Sociology 2B SOCIO2021

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

The course offers a critical examination of inequalities and social identities in contemporary societies by introducing a range of examples drawn from sociology and related disciplines and building on what has already been learnt at first year level.


The course will entail 2 weekly lectures accompanied by weekly 1-hour tutorials. Lectures will usually be 4.00 - 5.00 Mondays and Tuesdays with tutorials on Wednesdays and Thursdays. At the end of each teaching block a lecturer-led seminar will be held.

Requirements of Entry

Recommended Entry Requirements

In order to enter Sociology Level 2B, students are required to have completed both Sociology Level 1A and Sociology Level 1B, and are expected to have attainted a minimum overall 'D' grade in each of these courses. Occasionally, at the discretion of the Head of Subject, students may be admitted to the course whose qualifications are deemed to be equivalent to these.

Excluded Courses



There are no co-requisites courses, but in order to enter Sociology Honours, students are required to complete both this course, and Sociology Level 2A, and normally to have attained an overall 'C' grade in each course. Occasionally, at the discretion of the Head of Subject, students may be admitted to Honours whose qualifications are deemed to be equivalent to these.



Summative assessment is based on the submission of one 2,500-3,000-word essay (50%), and a ninety-minute written exam in which students answer two questions from a previously unseen paper (50%). The essay question is chosen from a list provided in the course guide. The exam, which asks students to provide two shorter answers from topics other than those covered in their assessed essay, is designed to encourage a wider grasp of the course as a whole. To this extent, students will be encouraged to draw links between the different thematic sections of the course.



In accordance with the University's Code of Assessment reassessments are normally set for all courses which do not contribute to the honours classifications. For non honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students, and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions are listed below in this box.

Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

1. This course aims to help you develop an understanding of processes underpinning social change and to recognize how those processes affect the formation of both inequalities and identities in contemporary society.  We will build on what has already been learnt at first year level and preparing you for the more specialised courses offered in Honours Sociology;

2. The course aims to help you develop a deeper knowledge of contemporary societies by introducing a range of substantive examples relating to inequality and identity which are drawn from sociology and related disciplines, and by encouraging you to engage with some of the theoretical discussion about the interplay of different forms of inequality, and the socially constructed nature of difference.

3. It is a more general aim of the course to help you develop a more critical awareness of social contexts in which you live and an understanding of what it means to think sociologically about contemporary societies.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course you will be able to:


identify a range of key sociological concepts and theories on socially constructed inequalities and identities and evaluate their application;

• demonstrate a clear understanding of the relationship between theoretical or analytical claims, on the one hand, and appropriate social and historical evidence, on the other, with regard to a range of contexts;

• recognise what is distinctive about the discipline of sociology, and about the intellectual assumptions which characterise this discipline;

• draw on evidence from a range of appropriate sociological sources and demonstrate an ability to synthesise them;

evaluate competing explanations and draw reasoned conclusions.


This course, along with Sociology Level 2A, provides you with opportunities to develop skills and attributes which include:


Subject-specific/practical skills

• Sourcing of appropriate theoretical and empirical material from on-line and other contexts;

• Understanding of the distinctive methodological practices employed by sociologists;


Intellectual skills

• An ability to use appropriate forms of evidence in support of an argument;

• Understanding of the value of comparative analysis;

• An ability to organise and synthesise material drawn from various sources;

• Confidence to learn independently.


Transferable/key skills

• Increasing sophistication in oral and written presentation;

• Forward planning and time management;

• Collaboration with peers;

• Mastery of appropriate protocols for referencing source material;

• Ability to use appropriate word-processing packages;

• Familiarity with internet resources and discrimination in the use of these.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.