module specification

SS5002 - Human Rights, Social Justice and Diversity (2020/21)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2020/21
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
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
170 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Essay 2500 words
Coursework 50%   Report 2500 words
Running in 2020/21

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module examines the core concerns of recent social policy initiatives. Over recent decades, 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’ and social cohesion. 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. 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. 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 and its relationship with citizenship will be considered before moving locally to the UK to consider changes in our approaches to inequalities.

Aims of the module. This module aims to:
1. introduce students to competing ideas of social justice
2. locate current debates about human rights and citizenship in their historical context
3. examine inequality and diversity in the context of recent legislation  and
4. look at current approaches to social justice using the examples of the work place and community development work and
5. link philosophical approaches with current policy and practice


1. Historical context of human rights (universal declaration of Human Rights), Social movements and political achievement LO1
2. Theories of social justice, e.g. John Rawls, David Miller, Robert Nozick, Amartya Sen’s Capabilities framework. LO1, LO2
3. The concept of Citizenship and its relationship with globalisation LO2
4. Social Mobility and meritocracy. LO3, LO4, LO5
5. Current policy e.g. ‘disability’, migration, refugees. LO3
6. Approaches: managing diversity in organisations, community development and social inclusion. LO3, LO5, LO6
7. Guest speakers from voluntary, community and refugee organisations. LO4
8. Visits to relevant organisations. Preparing for placements LO7, LO8

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.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. Demonstrate a grasp of  differing views of social justice (L01);
2. Be able to locate current legislation and practice in its historical context (L02);
3. Be able to evaluate the success of current approaches to human rights and equality (L03); and
4. 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).


Key Texts:
Craig, G, Burchardt, T, Gordon,G (eds) (2008) Social Justice and Public Policy’,  Bristol, The Policy press
Dwyer, Peter (2008) Understanding Social Citizenship,2nd edition, Bristol, Policy Press
Dean, H. & Platt, L. (eds) (2016) Social Advantage and Disadvantage, Oxford University Press
Farrelly, C. (2004) An Introduction to Contemporary Political Theory, London: Sage
Hills, J and Stewart, K (2005) A More Equal Society? Bristol, Policy Press
Especially Chapters  5,11 and 15
Swift Adam (2013) Political Philosophy: A beginner’s guide for students and Politicians, Cambridge, 3rd edition, Polity Press
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


Additional Tests:
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
Held, D and Kaya,A, eds (2007), Global Inequality, Cambridge, Polity Press
Heywood, Andrew (1998) Political Ideologies: An Introduction, Basingstoke, Macmillan
Jones, Peter (1994) Rights, Basingstoke, Palgrave
Kirton G & Greene J (2004) The Dynamics of Managing Diversity,2nd edition Butterworth Heineman
Lampard, R (1996) ‘Might Britain Be A Meritocracy? A Comment on Saunders’ (Sociology, v30, n2, 387-393)
Marshall, Gordon & Swift, Adam (1996) ‘Merit and Mobility: A Reply to Peter Saunders’ (sociology, v30, n2, 375-386)
Rawls, J (1971) A Theory of Justice, Oxford: OUP, and later editions
Tawney, R. H.  (1964) Equality (London: George Allen & Unwin)
White, Stuart (2007) Equality, Cambridge, Polity Press especially Ch3 Meritocracy
Wilkinson, R & Pickett, K (2009) The Spirit Level, London, Allen lane

Critical Social Policy, Feminist Review
Gender, Work and Organisation
New Left Review, Social Problems
Sociological Review, Sociology
Work, Employment and Society

Cabinet Office
Young Citizens

Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government

Commission for Equality and Human Rights
The former CRE, DRC and EOC can be accessed via the site for this new Commission
Informal Education:
Institute of Race Relations:
Age Positive:
Joseph Rowntree Foundation:

Endorsement and Quality Standards Board for Community Development