Skip to main content

Unit information: Introduction to the Social Sciences in 2021/22

Unit name Introduction to the Social Sciences
Unit code LANG00042
Credit points 20
Level of study QCA-3
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Mr. Sarda
Open unit status Not open

IELTS 5.5 with a minimum of 5.0 in writing and 5.0 in each part of the test



School/department Centre for Academic Language and Development
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This is a 20-credit unit within the International Foundation Programme which aims to introduce students to the social sciences. It has two main themes:

The first theme focuses on ‘understanding society’. With an emphasis on contemporary society, it introduces students to the diverse range of social science subjects which can be studied at the University of Bristol.

The second theme focuses on ‘contemporary social challenges’ and introduces students to topics such as global development, the changing state of childhood, crime and deviance, social stratification and inequalities.

The specific aims of the unit are:

  1. To introduce students to the study of contemporary society, focusing on international / comparative examples and perspectives
  2. To introduce students to the range of issues investigated within the social sciences
  3. To familiarise students with the theories and types of research methods commonly used in the social sciences and encourage an awareness of their strengths and limitations

Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. demonstrate an understanding of key concepts and theories of society, with a particular focus on contemporary society
  2. demonstrate an understanding of the range of subjects that make up the social sciences and how they contribute, in their unique and overlapping ways, to the study of society and social issues
  3. apply theories of society to contemporary social issues
  4. evaluate theories of society and research methods in terms of strengths and limitations

Teaching Information

Students will attend 3 hours of study per week. Learning is facilitated in sessions involving a combination of teacher-led input, combined with practical, workshop-style exercises. On-line delivery of materials through Blackboard VLE

Assessment Information

Formative assessment:

  • Small group presentations delivered in class with formative peer and tutor feedback
  • Regular case studies with formative feedback
  • 1,000 word essay with formative feedback

Summative assessment:

  • Essay (1,000 words) (40%) ILOs 1, 3, 4
  • Essay (1,500 words) (60%) ILOs 2, 3


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. LANG00042).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.