Understanding People and Society

The details
Essex Pathways
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Foundation/Year Zero: Level 3
Thursday 03 October 2024
Friday 27 June 2025
10 May 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA QX41 Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ16 English Language and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q320 English Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA L250 International Relations (Including Foundation Year),
BA LR59 International Relations and Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA Q143 Language Studies (4 Years Including Foundation Year),
LLB M101 Law (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q102 Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA R999 Modern Languages (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA L0V2 Philosophy, Politics and Economics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L202 Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA C848CO Psychodynamic Practice (Including Foundation Year),
BA C89C Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MM30 Law with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MV06 Law with Philosophy (Including Foundation Year),
BA L908 Global Studies (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
LLB MN03 Law with Business (Including Foundation Year),
BA L523 Childhood Studies (Including Foundation Year),
LLB MM03 Law with Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year),
BA L913 Global Studies with Politics (Including Foundation Year),
BA L916 Global Studies with Human Rights (Including Foundation Year),
BA L401 Social Change (Including Foundation Year),
BA L934 Global Studies with Business Management (Including Foundation Year),
BA Q121 Linguistics with Data Science (Including Foundation Year),
BA R105 Global Studies and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R107 Language Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R111 International Relations and Language Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA R115 Language Studies and Linguistics (Including Foundation Year),
BA R117 Language Studies and Teaching English as a Foreign Language (Including Foundation Year),
BA LY13 Social Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BA L995 Global Studies with Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA L991 Global Studies and Latin American Studies (Including Foundation Year),
BA C901 Global Studies with Sustainability (Including Foundation Year),
BA L351 Sociology and Health (including Foundation Year),
BA Q912 Modern Languages Translation, Interpreting and Cultural Mediation (Including Foundation Year)

Module description

The module aims to establish a theoretical foundation for students pursuing degrees in Social Science through the introduction of some key theories and concepts associated with the fields of Sociology, Criminology and Psychoanalysis and Psychosocial studies. The relevance of these theories will be demonstrated through opportunities to consider their role in specific contemporary social issues. As such the Autumn Term focuses on criminological theory and its application to contemporary society whilst also encouraging the development of a Sociological Imagination through debating current social issues based on the work of key social theorists. In Spring term building upon the learning in Autumn Term, students will use the lens of psychoanalysis to explore how people interact within society. They will consider the way individuals affect one another and how  institutions affect the people who work in them and vice versa. Throughout the module, expert guest speakers are periodically invited to contribute to lectures and seminars.

Module aims

The aims of this module are:

  • To provide an introduction to the key concepts within Criminology and Sociology along with Psychoanalytic and Psychosocial thinking as applied to individuals, groups, organisations and society.

  • To introduce students to interdisciplinary thinking through the consideration of aspects of Criminology, Sociology and Psychoanalysis and Psychosocial studies within the context of contemporary social issues

  • To encourage students to be confident in the expression of their thoughts and ideas in seminars and groups whilst maintaining a compassionate, supportive approach to self and others in that context.

  • To provide foundation knowledge and build on students' understanding about the dynamics of groups and society with the wider psychosocietal context.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will be expected to be able to:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of main concepts related to Criminology and Sociology and the social context of crime.

  2. Demonstrate knowledge of key psychoanalytic and socioanalytic concepts as they apply to individuals, working and living in groups, in organisations and in society.

  3. Apply appropriate skills to help facilitate compassionate management of groupwork.

  4. Demonstrate skills in identifying appropriate academic sources and ability to incorporate into assessments, reference to relevant and appropriate research.

  5. Reflect on tasks and learning with a view to understanding self as learner in Higher Education.

Skills for your professional life (Transferable Skills)

By the end of this module, a student will have practised the following transferrable skills:

  1. Critical thinking skills - understanding and exploring complex theories and ideas developed in lectures, classes discussion groups and seminars.

  2. Communication skills (written and oral) - discussing and sharing in a compassionate, supportive, patient and understanding manner.

  3. Listening skills - the ability to listen actively and receive, interpret and understand messages as part of the communication process.

  4. Organisational skills - (e.g. working independently, taking initiative, time-management.) Students are encouraged to work independently and to explore problems on their own initiative. The lecturer fosters these skills by providing bibliographies and referring to articles or books which students may then go and read.

  5. Inter-personal skills - (e.g. ability to work with or motivate others, flexibility/adaptability). The ability to work with other people is fostered in the experiential exercises which provide deep learning about working in and with groups.

  6. Research Skills - students are encouraged to learn some research skills through selecting and evaluating relevant sources, using the University Library and desk research.

Module information


Autumn Term

  • Criminology and Sociology

  • Who commits crime, who controls it and how do we know?

  • Crime and the media

  • Gangs

  • Sociology and Identity: Class, Gender and Ethnicity

  • Sociology and Politics

  • Sociology and Sociolinguistics - the impact of what we say and how and where we say it

  • Sociology and the World of Work

  • Writing Studios – Case Study Assignment Guided Preparation

  • Society and Global Challenges

Spring Term

  • Introduction to psychoanalytic and socioanalytic concepts

  • Our adult world and its roots in infancy

  • Intrapersonal dynamics

  • Interpersonal dynamics

  • Group dynamics

  • Intergroup dynamics

  • Organisational dynamics

  • Authority

  • Social defence Systems

  • Synthesis and Reflection

Summer Term

  • Researching Sociology and Criminology - introducing various research methods relating to social sciences

  • Researching the Unconscious - introducing various research methods for applying psychoanalytic ideas to social science - Socioanalysis, Social Photo Matrix, Narrative methods and Social Dreaming.

Learning and teaching methods

Teaching and learning on Essex Pathways modules offers students the ability to develop the foundation knowledge, skills, and competences to study at undergraduate level, through a curriculum that is purposely designed to provide an exceptional learning experience. All teaching, learning and assessment materials will be available via Moodle in a consistent and user-friendly manner.

The module is delivered via:

  • One 2-hour lecture and
  • One 2-hour seminar or experiential learning class per week.

Learning support

Students are expected to engage with Moodle for materials and support activities. Students are also supported through the Listen Again facility and other teaching and learning technologies such as the TALIS list. All students will also be assisted during a weekly Academic Support hour.



Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Formative Individual Virtual Poster with Small Group Discussion and reflective podcast    0% 
Coursework   Individual Virtual Poster with Small Group Discussion and Reflective Podcast (30%)    30% 
Coursework   Reflective Journal (3 entries in weeks 20, 24, 30; 900 words in total, 30%)    30% 
Coursework   Essay (1,200 words, 35%)     35% 
Coursework   Participation (5%)    5% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
No lecture recording information available for this module.


Further information
Essex Pathways

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