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Globalisation and Social Change

  • Module code: SO5013
  • Year: 2018/9
  • Level: Year 5
  • Credits: 30.00
  • Pre-requisites: None
  • Co-requisites: None


Through TV, newspapers, and other forms of media we are continually told that we live in a fast-moving globalised world. Yet whilst ‘globalisation' is now a common term, what it entails and how it affects our lives is often more difficult to discern. Focusing on the social, cultural, political and economic aspects of globalisation, this module exposes the different dimensions and implications of global social change. Opening with a critical examination of the meaning and competing definitions of globalisation, it moves on to examine: processes and theories of uneven global development, international inequality, the evolution and changing face of global capital, the significance of global environmental risk, the creation of global cultures and the transformation of local culture, migration and transculturalism, the rise of global cities and the urban experience, and the significance of global networks. Although not a pre-requisite, this module is also a good preparation for students wishing to study Migration and Social Transformation (SO6022) in level 6. The module will help to prepare students for a variety of professions in which knowledge and understanding of international and global social processes is relevant.


  • To outline and evaluate ongoing debates around globalisation and global social change
  • To develop critical awareness and understanding, across an international perspective, of the social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of global social change and their interconnectedness
  • To develop critical understanding of the interconnectedness of global processes and locality, and their ability to assess how global processes manifest in place
  • To compare the different ways in which different regions have developed through exploring and analysing social, economic and cultural spheres
  • To enable you to understand and evaluate different academic perspectives on the evolution of societies across the globe

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module, you will be able to:

  • Describe and assess contemporary debates around globalisation
  • Outline and evaluate competing theories explaining the development of societies across a global and international perspective
  • Describe and critically assess the different social, cultural, political and economic dimensions of global change and how they interconnect
  • Outline and assess different academic perspectives for understanding this interconnectedness
  • Describe and explain the way in which global and local processes intersect and assess with reference to real life-examples the way in which global processes manifest in place.
  • Make international comparisons between different regions across social, political, economic, and cultural spheres of life.

Teaching and learning strategy

How will the module be taught?

The module will be taught in 3 hour workshops (a mixture of lectures, group work and discussion). It will also include some fieldwork in the second semester.

Breakdown of Teaching and Learning Hours

Definitive KIS Category Indicative Description Hours
Scheduled learning and teaching Workshops (3 hours x 22 weeks) 66
Guided independent study 234
Total (number of credits x 10) 300

Assessment strategy

Module Assessment:

This module is formatively assessed through regular group presentations, a 700-1000 word essay during the first semester and a group fieldwork exercise in the second semester.

This module is summatively assessed through an in-course 2000 word essay and an end of course two hour unseen exam .

Breakdown of Major Categories of Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment Name Assessment Weighting
CWK 2000 word essay 50
EXWR Unseen two hour exam 50
Total (to equal 100%) 100%

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