- Academic Registry
Programme & Unit Catalogues

ED10350: Education and social justice - philosophical and sociological perspectives

[Page last updated: 05 August 2021]

Academic Year: 2021/2
Owning Department/School: Department of Education
Credits: 6 [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 120
Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Semester 1
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Assignment (3000 words) (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Aims: The intention of this unit is to:
* develop students' awareness of philosophical and sociological perspectives on the concept of social justice and of the implications of rival accounts for educational policy and practice.
* develop students' awareness of the relationship of social justice to other values and principles, such as equality, opportunity, rights, freedom, social mobility and inclusion.

Learning Outcomes: In completing this unit students would be expected to:
* explain how the work of philosophers and sociologists has influenced current thinking about education and social justice;
* demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the key concepts and principles associated with education and social justice;
* recognise and develop a coherent argument in relation to education and social justice that takes account of philosophical and/or sociological theory
* have an increased awareness of current issues and problems in education;
* appreciate the value of philosophical and sociological theory in relation to educational policy and practice.

* Comprehensive and scholarly written communication (assessed essay) [T/F/A]
* Effective oral communication (seminar presentations) [F]
* Ability to select, summarise and synthesis written information from multiple sources [T/F/A]
* Ability to develop rigorous arguments through precise use of concepts and models [T/F/A]
* Ability to select and use appropriate ideas to produce a coherent response to a pre-set question [T/F/A]
* Ability to formulate a research question, then develop and present an original & coherent answer [T/F]
* Ability to produce work to agreed specifications and deadlines [F/A]
* Ability to work independently, without close supervision or guidance [F/A]

* The contributions of philosophers to thinking about social justice and educational equality. These might include: Plato (especially Republic), Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics), Locke (Essay Concerning Human Understanding), Rousseau (Emile), Kant (Critique of Practical Reason), Dewey (Democracy and Education).John Rawls, (A Theory of Justice) Amartya Sen (The Idea of Justice) and Martha Nussbaum (Creating Capabilities).
* The role of sociological theory and research in conceptualising and explaining inequalities in educational provision and attainment..
* Philosophical and sociological underpinnings of current international educational policies and practices, including compulsory schooling, the role of the state, school choice, multiculturalism and student diversity,
* Characteristics of philosophical and sociological argument and debate.
* The complementary roles that philosophy and sociology can play in thinking about educational policy and practice.

Programme availability:

ED10350 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Education
  • UHED-AFB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology (Year 1)
  • UHED-AKB12 : BA(Hons) Education with Psychology with Professional Placement (Year 1)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2021/22 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2022/23 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2021/22.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.