MA Equality and Diversity in Society

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The MA in Equality and Diversity in Society is an exciting development in response to The Equality Act 2010 and global concerns regarding equality. Awareness of equality and diversity is now seen as an integral requirement of many organisations, as well as an aspiration for society as a whole.

Key Facts

Institution Code: T80
Course Length:
Minimum two years, maximum five years

Location:
Carmarthen
School/Faculty:
School of Social Justice and Inclusion
Contact Name:
Dr Caroline Lohmann-Hancock
Contact Email:
C.lohmann-hancock@uwtsd.ac.uk
Language Choice
English   Welsh

Postgraduate Funding



There is recognition that the underlying body of knowledge and theories surrounding equality and diversity, which are directly linked to social policy, sociology and social and cultural theory, are essential in developing informed professionals. This Master's Programme will extend professional knowledge and understanding and aims to develop reflective/reflexive practitioners through an integrated set of compulsory modules. This programme will give a sound understanding of equality and diversity and its implications for society, organisations, communities, families, individuals and policy-makers.

The Master's in Equality and Diversity in Society is grounded in the quest to ‘provide an understanding of the long-term and underlying causes of disadvantage that need to be addressed by public policy’ (Equalities Review, 2007: 13).  To this end, the principle of equality and inclusion is embedded within and throughout the programme. The programme recognises that philosophers, economists, and political and social theorists debate the concepts of equality and diversity from a range of different perspectives; allowing the student to explore competing interpretations of what ‘equality’ and ‘diversity’ might mean in our society. Through engaging with ‘the intellectual traditions and perspectives of the social science, students will be encouraged to explore social processes and the links between theory, policy and practice.  It allows students to debate societal issues, and promote engagement with ‘new ideas …. relating to issues such as the impact of globalisation on … social justice, sustainable development, social inclusion..’

Part I comprises four taught modules which can be access through weekend taught sessions or through an online virtual learning environment or through a blended learning approach.

Part II is the dissertation component where the student will explore an aspect of equality and diversity through either an extended literature review or primary research (15,000 words).

Programme Structure

Part 1

  • SJEQ7001 - Researching and Reflecting upon Equality, Diversity and Inclusion 
  • SJEQ7002 - The Personal and the Political: Influences on Policy, Affecting Individuals and Groups in the UK today
  • SJEQ7003 - Equality and Diversity: Power and Social (Re)production of Inequality
  • SJEQ7004 - Sustainable Communities: Equality in Action
  • SJEQ7008 - Equality, Gender and Sexual Diversity

Part 2

  • SJEQ7007 - Dissertation: Equality and Diversity in Society

PART I: Taught Modules

SJEQ7001: Researching and Reflecting upon Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This module gives students the skills to critically evaluate academic texts and research and also to plan their own research projects. By focusing on the concepts in qualitative research and how they differ from concepts of quantitative research the student will be able to develop their own research projects and interrogate academic papers in the field of Equality and Diversity. Through exploring the data collection methods within the social sciences students will be able to explore some of the practical, theoretical and ethical issues which surround research in this field of study.

SJEQ7002: The Personal and the Political: Influences on Policy, Affecting Individuals and Groups in the UK today

An exploration of the inclusion agenda, particularly with regard to the Declaration of Human Rights and the Rights of the Child, alongside current legislation and policy in the Wales, UK and beyond. When exploring rights and responsibilities it is essential to understand the drivers of social policy and how key theorists explore a range of contested concepts within this field; from this foundation follows an exploration of how this translates into the work of practitioners within a multidisciplinary field with regard to the barriers and challenges in practice. Ethical considerations are explored in all aspects of this module.

SJEQ7003: Equality and Diversity: Power and Social (Re)production of Inequality

An exploration of the main sociological perspectives and theories which impact upon equality and inclusion will allow students to develop a firm foundation for their dissertation and allows for a critical analysis of current policy and practice. An understanding of how inequality is socially (re)produced throughout society will give students an awareness of the complexity and competing forces within this field of study. This module will make reference to how individual, societal and political attitudes and values influence equality and diversity in practice. Ultimately an understanding of such concepts allows the student to consider the impact of power and control upon the delivery of a ‘fair society’.

SJEQ7004: Sustainable Communities: Equality in Action

It is essential that interventions developed within the framework of equality and inclusion are sustainable and fit for purpose. To this end this module is innovative and forward-looking as current thinking on reflective practice is at the forefront of ‘best practice’ within social contexts. There will be an evaluation of the role of the reflective practitioner in relation to the development of effective inclusive practice within a variety of contexts. The roles, principles and purpose of management for inclusion will be outlined and consideration of what constitutes community and how to develop sustainable innovations will be considered.

SJEQ7008: Equality, Gender and Sexual Diversity 

A critical analysis of the concept of identity and exploration of the relationship between self and society. With a focus on the concept of 'Human Rights.' In addition there will be an exploration of how power relationships impact upon individual, social and political attitudes which in turn influence equality and diversity in practice; there will also be an in-depth exploration of how power and control impact on diverse populations.

PART II: Dissertation

SJEQ7007: Dissertation: Equality and Diversity in Society

A 15,000-word extended research project, linked to the student’s interest and the programmes outcomes. This will comprise either a literature review or a small piece of research. There will, usually, be one-to-one supervision either face-to-face, through Skype or by telephone or online.

The public policy drive has highlighted the need for professionals who are able to understand ‘the complexities involved in social policy formation, implementation and development’ (SPA, 2007: 8).  This programme has been designed both as a natural progression for BA Social Inclusion graduates, and as preparation for students who wish to enter or are already professionals working in a diverse range of fields (for example: teaching, health and/or social care, educational settings, probation service, voluntary organisations,  youth support, community education, police services).  It also acknowledges the Welsh Assembly Government’s vision for all teachers to be qualified to Master's level.

The programme is designed to enable students to further develop the range of skills gained at initial degree level, which transfer easily to the world of work:

  • Communicating effectively
  • ICT
  • Researching, preparing and delivering presentations
  • Making effective use of visual aids
  • Working collaboratively or as part of a team
  • Working to deadlines.

Further skills within this Master's programme will include:

  • Creativity in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to develop and interpret knowledge
  • Ability to acquire and critically analyse data and information, to evaluate their relevance and validity, and to synthesise a range of information in the context of new situations
  • Conceptual understanding that enables the student to:
    • evaluate the rigour and validity of published research and assess its relevance to new situations
    • extrapolate from existing research and scholarship to identify new or revised approaches to practice.

(QAA: Master's Benchmark Statement for Business and Management, 2007: 5.1)

The programme encourages students to use critical skills in their professional practice to enable them to:

  • consistently apply their knowledge and subject-specific and wider intellectual skills
  • deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to a range of audiences
  • be proactive in recognising the need for change and have the ability to manage change
  • be adaptable, and show originality, insight, and critical and reflective abilities which can all be brought to bear upon problem situations
  • make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
  • evaluate and integrate theory and practice in a wide range of situations
  • be self-directed and able to act autonomously in planning and implementing projects at professional levels
  • take responsibility for continuing to develop their own knowledge and skills

(QAA: Master's Benchmark Statement for Business and Management, 2007: 5.2)

Evidence indicates that these are the skills that are highly valued by employers. Although it is not primarily a vocational programme, it prepares students to move in a vocational direction. Graduates are expected to secure employment or be in employment in a range of positions including:

  • Child Care Officer
  • Education Officer: Local Education Authority
  • Family Aide
  • Fostering Service Project Worker
  • Health care professional
  • Language and Numeracy Assistant
  • Learning Coach
  • Probation Officer
  • Social Worker/Social Services
  • Support Assistant for disabled people
  • Teacher
  • Voluntary youth organisation worker

The assessments within this programme aim to not only allow a student to demonstrate their academic understanding but also ‘upskill’ them through the use of assessments directly related to the needs of employers in this field, including:

  • Assignments
  • Seminar presentations
  • Reflective diaries
  • Extended essays
  • Questionnaire design
  • Case studies
  • Designing a leaflet and supporting academic paper
  • Community profile
  • Dissertation

Entry Requirements, Progression and Accreditation of Prior Learning

The School has its own Admissions Policy which adheres to the requirements of the University Admission Policy and the University’s Policy on Equality and Diversity. A robust planning system is undertaken with Support Services for those students with identified disabilities.

Traditional entry route requirement for students is normally a 2:1 or 1st class honours first degree or the vocational qualification equivalent and relevant experience. The School encourages students with a range of vocational qualifications and relevant experiences to apply.

General Requirements

  • an initial degree of the University of Wales;
  • an initial degree awarded by another approved degree awarding body;
  • a non-graduate qualification which has been deemed to be of a satisfactory standard for the purpose of admission;
  • a non-graduate may also be admitted to candidature provided that he/she has held, for a minimum of two years, a responsible position which is relevant to the scheme to be pursued.

Interview procedures

Each application is considered on its own merit, and all applicants who meet the general requirements are invited for interview. The programme ethos requires students to have, and be able to further develop, good language skills, and candidates are given the opportunity to demonstrate these skills at interview. 

International Students

The School warmly welcomes applications from international students, for whom telephone interviews may be arranged. The School is mindful that these students may have a time-bound Visa for study in the UK, and will plan accordingly wherever possible.  For all international students, collaboration with the University’s international office is an important activity.

This programme aims to develop students’ intellectual independence and critical engagement with evidence. Although it is not primarily a vocational programme, it does prepare students to move in a vocational direction. Graduates exiting from this degree will be well placed to enter a range of careers, including, for example:

  • Child Care Officer
  • Education Officer
  • Family Aide
  • Fostering Service Project Worker
  • Health care professional
  • Language and Numeracy Assistant
  • Learning Coach
  • Probation Officer
  • Social Worker/Social Services
  • Support Assistant for disabled people
  • Teacher
  • Voluntary youth organisation worker

Please contact the Programme Director for an informal discussion regarding your academic needs and the course design.