Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC2037: Pharmaceutical Cultures

This module descriptor refers to the 2019/0 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following themes:


  1. Origins and expansion of pharmaceutical industries and markets.
  2. The political economy of drug development, testing and regulation.
  3. Pharmaceuticals and social change.
  4. Pharmaceuticals, deviance, and social control.
  5. Medicalisation of everyday life and the rise of ‘lifestyle drugs’.
  6. Nonmedical uses of prescription drugs: Abuse/recreational use.
  7. Nonmedical uses of prescription drugs: Enhancement.
  8. Iatrogenic (medical) addiction to pharmaceuticals: why do doctors still prescribe? 

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning activity1111 x 1 hour lectures delivering the academic framework of the course
Scheduled learning activity 1111 x 1 hour seminars including group work and class discussion of key topics and debates from the lectures
Guided independent study4020 course readings (2 hours each)
Guided independent study40Reading/research for essay
Guided independent study8Essay plan preparation
Guided Independent Study40Reading/revisions for examination

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).