Module Catalogue 2019/20

SOC3099 : Sociology of Race and Ethnicity

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • 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 within Britain, examining how it has shaped, and continues to shape the nature of British 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, particularly in relation to Islamophobia, critical whiteness studies, and ‘post-race’.

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, Brexit, 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 British society in interaction with other forms of social difference such as nation, gender, class and religion. To do this we will examine a series of overlapping issues through topics such as Islamophobia, whiteness, ‘post-racial imaginaries’, cultural representation and Brexit. 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 British 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 in the UK.
•       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 ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion160:0060:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1104:00104:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00N/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 (film, 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
Essay2M603000 word essay
Written exercise2M401000 word blog
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay will assess the development of sociological knowledge and theoretical concepts of race and ethnicity, critical evaluation and synthesis of relevant literature.

The blog will test the students’ ability to distil key arguments in accessible format that is oriented to a wider public audience. It will allow students to develop their skills across a range of writing styles.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 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 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.