module specification

SS5002 - Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Essay 2000 Words
Group Presentation 30%   Group Presentation
Coursework 30%   Report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Thursday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the core concerns of recent social policy initiatives. Under the New Labour government, persistent inequalities in British society led to a focus on ‘joined-up’ thinking and the re-conceptualisation of these inequalities as ‘social exclusion’. A range of community-based projects lay at the heart of promoting ‘social inclusion’. The core values of this approach are embodied in the National Occupational Standards for community development work:, promotion of community empowerment through a concern for people’s rights as citizens, the need for social justice and an understanding of our rich and diverse society. Recent government rhetoric extols the virtue of a ‘Big Society’, and this module will offer the opportunity to evaluate emerging policy developments in this area.

This module sets the present concerns and processes in an historical and academic context. We look back to the struggles of the Civil Rights movement during the 1950s and 1960s and the impact this made worldwide. We consider some of the political debates which underpin discussions of rights, social justice and equality. More recent debates concerning the processes of globalisation will be considered before moving locally to the UK to consider changes in our approaches to inequalities.

Module aims

This module aims to:
introduce students to competing ideas of social justice (A01);
locate current debates about human rights and citizenship in their historical context (A02);
examine inequality and diversity in the context of recent legislation (A03); and
look at current approaches to social justice using the examples of the work place and community development work (A04); and
link philosophical approaches with current policy and practice (A05)


Historical context of human rights (universal declaration of Human Rights), Social movements and political achievement
Theories of social justice, e.g.John Rawls, David Miller, AmartyaSen’s Capabilities framework.
The concept of Citizenship.
Social Mobility and meritocracy.
Current policy eg ‘disability’, refugees.
Approaches: managing diversity in organisations, community development and social inclusion.
Guest speakers from voluntary, community and refugee organisations.
Visits to relevant organisations.

Learning and teaching

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, reflections and  expert inputs from external practitioners wherever possible as well as visits, if possible to institutions and centres  within public and Third Sector. 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
Outline  differing views of social justice (L01);
Locate current legislation and practice in its historical context (L02);
Evaluate the success of current approaches to human rights and equality (L03); and
Research using a variety of sources including electronic, appropriately referenced and present the material in a variety of forms (L04).


Assessment strategy

1. An essay discussing and evaluating conceptions of social justice 2000 words (Outcome 1)
2. A briefing paper (report) which focuses on one area of inequality combining a theoretical and empirical understanding. 1500 words (Outcomes 2, 3, 4.)  
3. Group presentation on one of the topics listed in the seminar programme (outcome 4)

The essay (2000 words) will test students understanding of some of the important ideas which lie behind the current discussions of rights and social justice.

The presentation aims to develop student-centred participation enabling them to explore multiple perspectives on a topic, develop a wide range of communication skills and prepare for skills in the workplace. Leading to: The report (1500 words) 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.

Credit will be given for being able to blend an understanding of current practice with academic and theoretical considerations.


Ahmad F, Modood T &Lissenburgh S (2003) South Asian Women & Employment in Britain Policy Studies Institute
Carpenter, M, Freda,B and Speeden,S (2007) Beyond the Workfare State’, Bristol, The Policy Press
Craig, G et al (2008)  Social Justice and Public Policy’ ,Bristol, The Policy press
Dwyer, Peter (2008) Understanding Social Citizenship,2nd edition, Bristol, Policy Press
Held, D and Kaya,A, eds (2007), Global Inequality, Cambridge, Polity Press
Hills, J and Stewart, K (2005) A More Equal Society? Bristol, Policy Press
Kirton G & Greene J (2004) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity,2nd edition Butterworth Heineman
Pearce N .and Paxton W. (2005) Social Justice: Building a Fairer Britain, London, IPPR
Ridge,T& Wright, S (2008) Understanding Inequality, Poverty and Wealth’,   Bristol, The Policy press
Walker A et al (eds) (2010) The Peter Townsend Reader, Bristol, The Policy Press
Wilkinson, R & Pickett, K (2009) The Spirit Level, London, Allen lane
White, Stuart (2007) Equality, Cambridge, Polity Press especially Ch3 Meritocracy

Cabinet Office
Citizenship Foundation
Department of Communities and Local government
Commission for Equality and Human Rights  
The former CRE, DRC and EOC can be accessed via the site for this new Commission
Institute of Race Relations:
Age Positive:
Trades Union Congress:
**Joseph Rowntree Foundation
**Townsend Centre for International Poverty Research- also has articles on health inequalities