Undergraduate Module Descriptor

SOC3080: Pharmaceutical Cultures

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


NQF Level 6
Credits 15 ECTS Value 7.5
Term(s) and duration

This module ran during term 2 (11 weeks)

Academic staff

Dr Hannah Farrimond (Convenor)





Available via distance learning


‘There’s a pill for everything’: Pharmaceutical products are taken by millions of people in the UK and around the world. Pharmaceuticals such as birth control pills and antidepressants have come to assume an increasingly prominent place in everyday life. This module will provide an opportunity for you to think about how the individual act of taking a tablet is embedded within a series of global formations and processes. You will explore how medications taken by consumers in the UK are connected to global dynamics—for example, such drugs are often the products of transnational corporations, tested in clinical trials outsourced to developing countries; and marketed globally through promotional campaigns, internet discussion groups and online pharmacies. You will also consider the range of uses (and abuses) of pharmaceutical products outside the medical sphere; from recreational use to cognitive enhancement.

This module is suitable for anyone interested in the social science of medicine, health and illness. Its interdisciplinary approach will appeal to students in sociology, psychology, anthropology, medicine/health sciences, law and other social science disciplines.

Module created


Last revised