module specification

SS6056 - Education: Issues, Inequalities and Futures (2018/19)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2018/19
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Education: Issues, Inequalities and Futures
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 150
45 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
105 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 30%   Presentation 1000 words
Coursework 70%   Essay (2000 words)
Running in 2018/19

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

Education continues to be high on public policy agendas and an important field of debate and research in Social Science. This module focuses on developing critical understanding of processes and outcomes associated with educational inequality (social class, gender, ethnicity, special needs). It examines key issues in contemporary Education policymaking & practice and Sociological perspectives informing debates, with a view to exploring trajectories and constructions of Education Futures for the 21st century. 

Prior learning requirements


Module aims

To develop a critical understanding of educational processes and outcomes associated with social class, ethnicity, gender and special needs
To appraise specific key issues and discourses in contemporary education policy and practice
To examine principal ideological, sociological and philosophical perspectives informing education debates and their relevant contexts
To explore constructions and key contexts for Education futures 


Purposes and nature of education and schooling -  stakeholders, key ideological and theoretical perspectives and contexts
School organisation, structures and governance - forms of selection & comprehensive schooling; education markets and the role of the private sector; religion and schooling 
Contemporary curriculum policies, models and discourses – transformations in teaching, learning and parenting
Social inclusion and social justice in education -  Interpretation and conceptualisation; policies, processes and outcomes constructing educational inequality in relation to social class, ethnicity & race, gender, special needs;  complexity and intersectionality. 
Locating Education in wider social and policy contexts  - Globalisation trends in education;  implications of key social policy developments in relation to Children, Care and Employment   
Higher Education purpose and funding, past present and future – models and perspectives on contemporary directions
Education Futures – shifting meanings, key current  transformations and trajectories: prospects, options and desirable goals

Learning and teaching

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures, seminar discussions and workshop activities, plus self directed study including reading of relevant texts and use of vle to provide support and updated materials. Student-led discussions and class based activities will encourage appraisal of key concepts, perspectives, theories and policies, in addition to reflective use of students own experiences as a resource.

Learning outcomes

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

• Analyse recent historical contexts of key issues and developments in education
• Contrast changing characterisations and theories of educational inequality and social justice applied to outcomes relating to social class, ethnicity, gender and special needs
• Present a critical evaluation of key policy developments within education and underlying perspectives that shape understanding
• Extrapolate contemporary trends and contexts  in order to construct education futures 

Assessment strategy

The assessment will consist of one formative and one summative element, both contributory. The first, formative, assignment will be a presentation (1000 words. 30% weighting), of a critical evaluation of key education developments and associated underlying perspectives (lo3), developingpresentational skillsof creativity, synthesis and communication. The second will be a summative Essay (2000 words 70% weighting) assessing students’ ability to analyse processes, outcomes and compare theories relating to key dimensions of social justice and inclusion in education (lo2) in historical context (lo1), and extrapolate emergent  trends, future prospects and needs arising  in contemporary education developments (lo4)


Arnot M & Mac andGhaill M eds 2005 Gender & Education Reader.  Routledge
Ball, Stephen J  ed. 2009 The RoutledgeFalmer Reader in sociology of Education
Ball, S 2006  Education policy and social class: the selected works of Stephen Ball Routledge
Cole Mike ed. 2006 Education, equality & human rights: issues of gender, race, sexuality, disability & social class 2edRoutledge
Gillborn D &Youdell D 2003 Rationing Education  Routledge
Hewlett M et al eds 2006 Comprehensive Education: evolution, achievement & new directions 
Lauder H, Brown P et al eds  2006 Education, Globalisation and Social Change Oxford UP
McBeath J 2006 Costs of inclusion: policy & practice in English primary, sec & special schools. NUT
Ross A 2009  Disengagement from Education amongst 14-16 year olds. NatCenRpt DCSF –RR1758
Tomlinson S 2011 Education in a post-welfare society
Troyna B & Hatcher R 2000 Racism in children’s lives
Vincent C 2005 Social Justice, Education and Identity
UNESCO International Bureau of Education
British Education Research Association (BERA) Journal
British Journal of Sociology of Education
Work Employment and Society
Runnymede Bulletin
Critical Social Policy
Sociological Review