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Undergraduate Programme Specification

BA Sociology

Academic Year 2021/22

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance processes. All degrees are awarded by Queen's University Belfast.

Programme Title BA Sociology Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)
Bachelor of Arts
Programme Code SOC-BA-S UCAS Code L300 HECoS Code 100505 - Sociology - 100
ATAS Clearance Required No
Mode of Study Full Time
Type of Programme Single Honours Length of Programme 3 Academic Year(s) Total Credits for Programme 360
Exit Awards available

Institute Information

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Quality Code
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code

Higher Education Credit Framework for England
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/higher-education-credit-framework-for-england

Level 6

Subject Benchmark Statements
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

The Frameworks for Higher Education Qualifications of UK Degree-Awarding Bodies
https://www.qaa.ac.uk/docs/qaa/quality-code/qualifications-frameworks.pdf

Sociology (2007)

Accreditations (PSRB)

Regulation Information

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

None

Programme Specific Regulations

On completing Level I a Joint Honours student who has passed 60 CATS at Level I in Sociology modules may be admitted to this Single Honours programme having obtained the approval of the advisor of studies for the programme.

Students who wish to benefit from specialist training in quantitative research can undertake a series of dedicated social science research modules over the course of their degree studies. Successful completion of 80 CATS credits of advanced quantitative research training (four modules) in level 2 and level 3 will receive the enhancement of BSc “with Quantitative Methods” added to the name of the degree awarded.

A Joint Honours student wishing to be admitted to the Single Honours programme must have passed the following modules: SOC1001 and SOC1002.

At Level II a student may substitute up to 20 CATS of optional modules with the equivalent number of CATS from a list of approved modules beyond those listed below.

At Level III a student may substitute up to 20 CATS of optional modules with the equivalent number of CATS from a list of approved modules beyond those listed below.

A student who has transferred onto this Single Honours programme having only completed 60 CATS at Level I in the Single Honours subject may at Level II or Level III substitute up to 20 CATS of optional modules with the equivalent number of CATS from a list of approved modules beyond those listed below.

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

Educational Aims Of Programme

This Programme is designed to enable students to gain an understanding of patterns of social life and social change. This involves seeking to equip students with an understanding of social theory and the tools of sociological research. The programme specifically aims to develop student understanding of key areas of debate in the discipline, particularly those focusing on patterns of social division and inequality in a range of different societies. It also aims to develop students’ ability to critically evaluate and undertake sociological research. This includes the development of discipline-specific skills such as the ability to draw on a range of primary and secondary sources, and to analyse data. The Programme aims to foster self-motivated learning and to develop the capacity to undertake independent study. General transferrable skills are also embedded in the design of the Programme, which are aimed at enhancing the employability of graduates.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

Conduct social research by applying appropriate research methods and strategies

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Independent research study at level 3 complemented with intensive support and supervisory guidance as well as specialised seminars on qualitative and qualitative data analysis and techniques

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of dissertation based on individual component parts.

Identify problems and select appropriate solutions

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The critical analysis of available information sources is a core element across the sociology programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of social sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

critical use of published data sources (in various forms)

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The critical analysis of available information sources is a core element across the sociology programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of social sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

identifying the most important arguments or evidence in a text and recording and/or representing these

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

The critical analysis of available information sources is a core element across the sociology programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of social sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

draw on relevant evidence to evaluate competing explanations and validate information by assessing its merits

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills

evaluate the viability of competing explanations within sociology and draw logical and appropriate conclusions.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills

design and use appropriate research strategies for data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

critical appraisal of both qualitative and quantitative research design, methods and analysis

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

formulating researchable problems within a general area of concern

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

research design and data collection skills in relation to sociological questions and problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

Engage in data analysis, including indexing and retrieval of qualitative data

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

use and understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics (including summary measures, measures of association and significance, contingency tables, regression analysis and knowledge of the use and value of appropriate learning technologies), and awareness of the use and potential misuse of statistics

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a research dissertation encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research.

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary and statistical analysis.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

describe a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches within Sociology in a range of national contexts

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

recognise contemporary debates around the definition of needs, social problems, and relate these to social diversity and inequality

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

become familiar with key concepts and theories associated with the analysis of well-being, social problems and social welfare

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.

The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

understand the issues around the appropriate forms of state, private or informal intervention in relation to social problems.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.

The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

use a range of research strategies and methods, assess the appropriateness of their use, and identify an appropriate strategy for specific research problems.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary, statistical analysis and a final year research project.

evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the use of comparison in relation to social problems, issues, trends and social policies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary, statistical analysis and a final year research project.

summarise and analyse quantitative and qualitative empirical data about social problems, issues, trends and social policies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, a reflective research diary, statistical analysis and a final year research project.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

use key theoretical perspectives and concepts in Sociology and to comprehend their application to real life situations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All Sociology students undertake an independent research study in level 3. This project involves the development of research question(s), the design of appropriate research methods; data collection and analysis, and the drafting of a final thesis. During this year long module students are provided with intensive support and supervision from an academic member of staff. In additional, specialist seminars are provided on a range of topics including, advanced qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques, research ethics, project management, and academic writing.

Methods of Assessment

Double marked research project.

use their knowledge to formulate sociological questions and investigate social problems, trends, issues and debates

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All Sociology students undertake an independent research study in level 3. This project involves the development of research question(s), the design of appropriate research methods; data collection and analysis, and the drafting of a final thesis. During this year long module students are provided with intensive support and supervision from an academic member of staff. In additional, specialist seminars are provided on a range of topics including, advanced qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques, research ethics, project management, and academic writing.

Methods of Assessment

Double marked research project.

conduct sociological research, and will be able to identify a range of research strategies and methods, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All Sociology students undertake an independent research study in level 3. This project involves the development of research question(s), the design of appropriate research methods; data collection and analysis, and the drafting of a final thesis. During this year long module students are provided with intensive support and supervision from an academic member of staff. In additional, specialist seminars are provided on a range of topics including, advanced qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques, research ethics, project management, and academic writing.

Methods of Assessment

Double marked research project.

access or gather appropriate qualitative or quantitative information to address sociological questions using qualitative and quantitative methods

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All Sociology students undertake an independent research study in level 3. This project involves the development of research question(s), the design of appropriate research methods; data collection and analysis, and the drafting of a final thesis. During this year long module students are provided with intensive support and supervision from an academic member of staff. In additional, specialist seminars are provided on a range of topics including, advanced qualitative and quantitative data analysis techniques, research ethics, project management, and academic writing.

Methods of Assessment

Double marked research project.

recognise the ethical implications of research into sociological problems and identify appropriate solutions

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

UG students are required to submit their work to the same ethical review committee as all human subject research undertaken within the school. Through specialised seminars and individual supervision, students are tutored through the ethical review process that involves the identification of ethical issues in their own work, the development of protocols and procedures to protect and minimise harm to participants and themselves (including procedures to obtain informed consent), the completion and submission of a formal ethical application, and the revision of research protocols to ensure full compliance with accepted ethical practices.

Methods of Assessment

Application to the School Research Ethics Committee

review, summarise and evaluate empirical information and research findings about sociology and social problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

A wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

develop a capacity for recognising the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

A wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

be sensitive to the values and interests of others, taking account of the normative and moral positions of others in understanding how human needs are felt and met.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

A wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

communicate effectively in writing and speaking

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods and group based project work allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats including book reviews, diaries, PowerPoint presentations, research reports, oral presentations, research proposals and questionnaire modules.

present data and evidence in an appropriate format for a variety of audiences (including computing skills in relation both to text and the presentation of basic research data)

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, group based employability exercises and a research dissertation

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework, and the research dissertation

be efficient in time planning and management

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, group based employability exercises and a research dissertation

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework, and the research dissertation

work productively in a group and have developed interpersonal skills that facilitate collaboration with others.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, group based employability exercises and a research dissertation

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework, and the research dissertation

use bibliographic and referencing skills: the identification of relevant published and web-based materials in relation to a particular topic

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Training delivered on this as part of Level 1 semester 1 modules and refreshed throughout the programme. Specific training is provided to students during Level 3, to aid the completion of the final year research project.

Methods of Assessment

These skills are essential to pass all coursework. Annotated bibliographies are also assessed in specific modules.

Plan, manage and working on own initiative

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, dissertation supervision and group based employability exercises.

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework assignments.

work productively in a group

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, dissertation supervision and group based employability exercises.

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework assignments.

Use advanced ICT skills (using appropriate software packages)

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures/Computer lab workshops

Methods of Assessment

Data presentation project/critical appraisal

Select appropriate statistical techniques to interpret and evaluate quantitative data and analysis

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures and computer lab workshops.

Methods of Assessment

Data presentation project/critical appraisal.

Review, summarize and present empirical findings to a diverse range of audiences

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Lectures, tutorials and placements

Methods of Assessment

Tutorial participation/Essays/Presentations/Book reviews

Write in a clear, structured and critical manner utilizing a wide range of source material

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods and group based project work allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats including book reviews, diaries, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, SPSS output, blog posts, social media, , oral presentations, research proposals.

present data and evidence in an appropriate format for a variety of audiences (including computing skills in relation both to text and the presentation of basic research data)

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods and group based project work allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats including book reviews, diaries, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, SPSS output, blog posts, social media, , oral presentations, research proposals.

Module Information

Stages and Modules

Module Title Module Code Level/ stage Credits

Availability

Duration Pre-requisite

Assessment

S1 S2 Core Option Coursework % Practical % Examination %
Rethinking Society SOC1001 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
The Sociological Imagination SOC1002 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 0% 0% 100%
Introducing Criminology CRM1001 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Comparative Politics PAI1009 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 90% 10% 0%
Introducing Social Policy SPY1004 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 0% 100% 0%
Themes and Issues in Social Policy SPY1005 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Visualising the Social World SQM1001 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 0% 100% 0%
Issues in Contemporary Politics PAI1003 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Digital Society SQM1003 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 70% 10% 20%
Crime and Society CRM1004 1 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Welfare in Theory and Practice SPY2002 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
The Power of Social Theory SOC2001 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Northern Ireland: Conflict, Identity, Peace SOC2032 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 75% 25% 0%
Social Inequalities and Diversity SOC2002 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 60% 40% 0%
Qualitative Research Skills SOC2003 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Quantitative Research Skills SOC2004 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Questions for an Ageing World SPY2009 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Theory Counts SQM2001 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Environmental Crimes and Justice SOC2049 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 50% 50% 0%
Understanding Gender and Migration SOC2051 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Sociology of Conflict and Peace Processes SOC2052 2 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Issues in Contemporary Irish Society SOC3005 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Research Project and Dissertation SOC3007 3 40 YES YES 24 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Disability and Society SPY3014 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Global Risk Society: Power and Participation SOC3048 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 80% 20% 0%
Modern Families: Intimate and Personal Relationships SOC3028 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 50% 0% 50%
Religion: Death or Revival? SOC3052 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%
Social Identity: Differences and Inequalities SQM3003 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 70% 30% 0%
Modelling the Social World SQM3004 3 20 YES 12 weeks N YES 100% 0% 0%

Notes

At Level 2 a student may substitute up to 20 CATS of optional modules with the equivalent number of CATS from a list of approved modules beyond those listed below. Students must have completed SOC1001 or SOC1002 before enrolling on SOC2003 and SOC2004.

At Level 3 a student may substitute up to 20 CATS of optional modules with the equivalent number of CATS from a list of approved modules beyond those listed below. Students must have completed SQM2001 before enrolling on SQM3003 and SQM3004, students must enrol on both SQM3003 and SQM3004 to qualify for the Quantitative Methods exit pathway. Students must enrol on both SQM modules or neither.

Students will be notified each academic year of the optional modules being offered in the following academic year. Students are advised that not all optional modules will necessarily be offered in each academic year. Also, the delivery of a module may be subject to a minimum number of enrolments as well as unforeseen circumstances (e.g. illness of a member of staff). The range and content of optional modules will change over time as degree programmes develop and students’ choice of optional modules may also be limited due to timetabling constraints. Students who complete the required complement of SQM modules within the Sociology degree may be eligible to exit with recognition for Quantitative Methods. At Level 1: Students must have enrolled for SOC1001 to be allowed to enrol for SOC1002. Students must also enrol on CRM1001 to be allowed to enrol for CRM1004.