Social Worlds and the Sociological Imagination

School: School of Government and Society
Department: Department of Political Science and International Studies

First year module

Lecturer: Dr Justin Cruickshank

This module is designed to introduce students to the discipline of sociology by exploring the questions that define the discipline.

The module has three blocks which are: What is Sociology?, What is Society? and The Structure - Agency Problem.

In the first block students are introduced to the debates about the purpose of sociology and whether or not it can be a science of society.

The second block students are introduced to the way the concept of society developed as a distinctly modern concept discussed by philosophers, political theorists and social scientists.

In the third block, students are introduced to the structure - agency problem and the way in which sociologists have focused on the micro level, the macro level and their possible integration.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  • Identify and account for major mechanisms in contemporary society.
  • Have a critical sense of sociology as a discipline and its contribution to the understanding of key social issues.
  • Relate sociological argument and empirical evidence.


  • Term Two: 1 x 2000 word essay (50%).
  • Term Three: 3 hour exam (50%) 

 Related courses:

The optional modules listed on the website for this programme may unfortunately occasionally be subject to change. As you will appreciate key members of staff may leave the University and this necessitates a review of the modules that are offered. Where the module is no longer available we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.