Module Catalogue 2024/25

SML1022 : Introduction to Cultural Studies

SML1022 : Introduction to Cultural Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Morgan
  • Lecturer: Miss Ellen Bishell, Professor Guy Austin, Dr Kathryn Robson, Dr Catherine Gilbert
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment

Opened to all students of humanities -especially English literature, philosophy, media, fine art, history, history of art, aesthetics.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the School of Modern Languages, this module aims to introduce students to the systematic study of culture and cultural production, familiarising them with a range of theoretical approaches that will prepare them for the study of culture throughout their degree programmes. Working across the whole range of language areas taught in the SML and adopting an interdisciplinary approach based on Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, the module seeks to show students how the key theoretical notions facilitate the study of everyday life.

In addition, this module aims to make aspects of the above available to students from outside the degree.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture materials and synchronous teaching activities (both present-in-person and online) introduce students to the knowledge and skills required for the comparative analysis and study of culture in context.
The course covers the following units:

Culture and identity
Race, ethnicity and representation
Gender and performance
Memory and group identity

Case studies are drawn from a wide range of countries (e.g. East Asia, Europe, Latin America) and are be used to exemplify the problems attendant on the study of conceptual categories studied.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

- Show knowledge of the key terms and ideas in cultural studies.
- Display a basic knowledge of the development of cultural studies and its relationship to other fields of cultural analysis such as sociology, anthropology and literary analysis.
- Show more detailed knowledge of key concepts (cultural identity/gender/"race”/ethnicity/representation/hegemony/discourse).
- Show an in-depth knowledge of a limited number of case studies taken from the countries whose languages we study in the SML.

Intended Skill Outcomes

- Taking notes effectively from recorded lecture materials, seminar discussions, journals and secondary material.
- Finding secondary material in bibliographies devoted to cultural studies, being able to critically engage with these materials in order to assess their relevance and use for assignments.
- Operating effectively as part of teamwork discussion.
- Analysing closely a range of cultural products- e.g. adverts, music videos, excerpts from films, traditional cultural practices.
- Carry out effective analysis of a specific cultural product in relation to at least two of the key concepts covered during the course (culture/cultural identity/gender/”race”/ethnicity/hegemony/discourse/representation/orientalism).
- Develop the necessary skill set for writing a competent essay that is able to structure and present a clear argument.
- Develop increasing autonomy in independent study.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-Person (lecture)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Non-synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present-in-Person (seminar)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1127:00127:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, supported by non-synchronous online teaching, will adopt flexible, blended learning methods and strategies to introduce students to Cultural Studies as a scholarly field. They will outline general principles, illustrated by specific examples, and be supplemented by structured independent reading and guided online learning activities.. Seminars will allow students to examine cultural products, allowing for detailed discussion and analysis as well as revisiting and reinforcing knowledge from the lecture materials and online guided activities will provide the students with the opportunity to lead discussion on a topic through interactive activities that develop their independent thinking and critical analysis. Both types of learning activities will include advice on how to prepare for assessment. Surgery hours allow students to consult the module leader with any particular difficulties in understanding concepts, tasks, etc. Independent learning includes preparation for small group work, further reading and assessment

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M301000-word written assignment, showing grasp of concepts and their application in context.
Written exercise2M702500-word essay in English in which students apply one or more key concepts to a topic of their own choice
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MWorksheet requiring short answers on concepts of culture and power, that stem from reading covered up to Week 5 S2.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The semester 1 summative assessment allows students to demonstrate their grasp of the foundational concepts. The semester 2 summative assessment allows students to build on the feedback gained from the formative assessment and the knowledge and skills developed over both semesters to plan and execute an assessed essay that asks them to apply their conceptual knowledge to a specific context, in the same way that the seminars exemplify the concepts discussed in the rest of the course.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Welcome to Newcastle University Module Catalogue

This is where you will be able to find all key information about modules on your programme of study. It will help you make an informed decision on the options available to you within your programme.

You may have some queries about the modules available to you. Your school office will be able to signpost you to someone who will support you with any queries.


The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.