SA4B9      Half Unit
Education Policy, Reform and Financing

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sonia Exley OLD 2.64


This course is available on the MSc in International Social and Public Policy, MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Development), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Migration), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Non-Governmental Organisations) and MSc in Social Policy (Research). This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course considers education policy, reform and financing across a range of countries. It uses concepts and tools from a number of academic disciplines – social policy, sociology, economics, politics and philosophy – to scrutinise education. Throughout the course, there is particular focus on equity, social justice and the distribution of resources.

Issues to be addressed include: the impact of social characteristics on educational outcomes (class, gender and race and ethnicity, with a cross-cutting focus on special educational needs and ideas of ‘inclusion’) and related policy reforms; accountability and market-oriented reforms in education; privatisation and the changing role of the state; power and the politics of educational policy making; global policy transfer in education; early years education; school-based education and post-compulsory education. Not all of these issues are covered as separate weekly topics.



15 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 3 hours of seminars in the ST.

Formative coursework

One formative essay in LT.

Indicative reading

Specialist lists for each topic will be provided. The following introductory books are recommended:

  • Arthur, J., Peterson, A. (2011) The Routledge Companion to Education. London: Routledge;
  • Lauder, H., Brown, P., Dillabough, J., Halsey, A.H. (eds) (2006) Education, Globalization and Social Change. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Rizvi, F., Lingard, B. (2009) Globalizing Education Policy. London: Routledge.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the ST.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2017/18: 16

Average class size 2017/18: 16

Controlled access 2017/18: Yes

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication

Course survey results

(2014/15 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 79%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


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