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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
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 within the UK and from a comparative perspective; 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: 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 public sector governance; and the future of national education policy within an increasingly global policy context.
Lecture topics
- What is education for?
- Education and equality of opportunity: moral and philosophical perspectives
- Education and intersectional inequalities
- Education and social mobility: international comparative perspectives
- Globalisation and education policy
- Education governance and the OECD
- Curriculum debates
- Professionals and policy making in education
- Education, democracy and populism
- Reflections: education policy during a pandemic

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
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. critically evaluate the nature of education as a social institution
  2. critically assess the importance of power in the governance of and practice of education
  3. seek systematically to understand the relationship between education and social diversity
  4. analyse the deeply controversial issues that provoke debates about educational policy by engaging with different points of view and empirical evidence
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsEducation Policy,UK,Devolution,Europe
Course organiserProf Lindsay Paterson
Tel: (0131 6)51 6380
Course secretary
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