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EQ212-15 and EQ313-15 Education and Social Justice

Department Education Studies

Level Undergraduate Level 2

Module leader Dr Emma Smith

Credit value 15

Module duration 10 weeks

Assessment 100% coursework

Study location University of Warwick main campus, Coventry


In this module we will look at the educational inequalities that may accompany individuals from birth, through school and beyond. We will examine initiatives such as Sure Start, the Academies and Free Schools programme, and current educational issues such as the expansion of higher education and the inclusion of young people with special educational needs in mainstream schools. We will also look at the education systems in other countries, particularly the United States, to consider whether they have a 'fairer' system than we do.

Principle Module Aims and Outcomes

This module aims to draw upon research, policy and contemporary thinking in the field to provide an overview of the educational inequalities that exist and persist throughout an individual's educational trajectory.

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the interaction between social and educational inequalities at different stages of the life course.
  • Undertake a critical engagement with some of the key theoretical and philosophical ideas around issues of inequality and social justice.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the impact of major government policies which aim to reduce educational inequalities.
  • Examine the empirical research literature around interventions to reduce educational inequalities and use established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis.

An outline of topics which will be covered in the 30 hours of teaching including lectures and seminars:

  • An Introduction to Education and Social Justice
  • Social Justice and Inequality in wider society
  • Social Justice and Inequality: childhood poverty and inequality
  • Inequalities and student outcomes: a national and international perspective
  • Schooling and social justice: school choice and school diversity
  • Reducing inequality in American schools? Holding schools accountable
  • Included or excluded? Fairness, inclusion and special education
  • Well-being and happiness? Pupils’ experiences of social justice in school
  • Not in Education, Employment and Training?
  • Learning a trade? What happened to vocational education?
Study Time
Type Required
Lectures 10 sessions of 1 hour (7%)
Seminars 10 sessions of 2 hours (13%)
Private study 120 hours (80%)
Total 150 hours
3000 word assignment 100%