Improve your experience. We are very sorry but this website does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend using a different browser that is supported such as Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox.

Ethnicity, Racism and Social Relations


This module will explore issues of race, ethnicity, racism, racial formation and race relations, underpinned by Critical Race Theory.  This module will explore these issues through comparative case studies from the UK, the Caribbean, Africa, South America, Asia and North America.   

Overall, this module aims to review various theories of racism and critically assess how changing conceptualisations of race, ethnicity and racism arise in specific socio-political contexts and societal institutions.  It will examine and problematise how the concept and reality of race has been constructed, shaped and changed over time.  Each week case studies will be presented exploring systemic racism across different countries, states, societies and justice organisations.  

The module will ask questions such as:

  • How and when does race emerge as a concept and a lived reality?
  • Has racism always existed?
  • What are the differences between institutional and interpersonal racism?

After this exploration, this module will unpack and examine race and ethnicity as arbitrary labels which result in social divisions that impact on and limit people’s opportunities. It will do this by focusing on contemporary social institutions and relations, including housing, the welfare state, education, employment and the criminal justice system.  

At the end of this module the student will be able to:

  • Understand race as a historically variable and contextually situated social construct. 
  • Build an interdisciplinary understanding of how race and racial formation affects social institutions and social relations. 
  • Explain the endemic nature of racism and discuss and critically engage with race and ethnicity in relation to contemporary social issues. 
  • Describe examples of racialised inequality in relation to social institutions, power, and individual experience.  

 Students who participate in this module will also learn a range of academic, interpersonal, communication and self-management skills.

This is an SCQF Level 9 module and upon successful completion, participants will be awarded 20 credits.



The module will be delivered at Paisley and Lanarkshire campuses. 

The module will be delivered via a series of synchronously, in person lectures and seminars delivered on campus.  In addition to scheduled mandatory contact hours (lectures and on campus seminars) you will be required to engage with class materials and reading via Aula, which is our VLE (Virtual Learning Environment).  The Aula site for this course provides the core, as well as additional and support, materials that the module requires and is built upon.


Course presenter

This module will be delivered by Dr Nicola Hay.


NOTE: This is a university module and upon approval of your application, you will be invited to register and then supported to complete enrolment. To enrol on the university system, the first step involves security set-up using the Microsoft Authenticator app; you will need to ensure that you have a compatible smartphone.

Further information is available at the Student Information Portal.

To access this module via the CPD route, individuals should be ordinarily resident in Scotland.  If you do not meet this criteria, please enquire here.



Press enter to see more results