SP314      Half Unit
Ethnicity, Race and Social Policy

This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible

Prof Coretta Phillips OLD.2.28


This course is available on the BSc in International Social and Public Policy, BSc in International Social and Public Policy and Economics and BSc in International Social and Public Policy with Politics. 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.

This course is only available to 3rd Year undergraduates.

Course content

The overarching theme of the course is to examine and explain the distribution of resources, opportunities and life chances of different social groups categorised by their ethnicity and race, while also considering how individual experience is mediated through other dimensions of identity such as social class, gender, and faith/religion. The course proceeds through conceptualising core notions of race, ethnicity, racism, discrimination, before examining questions around migration, citizenship, and belonging, integration, multiculturalism, and interculturalism. It then moves to examining inequalities in key social policy domains (settlement and housing, education, employment, and criminal justice) and assesses different policy approaches to ameliorate racialised inequalities, including positive action, affirmative action, diversity approaches, cultural competence/sensitivity/intelligence, and minority-only service provision. It uses an array of case studies in lectures and in classes/readings from all regions of the world with a mix of high, middle, and low-income contexts. 


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of classes in the MT.

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to produce 1 essay in November.

Indicative reading

While there is no set text for this course, those listed below are general textbooks and edited collections which are strongly recommended for background reading, although many have a primary British focus:

  • Williams, F. (2021) Social Policy: A Critical and Intersectional Analysis. Oxford: Polity.
  • Rattansi, A. (2020) Racism: A Very Short Introduction. Second Edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Tajmazinani, A. A. (2021) Social Policy in the Islamic World. Basinsgtoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Murji, K. (2017) Racism, Policy and Politics. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Jivraj, S. amd Simpson, L. (eds) (2015) Ethnic Identity and Inequalities in Britain: the Dynmaics of Diversity. London: Policy Press.
  • Sangeeta, C., Atkin, K., Craig, G. and Flynn, R. ( (2019) Understanding 'Race' and Ethnicity: Theory, History, Policy, Practice. Second Edition. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Bhattacharyya, G, et al. (2021) Empire's Endgame: Racism and the British State. London: Pluto Press. 
  • Bulmer, M. and Solomos, J. (ed.) (1999) Racism. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Back, L. and Solomos, J. (eds.) (2022) Theories of Race and Racism: A Reader. 3rd Edition. London: Routledge.


Essay (100%, 2500 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2021/22: Unavailable

Average class size 2021/22: Unavailable

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half 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

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