Search type

School of Social Sciences

Student in a lecture
BSocSc Sociology
Learn to critically analyse and interpret societies and gain skills for a variety of careers.

BSocSc Sociology

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Racism and Ethnicity in the UK

Unit code SOCY20962
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by Sociology
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


1. 'Race', Racisms and Racialization
2. Ethnicity
3. Ethnicity and Inequality
4. 'Race', Ethnicity and Nation
5. Racism, Crime and Urban Unrest
6. 'Race', Ethnicity and the Media
7. Whiteness
8. Islamophobia
9. Citizenship, Identity and the 'Crisis of Multiculturalism'
10. Post-Race?


This course introduces students to the sociology of racism and ethnicity, using the UK experience as a case study. It explores the origins and development of racism within Britain, examining how it has shaped, and continues to shape the nature of British society. We look at the role 'race thinking' has played in the production of inequalities and exclusions, as well as how it informs notions of national identity and citizenship. The course engages with contemporary debates and theoretical advances, particularly in relation to multiculturalism, critical whiteness studies, and 'post-race'. The module aims to:
- To provide an introduction to theorisations of racism and ethnicity
- Introduce students to the ways in which Racism and Ethnicity interact with other forms of social difference such as 'nation', 'gender', and 'class'.
- Encourage students to evaluate the role of racism in the structure of British society.
- To explore current theoretical debates around multiculturalism and citizenship, segregation, mixed-race, post-race, and critical whiteness studies.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course students will be expected to:
- Have knowledge of a range of theoretical tools to understand contemporary debates about 'race', ethnicity and difference.
- Understand the relationship between 'race', ethnicity and other forms of social difference.
- To critically engage with key texts and theoretical ideas.
- Demonstrate an awareness of the role of 'racism' in the structure of British society.
- Have a critical understanding of contemporary developments in the sociology of racism and ethnicity in the UK.

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly 2 hour lecture/1 hour tutorial

Assessment methods

' Assessment for this course is a 1500 word non-assessed essay (penalty for non-submission of 5% of final mark), 2000 (+/- 10%) word assessed essay (50%) and a 2 hour unseen exam (50%). The essay questions can be found on the last page of this course outline.

Feedback methods

All sociology courses include both formative feedback – which lets you know how you’re getting on and what you could do to improve – and summative feedback – which gives you a mark for your assessed work.

Recommended reading

Anthias, F. and Yuval-Davis, N. (1993) Racialized Boundaries: Race, Nation, Gender, Colour and Class and the Anti-racist struggle, London: Routledge.

Back, L. and Solomos, J. (eds.) (2009) Theories of Race and Racism, (2nd Edition) London: Routledge.

Cashmore, E. and Jennings, J. (eds.) (2001) Racism: essential readings, London: Sage.

Essed, P. and Goldberg, D.T. (eds.) (2001) Race Critical Theories, Oxford: Blackwell

Garner, S. (2010) Racisms: An Introduction, London: Sage

Goldberg, D.T. and Solomos, J. (eds.) (2002) A Companion to Racial and Ethnic Studies, Blackwell.

Hill Collins, P. and Solomos, J. (eds.) (2010) Sage Handbook of Race and Ethnic Studies, London: Sage.

Solomos, J. and Back, L. (1996) Racism and Society, London: Macmillan.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 168

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
James Rhodes Unit coordinator

Additional notes

2015/16 timetable

Friday 09:00 - 11:00, plus a separate one-hour tutorial (range of times available)

Return to course details