module specification

SS5068 - Disability and Inclusion (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Disability and Inclusion
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
20 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
94 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Report (A briefing paper)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

The module aims to focus on the competing nature of the concept of “disability” and the implications it has on community development, social policies and practice. It examines disability as a new social movement that informs much of the social policy and welfare provisions and community practice today. The module considers the radical transformation of the ways in which disability is understood - informed by the Disability Rights Movements of the 70s and 80s in the UK, and enables students to engage in a culture of debates and reflection that are critical required for effective community work.


Module aims

The module aims to:

  • Provide students with a foundation for understanding and analysing disability in the context of current welfare policies and practices.
  • Enable students to grasp the principles of the social model of disability and its implications for social inclusion and community development.
  • Provide students with an understanding of how the experience of disability is shaped by its interaction with gender, ethnicity and social class.

Prior learning requirements




  1. Understanding disability (and impairment), social interpretation of disability; disablism. (LO1)
  2. Social Model of Disabilitym(LO1)
  3. Identity, difference and disability – implications for community development (LO2)
  4. Intersectionality: how disability interacts with other facets of social lives (focus on ethnicity and gender).(LO2)
  5. Disability and community development – how understanding of disability articulates with varying social cultural norms (LO3)
  6. Researching disability (focusing on the experiences of disabled people): Using appropriate theoretical concepts and emancipatory methods. (LO3)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The module will be taught by a weekly lecture of one hour duration with two hour seminar. The module will adopt a range of teaching and learning strategies including lectures, guest speakers, group work, reflections, presentations, visits and independent supported learning. A student-centred approach will be adopted involving an independent supported learning environment.

In addition to the classroom sessions, students will be able to interact with each other reflecting on their own learning and experiences and also carry out on-line activities such as quizzes and interactive exercises.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

  • Articulate an understanding of historical perspectives of disability and the rise of the social approach to disability (LO1)
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the key debates on disability and welfare policies focusing on inclusion and exclusion discourses. (LO2)
  • Analyse the experiences of disabled people in the area of education and/or employment (LO3)


Key Text:
Barnes, C & Mercer, G (2010) Exploring Disability, 2nd Edition: Polity Press
Goodley, D. (2011) Disability studies: an interdisciplinary introduction London: Sage.
Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C. and Thomas, C. eds., 2013. Disabling barriers-enabling environments. Sage.
Oliver, M. (2009) Understanding Disability: from Theory to Practice, second edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Additional Texts:
Ahmad, W. I. U. (eds) 2000: Ethnicity, Disability and Chronic Illness, Buckingham: Buckingham.
Berthoud, R., Lakey, J. and McKay, S., 1993. The economic problems of disabled people (Vol. 759). Policy Studies Institute.
Beckett, A.E. (2006) Understanding Social Movements: theorising the disability movement in conditions of late modernity, The Sociological Review, 54:4 (2006)
Burchardt, T. (2000) Enduring economic exclusion: Disabled people, income and work, JRF Report, York: York publishing services
Ferrie, J., Lerpiniere, J., Paterson, K., Pearson, C. Stalker, K. and Watson, N. (2008) * Sage.Hales,G. (1996) Beyond Disability. Towards an Enabling Society. London: Sage
Fernando, S., 2010. Mental health, race and culture. Palgrave Macmillan.
McKnight, J. (1995) The Careless Society: Community and its Counterfeits New York: Basic Books
Morris, J. (2004) Independent living and community care: a disempowering framework Disability & Society Vol. 19 (5) 427-442ODI - In-Depth Examination of the Implementation of the Disability Equality Duty in England: Report to the Office for Disability Issues London: Department for Work and Pensions
Oliver, M. (2009) Understanding Disability: from Theory to Practice, second edition. London: Palgrave MacMillan.
Priestley, M. (1999) Disability Politics and Community Care. London: Jessica Kingsley
Roulstone, A. and Prideaux, S., (2012) Understanding disability policy. Policy Press.
Shakespeare, T (1996) The Disability Reader: Social Science Perspectives. Continuum
Online resources:
Disability Archive UK:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation:
Office for Disability Issues:
Department of Health and Social Care:
Disability Alliance
Mental Health Foundation:
King’s Fund

Disability and Society
Ageing and Society