1. Understand the complexity of family life, and appreciate different ideologies of the family

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Main aim(s) of the module:

  • To enable students to identify the social, economic and cultural influences which shape the experience of family life and the education of children.


  • To examine sociological critiques of the nuclear family and to explore the concept of household in the social and economic arrangements for the care of children and the domestic division of labour.


  • To develop an understanding of the emergence of childhood and the role of education in creating the concept of childhood.


  • To examine the nature and role of parents and family in the education of children.


Main topics of study:

  • Definitions of family
  • Theories of family
  • Family change and diversity
  • The concept of childhood
  • The  role of the state in family welfare and education
  • Parental roles in socialisation and education


Learning Outcomes for the module


At the end of this Module, students will be able to demonstrate they can:



1. Understand the complexity of family life, and appreciate different ideologies of the family.


Thinking skills

2. Analyse different aspects of family life including conjugal roles, childhood, socialisation and the education of children using sociological themes and concepts.

3. Evaluate arguments and debates about family life.


Subject-based practical skills

4. Use their knowledge of the complexity of family life in real life settings and situations.

5. Apply their knowledge and understanding of family life in a written report.


Skills for life and work (general skills)

6.  Work effectively and appropriately with others to reach a cogent argument or judgement appropriate to the subject matter studied. 



Teaching/ learning methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes:

For on campus students:

There will be a combination of lectures, tutorials, workshop, group work and self-directed learning.


Lectures (1.5hrs p/w) will provide general themes and outlines of key issues. Readings with questions will be provided for follow up seminars. Students will be expected to contribute and ask questions.


Seminars (1.5hr p/w) These will be based on readings from previous lecture. Formative feedback will be provided during the seminar.


Feedback will be provided for all activities. This may take the form of:

•          identifying a right or wrong answer

•          enabling students to compare their responses with the responses from other students

•          giving examples, alerting students to key points.


Self-assessment questions enable students to check their progress – by comparing their answers with sample answers; they can assess for themselves how well they have met the learning outcomes for a particular section of the study guide.


Students will have access Moodle and to online journal articles via the Athens access management system.  In addition, electronic contact with the tutor and dedicated support staff will be available.


Summary of the diagnostic and formative assessment methods used in this module:

The module will offer a minimum of two formative assessment opportunities, which will enable students to obtain a diagnosis of their academic development.  This process will further support students’ learning towards the completion of the summative assessments for the module.

Assessment methods which enable students to demonstrate the learning outcomes for the module; please define as necessary:


Portfolio: (5,000 words)

Essay /Report 3,500 words


Group activity (1,500 words)












Learning Outcomes demonstrated:



LOs 1-5


LO   6



Reading and resources for the module:

These must be up to date and  presented  in correct Harvard format unless a Professional Body specifically requires a different format


Chambers, D. (2012) A Sociology of Family Life: Change and Diversity in Intimate Relations, 

   Cambridge: Polity.

Corsaro, W. (2005) 2nd edn. The Sociology of Childhood, Thousand Oaks: Pine Forge Press.

Fox, B. (ed) (2009) Family Patterns, Gender Relations,  Oxford: Oxford  University Press




Benn, M. and Miller, F. (2006) A Comprehensive Future: Quality and equality for all our children, London


Dorling, D. (2011)  Injustice: Why Social Inequality Persists, Bristol: Policy Press.

Evans, G. (2006) Educational Failure and Working Class White Children in Britain, Basingstoke: 


James, A. Jenks, C. and Prout, A. (1998) Theorizing Childhood, Cambridge:  Polity. 

Jenks, C. (2005) (2nd edn) Childhood London: Routledge.

Wilkinson, R and Pickett, K. (2009)The Spirit Level: Why More Equal Societies Almost Always Do

  Better,London: Allan Lane.


Indicative learning and teaching time

(10 hrs per credit):


1. Student/tutor interaction: 84



•          Lectures X 24 = 48hrs

•          Group tutorials = 12hrs

•      Online discussion activities = 20hrs

      Individual tutorials - to enable a more extended, in-depth analysis and support      

      of self-study.  = 4hr

2. Student learning time: 216




•          preparation for taught sessions

•          preparation of draft work for formative assessment individual reading

•          preparation of assignments / portfolio

•          discussion with other students

•          self-directed online ‘Moodle’ activities

Total hours (1 and 2): 300


Price: £129

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