The University of Southampton

HUMA5003 Cultural Perspectives

Module Overview

This module introduces Masters with Preparatory Study (MIPS) students to concepts of culture and society, with a specific focus on a number of key issues in relation to modern Britain. It asks students to consider the nature of contemporary British culture and society, how it has changed, its diversity, and its relationship with other national/global cultures. The module more broadly, aims to help international students acclimatise to academic life in the UK by exploring these different 'cultural perspectives' both in and out of class; students will partake in typical weekly lectures and seminar discussions and are also encouraged to conduct their own independent study into relevant issues. The overarching theme of the module is the notion of cultural diversity. The module broadly invites students to consider two points: 1. The make-up of the UK and the diversity that exists within British society 2. More generally, the various factors that make up one's 'cultural perspective' These two points will be considered each week through explorations into different aspects of British culture and society. Students are invited to engage with a wide selection of theories and texts in order to gain a greater understanding of these different cultural perspectives and their impact on contemporary UK life.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aims of this module are to: - To explore a number of issues and debates prevalent in modern British society - To introduce students to theories and concepts related to culture and society and to encourage critical analysis of key issues - To ensure that international students make a smooth transition to UK academic life and are equipped with appropriate analytical tools and study skills to take forward to Masters study

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of some of the key debates and issues surrounding modern British culture and society, and some of the cultural/social differences between modern Britain and your home cultures
  • Critically engage with contextual theories and concepts related to the study of culture and society and to critically analyse key issues
  • Carry forward a range of appropriate academic skills needed to study at Masters level
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Engage with a wide range of views and competently communicate your ideas and views in both class discussions and written assignments
  • Identify, locate and scrutinise a variety of sources, such as academic books and journals, news articles, governmental reports and films, TV and radio programmes
  • Critically assess academic sources through the completion of article reviews and annotated bibliographies
  • Demonstrate originality and resourcefulness through an independently-researched essay
  • Demonstrate an ability to work as a team and complete group seminar tasks
  • Demonstrate good time management and conduct effective independent study
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a sound awareness of a variety of aspects of British culture and society
  • Make connections between various politics, cultural and social discourses
  • Evaluate and synthesise a range of academic and non-academic texts
  • Apply original and independent thought to a range of critical issues


Topics may include: - The concept of national identity (What is 'Britishness'?) - Social status in the UK and the notion of 'class' - Migration and multiculturalism in the UK - Gender, sexuality, ethnicity, religion and questions of personal identity - Notions of liberty and equality, and the political movements that have shaped modern Britain - The British media and its influence on daily life - Popular culture, entertainment, fashion and consumer culture in the UK - The effects of globalisation on culture, society, politics and industry - The internet, cultural exchange, social networking and 'online identities' Students will be introduced to each topic with a lecture, some set reading (often comprising a mix of relevant academic sources, news articles or web resources) and occasional film screenings. In preparation for the seminar, students are asked to consider responses to a list of questions relating to the lecture and the set reading/viewing. During seminars, students are encouraged to ask questions and interrogate ideas in order Template Approved by Senate – June 2013 Amended – July 2015 University of Southampton 4 Module Profile date module name to develop greater understanding and awareness of these key issues and debates; these weekly discussions and activities will aid students in completing the module's assessment. There are three assignments on this module. The Introductory Article Review will examine students' abilities to summarise and evaluate one academic article and to demonstrate awareness of key theories and issues. The Annotated Bibliography will also examine students' abilities to effectively summarise and evaluate academic texts, and also to make connections between ideas and to compare and contrast sources. The Essay will examine students' abilities to investigate one topic in detail, demonstrating evidence of wider reading and research, and delivering a well-reasoned argument. Assessment workshops will be provided to help students with each assignment, as well as occasional individual and/or group tutorial sessions.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include: -? One lecture per week -? One seminar/workshop session per week -? Occasional individual and/or group tutorials -? Occasional film screenings Learning methods include: -? Engaging with weekly lectures -? Contributing to seminar discussions -? Working in small groups to complete seminar tasks -? Completing weekly reading/viewing tasks -? Additional independent study to complete assessed work

Independent Study114
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Kath Woodward (2000). Questioning Identity: Gender, Class, Nation. 

Luke Martell (2010). The Sociology of Globalization. 

Suffragette (2015), Dir. Sarah Gavron. 

The Imitation Game (2014), Dir. Morten Tyldum. 

My Beautiful Laundrette (1985), Dir. Stephen Frears. 

David Christopher (2015). British Culture: An Introduction. 

Matt Cook (2007). A Gay History of Britain. 

Pride (2014), Dir. Matthew Warchus. 

Ben Highmore (2015). Culture. 

Belle (2013), Dir. Amma Asante. 

Secrets and Lies (1996), Dir. Mike Leigh. 

Paul Addison (2005). A Companion to Contemporary Britain 1939-2000. 

Witness (2009-), BBC World Service. 

Andrew Marr's The Making of Modern Britain (2009), Dir. Robin Dashwood (et al.). 

Stephen Castles (2009). The Age of Migration: International Population Movements in the Modern. 

This Is England (2006), Dir. Shane Meadows. 

The Virtual Revolution (2010), Dir. Philip Smith (et al.). 

Heidi Safia Mirza (1997). Black British Feminism: A Reader. 

John Storey (2015). Cultural Theory and Popular Culture: An Introduction. 

Michael Higgins (2010). The Cambridge Companion to Modern British Culture. 

Made In Dagenham (2010), Dir. Nigel Coles. 

Andrew Marr's History of Modern Britain (2007), Dir. Tom Giles (et al.). 

Houston Baker (1996). Black British Cultural Studies: A Reader. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Annotated bibliography  (1200 words) 30%
Essay  (2000 words) 50%
Newspaper article analysis  (1000 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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