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POL2090 : Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion: Social Issues in Contemporary Political Philosophy

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Johannes Kniess
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce students to prominent schools of thought and representative thinkers in contemporary political philosophy.

To provide students with a thorough knowledge of a range of arguments drawn from this literature on important political issues around equality, diversity, and inclusion.

To advance the ability of students to analyse and assess complex normative arguments.

To help students improve their skills in developing sustained, logically coherent, and persuasive written arguments.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module explores questions about how the social and political world ought to operate, with a particular focus on equality, diversity, and inclusion. It considers questions such as: Ought we to restrict hate speech? Should we use affirmative action policies? Should we have a basic income? What kind of leave should be offered to parents? Should minority groups be granted exemptions from the law when it conflicts with their cultural or religious beliefs? The module examines such questions by considering prominent literature in normative political philosophy and exploring how to employ the tools of political philosophy to evaluate the merits of conflicting viewpoints with the aim of developing arguments about what a defensible account of justice requires.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00PiP Lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching101:0010:00PiP Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery13:003:00PiP assessment surgery
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Module readings and assessment preparation
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The function of lectures is to provide students with an overview of topics, introduce them to the main thinkers studied on the module, and elaborate on these matters in response to questions.

Small group teaching provides students with the opportunity to discuss and debate the issues with their peers, to deepen their knowledge through exchange of ideas about set readings, and to further understanding by raising questions.

A scheduled week on assessment planning (including a lecture and small group teaching) and an end-of-module assessment surgery will support students deploying what they have learned in their assignments and to ask any questions about how to do so.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M501800 words
Essay1M501800 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The essay assessments provides students the space to research into relevant literature in political philosophy, demonstrate their knowledge of theories and perspectives in this field, and employ its methods to reason about the plausibility of moral arguments, and construct a sustained position on an important topic in equality, diversity, and inclusion. The module involves two essays to allow students the opportunity to demonstrate knowledge across a breadth of topics.

There is an assessment planning week scheduled into the syllabus where students can receive formative feedback on plans for their first essay, and the feedback from the first essay alongside the final week revision and assessment surgery provide opportunities to develop the second essay.

Reading Lists