MA Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights addresses some of the most pressing issues in the contemporary world. It combines academic and policy interests. It provides students with advanced analytical and research skills, plus a thorough knowledge of major debates in this field.
Modules and Options
The lists of modules below represent the range of options available for each year of study. This may not be a complete list of the options you will study, and may be subject to change, so please contact the department for further details.
COLONIALISM, CULTURE AND GLOBALIZATION
CONTEMPORARY DEBATES IN SOCIOLOGY
CONVERSATION ANALYSIS AND THE DYNAMICS OF REAL-TIME SOCIAL INTERACTION
Core: MA DISSERTATION
Core: SOCIOLOGICAL RESEARCH DESIGN
Core: SOCIOLOGY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 1
Core: THE CONTEMPORARY NATION STATE
CULTURAL STUDIES: THEORY AND HISTORY
CURRENT CONTROVERSIES IN CRIMINOLOGICAL RESEARCH
DYNAMICS OF HOME AND WORK IN GLOBAL PERSPECTIVE
FORMATIVE DEBATES IN CRIMINOLOGY
GAY, LESBIAN AND QUEER LIFE: GENDER, SEXUALITIES AND CHANGE
GAY, LESBIAN AND QUEER LIFE: HISTORY AND VISUAL CULTURE
GENDER DIVISIONS AND FEMINIST THEORY
GENDER, JUSTICE AND DEVELOPMENT
GLOBALIZATION, INTERNATIONAL MIGRATION AND ETHNICITY
INTERVIEWING AND QUALITATIVE DATA ANALYSIS
QUANTITATIVE ANALYSIS FROM UNIVARIATE TO MULTIVARIATE METHODS
SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
SOCIETY AND THE ENVIRONMENT: THE GLOBAL CHALLENGE
SOCIOLOGY OF DEVELOPMENT IN THE AGE OF GLOBALISATION
SOCIOLOGY OF HUMAN RIGHTS 2: SELECTED SPECIAL TOPICS
TEXTS, DOCUMENTS AND ETHNOGRAPHY
THE DYNAMICS OF GLOBALISATION
THE USE OF CULTURE: KNOWLEDGE, POWER AND DIFFERENCE
Teaching and Assessment Methods
A: Knowledge and Understanding
A1 : A sociological knowledge of thinking at the forefront of work on Nation, Citizenship, and Human Rights
A2 : A conceptual understanding and critical evaluation of debate in the field of Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights
A3 : A critical understanding of the relationship beween theory and empirical research, and of the alternative epistemological foundations of research
A4 : An advanced comprehension of the principles of research design and strategy, such as how to formulate researchable problems and to evaluate alternative approaches to research
A5 : An advanced appreciation of the centrality of research questions and hypotheses in structuring sociological enquiry
A6 : A practical understanding of how to address the ethical and political dimensions of research
A7 : In depth knowledge of a chosen area through independent original research
The core module (SC526 and SC550) is designed to provide students with the knowledge and understanding outlined in A1 and A2. The second compulsory half module (SC905) provides the outcomes A3-A6, and A7 is provided by both SC905 and the dissertation.All modules use lectures to present material - ideas, data and arguments - in a clear and structured manner using examples, mapping the field and the contours of debates. Lectures are also used to stimulate students' interest in the field of Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights. In each module the issues and arguments covered in lectures are explored further through weekly classes or seminars for which students have to prepare. The course is designed to provide an understanding of both foundational theories and methodological approaches, delivered respectively in the two substantive modules. In particular there is a strong emphasis on developing students' theoretical understanding of sociological work on Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights through the progressive structuring of the materials in SC550 and SC526, which together comprise the substantive core of the course. SC905 is designed to develop student's advanced understanding of epistemological traditions and the process and logic of research design.Classes, and preparation for classes, provide the opportunity for students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the content of the modules. In addition, student learning takes place through the work they do preparing essays. The course provides one foundation module in research design in which students are asked to do hands-on practices or assignments in various sociological methods. All students on the degree also have to carry out independent work for a research project for their MA theses for which they receive individual supervision.
Outcomes A1 to A6 are assessed through coursework. Coursework includes oral presentations and practical skills based assignments (SC905), as well as essays. In addition, the assessed work for all MA students includes a dissertation, which specifically assesses outcome A7.
B: Intellectual/Cognitive Skills
B1 : An advanced ability to synthesise and summarise sociological debate systematically and critically
B2 : An ability to make evaluative judgements about competing theories and explanations with respect to Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights
B3 : The ability to construct an original sociological argument
B4 : An ability to formulate researchable sociological questions
B5 : An ability to creatively evaluate, analyse and interpret empirical evidence
Students enhance the above intellectual skills primarily through the work they do for their modules, although lectures and classes provide a means of teachers demonstrating these skills through example. Preparation for classes and class presentations involves the reading, interpretation and evaluation of sociological texts (SC550/526) and the collection and analysis of empirical data (SC905). Class tutors provide feedback on all student work through comment and discussion. In addition, tutors also engage students outside the classroom during office hours, appointments, and by email. Similarly the preparation of essays and other assignments also develops the listed intellectual skills. Students are provided with feedback on all assessed work and this is crucial to their intellectual development. Their dissertations are used to demonstrate the mastery of a particular sociological question in the field of Nation, Citizenship and Human Rights as well as an understanding and conduct of the complete research process. Additionally, MA students, along with PhD students and staff, are encouraged to attend the two-day annual Graduate Conference, which is held in February off-campus. Addressing a different topical theme each year, it provides a stimulating forum for intellectual debate and discussion.
Outcomes B1, B2 and B3 are judged and evaluated by essays in the substantive modules. B4 and B5 are evaluated in SC905 through both practical skills based assignments and essays. All five outcomes will be assessed once more in the MA dissertation. Demonstration of advanced intellectual skills is a key criterion in awarding distinctions for essays and dissertations.
C: Practical Skills
C1 : An advanced ability to retrieve relevant sociological literature using library and online searches
C2 : A practical ability to summarise, evaluate and review sociological arguments, sociological texts and sociological findings
C3 : A comprehensive understanding of the principles of research design, and an understanding of the merits of different methods
C4 : An ability to choose and apply an appropriate method of research
C5 : A capacity for self-direction and originality in the planning and conduct of a piece of research
C6 : An ability to make judgements about the best use of time and data in meeting their research objectives
C7 : An ability to plan, conduct and present a medium scale piece of research
In SC905 students learn to conduct literature searches and reviews and to work on various aspects of the sociological process, typically found in a research proposal. Throughout the degree practical skills are developed through preparation for classes, preparing essays and other assessed assignments, and giving presentations. Students receive detailed feedback on all their coursework and presentations. In addition the dissertation is particularly valuable in developing students' practical sociological skills. Students who have a particular interest in extending or deepening their practical sociological skills may do so by choosing from a range of further methods modules (such as SC504, SC523 and SC520) when deciding on their optional modules.
Skills C1 and C2 are specifically assessed in two SC905 assignments, but also forms part of the assessment of almost every piece of assessed module work. While all the modules assess an understanding of C3 through C7, the full range of these skills is assessed in the marking of the MA dissertation.
D: Key Skills
D1 : An advanced ability in presenting ideas and evidence to others orally, in a clear and concise manner and an advanced ability to present ideas and evidence to others in writing, in a clear and concise manner
D2 : An ability to collect and present materials using information technology
D4 : A good self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems
D6 : An essential understanding of how to plan, set appropriate time scale and assess feasibility of projects; a keen awareness of the need to reflect on their own work and respond constructively to the comments of others
Key skills are taught and learned throughout the scheme through a range of strategies, such as requiring students to give oral presentations, through giving them specific assignments such as carrying bibliographic and web searches, through specific writing assignments and essays, and through class discussion and class and essay preparation. Issues of dissemination are discussed in SC905. Students learn to manage their own research projects through the support and advice of supervisors. They are given feedback on all their coursework and on their dissertation research and are encouraged to reflect on their own work and improve on it. Students also have the opportunity to develop skills in working in groups through their participation in the classes for every module.
Key skills are assessed throughout the degree through continuous assessed coursework. Oral communication skills (D1) and IT skills (D2) are specifically assessed on SC905, and written skills (D1) and constructive response (D6) by most by coursework and the dissertation. The MA dissertation is an overall assessment of communication, research management, and problem solving skills.