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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP3120 Disability Rights and the International Policy Context

20 creditsClass Size: 36

Module manager: Professor Mark Priestley

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

At least 20 credits at Level 1 and 2 (40 in total) from a social science related discipline or the appropriate discovery theme.

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This guided study module allows you to study contemporary disability issues and policies in an international context, using a country case study of your own choice. Have you ever wondered how disabled people are treated in Australia, Sweden, Cambodia or Uganda? This is your chance to find out. Why have different policies emerged in different countries? What is the influence of transnational organisations like the European Union and the United Nations? You will present your case study as a final report and the content is largely up to you. You may have a particular interest in the education of disabled children or debates around euthanasia or example. You may have a personal or academic reason for choosing to focus on a particular country. You will be guided on the structure but your key themes might include demographic data; disability legislation; human rights abuses; compliance with international standards; the representation of disabled people; and specific policy issues (e.g. education, employment, welfare, bioethics, etc.).

There is a group tutorial every week but the majority of the work is done individually under the supervision of the module tutor, supported by teaching notes and a module website, including an online 'learning log' that allows you to record your progress and interact with the tutor at any time between sessions. You will learn not only about disability issues but also about valuable research skills that you can use in other areas of your course. The Centre for Disability Studies at the University of Leeds is regarded as the world leader for research and teaching in this field and the module is taught by Prof Mark Priestley.

Contact: Prof Mark Priestley ( or


On successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated:
- knowledge of disability rights and policies in relation to a (non-UK) country case study;
- a critical understanding of the international context for disability rights and policies;
- skills in independent research, using bibliographic and Internet resources;
- skills in evaluating available sources of information on disability rights and policies in an international context;
- skills in report writing, within the context of disability rights and policies.

Skills outcomes
Research and reading skills, Internet search skills, independent analytical skills, report writing skills, referencing skills.


This guided study module provides an opportunity for students to consider key aspects of disability rights and policies in an international context. Group tutorials, teaching notes and a module website provide the framework for independent study. The key themes include: national differences in demographic data; disability legislation in different countries; global human rights abuses; compliance with international standards; the representation of disabled people in international policy debates; and specific policy issues as appropriate to the chosen case study (e.g. education, employment, welfare, bioethics, etc.). The module provides students with an opportunity to explore the international policy context with reference to a (non-UK) country of their choice. This is achieved through the preparation of a guided, but largely independent, case study report.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent online learning hours10.00
Private study hours168.00
Total Contact hours22.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Independent study (both bibliographic and Internet research), planning and preparation of an analytical report on disability rights and policies in a non-UK country.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Presentation/participation in group tutorials, monitoring of online learning log, tutor approval of case study choice, individual monitoring of draft work.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportCase Study report of no more 6,000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 27/04/2016


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