module specification

SS4000 - Cultures, Identity and Difference (2013/14)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2013/14
Module title Cultures, Identity and Difference
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Total study hours 300
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
180 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Workbook 1000 words
Coursework 50%   Essay 2500 words
Coursework 30%   Workbook 2000 words
Running in 2013/14
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year (Spring and Summer) North Monday Morning
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the changing pattern of households and family life, work and employment, with a particular emphasis on differences in cultures and how this interlinks with social divisions. It addresses causes and patterns of inequality, and the opportunities and challenges of living in a multi-cultural society. There is an introduction to anthropological perspectives to these issues, and to the different approaches to communities and cultures.
It includes significant elements of skills development, orientation to the university and the expectations of the university and course.  It will also introduce issues around the use of IT, and provide subject-specific IT and web skills training. It is taught over 30 weeks and is assessed by two essays, each 200 words long.


Module aims

This module aims to:
1. Introduce students to university life and to the expectations of the course and academic life;
2. Identify changing patterns of households, family life, work and employment;
3. Explain differing patterns on inequality and the anthropological perspective to issues of community, culture, multiculturalism and social cohesion;
4. Develop student skills in the use of information technology; and
5. Develop student skills in retrieving information, academic writing and presenting information to a range of audiences.


1. orientation to the course, the faculty and the university;
2. definitions of community; differing communities & community cohesion;
3. skills development (reading, essay writing, report writing, presentation skills);
4. IT issues and skills;
5. social patterns and social change;
6. the anthropological approach to culture difference and social division; and
7. living in a multi-cultural society.

Learning and teaching

This module helps students create a sense of shared experience and learning for community students through teaching, skills development and activities. The module will be jointly taught by the members of the community development and anthropology team. The main concepts will be introduced in lectures. Students will be encouraged to carry out directed work in groups and bring their own knowledge and skills to discussions. Practical tasks will be set, using a range of sources to inform decision making. The module includes sessions on skills development, and will include formative assessment to develop both skills and knowledge. Extensive use will be made of Weblearn resources.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Evaluate differing viewpoints on concepts of community, culture and change;
2. Identify the key causes of inequality and evaluate policies and debates on social cohesion, inequality and ‘problem’ communities;
3. Write academically and present information;
4. Link IT to wider economic, social and cultural change; and
5. Use IT skills to research, study, communicate and work.

Assessment strategy

The assessment for Cultures, Identity and Difference is varied, reflecting the range of subject areas covered. Students will be expected to demonstrate knowledge of the subject area, and skills in presentation and information technology.

The students are required to complete a Workbook of up to five exercises (3000 words) covering the module’s range of topics. The Workbook exercises will test the students’ skills in using general IT skills: example creating data tables and using data production and presentation applications. In addition, students will be required to submit an essay of 2500 words. The essay will test students’ ability to evaluate different concepts of community culture and change, to identify the key causes of inequality and to evaluate related policies and debates.

There will be formative feedback in the semester, including on line tests and a group presentation. Students will receive feedback, but this will not contribute to the summative mark.


AlibhaiBrown,Y. (2000) Who do we think we are? Imagining new Britain. Allan Lane.
Bell, David, (2001): An introduction to cybercultures. London: Routledge
Cohen, P. Qureshi, T. and Toon, I. (1995). Island Stories: Race and class in the remaking of East
Cottrell, S. 2008. Study Skills Handbook. Basingstoke MacMillan
Enders.Runnymead Trust/UEL.
Gere, Charlie, (2002): Digital culture. London: Reaktion Books
Hoggett, P (ed). 1997. Contested Communities: Experiences, Struggles, Policies. Bristol: Policy Press.
Khan, Z. (2000): Muslim Presence in Europe: The British dimension-identity, integration and Community Activism. Current Sociology: Vol. 48, NO. 4 Sage.
Parekh,B. (2000) Rethinking Multiculturalism: Cultural Diversity & Political Theory. Macmillan
Webster, Frank, (2002): Theories of the information society. 2nd edition. London: Routledge