SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 30.00
ECTS Credit Points 15.00
Module Code MML324147
Module Leader Angela O'Hagan
School School for Work Based Education
Subject SCWBE
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)
  • C (May start)

Summary of Content

The overall aim of this module is to develop an understanding of theoretical and legal concepts of equality, discrimination and inequality and to engage critically with institutions and concepts of equality and social justice. The approach encourages students to contextualise themselves as agents of change and leaders for advancing equality in their workplace roles and more widely consistent with supporting an equality and social justice agenda. The module explores concepts of formal and substantive equality, socio-economic based inequalities and modern welfare states and the institutional structures and processes that can challenge or sustain these. The module explores the theoretical underpinnings and dynamics of equality policy development and application in a range of organizational settings and the integration of equality analysis in public policy making. Students examine alternative analytical perspectives and forms of social organisation and policy change that provide a framework for new ways of thinking about leadership for equality encouraging students to consider themselves as leaders for equality in a complex and dynamic policy environment.


The material for the course will be delivered in 3 standalone but inter-related and complementary blocks. 20 hours of facilitated learning (including podcasts, videocasts, video-conferencing, moderated online discussions) will be included per each block. Block 1 (20 hours) Following a basic introduction to the course and the main thematic areas, students will cover: -262 - Meanings and understandings of equality and principles of leadership for individuals and as agents of social and policy change - Concepts in equality, discrimination, intersectionality; poverty and social exclusion/inclusion; wellbeing and welfare - Synergies and tensions in human rights and equalities - Current developments in equality legislation and policy frameworks at Scottish, UK and international levels. Block 2 Building on core concepts, this block explores in greater detail socio-economic inequalities and implications of dominant economic models for individual and collective wellbeing and advancement of equality -262 - The nature, causes and consequences of inequality in modern capitalist economies -262 - Institutions and processes involved in delivering welfare in modern capitalist society -262 - Challenging the norms - alternative approaches to policy and resources to advance equality, including gender budgeting, human rights budgeting Block 3 This final substantive block will consider - Researching equality -360 approaches to community-based and action research, -360 getting underneath the data - equalities analysis - Progressing policy change and advancing equality - Organising for change - activism, advocacy and engagement in social movements and alternative forms of organising Conclusion: Module Summary and Review: The module will conclude with a theoretical and conceptual overview of the material presented throughout the course highlighting thematic areas and key strands to consolidate learning outcomes and support summative assessment.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to:-Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the political, socio-economic and cultural contexts of concepts of equality, inequality, and discrimination ;-Critically analyse, evaluate and implement policies and practices for the effective production, delivery and consumption of public services;-Demonstrate critical understanding of nature, causes and consequences of inequality in modern capitalist economies and institutions of welfare regimes in neoliberal capitalist societies -Critically evaluate and analyse the contribution of leadership to the planning and delivery of public services that advances the values of human rights, social justice and equality.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Learning, teaching and assessment are underpinned by a work based blended learning strategy that emphasises the ability to apply learning incrementally in a real time context. Student engagement will be facilitated by an online lecture programme delivered via GCU Learn using video, podcast and text based sources. As this area of study has developed substantively in recent years, lecture material will be supplemented by additional audio-visual and text-based material from relevant organisations such as Equality and Human Rights Commission and Scottish Human Rights Commission, Equality Trust, Equal Rights Trust, STUC and TUC, and other local organisations. The lecture programme will be supplemented by directed reading that to inform on-line seminar discussions, contextualised formative individual and group learning and final assessment. Virtual student engagement will be encouraged by an incremental approach to negotiated assessment; while group cohesion and encouraging the formation of communities of learning and practice will be consolidated via activities such as role play, workshops and both student-led and staff-led exercises during face-to-face module sessions. Reflective blogs and on-line journals also supplement student exchanges and support learning. Both virtual and face-to-face sessions will also be designed to facilitate effective peer support for learning and practice. Summative assessment, based upon a portfolio of continuous assessment will encourage consolidation of introductory research skills and the ability to apply knowledge of basic concepts and theories in practice.

Indicative Reading

*Where possible, e-books will be supplied. If not possible, relevant chapters will be digitised using GCU scanning service and made available for downloading via GCU Learn. -240 - BAGILHOLE, B. 2009 Understanding Equal Opportunities and Diversity. Bristol: Policy Press. - CLAPHAM, A. 2007. Human Rights: A Very Short Introduction. OUP Oxford - CONNELL, R. 2011. Confronting equality: Gender, Knowledge and Global Change. Bristol: Polity. - CRAIG, G. BURCHARDT, T & GORDON, D. (eds) 2008 Social Justice and Public Policy. Bristol: Policy Press -240 - CONARD, JASON MYERS. 2010. The politics of equality: an introduction. London: Zed Books. -240 - DESAI M., 2000 "Well being or Wel Fare?" in Fraser, N & J Hills (eds) Public Policy for the 21st Century: Social and Economic Essays in Memory of Henry Neuberger, Policy Press; London - HEPPLE, BOB 2014 Equality the New Legal Framework 2nd ed.Hart Publishing - HILLS, J and STEWART, K. (eds) 2005 A More Equal Society. Bristol: PolicyPress. - JOHN, P. et al. 2013. Nudge, Nudge, Think, Think: Experimenting with Ways to Change Civic Behaviour. 2 nd ed. London: Bloomsbury. -240 - O'HARA, MARY, 2014. Austerity Bites. Bristol: Policy Press. -240 - PASCALL, Gillian. 2012 Gender Equality in the Welfare State? Bristol: Policy Press. -240 - WALBY, S. 2009. Globalization and Inequalities: Complexity and Contested Modernities. London: Sage. -240 - WHITE, STUART. 2006. Equality: Key Concepts. Bristol: Polity Press - WITCHER, S 2014 Inclusive equality: A vision for social justice. Bristol: Policy Press

Transferrable Skills

Ability to debate and discuss sensitive issues with confidence Ability to critique moral and ethical dilemmas surrounding this area of study Equality and diversity awareness Time management IT literacy including information retrieval and bibliographical skills Ability to apply learning in practice Ability to work independently and in groups

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Assessment (PT) 40.00
Practicals (PT) 12.00
Independent Learning (PT) 224.00
Lectures (PT) 24.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 2 n/a 60.00 45% Negotiated report (4200 words):Project OutlinePresentationWritten report
Coursework 1 n/a 40.00 45% Portfolio-Critical values in research essay (1800 words)