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2022/23 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SLSP5355M Inequalities: Exploring causes, Consequences and Interventions

30 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Dr Kahryn Hughes

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module bridges disciplinary divides to provide a detailed understanding of the ways in which social inequality operates across diverse communities and contexts at the national and international level. It offers insight into the character, causes and consequences of social inequality, as well as forms of resistance and policy responses to it.


This module offers an inter-disciplinary, intersectional and international comparative perspective on inequalities and its problematics. It does so in order to go beyond causes to look at the consequences of inequalities and what possible interventions might be appropriate.

Learning outcomes
On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

- demonstrate an understanding of and critical engagement with the key theoretical and critical debates within social sciences on inequality
- analyse and critically evaluate different theories, definitions and forms of inequalities
- critically relate theories of inequality to social analysis
- critically engage with the main methodologies of social science appropriate to the study of inequalities
-critically evaluate the strengths and limitations of different conceptual frameworks
- demonstrate a mastery of the key texts from the field of the social science concerned with inequalities


This is the core module of the Msc Inequalities and Social Sciences. This module introduces students to contemporary, international research on inequalities at the national and global level. Emphasising a diversity of theoretical and research design strategies, students will draw upon international evidence and data to critically examine and situate inequality within its broadest historical and contemporary context.

Students will explore the character, causes and consequences of inequalities and social difference in a variety of settings and fields. Students will be encouraged to examine the relationship between vertical and horizontal inequality and its implications for a range of social phenomena including social mobility, discrimination, social (dis) advantage and (re-) redistributive justice. Throughout the module, teaching will be clustered around the following indicative themes and topics:
- The relationship between poverty and inequality
- Intersectional and comparative approaches to studying inequality
- The raced, gendered and classed nature of vertical inequality
- Social and economic stratification across the life course
- Key theories of inequality and social difference
- Collective and institutional responses to inequality, precarity and social (dis) advantage
- Global perspectives and measures to tackle income and wealth inequality

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning1111.0011.00
Private study hours275.00
Total Contact hours25.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)300.00

Private study

120 hours preparation for assessment
155 hours preparation for seminars and learning units

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored during lectures / tutorials and open door sessions, when students will be encouraged to demonstrate their knowledge, understanding and levels of criticality in relation to the conceptual and empirical content of the module.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1 x 4,000 word essay100.00
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: 16/09/2022


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