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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/07/2022 11:43:18

Title of Module: Capitalism, Culture and Celebrity

Code: SOCY09036 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:C  Brick

Summary of Module

Celebrity culture has become a pronounced feature of modern societies. This module aims to critically examine the emergence of celebrity as both a product and process of contemporary consumer capitalism. Drawing upon a range of sociological perspectives the module places emphasis upon   understanding celebrity as ‘text’ through which significant social, ideological transformations and contradictions (for example modernity/postmodernity; local/global; production/consumption; public/private) can be understood and evaluated.

Students will consider changes in the construction, role, and function of celebrity through examining a range of case studies, historical and contemporary in nature (for example the emergence of Hollywood star system through to the ‘postmodern’ rise of Reality TV, You Tube), and drawn from a range of popular cultural forms such as film, television, popular music, literature, the internet, sport and politics.

Furthermore students will engage in examining the ways in which the social construction of celebrity corresponds, contradicts, resists or reproduces epochal forms  of the capitalist mode of production - the modern industrial era, the post-industrial era, and postmodern (global) consumer era.


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. Have a critical understanding of the main theoretical arguments and debates concerning celebrity and its cultural contexts.

L2. Develop and demonstrate analytical skills in order to critically examine public debate about celebrity.

L3. Develop research skills in relation to a range of academic, and public debates concerning celebrity and contemporary culture

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.

Demonstrating a broad and integrated knowledge and understanding of sociological approaches to the study of celebrity and culture.
Demonstrating a critical understanding of a selection of principles theories, concepts and terminology which relate to central aspects of celebrity such as cultural industry, postmodernity and representation.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Using a selection of the principle skills, techniques and practices associated with the discipline of sociology through a critical evaluation of celebrity and culture.
Using a selection of advanced skills , and techniques associated with theoretical understanding of society through an engagement with the sociological and cultural analysis of celebrity.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

Undertaking critical analysis and evaluation of the principal ideas, concepts and issues associated with the sociological study of celebrity.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Using a range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices in the discipline of sociology, such as using arrange of IT and information retrieval applications to support and enhance work.
Communicating theories, concepts and ideas effectively, orally and in writing through teaching and assessment.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Exercising autonomy and initiative while developing capacity for independent work.
Developing and extending the capacity to work with others through group interaction in seminars/workshops.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcome are stated below:
Student contact and learning will primarily take place through lecture and seminar discussion. Time spent carrying out set and independent reading and research around topic areas and assessment will be reflected in the notional student effort hours.
Assessment will take the form of an essay and class test, and will be administered through the IT application ‘Turnitin’. The forms of assessment will allow students to both build upon and demonstrate their research, writing and referencing skills, and develop their capacity for independent research and forming academic argument.
The final lecture and seminar will be given over to module revision and reflection, in which students will be encouraged to reflect on the knowledge and skills developed through the module and how these can be developed in relation to student PDP.
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 Delivery20
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity30
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop2
Independent Study148
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:

Elliot A. (2018) Routledge Handbook of Celebrity Studies, Routledge International Handbooks Series (Oxon:Taylor & Francis Group)

Barron L. (2014) Celebrity Cultures, An Introduction. (London: Sage)

Celebrity Studies Journal (Routledge)

Marshall, DP (2006) The Celebrity Culture Reader (London: Routledge)

Redmond, S et al (2007) Stardom and Celebrity: A Reader (London:Sage)

(**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
External ExaminerR Ryder
Accreditation DetailsNot applicable.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Essay 50%
Class Test 50%
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck mark 500

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Class test (written) check markcheck mark500
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.