, focusing on current or recent events and analyzing them via a range of sociological approaches.
Course description The substantive content of the course will change each year depending on topical issues and will be taught by specialists in that field from amongst permanent and postdoctoral staff. For example, in the year of a general election the course could centre around political engagement and disengagement as a sociological issue. What is provided here is a framework within which different issues can be taught each year, thus maintaining a coherent learning experience via which students can be familiarized with key concepts and arguments within the discipline. This framework is likely to include considerations of why the issue is important from a sociological perspective, what classical sociology can contribute to understanding it and the historical context in which this issue has emerged. The course may also examine diverse manifestations of and responses to the issue in different societies, its different impact on different social groups and its relationship to forms of social inequality. The sociological framework of the course will allow examination of the extent to which the issue upholds social order or produces social conflict and how it is affected by processes of globalization. The course will encourage reflection on how sociology can assist in critically assessing the alternative options for addressing this issue. Such a framework is indicative, and will potentially need to be adapted depending on the specific issue being covered. The specific topic for the following year will be announced at latest by the end of semester 2 of the previous year and communicated by email (a title and blurb) to all honours students in the school. A specific handbook will be prepared and made available as early as possible via LEARN and sent by email to any students who express an interest in taking the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 2 social science courses (such as Sociology, Politics, Social Policy, Social Anthropology, etc) at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of some of the main terminologies, theories and disciplinary boundaries in Sociology
  2. Apply this knowledge by using methodological and theoretical skills to make sense of materials at the forefront of sociological thinking.
  3. Critically identify, define, conceptualise and analyse complex sociological problems and issues
  4. Present and convey information about contemporary issues in sociology to informed audiences
  5. Show in depth knowledge of the topic.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsContemporary issues,rapid-response sociology,topical,sociological approaches,current social life
Course organiserDr James Kennedy
Tel: (0131 6)50 4250
Course secretaryMiss Abby Gleave
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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