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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Education

EDUC2351: Higher Education: Issues of Exclusion and Inclusion

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To explore the relationship between higher education, inequality and society
  • To enable students to appreciate critically the issues and debates with regards to widening participation in higher education (UK context)


  • The course will centre on a number of key issues, such as:
  • Historical context of higher education
  • Purpose and value of higher education
  • Higher education and social access: social class, gender, ethnicity, disability
  • Policy and widening participation in higher education
  • Media and widening participation in higher education
  • Theoretical perspectives to inclusion and exclusion

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of historical and value contexts of higher education
  • Knowledge and understanding of different views on the way in which social class, gender, ethnicity and disability have been seen as (both historically and currently) impacting upon patterns of participation in HE.
  • Knowledge and understanding of a range of theories that seek to explain why certain groups in society have not only been traditionally excluded from HE, but have differential experiences of the system.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • an ability to discuss such questions as, what is the meaning of higher education? Who goes to university? To what extent is higher education a vehicle for social change?
  • an ability reflect on their own value systems and development;
  • an ability to question concepts and theories encountered in their studies of education;
  • an ability to utilise a range of relevant primary and secondary sources, including research-based, media and policy texts, in order to understand the issues of widening participation in higher education.
Key Skills:
  • an ability to think critically and independently;
  • an ability to acquire complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way;
  • an ability to construct and sustain a reasoned argument;
  • an ability to work as part of a group
  • an ability to communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary;
  • an ability to use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources;
  • an ability to improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning;
  • an ability to work to deadlines.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures and seminars.
  • Lectures will introduce key ideas and knowledge.
  • Seminars will provide opportunities for discussion and detailed exploration of key issues.
  • Much of the work in seminars will be student-led, using a range of structured and supported activities.
  • Students will have the opportunity to take part in, and receive feedback on, a range of activities.
  • Students will be provided with a study guide which will contain some key readings, guidance on the activities to be undertaken throughout the course and provide links to further references and sources of information.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 20 Weekly 1 hour 20
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2000 Word Essay 100% Yes
Component: Project Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2500 word project 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Students will be encouraged to submit an outline of the essay (maximum 1 side of A4) and an outline of the project report (maximum 1 side of A4) in advance to the summative assessment deadlines. Students will also receive formative feedback on their project ideas via seminar discussions and presentations.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

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