PGCert Ethnic, Racial, Religious and Other Cultural Differences

Course Description

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.

This PGCert programme focusses on the specialism of Ethnic, Racial, Religious & Cultural Difference. This programme is quality assured by Middlesex University (subject to review) and you will receive a Middlesex award on successful completion. You can view the Middlesex Research Degree Regulations here.

For further information on possible learning adaptions we can offer neurodivergent students and students with a disability or chronic health condition, contact [email protected]

Application Deadlines:

  • January Cohorts - application deadline is the 30th November
  • September Cohorts - application deadline is the 1st August

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 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. 

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.

Fees 2023-24

Year of course 

Units to be completed in year 

Fee payable per year  

(if no units have to be repeated) 

4 units over 3 terms 



(optional claim for prior learning)

Per submission 


*NB You should also expect to pay for books. 

There is a £50 non-refundable application fee for all courses, to cover administrative costs. An interview with a member of the course staff will only be arranged once this has been received.   

A registration Fee of £150 will be paid when you accept your place on the course. This is non- refundable. 

For more detailed financial terms and conditions click here.

Please note: Students on validated programmes are not eligible for Student Finance or DSA

Entry Requirements

  • An undergraduate degree in any subject (equivalent experience may be acceptable)
  • Fluent English: IELTS level 7 or above in all categories (or equivalent)
  • 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.

MIddlesex University