Module title: Case Studies in Cultural Studies

SCQF level: 07:
SCQF credit value: 20.00
ECTS credit value: 10

Module code: CLP07101
Module leader: Tara Thomson
School School of Arts and Creative Industries
Subject area group: Humanities and Culture


2019/0, Trimester 2, FACE-TO-FACE, Edinburgh Napier University
Occurrence: 001
Primary mode of delivery: FACE-TO-FACE
Location of delivery: MERCHISTON
Partner: Edinburgh Napier University
Member of staff responsible for delivering module: Tara Thomson
Module Organiser:

Learning, Teaching and Assessment (LTA) Approach:
The module is designed to encourage your active learning. It is taught in three different learning contexts: a 2-hr face-to-face interactive lecture (LO1-4), a 1-hr tutorial in a smaller group (LO 1-4), and guided independent learning, facilitated by use of Moodle (LO1-5).

The ‘lecture’ moniker is misleading, however, because both hours are highly interactive, comprising discussion and small group work, emphasising peer contact, and expert input from the module leader to help you achieve LO5. The activities of this segment are carefully structured to ensure your maximum engagement. The tutorial hour features smaller groups and emphasises supporting you and clarifying concepts, alongside hands-on analytic engagement with the cultural artefacts under scrutiny.

Formative Assessment:
Students will undertake two formative assessment tasks, one compulsory and one optional:

1) OPTIONAL: Students will be given the option to submit a sample entry for their reflective learning log (LOs 1-5) in week 7. If you submit a sample, you will be given formative written feedback from the tutor to help you develop the final draft of the full learning log to be included in your final portfolio.

2) COMPULSORY: Outline for written case study (LOs 2, 3, 4, 5), to be submitted in week 9. You will receive formative written feedback from the tutor to help you develop the outline into the case study that will be included in your final portfolio.

Summative Assessment:
On this module, students will undertake two summative assessments: 1) A portfolio of written work (worth 75%), composed throughout the trimester, to be submitted in week 14 (LOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5); and 2) class participation (25%), which will be assessed based on: tutorial contributions, adequate and timely completion of formative assessment tasks, and a participation and engagement self-assessment to be submitted as part of the final portfolio (LOs 1, 2, 3 and 4).

1) The portfolio (3,000 words total) will contain the following elements:
a) 1,500-word reflective learning log (LOs 1, 2, 3 and 4): Alongside the formative assessment activity and assigned reading/viewing, you’ll keep a reflective learning log throughout the trimester. Weekly writing prompts will be provided, with varying required word counts (adding up to the total 1,500), and all prompts throughout the trimester will require a response.
b) 1,200-word case study of a cultural site (LOs 2, 3, 4 and 5).
c) 300-word written self-assessment of your participation in learning activities (LOs 1 and 4). The self-assessment will be taken into consideration when your participation grade is assessed by your tutor.

Student Activity (Notional Equivalent Study Hours (NESH))
Mode of activityLearning & Teaching ActivityNESH (Study Hours)
Face To Face Lecture 20
Face To Face Tutorial 10
Independent Learning Guided independent study 170
Total Study Hours200
Expected Total Study Hours for Module200

Type of Assessment Weighting % LOs covered Week due Length in Hours/Words
Portfolio 75 1-5 14 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 3000
Discussion/Participation 25 1-4 2 HOURS= 0, WORDS= 0
Component 1 subtotal: 100
Component 2 subtotal: 0
Module subtotal: 100

Description of module content:

On this module, you will analyse popular culture, popular literature and everyday life as rich, meaningful examples of cultural practice, instead of the traditional, canonical texts of “high culture” you find in the Classics section of bookshops. As social beings, we communicate through a wide array of media beyond mere language: we daily enact our chosen identities through the clothes we wear, the shops we visit and the identities we construct for ourselves. You will not just read descriptions of cultural analysis; rather, you will actually go out into Edinburgh and conduct case studies yourself, visiting particular places in Edinburgh in search of how they construct the identities of those who use them. We will scrutinise a museum, a shopping space, or another form of public space, as well as virtual spaces, such as social media and video gamespace. You will also learn to engage actively in cultural production, and ‘look under the hood’ of familiar contemporary media, to see how it works. This module will help you begin to analyse your own incessant, creative, cultural activity.

You will learn foundational theories from the field of Cultural Studies, drawing on works by critics such as Stuart Hall, Raymond Williams, and others. You may explore the following aspects of cultural production: the ideologies of mass culture; theories of high versus ‘popular’ culture and canonisation; the choreographies of consumer culture; the construction of national identities and intersectional identities; artistic production and cultural contexts of subcultural groups and movements; mass communication and digital media; and identity performance in online environments. To explore these topics and theories in practice, you will analyse a wide array of creative cultural works from across the 20th and 21st centuries that deal with issues of contemporary relevance, including literature, films, TV series, and video games.

Learning Outcomes for module:

Upon completion of this module you will be able to
LO1: gain an appreciation of the value and urgency of critically evaluating ‘popular’ culture and media
LO2: recognise particular influential codes of cultural communication in our society
LO3: recognise that identities are constructed rather than merely innate
LO4: develop an awareness of some of the ways and contexts in which culture is produced, consumed, enacted, and appreciated
LO5: respond to the narratives produced by particular cultural sites, in written assignments

Indicative References and Reading List - URL:
CLP07101 Case Studies in Cultural Studies