SO5012 - Growing Up: Youth and Education

What will I learn on this module?

You will be introduced to key issues and debates in the sociology of education such as the emergence of education systems and how recent reforms have impacted on patterns of attainment. We examine explore some traditional questions such as the role of class, race and gender in schools as well as taking a biographical approach to the analysis of learning across the life course. We investigate the way that education can shape identities and how learning is implicated in wider patterns of social injustice.

How will I learn on this module?

You will participate in a mix of online lectures (one hour pre-recorded and one hour live interactive) and workshop activities, including role-plays, whole group discussion, small group activities, research tasks, group presentations, and debates. The module will draw on a range of resources, including films and other media. You will be expected to read identified key texts in advance of each workshop to enable participatory discussion.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported through seminars and Blackboard, supplemented by one to one tutorials and email. You will be given contact details and office hours to book tutorials and ask questions by email. A key part of the module is the discussion of weekly learning/tasks and how these contribute to the final assessment –you therefore are supported in various ways to ensure you engage with the challenges posed by the final assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding
1. Understand the different paradigms in the sociology of education and how these can be used to examine the functions of education systems.

2. Demonstrate how a historical and comparative approach is essential for the sociological analysis of education systems.

3. To critically assess the theoretical traditions in the sociology of education and how these can aid an understanding of how education systems influence the structuring of social identities and social divisions.

Intellectual / Professional skills and abilities
1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the ways in which sociological theory can be be used to explore educational systems and the role of learning in social identities.
Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)

1. To recognise how education and learning are contested features of societies and be sensitive to the different ways these processes are constructed and riven by political and ideological disputes.

How will I be assessed?

Short biographical essay (1500 words) Summative assessment (week 3)

Critical Biographical Essay (2000 words) Final Summative assessment





Module abstract

Please find details of this module in the other sections provided.

Course info

UCAS Code LM39

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Social Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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