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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: Educational Politics and Policy (SCPL10005)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course considers the purposes of education, the social distribution of education, and the consequences of education for individuals and for society. It asks what policy can do to modify or sustain existing purposes, distributions and effects, and the controversies which result as part of the debates around policy. It considers how the answers to these questions have changed over time, and have varied across countries
Course description Education has gone through several enormous transformations in the last half century, in common with public services more generally. This course investigates key trends in education policy in the UK and globally in the 20th and early 21st century, the political debates which have accompanied them and the impact educational policy has had on individuals and society. We will engage with perennial questions in education policy debates from philosophical, empirical and practical-political perspectives: the interplay between education, the economy and democracy; the relationship between educational opportunity, social diversity and inequality; the role of the state, the market and the individual within new forms of educational governance; and the future of national education policy within an increasingly international policy field.
Lecture topics
Introduction: what is education for?
Education, skills and the economy
Education and equality philosophical perspectives
Equality, opportunity and social mobility sociological perspectives
Selective vs. comprehensive schooling
Culture, knowledge and the curriculum
School Vouchers
Choice, diversity and competition
The role of the OECD in education policy
The future of national education policy

Student Learning: each of the topics is dealt with through a lecture and a seminar discussion.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  30
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 10, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 176 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) There are two components to the assessment:
(1) 1,000-word policy brief (worth 25% of final marks), due by about the middle of the semester. The policy brief should be based on one of several research reports which will be provided to you by the end of the second week of the semester.
(2) 3,000-word essay (worth 75% of final marks), due by about three weeks after the end of the semester. The essay topics will be provided to you by the end of the sixth week of the semester.

Feedback Feedback is provided on the first item of assessment noted below, well before the deadline for the second assessment. The main form of feedback is through the discussion that takes place at the seminars noted in Student Learning.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. show some capacity to be able to critically evaluate the nature of education as a social institution.
  2. show some capacity to analyse objectively the deeply controversial issues that debate about educational policy provokes.
  3. show some capacity to to critically assess the importance of power in the governance of and practice of education.
  4. seek systematically to understand the relationship between education and social diversity.
  5. begin to conceptualise the relationship between education and democracy.
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Class will take place on Thursdays from 11-1 in Semester 2
KeywordsEducation Policy,UK,Devolution,Europe
Course organiserMs Anna Pultar
Tel: (0131 6)51 1478
Course secretaryMr Euan Morse
Tel: 0131 (6)51 1137
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