About the Course
- Available Study Modes
Few people would deny that the social world is changing: that migration has become such an issue in Europe is evidence of that. Many of us realize that change is an opportunity and welcome it, but many of us also fear it, too.
A larger than ever proportion of our communities are older, obviously disabled, practitioners of different religions, speakers of different languages, and inventors of new identities, including redefining gender difference as well as being to our country.
Responding to these changes is a challenge for localities, for government, for organizations, and for schools and universities. Our course covers all of these challenges but only after we consider the greatest challenge—to ourselves. As much as we delight in change, we also fear it, and oppose it. Too much diversity in our personal world can lead to loss, anger, resentment, and disgust. It can make us want to stick together and attack the other who, we think, makes us have these negative feelings.
This course focusses on these psychological and sociocultural processes of ‘othering’ and how they translate into unconscious bias. We consider in- and out-groups, people who can bridge them, and people who cannot. We study extremism, hate-groups, as well as more ordinary avoidance of anyone who is too different for comfort.
The course will be relevant to anyone working with diversity who wants to take their understanding to a new level; to health care workers who want to understand and grapple with the roots of stigma, and to therapists, psychologists, and social scientists looking for a theoretical framework for social or individual change.
Programme of Study
Modules are self-contained in that they can be taken in any order during your programme (dependent on the term in which you begin the programme).
Social, Cultural and Ethical Issues
This module will enable students to be able to make appropriate decisions about consent, confidentiality, discrimination, exploitation, fairness, duty of care, and other ethical and moral quandaries in professional practice.
Working with Disability and Aging
Successful completion of this module will lead to a reduction of discriminatory opinions and practices towards people with disability or people who are older; an enhanced ability to change the discriminatory opinions and attitudes of others; an enhanced ability to collaborate with people with disability or people of an older age; and the ability to train others to provide a more enabling environment, including making reasonable adjustments for disability or age-related limitations.
Working with Ethnic, Racial, Religious, and Other Cultural Differences
Race and ethnicity are some of the most refractory sources of discrimination and inequality having their origins in ancient justifications for slavery, enlightenment justifications for colonialism, and more modern pseudo-biology fuelled by the eugenics movement. Implausible racial differences have justified wars, genocide, hatred, atrocities, persecution, and oppression, not to say structural inequalities. The aim of the module will be to undermine these categorizations in order to replace them with more complex ones that enable the student, of whatever ethnicity or culture, to face up to their own racist presumptions. In the process, the student will learn more about the religious, pseudo-scientific, and cultural resistance to accepting the facts about ethnicity, race, religion, and culture, ensuring that on qualification, the student may effectively train others in overcoming discriminatory practices towards people who are from diverse ethnicities or religious backgrounds.
Working with Gender, Sexuality, and Other Differences in Identities
Sexuality and gender are often over-simplified by the heteronormative, cis-gender majority. Students taking this module are likely to be disproportionately from a Europeanized culture, sharing the even more inflexible gender categories that developed during and after the 20th Century. The aim of the module will be to undermine these categorizations in order to replace them with more complex ones that enable the student to relate to the growing number of people who reject one or more of them. In the process, the student will learn more about the religious, pseudo-scientific, and cultural resistance to accepting the fluidity of sexuality and of gender, ensuring that on qualification, the student may effectively train others in overcoming discriminatory practices towards people whose sexual or gender preference is not their own.
Overview of Research Methods
This module will provide an understanding of the contribution of research to the growth of knowledge and the effectiveness of practice. It will give the student a grounding in research approaches, with particular attention to the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative and quantitative approaches.
Philosophical Worldviews, Religion & Belief Systems
This module will introduce the students to philosophical worldviews, religious practices, and belief systems that are relevant to their work. Students will be introduced to the way in which philosophical issues can be looked at from many different perspectives.
Ethical Dilemmas and Ethical Practice
This module will cover both philosophical and practical aspects of ethical practice, and teach students how to deal with the various ethical dilemmas that might be encountered in their professions. On a philosophical level, students will refresh their knowledge about different approaches to ethics (e.g. utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) that have been taught in the social, culture and ethics module and will explore these using thought experiments to evaluate their own philosophical position and understand their ethical boundaries.
Legal, Ethical and Political Framework
This module will provide students with the legal and ethical awareness and knowledge to implement legislation and good practice to minimize discrimination and promote equality. The module will introduce values and legal principles from outside the UK, but it will focus on the laws of England, Wales, and Scotland.
Year of course
Modules to be completed in year
Fee payable per year
(if no modules have to be repeated)
4 modules over 3 terms
4 modules over 3 terms
*NB You should also expect to pay for books.
- An undergraduate degree in any subject (equivalent experience may be acceptable)
- Fluent English
- Personal suitability to be determined at interview
- Reliable internet connection
How You Study
The course is delivered wholly online. Modules are undertaken using a learning platform called Moodle. The theory modules are asynchronous, so can easy to fit around a busy life, or caring commitments and is accessible worldwide. Students work through weekly materials online, posting and discussing in the forum with the group and tutor. A weekly quiz ensures that you are absorbing the materials.
Students will have a weekly online chat with tutors and other students, at a time and day decided between group members.
Students may take up to 4 years to complete should they need extra time.