Sociology of Scotland


Like all other nations, Scotland is seen as possessing a distinctive culture and civil society but unlike others, it has not had state apparatus to serve this culture and civics. This module explores this contradiction while at the same time, analytically engages with current attempts to deal with it - the development of Devolution. current


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with :a critical understanding of the social, political, historical issues that have given rise to current debates on change in Scottish Society.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Situate the historical development of the national identity in Scotland in its political and cultural context;

2.  Assess competing explanations of nationhood and national identity;

3.  Understand theoretical argument as they relate to political change in Scotland, and assess their veracity in explaining this change;

4.  Understand the significance of culture and associated symbols in Scotland; the play of church, law and education;

5.  Reflect on their position in relation to political change in Scotland; and,

6.  Take an active role if future developments as citizens.

Indicative Content

1 Nationalism and National Identity in Scotland

Current theoretical developments in relation to understanding nationalism and their play in helping understand political change in Scotland.

2 Scotland as Icon

Scotland as Icon

3 Egalitarianism and the Civic Tradition

Egalitarianism and the Civic Tradition

4 Modernity and Industrialisation: Scotland of the 20th C.

Modernity and Industrialisation: Scotland of the 20th C.

5 The Politics of National Identity

The Politics of National Identity

6 Tourism and Heritage

Tourism and Heritage

7 Class in Scotland

Class in Scotland

8 Is there Room for Britishness

Is there Room for Britishness

9 Scotland in the Media

Scotland in the Media

10 Self-Reflective Practice

Self-Reflective Practice

Statement on Teaching, Learning and Assessment

This module is taught by lectures, lectorials and Tutorials with students being encouraged to challenge and reflect on the academic literature on Scotland and the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of the nation and national identity. The lectures will be divided into three thematic sections which students will be encouraged to ambitiously enquirer about: 1. Scotland the nation (including a history of Scotland, the concept of the nation, and Scotland as a 'stateless nation'); 2. Scotland as an egalitarian nation? (including examples such as gender, social class, ethnicity, race, religion, and sport in Scotland) and; 3. Images and Representations of Scotland (including Scotland in the media, sport, films, heritage and landscapes). These themes will subsequently be explored in weekly tutorials. In the tutorials, students are encouraged to develop collaborative and independent thinking skills, evidenced via their contribution to class discussions and delivery of group presentations. This will encourage confidence in how they approach and think about the sociology of Scotland. Students will be required to creatively engage with key academic debates concerning Scotland, while recognising the strengths and weaknesses of these. Students are also required to work with visual aids; synthesise and represent knowledge; and evaluate explanatory frameworks. In sum, a combination of lectures., lectorials and tutorials, which are collaborative and reflexive, will instill confidence in students as they think about and evaluate Scotland, in line with graduate attributes at this level of study and as described in learning outcomes.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Total 200
Lecture 22
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Supervised Practical Activity 0
Unsupervised Practical Activity 12
Assessment 45
Independent 109

Guidance notes

Credit Value – The total value of SCQF credits for the module. 20 credits are the equivalent of 10 ECTS credits. A full-time student should normally register for 60 SCQF credits per semester.


We make every effort to ensure that the information on our website is accurate but it is possible that some changes may occur prior to the academic year of entry. The modules listed in this catalogue are offered subject to availability during academic year 2019/10 , and may be subject to change for future years.