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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 04/07/2022 11:42:52

Title of Module: Ethnicity, Racism & Social Relations

Code: SOCY09058 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:N  Hay

Summary of Module

This module will explore issues of race, ethnicity, racism, racial formation and race relations, underpinned by Critical Race Theory. This module will explore these issues through comparative case studies from the UK, the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Asia and North America.

For Social Science students, it will build on the study of Colonialism and Colonial Legacies in L8 module Global Society and will provide a strong foundation for the Social Justice and Social Activism module at L10.

Overall, this module aims to review various theories of racism and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of race, ethnicity and racism arise in specific socio-political context and societal institutions. It will examine and problematise how the concept and reality of race has been constructed, shaped and changed over time. Each week case studies will be presented exploring systemic racism across different countries, states, societies and justice organisations.

The module will ask questions such as: How and when does race emerge as a concept and a lived reality? Has racism always existed? What are the differences between institutional and interpersonal racism? After this exploration, this module will unpack and examine race and ethnicity as arbitrary labels which result in social divisions that impact on and limit people’s opportunities. It will do this by focusing on contemporary social institutions and relations, including housing, the welfare state, education, employment and the criminal justice system.


  • To review theories of racism and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of race, ethnicity and racism arise in specific socio-political contexts and societal institutions

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 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Students will understand race as a historically variable and contextually situated social construct.

L2. Students will build an interdisciplinary understanding of how race and racial formation affects social institutions and social relations.

L3. Students will be able to explain the endemic nature of racism and discuss and critically engage with race and ethnicity in relation to contemporary social issues.

L4. Students will be able to describe examples of racialised inequality in relation to social institutions, power, and individual experience.

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.

The specific knowledge and understanding that students gain from this module will be highly relevant and useful in terms of employability and their PDP skills. The module deliberately adopts a holistic, global and interdisciplinary perspective and employers are increasingly interested in such skillsets, especially when applied to highly topical concerns such as racial inequality.

Students will develop a depth of understanding of understanding of the values, principles and ideological underpinnings of racism and racial inequality which impact on society at a global level.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

Developing the understanding of a range of knowledge and understanding of sociological techniques of enquiry which are used to examine race, ethnicity and social relations.

Retrieving and examining relevant information from a variety of primary and secondary sources relating to racial inequality through the use of global and interdisciplinary case studies.

This applied/practice knowledge and understanding will also be supported by direct engagement with organisations working on these issues in the third sector. Students will also be expected to apply knowledge and understanding from practice-based work in their assessments.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

For this module, students will be required to evaluate and develop a critical understanding of competing beliefs, ideas, concepts and issues related to race and ethnicity. They will draw on logic and reasoning skills to examine these topics within seminars and will use their visual/auditory processing skills to present their understanding of these issues in assessments.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

Students will be tested via the two assessments on their ability to communicate complex and contested ideas and theories regarding racism and racial inequality. In this first assessment, students are required to utilise digital technology, which will require full use of ICT resources at their disposal.

Oral communication will also be developed through group tasks to facilitate discussion on different topics and using tact and diplomacy to critically analyse viewpoints through a persuasive argument as well as delivering a presentation through an optional form of media.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

Taking responsibility for planning time and meeting deadlines for assessments. Exercising autonomy and individual learning through seminar and coursework preparation.

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
The teaching includes lectures, seminars and a range of asynchronous pre-lecture activities
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
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity5
Asynchronous Class Activity10
Independent Study161
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:

Caliendo, S. M. and Mcllwain, C. D. (2021) (eds.) (second edition) The Routledge Companion to Race and Ethnicity, London: Routledge.

Gilroy, P. (1993). The Black Atlantic: Modernity and Double Consciousness, Cambridge: Harvard University Press

Gulliver, K. (2016). Forty Years of Struggle: A Window on Race and Housing, Disadvantage and Exlcusion,

Silva, D. F. (2007). Toward a Global Idea of Race. Minneapolis: University of Minneapolis Press

Delgado, R. & Stefancic, J. (2017) Critical Race Theory: An Introduction. NYU Press

Fanon, F. (2008). Black Skin, White Masks. Grove Press

Bell, D. (1987). And we are not saved: The elusive quest for racial justice. New York: Basic Books

Anthias, F. and Yuval-Davis, N. (1993) Racialized Boundaries, London: Routledge

Hall, S. (1997) ‘Race, the floating signifier’, Media Educational Foundation.

(**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

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardSocial Sciences
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelSocial Sciences
ModeratorRebecca Gordon
External ExaminerR Ryder
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Assessment 1 (30%) will require students to present their understanding of how the media shapes an issue related to racial inequality using Critical Race Theory. Students are required to show how the media frame the issue and then compare and contrast this to our academic understanding of the issue. This can either be presented in the form of: a podcast, a vlog, a blog post or an academic poster. A podcast or vlog should be 10 minutes long max. Blog posts should be 1200 words max, and an academic poster should include no more than 500 words.
Assessment 2 (70%) involves the researching and writing of a 2500-word essay will require students to draw upon their knowledge and understanding of race and racial formation in relation to a contemporary social issue. Writing of the essay will require students to analyse a range of material, to construct a clear argument and to communicate their ideas effectively.
(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
Presentationcheck mark check mark 302

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 markcheck markcheck mark702
Combined Total For All Components100% 4 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

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.