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Justice, Equality, and Difference - POL00068I

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  • Department: Politics
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Gabriele Badano
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This module investigates from a variety of perspectives what a just society looks like. Throughout the module we will use concrete political issues as lenses through which to approach this general question.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

Debates about what a society should look like to be just have formed the core of normative political theory for the past 50 years. The module will start by engaging with the seminal work of John Rawls on socio-economic justice. The rest of the semester will broaden our focus by discussing what justice requires in relation to topics including gender, race, disability, multiculturalism, and global inequalities. In the process, we will critically analyse other prominent theorists who engage with each other and the work of Rawls, including Robert Nozick, Iris Young, and David Miller. Moreover, we will approach many of these theoretical discussions by starting with a real-world political issue and the concrete dilemmas that it poses.

Module learning outcomes

  • Develop a critical and detailed understanding of theoretical debates around justice (PLO1, 2);

  • Demonstrate an ability to advance and respond to arguments in political theory (PLO2);

  • Apply theoretical analysis to concrete political debates (PLO2);

  • Consider difficult political issues from different perspectives and assess their wider social implications (PLO2, 6);

  • Communicate arguments and detailed ideas following academic conventions (PLO5)


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will receive written timely feedback on their formative assessment. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s feedback and guidance hours.

Students will receive written feedback on their summative assessment no later than 25 working days; and the module tutor will hold a specific session to discuss feedback, which students can also opt to attend. They will also have the opportunity to discuss their feedback during the module tutor’s regular feedback and guidance hours.

Indicative reading

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1971/revised edition 1999).

Andrew Walton, William Abel, Elizabeth Kahn, and Tom Parr, Introducing Political Philosophy: A Policy-Driven Approach (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2021).

Iris Young, Responsibility for Justice (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2011).

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.