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Module HPS-4003:
Revolting Subjects

Module Facts

Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Teresa Crew

Overall aims and purpose

Sociology - the study of all things social - helps one develop a critical eye for the structure, and functioning of human society, as well as the challenges faced in a changing world. Sociology also highlights inequalities, demonstrating that some individuals or groups, may face greater challenges than others. This module draws on the case studies of symbolic and material scapegoats (Tyler, 2013: 9) discussed in Professor Imogen Tyler's seminal work - Revolting Subjects: Social Abjection and Resistance in Neoliberal Britain.

The module will explore four contemporary case studies: - Gypsy Travellers - Migrants facing detention - Riots of young people across the UK in 2011 - Disability activitism This interactive module considers each case study and gives students the opportunity to conduct their own survey research into one of the case studies.

Course content

Weekly workshops may include but will not be limited to:

  • Class discussion of ‘Revolting Subjects’
  • Designing and carrying out an investigative project
  • Report writing

Students must dedicate time to private study whilst enrolled on this module, to build on knowledge gleaned in class and work on their assignments.

Assessment Criteria


Good students (B- to B+) will demonstrate a solid level of achievement and depth of knowledge in all the criteria in the C- to C+ range, and will in addition exhibit constructive engagement with different types of sociological writing and interpretation. Ideas will be communicated effectively and written work will include a good range of sources/reading and demonstrate a clear understanding of the issues and of the existing interpretations expressed in a well-structured, relevant, and focused argument.

The questionnaire will be well designed with clear questions.

Students at the top end of this band will engage with and critique the ideas that they come across, and synthesise the various interpretations they find to reach their own considered conclusions. Written work will be correctly presented with references and bibliography where appropriate.


Excellent Excellent students (A- and above) will show strong achievement across all the criteria combined with particularly impressive depths of knowledge and/or subtlety of analysis. In written work, they will support their arguments with a wealth of relevant detail/examples. They will also demonstrate an acute awareness of the relevant sociological debates, and give an account of why the conclusions reached are important within a particular sociological debate.

The standard of questionnaire design is excellent and suitable to collect high quality data.

Overall, the standards of content, argument, and analysis expected will be consistently superior to top upper-second work.


C- is the threshold level for MA work. Students in this band (C to C+) will demonstrate a satisfactory range of achievement or depth of knowledge of most parts of the module, and will make successful, if occasionally inconsistent, attempts to develop those skills appropriate to the study of Sociology at undergraduate level.

In the case of the written assessments, the answers will attempt to focus on the question, although might drift into narrative, and will show some evidence of solid reading and research. The argument might lose direction and might not be adequately clear at the bottom of this category. Written work will be presented reasonably well with only limited errors in grammar, punctuation, and referencing, and not to the extent that they obscure meaning.

The questionnaire will be designed well in parts, but some questions will be unclear

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of a selection of the main theories, principles, concepts and terminology relating to the chosen topic area

  2. Plan and execute an advanced investigative project.

  3. Demonstrate advanced written communication skills by producing an academic report (with executive summary and policy recommendations)

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
  • Designing a questionnaire and information sheet.
  • Administering the questionnaire to a cohort of students
  • Analysing the data

Write a 4,000 word report. To include an executive summary


Teaching and Learning Strategy


Weekly 2-hour workshop

Seminar 12
Private study 164

Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting

Subject specific skills

  • the ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions
  • the capacity to analyse, assess and communicate empirical sociological information
  • the ability to conduct sociological research
  • the ability to undertake and present scholarly work
  • the ability to recognise the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.
  • Become cognizant with key conceptual debates within the field of contemporary social policy
  • Be aware of the ethical, social and political contexts within which social policy practice and research is conducted and delivered
  • Develop a knowledge and expertise with respect to a range of evidence-based policy making and practice.
  • seek out, use and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data derived from social surveys and other research publications
  • undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations on social questions, issues and problems. This will involve skills in problem identification; the collection, storage management and manipulation of data, including secondary data, and other information; the use of archival sources; the construction of coherent and reasoned arguments; and the presentation of clear conclusions and recommendations distinguish among and critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches to social problems and issues.


Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: