Skip to main content

Module

MCH1026 : Introduction to Social and Cultural Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Tina Sikka
  • Owning School: Arts & Cultures
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

1. To allow students to explore culture and society in the context of critical theory.
2. To equip students with critical and analytical skills that enable them to examine some of the key ways that culture is understood, analysed and mobilised across a range of social and geo-political contexts.
3. To facilitate a critical space in which students consider the discourses, representations and relations of power which serve to constitute culture, society, identity, subjectivity, space/place, and embodiment.

This module introduces students to contemporary Social and Cultural Studies. It explores the history, politics and ethics of Social and Cultural Studies as an interdisciplinary fields of study, and invites students to consider the critical implications of some of their most dynamic contemporary debates. The module examines some of the key ways that culture is understood, analysed and mobilised through its analysis of a diverse range of media, social and political texts and issues. Some of the key themes and issues addressed may relate to the study of race, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and class, globalisation, consumer culture and a range of social justice movements.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. This module is aimed at students who are new to the field of 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 in Cultural studies.
2. The module will deal with key introductory material about critical theory, methodology and ethics, and will offer some answers to the question, 'what is culture?' The module will answer these questions in relation to helpful texts in cultural studies.
3. In addition, the module will consider and discuss contemporary example. The module places a strong emphasis on understating how to link ideas and theories to texts, practices, institutions and identities. The intersection of cultural and social institutions will also be emphasised throughout the module.
4. Short, clear accounts will outline and consider key notions of social and cultural studies in terms of way of life, everydayness, practices, and texts.
5. This will be followed by a discussion of what is involved when thinking about human societies from the perspectives of cultural studies. The module will consider certain issues involved in further research and critical inquiry in cultural studies, reflecting local, national and transnational perspectives.

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials93:0027:00Non-sychnronous, delivered online. Combination of audio-visual materials.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00Independent study and essay preparation
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading172:0072:00Small tasks oriented towards solidifying learning objecttives and lecture materials (specific to the
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Seminar format, PiP. Pre-defined activities related to final assessment
Structured Guided LearningStructured non-synchronous discussion13:003:00Non-synchronous and online. Assessment related
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time91:009:00Online synchronous – drop in.
Total200:00
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 lectures materials will provide formal approaches to the areas that are being looked at whilst students in synchronous and non-synchronous discussions groups consider some of the more challenging aspects of the programme in more depth. Scheduled contact time will provide students with a pre-arranged appointment to discuss the module with staff.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A20Critical essay proposal, 500 words
Essay2A80Critical essay. 2500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The proposal, to be submitted prior to the essay, will function as a roadmap for the final essay. Feedback will be provided.

The final, critical essay requires that students construct an argument around an issue or theme covered in the course. Questions will be provided.

Reading Lists

Timetable