Fundamentals of Sociology - SOCI3370

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 4 15 (7.5) David Garbin checkmark-circle


Sociology is the study of human societies. It is a discipline committed to the attempt to map out and explain the constitution of society. It also aims to attend to and explain the distinctive character of people's social experience of the world. Sociologists operate from the premise that, by working to explain human characteristics and behaviours in social terms and as relative products of society, they stand to offer insights into some of the major forces that determine our thoughts and behaviours. They work under the conviction that human beings are fundamentally social beings and are products of distinct forms of society. This course is designed to provide you with a basic introduction to Sociology. A particular focus is brought to how sociologists venture to understand the social structures and determinant social forces that shape our living conditions and life chances. It also outlines some of the ways in which such matters are addressed as problems for sociological theory and empirical sociological research.
The curriculum will include topics such as:
What is Sociology?
Theories and Theorizing
Methods and Research
Cities and Communities
The State, Social Policy and Control
Work, Employment and Leisure
Inequality, Poverty and Wealth
Stratification, Class and Status


Contact hours

Contact hours: 22. Private study hours: 128.
This module's teaching is based upon weekly lectures and seminars. .
Students will have research and other skills session in the library during which they will learn more advanced skills in finding and understanding social science sources. This session is compulsory and will take place in one of the for-mentioned seminar contact hours.


The module is a core module for BA Sociology and BA Social Policy (including BA in Criminology with another discipline and the BA in Cultural Studies with another discipline). It is also available as a wild module for students on other programmes in the Social Science Faculty.

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Assessment will comprise one 1,500 word essay (30% of final grade), one 2,500 word essay (50% of final grade). The final 20% of the grade will be awarded based on seminar participation.

Reassessment methods.

Reassessment instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Macionis, J. and Plummer, K. (2012) Sociology: A Global Introduction, 5th edition. London: Pearson.
Fulcher, J. and Scott, J. (2011) Sociology, 4th edition, Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Giddens, A. and Sutton, P. (2017) Sociology, 8th edition, Oxford: Polity.
Punch, S., Harden, J., Marsh, I. and Keating, M. (2013) Sociology: Making Sense of Society, London: Pearson.

Note: although this list is the same as the module SOCI3360 the chapters covered by each module are different.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Understand different theoretical perspectives in sociology.
8.2 Understand competing sociological arguments.
8.3 Understand the importance and use of empirical evidence used in sociology, including quantitative and qualitative evidence.
8.4 Understand more abstract social processes and institutions.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate skills in verbal and written communication, drawing upon their research and using appropriate information technology.
9.2 Demonstrate skills in information technology, using virtual learning environments and Web 2.0 technology where appropriate.
9.3 Demonstrate basic skills in regard to the organisation of information in a clear and coherent manner through essay writing and seminar-
based group discussion.
9.4 Demonstrate a basic understanding of theory and research.
9.5 Be able to analyse and utilise basic statistical data drawn from research and official sources at a basic level.


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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