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SML1022 : Introduction to Cultural Studies

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Nick Morgan
  • Lecturer: Professor Guy Austin, Dr Kathryn Robson, Dr Catherine Gilbert, Miss Ellen Bishell
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


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, familiarising them with a range of theoretical approaches that will prepare them for the study of culture throughout their degree programmes. Working across the whole range of language areas taught in the SML and adopting an interdisciplinary approach based on Sociology, Anthropology and Cultural Studies, the module seeks to show students how the key theoretical notions facilitate the study of everyday life.

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) introduce students to the knowledge and skills required for the comparative analysis and study of culture in context.
The course covers the following units:

Culture and identity
Race, ethnicity and representation
Gender and performance
Memory and group identity

Case studies are drawn from a wide range of countries (e.g. East Asia, Europe, Latin America) and are be used to exemplify the problems attendant on the study of conceptual categories studied.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture111:0011:00Present-in-Person (lecture)
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Non-synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Present-in-Person (seminar)
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1127:00127:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures, supported by non-synchronous online teaching, will adopt flexible, blended learning methods and strategies to introduce students to Cultural Studies as a scholarly field. They will outline general principles, illustrated by specific examples, and be supplemented by structured independent reading and guided online learning activities.. Seminars 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 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. Surgery 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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M301000-word written assignment, showing grasp of concepts and their application in context.
Written exercise2M702500-word essay in English in which students apply one or more key concepts to a topic of their own choice
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2MWorksheet requiring short answers on concepts of culture and power, that stem from reading covered up to Week 5 S2.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The semester 1 summative assessment allows students to demonstrate their grasp of the foundational concepts. 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