Postgraduate Module Descriptor

SOCM039: Cultures of the Life Sciences

This module descriptor refers to the 2020/1 academic year.

Module Aims

This module aims to:

  • introduce you to contemporary and historical practices in the biological and biomedical sciences, by drawing on scientific, philosophical, historical and sociological literature;
  • investigate the relation between the knowledge produced within the biomedical sciences and the infrastructures, legal norms, instruments, institutions and socio-historical conditions under which such knowledge is achieved;
  • critically assess the relevance of material, social and economic conditions for the production and future of biomedical knowledge; and
  • provide understanding of current and future working conditions, challenges and opportunities for professional researchers in the biological and biomedical sciences.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate an understanding of many of the basic conceptual issues and challenges at stake in the life sciences
2. demonstrate in writing an ability to analyse the ways in which these problems have been and/or could be addressed
3. demonstrate in writing an ability to understand both contemporary and historical aspects of biology in a wide conceptual context and to think across discipline-specific boundaries
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate in writing a well-developed ability to understand and analyse the wider context of scientific theories and practice
5. demonstrate in writing an understanding of conceptual, material and institutional choices made during the development of biological knowledge and technologies, and the impact of those choices on society
Personal and Key Skills6. demonstrate an independent ability to construct your own arguments and critically evaluate the ideas and arguments of others, both orally and in writing
7. demonstrate in writing you have acquired precision of thought and expression in the analysis and formulation of complex problems. You will also be able to identify and locate appropriate literature, and write a cogent and convincing essay.