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SML1022 : Introduction to Cultural Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2021/22
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Morgan
  • Lecturer: Dr Kathryn Robson, Professor Guy Austin, Dr Jo Smith Finley
  • Other Staff: Dr Gary Jenkins, Miss Alba Griffin
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the School of Modern Languages, this module aims to introduce students to the systematic study of culture and cultural production, introducing them to a range of theoretical approaches that will prepare them for the study of culture throughout their degree programmes.

In addition, this module aims to make aspects of the above available to students from outside the degree.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lecture materials and synchronous teaching activities (both present-in-person and online) will introduce students to the knowledge and skills required for the comparative analysis and study of culture in context.

Case studies will be drawn from a wide range of countries (e.g. from East Asia, Europe, Latin America) and will be used to exemplify the problems attendant on the study of categories such as gender, class, ethnicity.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture91:009:00Present-in-Person (lecture)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching11:001:00Synchronous online (tutorial)
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities72:0014:00Non-synchronous online (structured lecture materials replacing what would have been lectures)
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:00Present-in-Person (seminar)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1127:00127:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

We will adopt flexible, blended learning methods and strategies to introduce students to Cultural Studies as a scholarly field. Lecture material will be covered by present in person teaching, where practicable, and also in the form of non-synchronous online teaching. These activities will outline general principles, illustrated
by specific examples, and be supplemented by structured independent reading and guided online learning activities.

Small group teaching, noted above as synchronous present-in-person teaching, where practicable, will allow
students to examine cultural products, allowing for detailed discussion and analysis as well as revisiting and
reinforcing knowledge from the lecture materials and online guided activities. In the event of COVID lockdowns, present in person sessions will be replaced by synchronous online sessions, in the case of seminars, and structured learning supplemented by synchronous online sessions in the case of lectures. Seminars will provide the students with the opportunity to lead discussion on a topic through interactive activities that develop their independent thinking and critical analysis. Both types of learning activities will include advice on how to prepare for assessment. Tutorial hours allow students to consult the module leader with any particular difficulties in understanding concepts, tasks, etc.
Independent learning includes preparation for small group work, further reading and assessment.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination601A4024-hour take home exam (60 minutes)
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602000 word essay in English
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MWorksheet requiring short answers on concepts of culture and cultural identity, that stem from reading covered up to Week 5 S1.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Semester 1 formative assessment allows students to demonstrate their grasp of the foundational concepts which will be tested in the take home exam. The Semester 2 summative assessment allows students to build on the feedback gained from the formative assessment and the knowledge and skills developed over both semesters to plan and execute an assessed essay that asks them to apply their conceptual knowledge to a specific context, in the same way that the seminars exemplify the concepts discussed in the rest of the course

Reading Lists