Drugs and Culture

University of Glasgow

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Drugs and Culture

  • Host University

    University of Glasgow

  • Location

    Glasgow, Scotland

  • Area of Study

    Anthropology, Global Health, Sociology

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    In order to take this course as part of your sociology honours programme, you need to have met the requirements for entry into our Honours Programme. This means achieving a grade of 'D' or better in Sociology 1A and Sociology 1B and a 'C' or better in Sociology 2A and Sociology 2B. You also have to comply with the College of Social Science regulations for progression to Honours.

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Scotcat Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Short Description
    What is a drug? Why are some drugs illegal in some places but not others? What is the significance of drug classifications? How do people actually take drugs? What happens when a drug is taken in new ways and in new social contexts? These are some of the questions that we will address in this module through an exploration of anthropological accounts of drug production and consumption around the globe. Through critically examining anthropological analyses of the drugs trade, both global and local, we unpack a series of questions around health and well-being, creating and sustaining communities (including communities of recovery), violence and everyday life and living with the forces of globalisation. This is open to both Sociology and Anthropology students.
    Course Aims
    The general aims of the course follow from the our honours programmes aim of developing a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the academic disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology. In keeping with this, the Honours programme as a whole aims to help you develop increasingly advanced conceptual and analytical skills within the disciplines of Sociology and Anthropology. The course aims to allow you to:
    • Provide a sound knowledge and critical understanding of the anthropology of drugs and drug use;
    • Enable you to reflect critically on contemporary debates around drugs and drug use;
    • Explore different models of addiction and their policy implications;
    • Enable you to enhance your transferrable and inter-personal skills, particularly in communication, time management, individual and group research work, critical appraisal of current issues, and the informed use of information technology;
    • Provide you with a wide range of skills that will meet the demands of the modern labour market.
    Intended Learning Outcomes
    By the end of this course, students should be able to:
    • Articulate a critical understanding of the complexities surrounding the idea of substances as ?drugs?;
    • Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical, methodological and policy issues raised by anthropological research on drugs and drug use;
    • Discuss and critically compare the ways in which anthropologists have researched and analysed drug production, trafficking and consumption;
    • Structure ideas effectively both orally and in written forms, work effectively independently and in groups, and develop effective time management skills.
    This course will be assessed by a 3000-word essay (60%) and a one-hour, one-question exam (40%). Students will have a choice of exam questions, but must choose one on a topic that is different from their assessed essay. Students will normally receive feedback on their assessed essay before the exam.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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