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EQ313 - Education and Social Justice

  • Module code: EQ313
  • Module name: Education and Social Justice
  • Department: Centre for Education Studies
  • Credit: 15

Content and teaching | Assessment | Availability

Module content and teaching

Principal aims

This module is about fairness and social justice in education. Fairness is a widely used word and a fashionable political slogan but what does it really mean to have a fair society or indeed a fair education system? For example, is it fair that children from poorer families tend to do less well in school academically? Is it fair that students now have to pay large sums of money to study at university? Or is it fair that if families have the money they are able to 'buy' a 'better' education for their child? 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.

Principal learning outcomes

This module will explore issues of inequality and social justice in Education. It will 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. The module will consider educational experience as being both lifelong and society wide and will describe the inequalities that may accompany individuals from birth, through their school experience and into the formal and informal modes of learning that they may elect to undertake later in life. The module will emphasise the policy context of many contemporary initiatives which attempt to ensure that education experience is fair. At the end of this module students will need to demonstrate that they are able to: •Critically examine the interaction between social and educational inequalities at different stages of the lifecourse •Engage with some of the key theoretical and philosophical ideas around issues of inequality and social justice •Critically evaluate the impact of major government policies which aim to reduce educational inequalities •Examine the empirical research literature around interventions to reduce educational inequalities

Timetabled teaching activities

10x 2hour interactive lecture 10x 1 hour seminar

Departmental link

Module assessment

Assessment group Assessment name Percentage
15 CATS (Module code: EQ313-15)
A (Assessed work only) 3000 word assignment 100%

Module availability

This module is available on the following courses:



Optional Core


  • Undergraduate Education Studies (X35B) - Year 2
  • Undergraduate Education Studies (X35B) - Year 3
  • Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication (X3Q5) - Year 3