Theories and Politics of Social Justice (20 credits)
Social justice is a deeply contested concept and this course will explore the competing ways in which it is defined, theorised and operationalised in local, national and international contexts.
Students will be encouraged to think critically and expansively about the nature of social justice by considering its foundational claims and the historical and contemporary disputes that have shaped the development of this idea.
This course focuses on the challenges of enacting social justice ideas, principles and practices in policy-making processes.
Because scholars, activists and practitioners for social justice are particularly interested in disputes about the fair allocation of resources and the experiences of marginalised groups in public and private spaces, this course aims to introduce students to the contested processes, strategies and actors involved in social policy making and implementation at the local, national and international levels.
In addition, this course will offer a range of frameworks and strategies for shaping and influencing the policy process in different contexts.
Because of the contested natures of both ‘social justice’ and ‘community’, grassroots activists and practitioners face significant dilemmas in the application of social justice principles to real world contexts.
This course aims to introduce students to some of the key theoretical frameworks, models and methods for applying social justice ideas and principles to activism and practice in community-based settings around the globe.
Through this course, students will have the opportunity to consider and critique the viability, sustainability and ethics of particular approaches to community action.
Activist Social Research (20 credits)
Activist social research combines political commitments to addressing social problems with rigorous research about those problems.
This course aims to provide students with the knowledge and skills to plan, design and execute a programme of activist research for real world application and the dissertation or applied research project elements of the MSc in Social Justice and Community Action.
Drawing on radical social theories such as critical theory, feminism, anti-racism and post-structuralism, this course will also introduce students to some of the ethical and practical challenges of doing high quality research for social change.
The course will enable students to formulate a research question; outline a project plan; understand methods for qualitative data collection and analysis; and develop strategies for communicating and disseminating research findings to appropriate audiences.
This course provides students with an introduction to the theories and practices of management and of organisations and a critical exploration of notions of ‘organisational justice’.
Through this course, students will have the opportunity to examine how the management of local, national and international organisations, in terms of strategy, goal-setting, human resources and financial planning, can be a viable site for applying social justice principles.
Learning for Democracy (20 credits)
This course starts from the premise that democracy is as much a social and cultural process as a set of political institutions.
A primary focus for this course will be the changing relations between the state, economy and civil society, particularly in the context of globalisation. Learning for democracy implies an active role for education in resourcing and supporting marginalised and powerless groups to pursue their democratic interests. This approach will allow us to reflect critically on discourses of citizenship and education emerging from different contexts and actors.