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EDU1007 : Social Policy and Learning

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Anja Giudici
  • Lecturer: Dr Samantha Shields
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


This module aims to provide a detailed understanding of the education system post 1945. The Education system in Britain has seen big changes in the period since the 1970s. After a post-war period in which there had been broad cross-party consensus favouring a locally administered national education system, both Conservative, Labour and Coalition governments have introduced significant reforms which have affected how schools are managed, but perhaps most importantly the curriculum. The changes have taken place in early years, primary education, secondary education, further, higher education and in lifelong learning. The module aims to emphasise how and why particular policies were formulated (in reference to the socio-historical-cultural context) and how these policies were then implemented and the impact that this has had on learners, teachers and parents. The module also considers the impact of devolution on education policies in Britain.

Outline Of Syllabus

This Stage 1 module is introductory and does not presuppose any prior knowledge of the British Education system. Stage 1 Education students will also have the opportunity to study EDU1005 ‘History of Education’, this module focuses on Education starting in ancient times and provides a historical continuum rather than any overlap in content with ‘Social Policy and Learning’. This module provides students with an understanding of educational policies in Britain and the ways in which this has shaped experiences of learning. The module provides a socio-historical-cultural lens through which to understand education policies. The module begins with providing an understanding of the political system and how policies are formed, such as green papers and white papers. The module also explores the concepts of ‘right’ and ‘left’ and what these terms may represent in terms of how social policies may be framed. The module then highlights significant periods of policy change in education from specific governments, before moving on to specific age phases within education and how policies have changed, such as in early-years, primary, secondary, further, higher education and the lifelong learning sector. The module begins with an introduction to studying social policy. The module considers: Power, Politics and the State, The New Right 1979-1997, New Labour, The Coalition Government, The Conservative government 2010 onwards, Education policy and early years provision, Higher Education Policy and lifelong learning policies, Education Policy and Teachers, and Education Policy and Parents
The module finishes with a summary and take-home exam preparation.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1111:00111:00Including mock exam
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials111:0011:00Asynchronous online: videos, podcasts, quizzes, reflective tasks
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading114:0044:00Readings for seminar
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00Seminar teaching
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Asynchronous online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lecture series will scaffold students’ understandings of the principles and values associated with social policy and learning. Students will have the opportunity to develop a critical awareness of the historical, cultural and societal influences on the purpose and organisation of educational systems and the implications for learners through seminar discussions. The guided independent study will reinforce and extend the understanding and criticality which has been explored in lectures and seminars in relation to analysing how social policy has affected different phases of the education system.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination14402A5024-hour take-home exam - expected completion time 90 minutes.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Portfolio2A502000 words, 8x responses of 250 words.
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Written Examination2MA mock exam with formative feedback provided.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

2000 word portfolio. Each week a journal question will be set in relation to social policy and learning. Students will be required to write a 250 word response to 8 questions.

The portfolio is an appropriate way to enable students to gain a broad overview of a wide range of social policies and how they have affected learning and learners. The portfolio is an appropriate way to engage students in the reading of specific White Papers. The take-home 24h exam is an appropriate way to enable students to draw on their understandings of different aspects of educational policy and its socio-historical-cultural context.

Reading Lists