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Social Justice (Level 5)


  • Credit value: 30 credits at Level 5
  • Assessment: a policy brief (50%) and essay (50%)

Module description

The module introduces you to selected dilemmas regarding social justice and to the ethical, political and policy context in which they feature.

You will be introduced to theories regarding justice in society and to a number of dilemmas in social and public policy that depend for their resolution on taking a certain stance on social justice. The module is distinctive in attempting to give both a thorough introduction to the theoretical domain and to approaches in social and public policy to resolving key dilemmas in the area.

In the first half of the course, you will consider a number of the most prominent theories regarding the nature of social justice in political and ethical thought and will discuss the nature of equality.

In the second half of the course, different social and political issues (eg fair pay, access to education, welfare, health and punishment) will be discussed in depth and you will consider the various options open to policy-makers in the light of the theoretical positions sketched in the first half of the course.

Taking this module will help those in both community development and public sector-settings to engage in debates regarding fairness, equality and justice in society. You will also be able to explore issues that confront you in your own community against the background of shifting thinking about the nature of justice in the wider world.

The module will be taught in either Central London or Stratford.

Learning objectives

By the end of this module, you will have:

  • analysed choices in social and public policy by way of reference to considerations of social justice
  • developed your ability to make cogent arguments regarding what social justice demands
  • applied your understanding of social justice to other topics of study on your programme and to real decision-making in social and public policy.