Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 17/06/2022 10:51:49

Title of Module: Science in Society

Code: UGED08005 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:Julie  Isdale

Summary of Module

This module is an optional element of level 8 of the B.A. Education Programme. 

Students will develop their personal knowledge and understanding of how science impacts on, and at times, conflicts with, modern society. Students will develop their scientific literacy and socio-scientific reasoning skills by undertaking inquiry tasks that focus on how socio-scientific issues arise, why they are often controversial and how the general public interacts with such issues in order to make informed democratic decisions about how best to deal with such issues. Information gathered during these inquires will be presented for formative assessment within a variety of formats, including but not limited to discussions, forum posts and peer assessment.  Examples of pedagogical approaches will be modelled throughout the session.

The module will focus on contemporary topical science issues, examples of such issues being Climate change and global warming, Embryonic Stem Cell Research, IVF and pre-implantation genetic screening, uses of animal in medical research etc.

The module will support students towards meeting the GTCS Standard for Provisional Registration by working towards the following standards:

  • 1.1 Professional Standards (Social Justice, Trust and Respect, and Integrity)
  • 1.2 Professional Commitment  
  • 2.1.1 Have knowledge and understanding of Pedagogical Theories and Professional Practice
  • 3.3.1 Engage critically with literature, research and policy
  • 3.3.2 Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise


Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check mark

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:


check mark






Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Demonstrate a broad knowledge and understanding of the relevant areas (including form multiple perspectives) of contemporary science issues.

L2. Apply knowledge & understanding and skills of related topical science issues in personal research using a range of communication modes such as graphical representations, concept mapping, audio-visual media, blogs etc.

L3. Apply a critical analysis of the personal development of relevant skills such as the critical refection of issues discussed, and the effective communication of arguments within the issues discussed.

L4. Convey complex ideas surrounding topical scientific issues in a well-structured and coherent form.

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 8.

Demonstrate a specialist Knowledge and Understanding of the main scientific concepts that impinge on discussions involved in Topical Science Issues. Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of some of the major contemporary science issue explored and the multiple perspectives that impinge on them.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply knowledge & understanding and communication skills relating to topical science issues to present information gathered during personal research on campus

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Critically analyse personal development of awareness of topical science issues. Students will also use a range of approaches to formulate and critically evaluate evidence-based solutions emergent from contemporary science issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Convey complex information via face to face and online group discussion with peers using a range of ICT applications to process and display data gathered during personal research tasks

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in personal research undertaken during the module and demonstrate ability to support others via peer assessment

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.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
In all modules on the BA Education programme, we take an authentic, best-practice and forward-looking approach to learning activities and assessment. There is a strong emphasis on situated learning and real professional scenarios. We are committed to interactive learning and the small number of learning activities that are purely transmission of information are normally pre-recorded. In workshops, which utilise classrooms, and other facilities as appropriate, the outdoors and the Aula VLE, main methodologies include collaborative working, problem-based learning, real-world tasks, research based learning, enquiry-based learning, student presentations, argumentation skills, debating. All learning activities are aligned to relevant aspects of the professional standards. Individual, group or tutor-led reflection is required throughout. Learning activities develop 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, digital skills, creativity, critical thinking activities and scientific literacy. Learning activities, assessment and feedback, where appropriate, provide students with choice, such as the option to submit an example of writing for formative assessment prior to summative assessment submission. They also have a choice for the focus of the summative assessment they wish to consider based on class themes.
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 Delivery24.5
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity9
Asynchronous Class Activity14
Independent Study152.5
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:

Day, S.P & Bryce, T.G.K (2011) Does the Discussion of Socio-Scientific Issues require a Paradigm Shift in Science Teachers' Thinking? International Journal of Science Education, 33 (12) pp. 1675-1702.

Lewis, J & Leach, J (2006) Discussion of Socio-scientific Issues: The role of science knowledge. International Journal of Science Education. 28 (11) pp. 1267–1287

Ratcliffe, M & Grace, M. (2003) Science Education for Citizenship: Teaching Socio-Scientific Issues. Open University Press.

Sadler T. D. (2011) Socio-scientific Issues in the Classroom: Teaching, Learning and Research. Springer. (eBook available through Library link to Springer)

Sadler, T. D., Barab, S. A., & Scott, B. (2007). What do students gain by engaging in socio-scientific inquiry? Research in Science Education, 37, 371-391.

(**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:
Given the professional nature of the programme, 100% attendance and engagement is expected. The module co-ordinator maintains an overview of attendance and engagement. Should there be concerns, there will be liaison between module co-ordinator, personal tutor and the student to identify steps to support engagement and success.

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEducation
ModeratorDr Stephen Day
External ExaminerL Waddell
Accreditation DetailsGeneral Teaching Council Scotland. Contact School for current details.
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
3000 word written assessment - 100%
(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
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

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

[Top of Page]

  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 VLE, 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.