Accessibility statement

Communities, Participation and Creating Change - SPY00037I

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Katie Graham
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The aim of this module is to challenge and support you to critique and connect ideas of equality, citizenship and empowerment to real world contexts in respect of community organisation and action. You will gain an understanding of the role that 'community' plays in social change by examining a range of theoretical perspectives associated with power, change and participation. You will synthesise and critically evaluate research, policy and practice evidence regarding an aspect of community-based social change and put these ideas into practice.

This module aims to encourage students to critically engage with some of the key theoretical standpoints informing approaches to community action both within the UK and internationally. You will have the opportunity to consider and critique the viability, sustainability and ethics of particular community-based approaches.

This module is informed by critical pedagogy and action research approaches and you will learn by exploring issues and ideas which are important to you and the group. You will be involved in shaping the content of the module and take part in an action learning process - which uses topic(s) agreed by the group as a starting point to explore ideas of community, participation, power and social change.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, you will:

  • Be able to engage in discussions around the core concepts taught in the module; power, participation, community and social change.

  • Have developed a broad understanding of a range of community-based approaches to social change and their theoretical traditions.

  • Be able to critically evaluate of a range of specific theories and models of practice that are relevant to community-based action and different forms of advocacy

  • Use theory in combination with critical reflection to inform your interpretation of the world around you and your approach to working with others.

  • Be able to communicate convincing arguments about current social issues and approaches to working with others to challenge the status quo.

  • Be able to use a range of video editing software to create short films to communicate information in a clear, accessible and engaging way.

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Critical reflection
N/A 60
Documentary film
N/A 40

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Critical reflection
N/A 60
N/A 40

Module feedback

Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.

Indicative reading

  • Chevalier, J. M., Buckles, D. (2013). Participatory action research [electronic resource] : theory and methods for engaged inquiry / Jacques M. Chevalier and Daniel J. Buckles. London ; New York: Routledge.

  • Gilchrist, A. (2009/2019) The well-connected community: A networking approach to community development, Policy Press.

  • McGee, R., & Pettit, J. (Eds.). (2019). Power, Empowerment and Social Change (1st ed.). Routledge.

  • VeneKlasen, L. & Miller, V. (2007) A new weave of power, people and politics : the action guide for advocacy and citizen participation. Practical Action Pub: Bourton-on-Dunsmore.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores 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. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.