Education Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Anne West OLD.2.30


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics, BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics, BSc in Social Policy and Sociology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit. This course is available with permission to General Course students.

Course content

This course provides an introduction to the main issues in educational policy. It draws on interdisciplinary research literature and has a comparative and international focus. The course aims to show how major concepts used in social policy can be applied to the study of education, for example, equality of opportunity, equity and the distribution of resources. 

Issues to be addressed include: policy goals of education; historical development of education and the role of the state in provision and funding; the impact of social characteristics on educational outcomes (class, gender, ethnicity and ‘race); education of children with special educational needs and disabilities; financing education; private schooling; privatisation and the changing role of the state; early years education; school-based education; post-compulsory education including higher education; education systems in comparative perspective and education regimes, decentralisation and devolution. Not all of these issues are covered as separate weekly topics.



Courses in Social Policy follow the Teaching Model outlined on the following page: https://www.lse.ac.uk/social-policy/Current-Students/teaching-in-the-department-of-social-policy


All teaching will be in accordance with the LSE Academic Code (https://info.lse.ac.uk/current-students/lse-academic-code) which specifies a "minimum of two hours taught contact time per week when the course is running in the Michaelmas and/or Lent terms". Social Policy courses are predominantly taught through a combination of in-person Lectures and In person classes/seminars. Further information will be provided by the Course Convenor in the first lecture of the course.


This course is taught in both MT and LT.


Formative coursework

There will be three pieces of formative work for students to complete:

One formative essay in MT

One formative essay in LT

One mock online assessment essay in LT.

Indicative reading

Some introductory texts are recommended:

Arthur, J., Peterson, A. (eds) (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.

Specialist reading lists for each topic will be provided.


Online assessment (100%) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 26.8
2:1 69
2:2 2.8
Third 0
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: 33

Average class size 2021/22: 8

Capped 2021/22: Yes (30)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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