SP413      Half Unit
Understanding Social (Dis)advantage

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr. Amanda Sheely OLD 2.52


This course is available on the MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Inequalities and Social Science, 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), MSc in International Social and Public Policy (Research) and MSc in Social Research Methods. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

All Social Policy Courses are ‘Controlled Access’. Please see the link below for further details on the allocation process.


Amongst non Social Policy students, priority for places is given to students on the MSc Inequalities and Social Science.

Course content

This course addresses the emergence, maintenance and dynamics of social advantage and disadvantage in different areas of life across different social groups. It explores inequalities in income, poverty & wealth, labour market position, family resources, education, crime, and life chances, with reference to social groups defined according to their gender, ethnicity, as well as citizenship and migration status, disability. It pays specific attention to intersectional, cumulative and relational processes in the reproduction of inequalities. 


10 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

Students will be required to undertake a formative essay.

Indicative reading

The core text for the course is:

H Dean & L Platt (eds) 2016.Social Advantage and Disadvantage. Oxford University Press.

Other indicative background reading:

Milanovic, B. 2016. Global Inequality, The Belknap Press.

McCall, L. (2005). ‘The Complexity of Intersectionality’. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 30(3): 1771–800. 

Atkinson, A.B. (2015). Inequality: What can be done? Harvard University Press.

Faist, T. (2016) 'Cross-Border Migration and Social Inequalities'. Annual Review of Sociology, 42: 323-346.

Payne, G. (ed.) 2013. Social Divisions. Third Edition. Palgrave Macmilla.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the summer exam period.

No changes proposed.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2018/19: Unavailable

Average class size 2018/19: Unavailable

Controlled access 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

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