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Education, Policy & Society: Past & Present - EDU00024I

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sally Hancock
  • Credit value: 30 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2017-18

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2017-18 to Summer Term 2017-18

Module aims

Students will apply critical perspectives to analyse current and real issues from the world of education policy, the historical emergence and development of learning and the place of education in broader contemporary society. Students will be exposed to the philosophical, historical, sociological, and political perspectives and arguments across a number of themes. Through this module, students will significantly develop their social scientific critical thinking and critical analysis skills as applied to education.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • develop their understanding of the policy process;
  • become familiar with different concepts of policy and methods of policy analysis;
  • be able to critical analyse the role of ideological and evidence-based policymaking in education during the post war period;
  • be familiar with instances of policy borrowing and be able to critically examine the utility and effectiveness of such an approach;
  • be able to critical analyse how and why educational reforms evolve, the use of the crisis account in framing policy, the limitations of educational policies and the role of various policy actors'.
  • recognise social influences on education, educators and learners in different settings and in different historical periods
  • be able to make links between broader trends in society and individual lives in the context of education
  • make connections between educational issues and ideas across different times and places
  • understand how historical evidence is constructed and its strengths and weaknesses

Academic and graduate skills
Students will develop their critical thinking, critical policy analysis, communication, and argumentation skills. Specifically, students will engage in policy analyses, short presentations to the whole group, class debates, informed discourse with guest speakers, tutors, and other students, and supplement their assigned readings with ones they have found. As an additional skill, students will develop their IT skills by interacting fully with the VLE (Yorkshare).


Task Length % of module mark
Critical Analysis 2000 word essay
N/A 40
University - closed examination
Education, Policy & Society: Past & Present
2.5 hours 60

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Critical Analysis 2000 word essay
N/A 40
University - closed examination
Education, Policy & Society: Past & Present
2.5 hours 60

Module feedback

Individual written feedback reports, with follow-up tutor meeting if necessary. The feedback is returned to students within 6 weeks of submission. Exam scripts are marked, annotated and available for students to consult.

Indicative reading

Ball, S. (2008). The education debate. Bristol: Policy Press.
Chitty, C. (2004). Education policy in Britain. Houndhills: Palgrave MacMillian.
Tomlinson, S. (2001). Education in a post-welfare society. Maidenhead: Open University Press.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

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