Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2005-2006 (archived)




Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2005/06 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • Dissertation (40 Credits) (SOCI3112).


  • To produce an independently researched study of a selected specialist topic in sociology and social policy.


  • There is no formal syllabus for this module.
  • Students are expected to read widely drawing on work done for other modules during the second and third years.
  • The essay will be based on published material available through the University or other libraries.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Having completed the dissertation, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate an ability to formulate sociologically informed questions relating to a chosen area of study.
  • Display a critical understanding of key theoretical concerns and appropriate underlying concepts relevant to their chosen area of study.
  • Demonstrate detailed knowledge of the particular issues (e.g. theoretical and, where appropriate, policy-related) associated with their research topic.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Having completed the dissertation, students will be able to demonstrate a capacity to:
  • Evaluate sociological arguments and evidence.
  • Use abstract sociological concepts with confidence.
  • Undertake and present theoretical and conceptual work in a scholarly manner.
  • Employ theoretical expertise in analysing key issues related to their chosen topic.
  • Convey, in writing, the meaning of abstract theoretical concepts in ways that are understandable to others.
  • Perceive (where relevant) and relate, insights developed from the knowledge of their chosen topic area to social and public policy.
Key Skills:
  • Having completed the dissertation, students will be able to:
  • Communicate complex ideas in writing.
  • Demonstrate a range of numeracy skills where appropriate.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to compile appropriate bibliographies using a range of online search tools and web-based resources.

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

  • Prior to the Level 3, students are offered four general dissertation/essay paper workshops,
  • Teaching is via four, one-hour tutorial sessions with the student's supervisor. The first tutorial takes place towards the end of Term Three in year two.
  • Assessment is based upon a 5,000 word essay paper.
  • The module is designed to encourage independent learning and the production of an extended essay paper in a selected specialist area of sociology.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials 4 1 4
Preparation and Reading 196
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
assessed essay of 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:


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