Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide an introduction to key sociological concepts and ideas through an exploration of structure and agency.
  • The module will provide students with the opportunity to develop their conceptual skills.


  • This module provides an introduction to sociological concepts and theorising through an exploration of issues relating to structure and agency.
  • The course will be taught through using both individual thinkers and particular topics to illustrate changing understandings of the relationship between structure and agency in sociological thinking both across time and in relation to current debates.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • A broad knowledge of a range of theoretical positions and an ability to apply them to social issues.
  • An understanding of the use of concepts in sociology and their wider application.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will be able to:
  • Evaluate basic empirical evidence
  • Assess competing theories and explanations.
  • Gather and analyse information.
  • Interpret texts and follow a theoretical argument.
  • demonstrate basic skills in synthesising sociological arguments.
  • demonstrate an ability to reflect on their accumulated knowledge.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will have demonstrated:
  • basic written communication skills.
  • basic bibliographic skills.
  • basic learning and study skills.
  • an ability to manage time effectively

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Theoretical positions, concepts and the building blocks of sociological argument will be presented in lectures.
  • The relationship between sociological theory and wider social issues will be presented in lectures and explored further in seminars.
  • Students will be expected to interpret texts and summarise theoretical arguments in seminar presentations and formative and summative coursework.
  • Students will be expected to undertake bibliographic searches.
  • Information will be provided through Duo and students will be expected to take part in discussion groups.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 1 Per Week 1 Hour 22
Seminars 11 Fortnightly 1 Hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
one three-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

A 700 word book review, a 1500 word essay.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University