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HSS8007 : The Making and Unmaking of Knowledge

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Dariusz Gafijczuk
  • Lecturer: Dr Tina Sikka
  • Owning School: School X
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


The module aims to actively engage students in the process of making and unmaking knowledge in the social sciences, arts and humanities. Students will be introduced to an understanding of knowledge as historically and environmentally conditioned. The module introduces the basic principles of epistemology, showing how specific ways of seeing or framing directly influence the type of knowledge and data that emerges. Knowledge creation is presented as a dynamic process, not a static tradition of inquiry.

Outline Of Syllabus

The syllabus comprises four framing sessions in which students will be introduced to the dynamics that underpin the making of knowledge as a research tool and as a social construct. They will also select four epistemological approaches from the options offered, according to their needs and interests.

Framing sessions will cover:
• Overview and introduction to making and unmaking knowledge;
• Noticing, observing and paying attention;
• The relationship between theory and methods;
• The researcher as an instrument of enquiry.

Optional topics will vary, but include fields such as critical theory, feminism, poststructuralism, positivism, history of science, and post/decolonial approaches.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00epistemological case studies to be selected from available options.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture42:008:00Framing lectures
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading176:0076:00Including recommended readings, workshop preparation and contribution to online discussion boards.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Students will be able to choose from present in person or synchronous live webinars for each week
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module begins with two live introductory lectures, with the aim of allowing students to familiarise themselves with the module content and teaching and learning approach taken. Students will then choose four epistemological approaches from amongst those offered, which they will use as case studies of the principles of knowledge production discussed in the initial sessions. Two concluding sessions will frame these approaches in terms of the relationship between theories, methods, and the research process.

The module is delivered through a mixture of present-in person sessions, blended online resources, self-study, and online synchronous and asynchronous discussions. All relevant sessions are recorded and made available on Canvas allowing each student to design an approach that better suits their needs and commitments.

During peer-led small group work, students undertake further discussion and tasks to clarify and/ or develop their knowledge, and ability to apply module content to their research contexts.

The reading and activities will provide opportunities for students to become familiar with the subject matter and to identify issues/ prepare responses for later discussion. Making a variety of content accessible online for students ahead of webinars is important, given the diversity of the student body in terms of disciplinary background and familiarity with terms & concepts. Using this delivery mode, with selected content to appeal to those both new to or familiar with topics, provides students with a personalised learning experience to suit their needs and interests.

At appropriate points in the module students will engage in moderated online discussion based on their responses to the online reading and activities. Students are also provided with further reading suggestions to support their own independent study and assignment preparation.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M1002,500 word assignment
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay enables students to demonstrate their knowledge of the taught content and ability to apply it to their own research interests and projects.

Reading Lists