Module Catalogue 2023/24

SOC3099 : Racism and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Bethan Harries
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This course will further develop students’ knowledge of the sociology of race and ethnicity. It will explore the origins and development of racism, examining how it has shaped, and continues to shape the nature of society. We will further examine how ‘race thinking’ has played in the production of inequalities and exclusions, as well as how it informs notions of national identity. The course engages with contemporary debates and theoretical advances.

The module aims to:
•       Advance students’ understanding of theorisations of race, racism and ethnicity.
•       Develop students understanding of the ways in which race and ethnicity interact with other forms of social difference such as nation, gender, class, and religion.
•       Encourage students to evaluate the role of racism in the structure of contemporary society.
•       Explore current theoretical debates around key issues such as institutional racism, Islamophobia, post-race, nationalism, and critical whiteness studies

Outline Of Syllabus

The course begins by deepening students understanding of the concepts of race and ethnicity. This will also involve looking at the interrelationship between ‘race’, ethnicity, and racism. The rest of the module will build on these foundations to examine how race has shaped, and continues to shape, the nature of society in interaction with other forms of social difference such as nation, gender, class and religion. Many of these issues will be highly topical and students will be encouraged throughout the course to engage in contemporary debates.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

On completion of this course students will:

•       Have gained a deeper understanding of a range of theoretical tools to understand contemporary debates about ‘race’, ethnicity and difference.
•       Be able to critically engage with key texts and theoretical ideas.
•       Be able to analyse the role of ‘racism’ in the structure of society and its interaction with other forms of social differentiation such as class and gender
•       Have a critical understanding of contemporary developments in the sociology of racism and ethnicity.
•       Know how to apply theoretical ideas to empirical issues.
•       Construct and defend their own arguments in an analytically rigorous fashion.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be equipped with the following transferable skills:

Intellectual skills
•       Analyse, evaluate, synthesise and interpret information from diverse sources and present in a coherent fashion
•       Develop and defend reasoned opinions
•       Develop and demonstrate independent and critical thinking.

Employability Skills (Practical skills transferable into employment):
•       Communication skills through participation in group discussions, presentations and class feedback sessions; via written assignments
•       Information and communication technology: searching and obtaining information; entering and processing data; and presenting information
•       Improving own learning and performance: demonstrating independence while learning; and reviewing progress and achievements
•       Problem solving: identifying a problem; exploring options; selecting an appropriate solution; use of appropriate resources; and synthesis, critical analysis, and interpretation of information.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture92:0018:00PiP Lectures
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion178:0078:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading187:0087:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00PiP seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops22:004:00PiP sessions – skills-based or learning through research
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:002x1hr online Q&A sessions (synchronous)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time12:002:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will provide students with key concepts and ideas relevant to the topic. The lectures will also discuss these in relation to topical contemporary debates and students will be expected to actively engage in these debates. Seminars will allow the students to explore the matters raised in lectures more depth and introduce them to key readings. The workshops (debate and content analysis) will give the opportunity for students to draw on the knowledge they have gained and apply this to specific practical examples. This will be useful for the development of critical thinking skills and a helpful practice to prepare for 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
Essay2M502000 word essay
Essay2M502000 word essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Both essays will assess the development of sociological knowledge and theoretical concepts of race and racism, critical evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 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 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.