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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

OSSP5202M Realising Disability Equality Through Policy

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Claudia Coveney

Taught: 1 Jul to 31 Aug View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students are required to meet the programme entry requirements prior to studying the module.


OSSP5100MDisability and Inequality
OSSP5101MUnderstanding Disability
OSSP5102MDisability and Inclusion

Module replaces


This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module equips students with knowledge and skills to engage critically with public policy reforms in the field of disability equality. It provides them with an understanding of opportunities for policy change, and the challenges this presents. It allows students to explore the choices facing policy makers, and the strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to policy reform (such as between legislating or educating, or between targeting and mainstreaming policy interventions). They will learn about policy processes, and the factors and actors that influence them. Students will apply advanced knowledge to critically evaluate the opportunities for reform in selected case studies in relevant policy fields (including policy challenges identified by students, or relevant to their interests). They will consider the factors that shape opportunities for disability policy reform, the influence of different policy actors and the constraints on available choices and make recommendations.


This module explores the options and mechanisms for realising disability equality and the participation of disabled people through public policy reform. Building on the concepts and concerns raised in the foundational modules, students will further their critical understanding of policy challenges and different policy approaches to meeting them, locally, nationally or internationally.

The module will include a selection of case studies of different policy fields (such as environmental accessibility, employment, poverty reduction, political participation, or access to leisure) and the application of different policy approaches to them (e.g. compensation, alternative provision, non-discrimination, reasonable adjustment, market regulation and standards, policy mainstreaming versus targeting).

This module extends students’ capacity to apply theoretical ideas about equality and change to real world policy challenges, including ideas about the role of the state, the market and civil society in enabling or constraining opportunities for change. It equips them with advanced knowledge and skills to question and to intervene in real world policy debates.

Learning outcomes
Upon successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate an advanced understanding of the challenges that disability equality poses for policy makers and advocates in selected policy fields;
2. Explain, the strengths and weaknesses of different policy approaches to realising disability equality;
3. Investigate and analyse the opportunities and constraints for disability policy reform in real world contexts;
4. Critically assess the potential of different actors to influence policy change (such as state, market or civil society actors);
5. Evaluate alternative courses of action and make policy recommendations.


This module addresses the challenges and the opportunities for realising the full participation and equality of disabled people through public policy reform. It considers the different approaches taken to improve the situation of disabled people in selected areas of policy concern (such as increasing employment, improving accessibility, or reducing poverty risks). It considers the factors that shape opportunities for policy reform, and the constraints on available choices (macro, meso or micro). It considers the strengths and weaknesses of different policy approaches, and the role of different actors and networks in policy process.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
On-line Learning61.006.00
Discussion forum62.0012.00
Independent online learning hours42.00
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Independent online learning refers to non-facilitated directed learning. Students will work through bespoke interactive learning resources and reflective activities in the VLE.

Private study refers to directed reading and other activities including self-directed research in support of learning activities and discussions, as well as in preparation for and production of assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The module’s digital learning materials provide regular opportunities for students to check their understanding and gain feedback eg case studies with short answer questions and automated feedback.

The webinars and discussion forums provide opportunities for formative feedback from peers and tutors.

The development of a policy analysis report will enable student progress to be monitored and summative feedback provided.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportUDL options for submission see below*100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students prepare an analytical and evidence-based report on a disability policy topic of their choice – identifying a contemporary problem of disability rights and inclusion, assessing the context, and developing proposals for policy change to address this. *Students can select to submit this assessment as either: a/ Written report (3,000 word limit) b/ Presentation (20 minute recorded presentation or script 3,000 words, with or without PowerPoint or alternative).

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 13/10/2023


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