SS5002 - Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity (2023/24)
|Module approved to run in 2023/24
|Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity
|Credit rating for module
|School of Social Sciences and Professions
|Total study hours
|Running in 2023/24(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
We are living through unprecedented and turbulent times characterised by neoliberal economic crises, growth of authoritarian political ideologies, impacts of climate change and the risks of uncertainties (e.g. Covid 19). They are all shaping our lives and experiences both individually and collectively. The quest for a framework of social justice and responses to these crises prompted heated political debates in the UK and beyond. Whereas on one hand the concept of social justice itself is arguably ‘hijacked’ by different political parties, resulting in the development of policies that further disadvantage those who are already marginalised in our society, momentum is growing - challenging those policies and communities are organising to change the tide.
It is in this context the module examines the core concerns of recent social policy initiatives. Over recent decades, persistent inequalities in British society led to the re-conceptualisation of these inequalities as ‘social exclusion’. In the context of Brexit, recent government rhetoric extols the virtue of voluntarism and “shared society” that respects the “bonds of family, community, citizenship and strong institutions” in their policies and practices whilst promising ‘levelling up’ to improve the living standard across the country. Most recently as the Covid-19 epidemic and the Black Lives Matter movement have exposed and amplified the inequalities in our society, there is a renewed focus on addressing the structural inequalities that are entrenched in the fabric of our society. A range of community-based projects lay at the heart of promoting ‘social inclusion’ and ‘social cohesion’. The core values of this approach are embodied in the National Occupational Standards for Community Development (CD NOS), the need for social justice and an understanding of our rich and diverse society. This module will offer the opportunity to evaluate emerging policy developments in these areas.
Aims of the module.
This module aims to:
- introduce students to competing ideas of social justice
- locate current debates about human rights and citizenship in their historical context
- examine inequality and diversity in the context of recent legislation and
- look at current approaches to social justice using the examples of the work place and community development work and
- link philosophical approaches with current policy and practice
Prior learning requirements
- Historical context of human rights (universal declaration of Human Rights), Social movements and political achievement (LO1)
- Theories of social justice, e.g. John Rawls, David Miller, Robert Nozick, Amartya Sen’s Capabilities framework. (LO1)
- The concept of Citizenship and its relationship with globalisation (LO2, LO3)
- Social Mobility and meritocracy.(LO2)
- Current policy e.g. ‘disability’, migration, refugees. (LO2, LO3)
- Approaches: managing diversity in organisations, community development and social inclusion. (LO3)
- Guest speakers from voluntary, community and refugee organisations. (LO4)
- Visits to relevant organisations. Preparing for placements (LO4)
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
The module will be taught by a weekly lecture of one hour duration with one hour seminar and one hour workshop sessions. A student-centred approach will be adopted in teaching and learning on the module, relying on class discussions / activities, reflections and expert inputs from external practitioners wherever possible as well as visits to places, institutions and centres within public and Third Sector.
A lecture introducing the topic will be followed by a seminar where the emphasis will be on student empowerment through active participation and group work. Weekly reading is expected in order to get the most out of the module.
Most sessions will be a combination of:
- lectures or direct teaching
- group work
- study skills such as paragraph writing, guided reading or referencing tips
- preparation for assignments
The sessions in the 2nd semester, where the focus is on (social and ethnic) group specific experiences, will allow students to reflect on their own experiences as well as learn from the interactions with each other. In addition to the classroom sessions students will be expected to carry out online activities such as quizzes and interactive exercises.
On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
- Demonstrate a grasp of differing views of social justice (L01);
- Be able to locate current legislation and practice in its historical context (L02);
- Be able to evaluate the success of current approaches to human rights and equality (L03); and
- Able to research the experiences of marginalised groups in our society using a variety of sources and present the material in a variety of forms (L04).
The learning of the module will be assessed through two written assignments, an essay due in week 18 and a report. There will be a presentation.
The essay will test students’ understanding of some of the important ideas which lie behind the current discussions of rights and social justice
The report will give them the opportunity to look in more depth at an area of interest, to research the evidence for the particular inequality and evaluate policy initiatives to promote social justice (2500 words)
Credit will be given for being able to blend an understanding of current practice with academic and theoretical considerations as well as students’ consistent participation in lectures and seminar activities (2500 words)
This module has opportunities for formative assessment, and draft work is considered and commented on. Comments on draft work are provided a week before the final hand in date, so that students have opportunities to amend their work
A link to the reading list can be found here: