BA History and Sociology

Year of entry: 2022

Course unit details:
Inequalities in Contemporary British Society

Unit code SOCY10401
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


Unit 1 – Introductions: Sociological thinking (Introducing the study of society; Sociological thinking in a global context)
Unit 2 – Class and education (Understanding class; Class and education)
Unit 3 – Race, ethnicity and identity (Understanding race and ethnicity; Race and cultural representation).
Unit 4 – Gender, sexuality, ageing and intersectionality (Understanding gender and sexuality; Ageing and the life-course; Dis/ability and understanding social inequalities as complex and interrelated).
Unit 5 - Conclusions (Conclusion and revision).


There are five aims to this course:

1.    The course aims to introduce students to the discipline of sociology by highlighting the social aspects of everyday life in British society and the inequalities persisting within it.

2.    To introduce students to sub-disciplines within sociology by teaching a range of topics. The focus is on class, educational inequalities and employability, race, ethnicity and media representation, gender, sexuality, (dis)abilities and ageing.

3.    For students to gain an awareness of theoretical ideas and empirical research so they have an understanding of the relationship between sociological arguments and evidence.

4.    To enhance study skills by introducing students to a body of literature that they must read and evaluate for class discussions, exercises and essays. They will have a sense of the complexity of social life and different explanations of it and how to develop a reasoned argument around them. 

5.    To provide students with academic support for readings though the university's short loan collection. In other words, we seek to provide easy access to key and other readings so students have the opportunity to develop their study skills and undertake and present scholarly work in their first year of study at university.

Learning outcomes

·         Understand what it means to consider British society from a sociological perspective and to have a sense of the different fields within the discipline of sociology. 

·         Have an understanding of the inherently social nature of everyday life and the various inequalities persisting within it. In addition to appreciating the processes by which social change and social stability co-exist.

·         Be able to analyse and answer questions sociologically. 

·         Know more about a variety of theoretical perspectives in the discipline.

·         Be able to engage with different ideas and novel ways of seeing things.

·         Have a better understanding of recent empirical research.

·         Be aware of the use of different research methodologies and how they shape substantive findings. 

·         Understand the relationship between theory and research.

·         Be able to handle a greater volume of reading material than before. 

·         Know how to apply what they have learnt from readings to class discussions and exercises and in essay writing.

·         Appreciate the complexity of social situations and events and how they can give rise to different explanations that must be assessed in a reasoned way

·         Have used a variety of resources available to them in the university library, faculty library facilities and those provided via the Blackboard resource website.  

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture-style material will be delivered weekly through a mix of up to one hour pre-recorded (i.e. asynchronous) content and one hour live (i.e. synchronous) lecturer-led classes. Additionally, weekly one hour small-group tutorials will be delivered on-campus as long as government guidelines allow, otherwise they will be delivered online.

Assessment methods

  • 1 non-assessed task offering formative feedback
  • 1 assessed coursework essay, 1500 words; 50% of mark
  • 1 hr exam (or online equivalent); 50% of mark

Feedback methods

All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Required readings will be made available electronically via Blackboard. All other readings should be available from the University Main Library. The following more general textbooks are helpful and recommended:

Giddens, A. and Sutton, P.W. (2017) Sociology, Cambridge: Polity Press.

Macionis, J. and Plummer, K. (2012) Sociology a Global Introduction, Harlow: Pearson.

Cohen, R. and Kennedy, P. (2007) Global Sociology, London: Palgrave.  

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nadim Mirshak Unit coordinator

Return to course details