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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/07/2022 10:54:29

Title of Module: Scottish Society

Code: SOCY09027 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:M  Arnott

Summary of Module

The module addresses the contemporary socio-political development of Scotland. Key debates regarding political identity, social policy and civil society will be investigated and students will be introduced to the processes which shaped political and social change within contempoary Scotland and influenced the distinctive experiences of Scotland in the UK context. Issues considered include:

  • An overview of contemporary Scotland, with historical consideration;
  • Scottish identities, lives and livelihoods (socio-economic, political) in the context of Scotland and the UK
  • Social and Political divisions around such issues and concepts as class, gender, ethnicity and identity
  • the processes which shaped political and social change within Scotland and influenced the distinctive experiences of Scotland in the UK context.
  • The module explores a range of different groups and issues within Scottish society, ranging across areas from education to arts and culture. The module also explores in detail issues of identity, gender, class, elites and heritage.

Students will learn a range of skills, including academic, interpersonal, communication and self-management skills. Reflection will be an important element within the module, with students critically reflecting on issues such as identity and nationhood within the country in which they stay and study. Both assessments require a detailed knowledge of areas of policy, politics and social change in Scotland through an integrated analysis of primary and secondary literature.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2


Term 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate a critical appreciation of the key challenges facing Scottish society and related political, sociological, and social policy debates.

L2. Demonstrate an understanding of key concepts such as class, gender and ethnicity within the framework of identity and how these impact on policies and practices.

L3. Demonstrate an awareness of how to utilise data, both primary and secondary, in either individual or small group analyses of debates about contemporary Scotland.

L4. Demonstrate an ability to write an analysis about an issue facing contemporary Scotland.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 9.

Gaining a broad knowledge and understanding of the subject; a critical understanding of theories and concepts relating to issues such as identity; and a detailed knowledge of current debates about identity and nationhood.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Routine methods of inquiry and research into aspects of Scottish society, using appropriate skills and techniques.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Using a range of sources of information and utilizing these to undertake critical analysis of the issues concerned.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Interpretation of information on contemporary Scottish society and presenting this in workshops and assignments.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising initiative in relation to workshops, including working with others in groups.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:Social Science Level 8 or Equivalent
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Student contact will primarily take place through a series of lectures and seminars. A key focus will be placed on the encouragement of students to develop reading, writing and analytical skills through engagement with a variety of sources and academic texts relating to Scottish society – these will be sociological, political or focused specifically on social policy. Skills will be developed through the completion of assessment(s), which will require independent study.

Throughout the module students will be encouraged to identify and critically reflect on the knowledge and skills acquired through their engagement and how these can be archived as part of their ongoing PDP.

This module will support the acquisition and development of graduate attributes and employability, lifelong learning and citizenship competencies by:
-Working collaboratively to critically assess social and economic inequalities.
-Engaging directing with data and reports from government and other sources of official and/or authoritative statistics to construct an integrated critical analysis of trends in Scottish policy, politics and/or society.
-Critiquing policy and outcomes in both written and spoken formats.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery22
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity8
Asynchronous Class Activity6
Independent Study164
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Leith, M. S., and Sim, D. (2020) Scotland: The New State of an Old Nation. Manchester, Manchester University Press

Leith, M. S. and Soule, D. (2012) Political Discourse and National Identity in Scotland. Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press

Mooney, G. and Scott, J. (eds.) (2012), Social Justice and Social Policy in Scotland. Bristol: Policy Press.

Cameron, E. (2010) Impaled Upon a Thistle Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press

Scottish Affairs (Journal, Published by Edinburgh University Press)

Macdonald, CMM (2009) Whaur Extremes Meet: Scotland’s Twentieth Century Edinburgh: John Donald,

Morphet, J. (2021) The Impact of Covid-19 on Devolution: Recentralising the British State Beyond Brexit ? Bristol, Policy Press

Keating, M. (2021) State and Nation in the United Kingdom: The Fractured Union Oxford: Oxford University Press

Keating, M ed (2020) The Oxford Handbook of Scottish Politics Oxford: Oxford University Press

Hassan, G. ed (2020) The Story of the Scottish Parliament: Reflections on the First Two Decades Edinburgh, Edinburgh University Press

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUG Social Sciences
ModeratorDavid McKeever
External ExaminerR Ryder
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Case Study (40%)
Written assignment (60%)
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Portfolio of written work check markcheck mark 400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck mark check mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using Moodle, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.