The MA in Equality and Diversity in Society is an exciting development in response to The Equality Act 2010 and global concerns regarding equality. Awareness of equality and diversity is now seen as an integral requirement of many organisations, as well as an aspiration for society as a whole.
There is recognition that the underlying body of knowledge and theories surrounding equality and diversity, which are directly linked to social policy, sociology and social and cultural theory, are essential in developing informed professionals. This Master's Programme will extend professional knowledge and understanding and aims to develop reflective/reflexive practitioners through an integrated set of compulsory modules. This programme will give a sound understanding of equality and diversity and its implications for society, organisations, communities, families, individuals and policy-makers.
The Master's in Equality and Diversity in Society is grounded in the quest to ‘provide an understanding of the long-term and underlying causes of disadvantage that need to be addressed by public policy’ (Equalities Review, 2007: 13). To this end, the principle of equality and inclusion is embedded within and throughout the programme. The programme recognises that philosophers, economists, and political and social theorists debate the concepts of equality and diversity from a range of different perspectives; allowing the student to explore competing interpretations of what ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ might mean in our society. Through engaging with ‘the intellectual traditions and perspectives of the social science, students will be encouraged to explore social processes and the links between theory, policy and practice. It allows students to debate societal issues, and promote engagement with ‘new ideas …. relating to issues such as the impact of globalisation on … social justice, sustainable development, social inclusion..’
Part I comprises four taught modules which can be access through weekend taught sessions or through an online virtual learning environment or through a blended learning approach.
Part II is the dissertation component where the student will explore an aspect of equality and diversity through either an extended literature review or primary research (15,000 words).
SJEQ7001 - Researching and Reflecting upon Equality, Diversity and Inclusion
SJEQ7002 - The Personal and the Political: Influences on Policy, Affecting Individuals and Groups in the UK today
SJEQ7003 - Equality and Diversity: Power and Social (Re)production of Inequality
SJEQ7004 - Sustainable Communities: Equality in Action
SJEQ7008 - Equality, Gender and Sexual Diversity
SJEQ7007 - Dissertation: Equality and Diversity in Society
The public policy drive has highlighted the need for professionals who are able to understand ‘the complexities involved in social policy formation, implementation and development’ (SPA, 2007: 8). This programme has been designed both as a natural progression for BA Social Inclusion graduates, and as preparation for students who wish to enter or are already professionals working in a diverse range of fields (for example: teaching, health and/or social care, educational settings, probation service, voluntary organisations, youth support, community education, police services). It also acknowledges the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision for all teachers to be qualified to Master's level.
The programme is designed to enable students to further develop the range of skills gained at initial degree level, which transfer easily to the world of work:
-Researching, preparing and delivering presentations
-Making effective use of visual aids
-Working collaboratively or as part of a team
-Working to deadlines.
Further skills within this Master's programme will include:
-Creativity in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to develop and interpret knowledge
-Ability to acquire and critically analyse data and information, to evaluate their relevance and validity, and to synthesise a range of information in the context of new situations
-Conceptual understanding that enables the student to: evaluate the rigour and validity of published research and assess its relevance to new situations; extrapolate from existing research and scholarship to identify new or revised approaches to practice
(QAA: Master's Benchmark Statement for Business and Management, 2007: 5.1)
The programme encourages students to use critical skills in their professional practice to enable them to:
-Consistently apply their knowledge and subject-specific and wider intellectual skills
-Deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and -Communicate their conclusions clearly to a range of audiences
-Be proactive in recognising the need for change and have the ability to manage change
-Be adaptable, and show originality, insight, and critical and reflective abilities which can all be brought to bear upon problem situations
-Make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
-Evaluate and integrate theory and practice in a wide range of situations
-Be self-directed and able to act autonomously in planning and implementing projects at professional levels
-Take responsibility for continuing to develop their own knowledge and skills
(QAA: Master's Benchmark Statement for Business and Management, 2007: 5.2)
Evidence indicates that these are the skills that are highly valued by employers. Although it is not primarily a vocational programme, it prepares students to move in a vocational direction. Graduates are expected to secure employment or be in employment in a range of positions including:
-Child Care Officer
-Education Officer: Local Education Authority
-Fostering Service Project Worker
-Health care professional
-Language and Numeracy Assistant
-Social Worker/Social Services
-Support Assistant for disabled people
-Voluntary youth organisation worker
The assessments within this programme aim to not only allow a student to demonstrate their academic understanding but also ‘upskill’ them through the use of assessments directly related to the needs of employers in this field, including:
-Designing a leaflet and supporting academic paper