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Undergraduate Courses 2015

Social Anthropology and Social Policy BA (Hons)

Overview

Social Anthropology

The BA in Social Anthropology is a distinctive degree programme allowing for the holistic study of people’s ideas, beliefs, practices and activities in a wide range of local, global, diasporic and transnational settings. Social anthropologists study how and why we do the things we do, for example, how we work, use technologies, and negotiate conflicts, relationships and change.

As a research-led School we offer a wide range of modules, with a particular strength being the opportunity to study visual anthropology, with both theoretical and practical classes. The programme reflects staff research interests across the globe, which include: political struggle and resistance, post-conflict reconstruction, cultural transmission, indigenous knowledge, religious identity and transformation, mental illness, environmental politics, rural social transformation, law and legal pluralism, science and technology, public anthropology and advocacy. We explore communities and the systems and processes that link them together such as globalisation, migration, the media, businesses, financial markets and world politics. A further special feature of our programme is the application of computers and IT to anthropological research and practice.

Anthropology is a friendly and cosmopolitan School where you are taught by leading authorities in their fields. Our Centre for Social Anthropology and Computing (CSAC) was one of the first in the country and our Centre for Biocultural Diversity (CBCD) is equally outstanding.

Social Policy

Social Policy looks at the ways in which we as a society promote the welfare of individuals and families. You study some of today’s central issues, such as poverty, well-being, ill-health, education, crime, homelessness and child protection. This includes looking at both the nature of social problems and also at the policies directed towards them by government, and at the role of voluntary and private welfare. You look at debates regarding how best to provide health care, how to provide affordable housing, how to balance work and family life, and how to achieve equality for women, minority ethnic groups and people with disabilities. In studying these and many other vital topics, you develop the knowledge and skills to help you succeed in your future career.

What is distinctive about studying Social Policy at Kent is that the programme is highly flexible and provides a wide range of option choices, offered by leading academics. The programme is based within the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research, which has consistently achieved the highest ratings for the quality of its teaching and research. It will help you develop the knowledge and skills that will appeal to a range of employers in welfare-related occupations and beyond (see overleaf under Careers).

Independent rankings

Anthropology at Kent was ranked 6th in the UK for student satisfaction in the 2013 National Student Survey. And, in The Guardian University Guide 2014, Anthropology at Kent was ranked 5th for graduate employment prospects.

In the National Student Survey 2013 Social Policy was ranked 4th for student satisfaction. And Social Policy was ranked 4th in The Guardian University Guide 2014 .

Course structure

The course structure below gives a flavour of the modules that will be available to you and provides details of the content of this programme. This listing is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules, you may also have the option to take ‘wild’ modules from other programmes offered by the University in order that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas of interest to you or that may further enhance your employability.

Stage 1

Possible modules may include:

SA300 - Social Problems and Social Policy I: Youth,The family and the State

This module is designed both for students intending to specialise in social policy, and for other students who are interested in social problems and responses to them. We explore the ways in which phenomena come to be labelled as social problems, we focus upon the ‘problem of youth’ and why certain youth behaviours are seen as problematic, who defines them as such and what is expected in terms of the balance between state and family responsibility. Issues explored include: young people’s changing relationship to the family; teenage pregnancy; education, transitions to work, migration drug (mis)use, youth homelessness and anti-social behaviour.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SA301 - Social Problems and Social Policy II: The Market, The Family and the St

Health ,care and wellbeing are central concerns in all our lives; and they raise questions of the rival roles of the state, the market and the individual in their creation and support. In this module we explore how we understand and conceptualise these areas, and the potential role of policy interventions in support of them. The module examines the social determinants of health, exploring the ways in which these reduplicate wider inequalities in society. It asks how we might best address changing health needs, particularly in relation to the growing proportion of older people, exploring these in the context of the new politics of the NHS. What are the best structures to deliver health care? How that these best be funded? Life style is increasingly implicated in health outcomes, and the module explores the dilemmas raised by rising levels of obesity and alcohol consumption. These are matters of personal choice, but they challenge the health and wellbeing of the population, and raise questions of how choices are shaped in the context of market production. Governments increasingly declare that they are interested not simply in health or prosperity, but also of wellbeing. The module explores what this means, and why is there a new interest in this on this area.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE301 - Social Anthropology

Social Anthropology is a discipline which has traditionally specialised in the study of non-Western, pre-industrial societies. With increasing frequency, however, social and cultural anthropologists have turned towards the study of ‘home’, using insights gained from studying other cultures to illuminate aspects of their own society. This course draws on both these areas of social anthropology, looking at people from places as different as the rainforests of West Africa and the industrial heartlands of Britain and America, and introduces students to social anthropology through a selection of topics which have been chosen to illustrate the kind of issues that social anthropologists study and the kinds of arguments and theories they have developed.Module Topics Include: CULTURE, SYMBOLISM AND CLASSIFICATION (including language, myth, taboo). THE ANTHROPOLOGY OF INTIMATE LIFE (including marriage, divorce and exchange). RELIGION, RITUAL AND BELIEF (including initiation, and witchcraft). POWER, POLITICS AND IDENTITY (including ethnicity, nationalism, multiculturalism, globalisation).

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SE302 - Foundations of Biological Anthropology

This module is an introduction Biological Anthropology and human prehistory.It provides an exciting introduction to humans as the product of evolutionary processes. We will explore primates and primate behaviour, human growth and development, elementary genetics, the evolution of our species, origins of agriculture and cities, perceptions of race, and current research into human reproduction and sexuality.This module is required for all BSc in Anthropology and BA in Social Anthropology students. The module is also suitable for students in other disciplines who want to understand human evolution, and the history and biology of our species. A background in science is not assumed or required, neither are there any preferred A-levels or other qualifications.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO336 - Sociology of Everyday Life

Sociology offers insight into how society works. To do this, we question and look behind the ‘common sense’ view of everything in the social world. This course looks at a range of important and topical aspects of society and explains how we can make better sense of them by ‘thinking sociologically’. The aim is to introduce students to the wide range of topics which comprise contemporary Sociology and indicate how social circumstances shape and influence our lives. Why do powerful differences and inequalities between men and women persist even though both are now formally equal? Why, in a world that is safer and healthier than ever before, do we witness so much concern about risks such as to our health, children and security. These are type of questions we will begin to answer. The course is suitable both for those who have studied sociology at A level, and those who have not. There is a considerable emphasis on interactive discussion, through weekly seminar groups.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO337 - Fundamentals of Sociology

This course provides grounding in the basic history and assumptions of sociological thinking and research, and how they apply to key aspects of our society. Topics are less from everyday experience than in the Sociology of Everyday Life course, focusing on more abstract topics such as the state and globalization. Students will also be encouraged to consider competing perspectives on these topics and how they might be assessed. There will be a lecture and seminar each week and students will be encouraged to engage in informed discussion and debate.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Stage 2

Possible modules may include:

SE586 - Ethnographies 1

The focus of this module is the intensive investigation of the canonical form in which research in social anthropology has been disseminated, the ethnography. The curriculum for the module therefore consists exclusively of professional ethnographic monographs of varying length. These monographs have been selected to complement the themes of SE588 Advanced Social Anthropology I, as these are both core modules for the BA in Social Anthropology programme of study. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier seminars, on instruction about how to read and analyse an ethnography. This might include how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, how to evaluate the relationship between description and analysis, how to evaluate its contribution to particular issues and topics within social anthropology, and the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social and cultural group through the written word. Students’ readings of the core ethnographies for the module will be complemented by their own pursuit of a brief ethnographic research project.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE587 - Ethnographies 2

The curriculum for this module will consist of professional ethnographic monographs of varying length to be read at the rate of one (or selected substantial parts of one) monograph per week. The selection of the ethnographies will be determined by thematic conjunction with the analytical topics to be taught in the Advanced Social Anthropology 2 module, thereby divided into two congruent blocs. These are labelled ‘Power and Authority’ and ‘Belief and Practice’ [see Module specification for SE 589]. Students will be expected to come to class with notes from their reading and will be encouraged to discuss that reading and to relate it to wider anthropological issues raised or implied by the authors of the ethnographies and also dealt with historically and analytically in the co-requisite module Advanced Social Anthropology 1. Considerable time will be spent, particularly in the earlier classes, on instruction about how to ‘read’ an ethnography e.g. on how to examine its implicit (as opposed to explicit) theoretical assumptions, on how to place it within the historical development of the discipline, on how to evaluate its empirical exemplification of particular theoretical problems, on how to evaluate the relationship between ‘description’ and ‘analysis’, on how to evaluate it contribution to particular issues and topics within anthropology, and on the examination of its structure, presentation and ability to communicate an understanding of a social group through the written word.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE588 - Advanced Social Anthropology I

The aim of this module is to introduce students to advanced anthropological thinking on two major fields of enquiry that are generally considered to constitute part of the core of contemporary anthropology:
a) Kinship (dealing with the topics of Marriage, Family, Gender, Descent, ‘Relatedness’, the Developmental Cycle and Embodiment)
b) Economics (dealing with the topics of Consumption, Exchange, Money, Markets, Property, Modes of Production, Agricultural systems, Urbanisation, Globalisation.)
These topics will be dealt with both thematically and historically, providing an account of the development of anthropology, and demonstrating the foundational position that these topics have held and continue to hold in the definition of the discipline.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE589 - Advanced Social Anthropology II

The aim of this module is to introduce students to advanced anthropological thinking on the major topics which are generally considered to constitute the core of contemporary anthropology. The curriculum is divided into a) Power and Authority (political systems, legal pluralism, power and rhetoric, millenarianism, the Nation-state, patrons and clients) and b) Belief and Practice (world religions, local beliefs, medical systems, rationality, morality, ideology, indigenous knowledge).

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO601 - Welfare in Modern Britain

This module provides students with basic accounts of the scope and scale of the British welfare system, and the theoretical basis for its existence and growth. The recent history and current organisation of the main areas of social welfare provision such as social security, education, health, social care and housing are explored. These services which comprise ‘the welfare state’ are situated in the broader context of welfare provided from non-state sources: the family, the market, community and voluntary sector and debates regarding how welfare should be provided and funded. The module examines how policies are formulated and the processes through which they are implemented and revised. It also considers the impact that social policies have on social inequality and difference based on class, ethnicity, gender, disability or age. Welfare in Modern Britain is a core module for those taking Social Policy and related degrees, but is also relevant to those with an interest in contemporary social problems and the policies aimed at addressing them.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO602 - Social Research Methods

In this module you will begin to understand the process and debates surrounding how researchers learn more about the social world. What techniques and approaches do social researchers draw upon to organise, structure and interpret research evidence? How do we judge the quality of research? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the range of frameworks and methodologies? The first part of the module introduces you to the conceptual issues and debates around the ‘best’ way to explore social questions, forms and issues, and an overview of some popular methods for doing so. In the Spring Term, you will spend most of your time applying what you have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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Stage 3

Possible modules may include:

SE591 - Southern Mediterranean Societies: Mashriq andMaghreb

The northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean have been involved in a 'constitutive' relationship since traffic across the 'inland sea' began. This module, ideally but not necessarily paired with Anthropology's 'Northern Mediterranean Societies' module (SE548), opens with a consideration of that formative tension, both in popular and academic thought more generally (from Pirenne's 'Charlemagne and Mohammad' to Huntingdon's 'Clash of Civilisations') and in anthropology more particularly, with attention to the history and theorisation of the Anthropology of the Middle East and the Anthropology of Islam in relation to 'Mediterranean Anthropology'.
In the following weeks a number of themes -- gender, honour, tribes and families, rural and urban life, popular and institutional religions, writing and recitation, modernity -- will be unpacked with a dual reference to the anthropological literature on the general topic paired with specific instantiation in ethnographic studies linked to core areas in the curriculum.
In the closing weeks the course will take up core issues of contemporary political and cultural concern -- fundamentalisms, terrorism, dynastic dictatorship among them -- and seek to elaborate both continuities and discontinuities with the themes treated in the preceding weeks as well as with those treated in other domains of anthropology. The final session will look at the question of how to write ethnographies of the Southern Mediterranean today, and will seek to show students that Southern Mediterranean anthropology is very much part of the family of contemporary anthropologies.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE592 - The Ethnography of Central Asian Societies

The course covers ethnograpies of western Asian societies ranging from Pakistan through Central Asia (Afghanistan, Iran, Turkey, and ex-Soviet Central Asian nations such as Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan) to the Caucasus. It introduces the history of civilization and Turco-Persian cultures in this region, its history of orientalist (philological) scholarship, and modern fieldwork. Thematic topics include: tribe and state, peasant and urban economies, family and marriage, codes of prestige and etiquette, sexuality and seclusion, religion and experience. A primary focus is on Central Asian Islamic relgion and civilization, but minority faiths (Zoroastrian, E. Christian, and pre-Islamic traditions) are treated together with modern predicaments of secularization and political fundamentalism. Students are particularly encouraged to study modern cinema films and narrative literature from this region.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE601 - European Societies

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE547 - South East Asian Societies

Over the course of twelve weeks this module provides students with a working knowledge of the ethnography of the countries of Southeast Asia and gives them the opportunity to discuss contemporary issues affecting the region. After being introduced to the places and peoples of the countries of Southeast Asia, students are directed to a study of agricultural and industrial developments, the political systems which exist at local and national levels, the importance of religious belief in everyday life, and issues of gender and power in the region.
Students should note that although this is an area course it is also an anthropological one and consequently students are urged to bring into their discussions in seminars and essays comparative material from other regions of the world to provide a dimension of cross-cultural analysis.
The emphasis of the module will be largely on Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand though the other countries of the region will receive frequent mention. Students are encouraged to introduce into discussions and essays reference to ethnographic examples from countries in the region in which they have an interest but which may not have received much attention in the lectures.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SE579 - The Anthropology of Amazonia

This course will examine Amazonia as a space of encounter and exchange between different peoples and historical conditions, which have fascinated the scientific and popular imagination of industrialized nations. Ethnographic case-studies will provide the basis for discussing issues of theoretical and topical importance, such as environmentalism; political ecology, ethnogenesis, gender relations, kinship and exchange. Ultimately, this engagement challenges some of the most basic categories of our discipline: “the state”, “society”, and “culture”.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SA503 - A Future for the Welfare State? Social Change, Challenge and Crisis

Welfare states face many challenges in the contemporary world. This course takes a comparative approach by systematically analysing key fields to show how a variety of countries have identified and tackled problems of social policy. It starts with a consideration of theoretical frameworks but most of the course is directed at consideration of welfare issues in different countries and to specific topics: globalisation, migration, population ageing, disability, the cuts and so on. In this way, the student is provided with a systematic overview of some of the main areas in which international and national social policy agendas co evolve. It is intended for students of social policy, social work, and social sciences.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SA519 - The Social Politics of Food

The module provides an introduction to social and political issues raised by food and its provision, exploring how sociologists, social anthropologists and policy analysts have addressed this area. The module examines the role of food within the household and beyond, exploring the ways in which food and food practices make manifest social categorisations such as gender, age, ethnicity and religion. Using the examples of vegetarianism and religion, it examines the way food is entwined with symbolic and moral categorisations. The module as also addresses the political and policy issues raised by food, exploring government involvement in the area of ingestion, drawing parallels between food, alcohol and tobacco. In doing so it addresses the political issues raised by the large corporate interests of the food industry, and the role of the market in shaping provision. It addresses questions of public health, dietary adequacy and the future of the welfare state through sessions on schools meals and food banks.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SA525 - Education,Training and Social Policy

This module aims to present students with an overview of the main aspects of the UK educational, vocational education and training systems (compulsory-schooling, post-compulsory education and training and work based learning); the key divisions in educational and training experience associated with gender ethnicity, age and social class and the main current policy issues: expansion, finance, transitions from school to work, the institutional architecture of vocational education and training and the management of schools and colleges.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SA531 - The Care and Protection of Children and Families

This module provides a broad introduction to social care services for children and families in the UK, covering the major debates, perspectives and challenges associated with child care policy and practice. This includes the high-profile and complex issues associated with child abuse and protection, and the less well-known but equally important services to support families and prevent abuse and neglect. Also covered will be the workings of the care system, its perceived links with social exclusion and key areas of provision such as residential care, foster care and adoption. Although there are no formal pre-equisites for this module, SO538 Childhood Society and Children's Rights deals with related issues and provides very useful background information for this module.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO509 - Health, Illness and Medicine

‘Health’, ‘illness’ and ‘medicine’ are by no means static concepts. Their meaning has changed over time, and there is competition and conflict over what they mean. For example, in recent decades, health has come to mean much more the absence of disease. This is the age of healthy eating, sexual health, holistic health, healthy lifestyles and healthy living. We live in a time when medicine can mean homeopathy or acupuncture, as well as heart surgery and vaccinations. ‘Health’ is also something we seem to worry about, and panic over; recent years have witnessed high profile scares about eating beef, using the contraceptive pill and mobile phones, and giving babies the MMR vaccine. ‘Health, Illness and Medicine’ discusses key ideas and concepts developed by social scientists that can help us understand these, and other, aspects of our society.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO532 - Mental Health

This module introduces students to the sociological approach to understanding mental health. It begins by outlining historical definitions of mental health and how policy and practice have changed over time from incarceration in large institutions to present-day community care. Sociological perspectives of mental illness (for example, the sociology of suicide, labelling and social causations of mental ill-health) are considered alongside psychiatric and psychological approaches to treating people with mental illnesses. The module then looks at social inequalities in relation to opportunities to recover, including gender and race, as well as where sufferers are within the life-course (including young people and older people with dementia).Mental health and the criminal justice system as well as religion/spirituality and faith are also explored. Please note, as this is not a clinical module material covered will not include in-depth investigations of specific diagnoses of mental illnesses.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO538 - Childhood, Society and Children's Rights

This module provides a broad-based introduction to the concept of childhood, its historical evolution (including contemporary influences arising from new technologies and electronic media) and its 'social construction'. Within this context, different perspectives on children’s rights are examined, contrasting those which emphasise children's vulnerability and need for forms of protection and others which argue for children's participation, empowerment or even liberation. The module will also examine contemporary social problems e.g. child labour, sexual exploitation in terms of understandings of childhood and children's rights. Although there are no formal co-requisites for this module, its subject matter fits well with that covered in SA531 The Care and Protection of Children, offered in alternate years.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO575 - Poverty, Inequality and Social Security

The coalition government has argued that following the 2008 financial crisis and the subsequent double-drip recession adoption, the UK has no option but to pursue austerity policies. This has included a huge squeeze on spending on cash transfers often referred to as 'welfare'.

This module focuses on poverty and inequality and how such social security policies impact upon them. Students will analyse the nature, extent and causes of poverty and inequality, with reference to the UK. The module will make students aware of current issues in welfare reform as it relates to groups vulnerable to poverty including: people who are unemployed; people who are sick or disabled; older people; children; lone parents; people from Black or minority ethnic groups. The module also shows how social security policies encompass different principles of need, rights and entitlement for users of welfare services.

It is designed to be of interest to Sociology and Health and Social Care students as well as Social Policy students.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO595 - Reproductive Health Policy in Britain

Contraception, abortion, and teenage pregnancy are the subjects of public controversy in Britain. This module takes these aspects of ‘reproductive health’ as its main examples. We will consider why contraception, abortion and teenage pregnancy became the subject of policy-making, and look at how policy about them has changed over time. Attention will be drawn to areas of debate that are currently particularly controversial, to encourage students to consider the ways in which policy could develop.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO602 - Social Research Methods

In this module you will begin to understand the process and debates surrounding how researchers learn more about the social world. What techniques and approaches do social researchers draw upon to organise, structure and interpret research evidence? How do we judge the quality of research? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the range of frameworks and methodologies? The first part of the module introduces you to the conceptual issues and debates around the ‘best’ way to explore social questions, forms and issues, and an overview of some popular methods for doing so. In the Spring Term, you will spend most of your time applying what you have learned in a group research project and an individual research design project.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO603 - Health and Health Policy

This module will introduce students to the analysis of health policy focusing on recent policy changes in the UK and identifying the major influences which have shaped these policies. There have been considerable changes in health service policy and health policy in the UK over the last decade involving changes to existing policies and the development of new policy themes. The latter have included a growing recognition of the need to address inequalities through public health policies but the relative neglect of environmental health policies, a focus on the views and/or the voice of the user and the public, the emergence of evidence-based policy and practice, the marketisation and privatisation of health care, the introduction of managerialism and the attempts to regulate the medical profession. This module provides an analysis of these recent policy developments and explores to what extent they reflect significant shifts in policy. What shapes these policies is examine through an exploration of the influence of professional medicine and other occupational groups including CAM, the pharmaceutical industry, the State, patients groups and the wider global environment. It links analysis of the theory of policy making with an analysis of empirical examples.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO645 - The Third Sector: Charities and Social Enterprises in Modern Societies

The module provides an overview of the contribution of the third sector to social, economic and political life. It includes analysis of definitions and categorisations, exploration of the theories which underpin the study of the third sector, an examination of theories and the current state of volunteering and charitable giving, examination of the historical and current public policy agenda in relation to the third sector in the UK, the EU and more generally and, an overview of current issues in the third sector and how social scientists go about studying them.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO668 - The Sociology of Work

Work and economic life is one of the central themes of sociology. Work allows us to think about class, gender, race and issues of identity. Work defines how people live their lives and is a major constituting factor in identity formation. In recent years work has changed enormously with the rise of globalisation, of deindustrialisation and the ending of old certainties which used to underpin working lives. This module examines how sociology and sociologists have looked at the issue of work in the past as well as in contemporary societies. It charts the theoretical background to the assumptions sociologists make about work as well as the methods they use to investigate work and employment. The module will focus on issues industrialisation, deindustrialisation, notions of career and identity and places and spaces of work. A major part of this module is the discussion of innovative ways of looking at work including through visual methods and approaches, and in addition it will draw on material from the arts and humanities.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO670 - Kent Student Certificate for Volunteering, Platinum Award

This is a 15 credit course which will enhance your CV, particularly if you are hoping to work in the public or voluntary sector. You will be supported to undertake three placements in a variety of volunteering roles, both on and off campus; attend four lectures on the voluntary sector and complete a reflective learning log to help you think about your experiences and the transferable skills you are gaining.

The following 2 units are compulsory:

Active community volunteering
Project Leadership

Plus 1 unit selected from the following:

Active university volunteering
Training facilitator
Mentoring
Committee role

All students taking this module are expected to attend four sessions that provide the academic framework for understanding volunteering, as well as practitioner knowledge that will be helpful as you progress through your placements, and invaluable preparation for your essay. These sessions last one hour each and are spaced evenly throughout the academic year.

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO678 - Caring for Vulnerable Adults: Understanding Social Care

Social care is of central significance in the support of a range of vulnerable adults. As such it is one of the key services of the welfare state, though one that often loses out to higher profile concern with medical care. In this module we trace the development of social care from its origins in nineteenth century philanthropy, through its consolidation as a key service within the post war welfare state, to its current state of flux as it becomes increasingly fragmented and subject to new models of provision. The module looks at the care experiences of people with physical disabilities whether acquired in childhood or as result of accident or illness later in life; with learning difficulties; and mental health problems; as well as frail older people, exploring user perspectives and questions of empowerment. It also addresses those who provide care and support in the form of family carers and paid workers, whether social workers or care assistants, addressing policy debates concerning the role of the state and family in provision. It analyses the key social and policy debates in this field: for example: can we afford the cost of the rising numbers of older people? What role does ageism play in recent scandals about the quality of care provision? How can we support family carers? How do we integrate people with learning disability into wider society? In doing so it raises issues of funding, affordability and the mixed economy of care, as well as addressing fundamental questions about how disability, age and care are experienced and understood.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO679 - Research Dissertation

This module aims to enable students to design and conduct their own piece of research. This can be primary research where students collect and analyse their own data, or it can be library based, where students research existing literature or re-analyse data collected by others. The research can be about a particular policy or policy area, social problem, social development, or matter of sociological interest. The dissertation will usually be set out as a series of chapters. In order to assist students with designing and writing a dissertation a supervisor – a member of staff in SSPSSR - will have an initial meeting with students (during the summer term of Year 2 where possible) and then during the Autumn and Spring terms students will have at least six formal dissertation sessions with their supervisor. These may be held individually or with other students. In addition there will be two lectures by the module convenor which will also support students’ progress.

Credits: 30 credits (15 ECTS credits).

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SO702 - Sociology and Social Politics of the Family

Often presented as the most natural form of human organisation, the family's changing nature over time indicates it is no such thing. Particularly since the Second World War, driven by the transformation of women's position within society, the very idea of a typical family has been called into question. The numbers of those choosing to live alone in contemporary society even calls into question the very notion of family at all. This module explores how the family has changed historically in its role and relationship to the individual and society. We trace the development of the modern, private family and how it has been shaped by socio-economic, cultural and political pressures. We will particularly focus upon the tension between this private 'haven in a heartless world' and a society anxious about the family's apparent instability.

Synopsis of the curriculum
• The social history of ‘the family’ and its transformations.
• The sociology of the public/private split
• The evolution of policies relating to ‘family life’
• The ‘individualisation’ thesis
• The economics and obligations of the family
• Recent social and demographic changes considered to underlie the problem of the contemporary family (changes in fertility patterns, in marriage and co-habitation, the rise of single person households)
• Debates about specific current policies about ‘parenting’
• Critiques of state intervention in family life

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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SO712 - Urban Sociology

Credits: 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits).

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Teaching & Assessment

Social Anthropology

On average, you have four hours of lectures and four hours of seminars each week. Most modules involve individual study using library resources and, where relevant, laboratories and computer-based learning packages. If you are taking modules involving computing or learning a language, you have additional workshop time.

Assessment ranges from 80:20 exam/coursework to 100% coursework. At Stages 2 and 3, most core modules are split 50% end-of-year examination and 50% coursework. Both Stage 2 and 3 marks and, where appropriate, the marks for your year abroad count towards your final degree result.

Social Policy

Usually you have four lectures and four seminars a week and additional tutorial input spread over the year. Many modules also offer additional ‘clinic’ hours to help with the preparation of coursework and for exams. Some modules involve workshops to develop key personal and study skills, or computing and project work, which you can do individually or in teams. In addition, you spend time in individual study, using the resources of the University Library and computer-assisted learning packages.

Most modules in the School are assessed by 50% coursework and 50% end-of-year examination. A small number are assessed entirely by coursework. Marks from both Stages 2 and 3 count towards your final degree result. Stage 1 results do not count towards the final mark, but entry to Stage 2 depends on passing Stage 1 assessments.

Programme aims

The programme aims to:

  • provide a broad knowledge in the major sub-divisions of anthropology, showing how it is linked to other academic disciplines
  • explore theoretical and methodological issues
  • demonstrate the relevance of anthropological knowledge to an understanding of many local, national and international issues
  • develop students’ transferable skills and prepare them for employment and/or further study
  • provide modules informed by the School's research.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

You gain knowledge and understanding of:

  • social anthropology as the comparative study of human societies
  • specific themes in social anthropology, such as religion, politics, kinship, nationalism and ethnicity
  • human diversity and an appreciation of its scope
  • several ethnographic regions of the world including Central Asia, the Mediterranean, Amazonia, Southeast Asia and the Pacific
  • the history of anthropology as a discipline
  • the variety of theoretical approaches contained within anthropology
  • the process of historical and social change
  • the application of anthropology to understanding issues of social and economic development throughout the world
  • the relevance of anthropology to understanding everyday processes of social life anywhere in the world.

Intellectual skills

You develop intellectual skills in:

  • general learning and study
  • critical and analytical abilities
  • expressing ideas in writing and orally
  • communication
  • group work
  • IT
  • the ability to review and summarise information
  • data retrieval.

Subject-specific skills

You gain subject-specific skills in:

  • understanding how people are shaped by their social, cultural and physical environments while retaining a capacity for individual agency
  • recognising the pertinence of an anthropological perspective to understanding major national and international events
  • interpreting texts and performance by locating them within cultural and historical contexts
  • using anthropological theories and perspectives in the presentation of information and argument
  • analysing the significance of the social and cultural contexts of language use
  • devising questions for research and study which are anthropologically informed
  • perceiving the way in which cultural assumptions may affect the opinions of others and oneself
  • the ability to make sense of cultural and social phenomena which may, at first sight, appear incomprehensible.

Transferable skills

You gain transferable skills in:

  • communication – the ability to organise and summarise information; respond critically to written information; make a structured argument
  • problem solving – the ability to identify problems; formulate ways of problem solving; evaluate alternative solutions
  • improving your own learning – the ability to manage time; develop personal learning strategies; conduct independent research; assess your own strengths and weaknesses
  • information technology – the ability to access information on the internet; produce documents; use databases; use technology for oral presentations and online portfolio development
  • group work – the ability to participate in joint learning and communication; share ideas and skills; understand group dynamics.

Careers

Studying social anthropology gives you an exciting range of career opportunities. We work with you to help direct your module choices to the career paths you are considering. Through your studies you learn how to work independently, to analyse complex data and to present your work with clarity and flair.

Our recent graduates have gone into areas such as overseas development and aid work, further research in social anthropology, social sciences research, media research or production (TV and radio), journalism, advertising, social work, education, international consultancy and work with community groups.

For more information on the services Kent provides you to improve your career prospects visit www.kent.ac.uk/employability.

Entry requirements

Home/EU students

The University will consider applications from students offering a wide range of qualifications, typical requirements are listed below, students offering alternative qualifications should contact the Admissions Office for further advice. It is not possible to offer places to all students who meet this typical offer/minimum requirement.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
A level

ABB

Access to HE Diploma

The University of Kent will not necessarily make conditional offers to all access candidates but will continue to assess them on an individual basis. If an offer is made candidates will be required to obtain/pass the overall Access to Higher Education Diploma and may also be required to obtain a proportion of the total level 3 credits and/or credits in particular subjects at merit grade or above.

BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma (formerly BTEC National Diploma)

The university will consider applicants holding BTEC National Diploma and Extended National Diploma Qualifications (QCF; NQF;OCR) on a case by case basis please contact us via the enquiries tab for further advice on your individual circumstances.

International Baccalaureate

34 points overall or 16 points at HL

International students

The University receives applications from over 140 different nationalities and consequently will consider applications from prospective students offering a wide range of international qualifications. Our International Development Office will be happy to advise prospective students on entry requirements. See our International Student website for further information about our country-specific requirements.

Please note that if you need to increase your level of qualification ready for undergraduate study, we offer a number of International Foundation Programmes through Kent International Pathways.

Qualification Typical offer/minimum requirement
English Language Requirements

Please see our English language entry requirements web page.

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

General entry requirements

Please also see our general entry requirements.

Funding

Kent offers generous financial support schemes to assist eligible undergraduate students during their studies. Our 2015 financial support package includes a £6,000 cash bursary spread over the duration of your course. For Ts&Cs and to find out more, visit our Scholarships site.

General scholarships

Scholarships are available for excellence in academic performance, sport and music and are awarded on merit. For further information on the range of awards available and to make an application see our scholarships website.

The Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence

At Kent we recognise, encourage and reward excellence. We have created the Kent Scholarship for Academic Excellence, which will be awarded to any applicant who achieves a minimum of AAA over three A levels, or the equivalent qualifications as specified on our funding pages. Please note that details of the scholarship for 2015 entry have not yet been finalised and are subject to change.

Enquire or order a prospectus

Download a prospectus (PDF - 2MB) or order one below.

Contacts

Related schools

Enquiries

T: +44 (0)1227 827272

Resources

Download a subject leaflet (pdf)

Our subject leaflets provide more detail about individual subjects areas. See:

Read our student profiles

Open days

Our general open days will give you a flavour of what it is like to be an undergraduate, postgraduate or part-time student at Kent. They include a programme of talks for undergraduate students, with subject lectures and demonstrations, plus self-guided walking tours of the campus and accommodation.

Please check which of our locations offers the courses you are interested in before choosing which event to attend.

Related courses

UNISTATS / KIS

Key Information Sets

The Key Information Set (KIS) data is compiled by UNISTATS and draws from a variety of sources which includes the National Student Survey and the Higher Education Statistical Agency. The data for assessment and contact hours is compiled from the most populous modules (to the total of 120 credits for an academic session) for this particular degree programme. Depending on module selection, there may be some variation between the KIS data and an individual's experience. For further information on how the KIS data is compiled please see the UNISTATS website.

If you have any queries about a particular programme, please contact information@kent.ac.uk.

Fees

Every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in publicity materials is fair and accurate at the time of going to press. However, the courses, services and other matter covered by web pages and prospectuses are subject to change from time to time and no guarantee can be given that changes will not be made following publication and/or after candidates have been admitted to the University. Please see www.kent.ac.uk/applicants/information/policies/disclaimer for further information. Please note that modules shown are based on the current curriculum but are subject to change.

Publishing Office - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000