Module details for Political Sociology


This advanced level module will focus on the question of power in modern societies - the key theme which lies at the heart of political sociology. The module is divided into four inter- connected sections: sociological and political theories of power; social configurations of power; alternative visions of power relations; and social movements and the contestation of power.


The aim of this Module is to provide the student with : advanced level knowledge of contemporary debates centring upon the issue of power within Political Sociology.

Learning Outcomes

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

1.  Discuss the salient aspects of theoretical debates centring upon the issue of power in modern societies.

2.  Understand the parameters of key debates in contemporary political sociology surrounding the exercise of modern state power.

3.  Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary social movements and the way in which they articulate power interests and contest power relations

4.  Articulate a knowledge of alternative visions of power relations as embodied in concepts of utopia and dystopia.

5.  Critically engage with modern political discourses concerning government, legitimacy, citizenship, rights and the law.

6.  Identify and compare key thinkers who have participated in theoretical discourse and practical research centred upon the theme of power.

Indicative Content

1 Lectures

The lecture programme is divided into four key sections: Sociological and political theories of power; States, citizenship, rights and the law; Alternative visions of power relations - utopia and dystopia; Contesting power - social movements and political protest.

2 Tutorials

Students will be required to read set literature each week and to bring notes and points of contention from lectures to tutorials for discussion.

Teaching and Learning Work Loads

Teaching and Learning Method Hours
Lecture 24
Tutorial/Seminar 12
Practical Activity 0
Assessment 40
Independent 124
Total 200

Guidance notes

SCQF Level - The Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework provides an indication of the complexity of award qualifications and associated learning and operates on an ascending numeric scale from Levels 1-12 with SCQF Level 10 equating to a Scottish undergraduate Honours degree.

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 2021/22 , and may be subject to change for future years.