Walking people blur. Lots of people walking in the city. Wide panoramic view of people crossing the road.
Stimulating your sociological imaginations, develop key sociological skills and create a sense of belonging.
This module, the first you take while studying with us at Plymouth, enables you to understand the perspective of professionals in the sociology field through the contribution of guest lecturers who engage in community development work. This module uses hands-on teaching practices that will encourage you to think about key sociological themes, such as inequality, by taking you out of the classroom and conducting research in Plymouth. 
You will scrutinise published research focused on poverty, deprivation and various aspects of cultural and social policy. At the end of the module you will walk away with a range of new sociological skills, a sound knowledge base and feel like an important part of the course. You will have produced a large poster that will be displayed at various sociology events, including our open days.

The module consists of:

Ethnographic field trip and poster presentation

During the field trip you will collect your own ethnographic data (observational notes and photographs) and set these against published statistical data sources to explore health and wellbeing, housing, culture, deprivation and community in an area of Plymouth. You will then use this data to produce a poster, presentation and portfolio of your work, completing your first module within the first four weeks of study.

I really enjoyed being able to see and understand a different side to Plymouth. The fieldtrip walk was a good way to understand the module more but also make friends with the rest of my group.

Sociology students presenting their posters
Students presenting their posters
Sociology students presenting their posters
Sociology students presenting their posters


In order to ease your transition into university life you will undertake intense, focused group work in your personal tutor groups. Throughout the module you will work alongside your personal tutor, which helps you settle into the course and the flow of higher education. Additionally your personal tutor will work with you throughout the first two years of your studies, offering you support with developing study skills and academic literacies.

The best part of the module was the group work and meeting new people. I also really enjoyed finding our own information and doing our own research for the poster and presentation.

Learn from experts

The module leader is Dr Lyvinia Elleschild. Her research into the importance of community, place and belonging enriches the knowledge base of the ethnographic fieldwork. She has extensive experience in supporting students in national award winning community engagement research.
Lyvinia is joined in facilitating the personal tutor groups by members of the sociology team. Various guest lecturers contribute to the module, including Tony Davey, the Engagement Officer from The Box. Tony has extensive knowledge of Plymouth and curates exhibitions including Because The Night Belongs to Us, the culmination of the Plymouth After Dark project, which includes several pieces of archived research from sociology undergraduates.
Media Arts Students Xiaofei Yu Siyu Xu and Jingyan Wang with Lyvinia Elleschild
Dr Lyvinia Elleschild with students