The Sociological Imagination

The details
Sociology and Criminology
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Undergraduate: Level 4
Thursday 05 October 2023
Friday 28 June 2024
15 March 2024


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA M900 Criminology,
BA M901 Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA M903 Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA M904 Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA L3C8 Criminology with Social Psychology,
BA L3H8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA LHC8 Criminology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LV31 History and Sociology,
BA LV32 History and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV38 History and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LV3C History and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LQ32 Literature and Sociology,
BA LQ33 Literature and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LQ38 Literature and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA QL23 Literature and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LP33 Media and Digital Culture,
BA LP34 Media and Digital Culture (including Placement Year),
BA P300 Media and Digital Culture (Including Foundation Year),
BA PL33 Media and Digital Culture (including Year Abroad),
BA LV35 Philosophy and Sociology,
BA LV36 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LV83 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA VL53 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA VL58 Philosophy and Sociology (Including Foundation Year and Year Abroad),
BA CL83 Sociology with Social Psychology,
BA CL93 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Placement Year),
BA CLV3 Sociology with Social Psychology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L2CH Social Sciences,
BA L2CS Social Sciences,
BA L2ES Social Sciences,
BA LFCH Social Sciences,
BA L300 Sociology,
BA L301 Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BA L304 Sociology (Including Foundation Year),
BA L306 Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA LM38 Sociology and Criminology (Including Placement Year),
BA LM39 Sociology and Criminology,
BA LMH9 Sociology and Criminology (Including Year Abroad),
BA LMHX Sociology and Criminology (Including Foundation Year),
BA LL23 Sociology and Politics (Including Year Abroad),
BA LL24 Sociology and Politics (Including Placement Year),
BA LL32 Sociology and Politics,
BA L3J9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Placement Year),
BA L3M9 Sociology with Human Rights,
BA LMJ9 Sociology with Human Rights (Including Year Abroad),
BA LCJ8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Placement Year),
BA LJ8C Sociology with Psychosocial Studies (Including Year Abroad),
BA LJC8 Sociology with Psychosocial Studies,
BA P540 Journalism and Sociology,
BA P541 Journalism and Sociology (Including Placement Year),
BA P542 Journalism and Sociology (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L315 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research),
BSC L316 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Year Abroad),
BSC L317 Sociology (Applied Quantitative Research) (Including Placement Year),
BA L333 Criminology with Counselling Skills,
BA L334 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Year Abroad),
BA L335 Criminology with Counselling Skills (Including Placement Year),
BA L332 Sociology with Counselling Skills,
BSC L310 Sociology with Data Science,
BSC L311 Sociology with Data Science (including Year Abroad),
BSC L312 Sociology with Data Science (including Placement Year),
BSC L313 Sociology with Data Science (Including foundation Year),
BA L400 Social Change,
BA L400PT Social Change,
BA L401 Social Change (Including Foundation Year),
BA L402 Social Change (including Placement Year),
BA L403 Social Change (including Year Abroad),
BA LY10 Social Sciences,
BA LY11 Social Sciences (Including Placement Year),
BA LY12 Social Sciences (Including Year Abroad),
BA LY13 Social Sciences (Including Foundation Year),
BA L350 Sociology and Health,
BA L351 Sociology and Health (including Foundation Year),
BA L352 Sociology and Health (including Placement Year),
BA L353 Sociology and Health (including Year Abroad)

Module description

Sociology is the critical study of society and SC111, The Sociological Imagination, offers an introduction to sociological analysis and argument about key features of society. The module is organised around substantive topics of current interest and importance in Sociology.

The Autumn term will provide a general intellectual and historical framework to the rise of sociology as a discipline, will examine the notion of the Sociological Imagination, and will explore three key concepts in sociology: race, class and gender. The Spring term will highlight and focus on the empirical research being conducted in the Department of Sociology, ranging from ethical consumption, gendered labour, and migration to the context and impacts of science and technology on societies, the activities of multinational corporations and capitalist markets, as well as gender and reproductive rights.

The module provides a foundation for our second and third year modules where many of these areas and the sociological thinking about them are explored more fully. SC111 also incorporates additional teaching on writing and academic skills, including essay writing, citation, referencing, and the use of the internet as a research tool.

Module aims

The aims of the module are:

• to introduce you to the systematic examination of empirical data about British society and other societies across the world, including some of the major changes that are occurring and their implications

• to critically discuss sociology as a discipline within the framework of modernity and colonialism

• to show you how sociological concepts and theories can help you to understand and explain empirical data.

Module learning outcomes

The module examines some key aspects of present-day society and social changes and considers how sociology can provide us with tools (concepts and theories) to assist us in understanding them. In the process, students will, we hope, develop their own sociological imagination and understanding of some of the challenges and struggles of contemporary societies.

By the end of the module, we will have:
1. Examined some important features of present-day society
2. Acquired an understanding of key sociological concepts
3. Explored how sociological concepts and theories can assist in understanding these features
4. Started to develop a sociological imagination
5. Learned the importance of backing up arguments with evidence
6. Learned how to research available data on a topic
7. Improved your writing and study skills

Module information

Autumn Term

Week 2 Sociology and Modernity
Week 3 Decolonizing Sociology
Week 4 The Sociological Imagination I
Week 5 The Sociological Imagination II
Week 6 Race and Racism I
Week 7 Race and Racism II
Week 8 Class and Social Mobility I
Week 9 Class and Social Mobility II
Week 10 Gender and Feminism I
Week 11 Gender and Feminism II

Spring Term

Week 16 Sociology in Practice
Week 17 Ethical Consumption
Week 18 Gender, Work and Global Hierarchies
Week 19 International Migration
Week 21 Science, Technology and Society
Week 22 Multinational Corporations: The pharmaceutical industry
Week 23 Capitalism and Local Markets
Week 24 Gender and Reproductive Rights
Week 25 Future Directions in Sociology

Summer Term

Week 31 Revision Session I
Week 32 Revision Session II

Learning and teaching methods

Most modules in Sociology are divided into lectures of around 50 minutes and a class of around 50 minutes. Some are taught as a 2hr seminar, and others via a 50-minute lecture and 2-hr lab. Lectures, classes, labs and seminars will be taught face-to-face.

Please note that you should be spending up to eight hours per week undertaking your own private study (reading, preparing for classes or assignments, etc.) on each of your modules (e.g. 32 hours in total for four 30-credit modules).

The lectures provide an overview of the substantive debates around the topic of the week, while the classes will give you the opportunity to reflect on your learning and actively engage with your peers to develop your understanding further.

You are strongly encouraged to attend the classes as they provide an opportunity to talk with your class teacher and other students. The classes will be captured and available via Listen Again. However, if you want to gain the most you can from these classes it is very important that you attend and engage. Please note that the recording of classes is at the discretion of the teacher.


The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course.
The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students.
Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 1 (Week 20)    10% 
Coursework   Moodle Quiz 2 (week 24)     10% 
Coursework   Formative Assignment     0% 
Coursework   Critical Review    40% 
Coursework   Essay     40% 
Exam  Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 180 minutes during Summer (Main Period) 
Exam  Reassessment Main exam: In-Person, Open Book, 180 minutes during September (Reassessment Period) 

Additional coursework information

The first assessment is designed to assess your initial ability to think sociologically and your academic writing style. This piece of work will not contribute to your final mark for the module, but will be used as the basis for feedback on the substantive content of your work and as a means of helping you with your writing. The three assessed assignments that contribute to your final mark for the module consist of one essay in the first term and one journal in the second. The journal involves your selecting an issue related to one of the substantive topics covered in the course, and exploring it in some depth. Attendance contributes 5% to the final mark. The writing and academic skills teaching includes work on one or two other assignments which do not contribute to the final module mark. Please note that assessment information is currently showing for 2018-19 and will be updated in August 2019

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
50% 50%


Coursework Exam
50% 50%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, email:
Dr Tara Mahfoud, email:
Dr Carlos Gigoux Gramegna, Dr Tara Mahfoud
email: socugrad (Non essex users should add to create the full email address)



External examiner

No external examiner information available for this module.
Available via Moodle
Of 180 hours, 162 (90%) hours available to students:
2 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
16 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s), module, or event type.


Further information
Sociology and Criminology

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