Module Catalogue 2024/25

MCH1026 : Social and Cultural Studies

MCH1026 : Social and Cultural Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Sarah Hill
  • Lecturer: Dr Joss Hands, Dr David Bates
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



To enable students to investigate culture and society from a critical perspective.
2. To give students the intellectual tools to analyse the means by which culture is interpreted, analysed and used in a variety of social and political settings.
3. To provide students with a critical platform to evaluate how power shapes culture, society, identity, subjectivity, media, place, and representation.

This module explores the practice, politics, and ethics of Social and Cultural Studies as an interdisciplinary field of study. The module examines ways that culture is understood, analysed and mobilised through analysis of a diverse range of texts and issues. Some of the main topics and issues talked about may relate to the study of media in connection to race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity, immigration, class, fashion, food, sport, subcultures, and the posthuman.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.This module is aimed at students who are new to the field of social and cultural studies and/or who have some initial knowledge of the field. The module will encourage students to critically engage with some of the key terms, concepts, ideas, and approaches from this field.
2. The module will deal with foundational material about associated theory, and will offer some answers to the questions: 'what is culture?'; “how does culture happen?”
3. In addition, the module will consider and discuss contemporary examples. The module places a strong emphasis on understanding how to link ideas and theories to living with and through everyday texts, practices, institutions, and identities.
4. Lectures and seminars will show students how to analyse cultural life: practices, texts, institutions, beliefs, values, power.
5.The module involves discussion of local, national and transnational perspectives.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module will possess:
1. An understanding and knowledge of the history, practices, politics and ethics of Social and Cultural Studies
2. A critical awareness of the ways in which culture is differentially constituted through lived experiences of, for example, race, gender, sexuality, age, disability, ethnicity, and class across a range of local, national, and transnational contexts.
3. An in-depth understanding of the different theoretical and conceptual frameworks that can be used to analyse links among culture, power, identity, subjectivity, bodies, and places.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students successfully completing the module will be able to:
1. Employ a theoretical vocabulary with which to discuss social and cultural life and relations of power.
2. Critically engage with media, cultural life, political debates, and institutional arrangements.
3. Exercise their judgement through the most appropriate theoretical and conceptual frameworks when analysing social and cultural life.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion220:0040:00Assessment 2: See assessment section for details
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00Learning lectures on campus. These lectures can be delivered online, if necessary.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion170:0070:00Assessment 1: See assessment section for details
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading102:0020:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Weekly seminars designed to enhance knowledge and understanding. On campus but can move online.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study137:0037:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Social and Cultural Studies introduce a different way of looking at the world. Given that the majority of the students come from a wide disciplinary background, close and sustained support is required. Thus the lecture materials will provide formal approaches to the areas that are being looked at whilst students in synchronous discussions groups consider some of the more challenging aspects of the programme in more depth.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Design/Creative proj2M75FOR PQL0 & P305 STUDENTS ONLY Multimedia content based on a theme from Social & Cultural Studies, as produced for MCH1031
Written exercise2A25FOR PQL0 & P305 STUDENTS ONLY Critical analysis of multimedia content produced for Assessment 1 (1000 words)
Written exercise2M20FOR STUDENTS NOT STUDYING MCH1031 Reflexive photo essay (650 words)
Essay2A80FOR STUDENTS NOT STUDYING MCH1031 Critical photo essay
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

For PQL0 & P305 students:

Multimedia content (75%)
Critical analysis of multimedia content (1000 words) (25%)

A programme-level approach to assessment aims to make students’ assessment journey through the programme clearer, and strengthen students’ understanding and experience of the relationship between theory and practice. 75% of the marks will be taken from the MCH1031 multimedia content, which is based around a theme covered on MCH1026. Students will be assessed on their use and application of ideas and concepts from MCH1026, whereas MCH1031 will assess practical skills as per the module's learning outcomes. After creating the content, students are required to write a critical analysis of their multimedia content using theories, concepts and frameworks that are taught on this module.

Students who do not study PQL0 Media, Communication and Cultural Studies or P305 Digital Cultures & Media are required to submit the following assessments:

Reflexive concept photo essay: (M) 650 words (20%)

The reflexive concept photo essay, to be submitted prior to the essay, will function as a road map for the final essay. It is aimed at helping students connect concepts and theory to daily cultural life. Feedback will be provided.

Critical photo essay (A) 2000 words (80%)

Students will build on the skills and feedback from the first assessment. Students are required to construct an argument on a topic or theme covered in the module.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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

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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.