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  • Human Rights and Social Justice BA (Hons)

Human Rights and Social Justice BA (Hons)

Why choose this course?

What are human rights? Why have human rights changed in history? Can justice be different between cultures?

On this course you will explore global human rights issues and examine how they can be enforced and defended. The curriculum is organised into three broad streams: the history of human rights, understanding human rights, and achieving human rights.

With an emphasis on active citizenship embedded into our programme we will encourage you to make a contribution to political life in your communities and to become an active participant in a democratic society. You will participate in annual events such as our Human Rights Festival and have access to our Centre for Human Rights Practice, where you can engage with current issues as a researcher, activist, campaigner and blogger, under the supervision of human rights and social justice specialists at the centre.

Attendance UCAS code Year of entry
3 years full time LL29 2020
4 years full time including sandwich year LL92 2020
4 years full time including foundation year L2L9 2020
6 years part time Apply direct to the University 2020
Location Penrhyn Road

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • You'll be able to study a combination of politics, human rights and social justice to suit your own areas of interest.
  • You'll be able to take part in extra-curricular projects, for example in the Centre for Human Rights and Social Justice Practice at Kingston University.
  • You'll engage with current issues as a researcher, activist and campaigner all with the support of human rights and social justice specialists.

What you will study

The course has flexible modules so you can study a combination of politics, criminology, sociology and economics to suit your own areas of interest.

Year 1

Year 2

Optional year

Sandwich year

Final year

In Year 1, you will study conceptions of human rights across historical and modern contexts, such as the abolition of slavery, the position of women, and the War on Terror. You will assess the practice of human rights organisations, and begin to evaluate tactics for the achievement of human rights.

Core modules

Introduction to Human Rights

30 credits

This module is core for students doing Politics or International Relations full fields and Human Rights as a half-field (either internal or external). It can be taken as an option by some students in related fields who are interested in learning about human rights. The module outlines the central themes in the history and evolution of human rights and introduces students to theoretical debates within the field. Through case studies of particular forms of human rights violations, it evaluates the political and legal structures in place to address these violations and assesses the degrees of success human rights actors have with enforcement. Over the spectrum of international, regional and local institutions and mechanisms, this module explores a range of organisations working within the field of human rights and looks at how they operate. This module embeds employability skills relevant to the field of human rights by providing students with the opportunity to apply their conceptual knowledge to practical situations designed to simulate working for human rights organisations. As an introduction to the subject, this module looks at the relationship between theory and practice within the field of human rights, and uncovers the challenges faced in defending, protecting and promoting human rights in the 21st century.

Introduction to International Relations

30 credits

This module provides students with an introduction to foundational concepts in the study of international relations and significant issues in contemporary international politics through which these concepts can be understood and interpreted.  The module is designed to help students to reconcile the more abstract concepts that frame the academic study of international relations, with the empirical issues they may more familiar with from news media and their day-to-day engagement with international politics.  The module is designed to provide a foundation for the study of international relations theory at Level 5 and to help students develop skills in academic writing, researching and writing a report for a non-specialist audience.

Another World is Possible: Order and Revolution in Political Ideology

30 credits

This module for first year undergraduates in the Department of Politics is designed to support them in adjusting to higher education studies. It contains four main components which are meant to work together towards this goal:

1. Study and research skills section;

2. Substantive section on political ideologies and revolution;

3. Personal tutorship scheme;

4. Academic peer mentor scheme.

Social Justice: Study, Self-actualization, Solidarity

30 credits

This module is core for all students following the BA in Human Rights and Social Justice pathway. Offering tools for critical thinking through both shared practice and discussion of our experience, we practice skills developed both in the academy and through the experience of movements for justice to combine a respect for difference and practical wisdom with creative and critical reflection. Focusing upon problems of social justice from the local to the global, as well as the social movements that articulate and challenge these issues, the module is designed to introduce students to the idea that another world is possible only if another knowledge is possible, believing that there can be no global social justice without global cognitive justice; in other words, justice for whom? Who decides?  With particular focus upon structural drivers of inequalities around race, gender and class, but also interrogating other forms of oppression, through study, we move towards self-actualization and then solidarity as we come together as a learning community.

In Year 2, your choice of topics is flexible. You will consider the concepts of freedom, development and equality, and analyse human rights enforcement. You will apply your knowledge to a range of social, political and economic contexts, such as the Holocaust, Africa, the Middle East or Latin America. 

Core modules

Securing Human Rights: Contemporary Themes and Issues

30 credits

This module is a core requirement for students taking Human Rights at level 5, and can also be taken as an option by students in related fields. The module introduces the contested and evolving relationships between the theory and practice of securing human rights.

It starts with an overview of key frameworks and mechanisms designed to secure rights at the international, regional and domestic levels.  A central feature of the module is to introduce key critical themes, from which issues can be dissected and analysed through a range of contemporary and international case-studies.

Themes may include:

  • Human Rights, Security and Forced Migration', which analyses the way in which the issue of forced migration brings together a variety of legal, political and security debates.
  • The Politics of Human Rights in Development', which examines the recent convergence of the fields of human rights and development (inclusive of ‘the right to development' and the proliferation of ‘rights-based approaches to development').
  • Rights in the aftermath? Truth, Justice and Reconciliation', which examines the globalization of transitional justice discourses and the propagation of different mechanisms (ranging from International Criminal Tribunals, to national truth commissions, to local justice initiatives).
  • And, ‘Indigenous Peoples, Rights and Beyond' that engages with central issues surrounding indigenous peoples' claims, whilst also probing the gravity of particular contested issues (such as ‘the right to self-determination' and broader ‘sovereignty' challenges).

The module concludes by asking: what is the future for human rights? 

Globalisation, Development and Social Justice

30 credits

‘Development' is a troublesome term. While the notion of development as a discrete project for improving human well-being emerged in the aftermath of World War II, the notion of making planned interventions towards ‘social progress' and the ‘greater good' arose much earlier, in step with the global system itself. Whilst the post-war development project seems now to be in jeopardy, there is still little consensus over what development actually is: whether it is a ‘one size fits all' measure of progress, or whether more than one path is possible, and desirable; whether development as a project is meant to include everybody or whether it necessarily involves ‘winners and losers'; what scale and conception of society and economy we're talking about; how current projects relate to more long-standing processes and structures that gave rise to the global system; and whether in fact development goals (however defined) should intersect with an ethics of social justice, equity and equality, and anti-oppression.

Optional modules

Latin America: Power, Politics and El Pueblo Rising

30 credits

This module begins with a survey of the main sweep of historical, political and economic developments, social actors and movements that gave shape to Latin American politics from its colonial beginnings to the early modern era.  The over-arching theme in the first teaching block is the contentious development of the nation-state and national economy in the global system, the legacy of which continues to shape the political landscape of the region.  In the second teaching block, students will engage with substantive themes in contemporary Latin American politics, and examine current flashpoints in regional politics through the eyes of a range of actors.  We explore and evaluate the range of new forms of participation that have emerged since the 1990s to contest the limitations of formal democracy under neoliberal globalization: from the barrio to factories, communities taking root on occupied land and urban spaces, constituent assemblies, popular assemblies and UN summits – or if all else fails, the streets.  We end by examining national and regional development strategies that emerged at the beginning of the 21st century as a response to the perceived failure of neoliberalism, and ask, is there a new politics emerging in the region?

Crime, Media and Policy

30 credits

Crime, Media, and Policy is designed to provide second year undergraduate students with a critical introduction to the field of crime and the media.  The module provides a historical foundation to the subject before reviewing key media and criminological debates against twenty-first century concerns about crime and deviance. The syllabus develops to explore criminological theory, crime in media culture and the complex interactions between consumers and producers.  The module is designed to provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills to critically engage with debates about crime news reporting, media and moral panic, media constructions of women and children, crime fiction, film and television crime drama, crime and surveillance society, and crime online.  Direction to core factual material and substantive material will be provided via Canvas, with weekly lectures and seminars used to explain and explore key concepts, and present visual material for dissemination and discussion.   

On completion of the module you should be able to demonstrate that you have an understanding of the concepts of crime and deviance within the media, and the ability to engage critically with debates and developments within this controversial sphere of criminological theory and public policy. You should also be able to undertake a content analysis and show that you can apply appropriate context and theory to set questions on crime, media and associated policy.

Youth, Crime and Deviance

30 credits

This module considers what is understood by the term youth, as a social category and life stage, and explores young people's lived experiences. As such, it examines the history of youth culture and subcultures and styles, and critically considers the notion of 'problem' youth and societal responses to this including intervention and multi-agency working. Bringing together sociological, criminological and cultural studies theory from Level 4, the module considers youth from both an individual and structural view point. We will also look at how we have come to deal with young offenders in the youth justice system and considers the contradictory messages about welfare, diversionary measures, human rights, punitive justice, managerial and crime prevention discourses and strategies.

Modern Political Thought

30 credits

This module is a core module for Full-Field Politics & International Relations students and Half-Field Politics students. It can be taken as an option by Half-Field International Relations and Human Rights students.

The module offers a critical introduction to the foundations of modern political thought. It is organised around an examination of the work of several major political philosophers and the concepts associated with their writings. Beginning with an exploration the origins of modern political theory in Machiavelli, it goes on to look at debates about of human nature, the state, and property within social contract theory, and the development of political thought in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries by thinkers such as Mill, Marx, and Rawls. The module will examine a number of core political concepts, including freedom, justice, gender, equality, democracy, and tolerance, and address the central questions of moral and political philosophy: How should we act? How can we live together? Why should we obey the state? Throughout the module students will be encouraged both to challenge the arguments and assumptions of the thinkers that they study and to consider their contemporary relevance.

Slavery and Emancipation

30 credits

This module will introduce you to the controversies and debates over slavery and other forms of violence committed against groups of people in the modern world and their responses seeking emancipation. Beginning in the fifteenth century with the first European enslavement of Africans, it looks at the rebellions and other forms of day to day resistance, the relations between slavery and Britain's industrialisation, the subsequent development of US slavery, the struggles for emancipation and the movements of African Americans into the twentieth century. These cases will be revisited from the perspective of gender, and compared to other forms of structural oppression of colonised peoples and workers.

The module will consider the challenges in identifying the standpoint of the oppressed and study examples of how 'subaltern' oppressed groups enter politics.  There are case studies of different historical and contemporary movements for emancipation, exploring some of their key debates and the challenges of constructing unity whilst respecting diversity.

The module as a whole will encourage the critical analysis and assessment of the various interpretations that have been put forward and facilitate the development of your research skills, ability to work together and communicate your ideas.

Voices of Contemporary Europe

30 credits

This module is a Level 5 option that introduces students to the multi-faceted entity called 'Europe' and looks at key political, social and cultural trends in today Europe, including its geo-political role in a globalised world. Teaching block one focuses on political parties and party families, the growth of populism and of xenophobic parties. Attention is also paid to changing patterns of political participation and the rise of protest politics, which is analysed via a variety of case studies such as environmental organisations, feminist groups and student anti-tuition fees protest. Teaching block two starts by asking a key question: what is Europe? followed by equally important questions such as how Europeans feel about Europe today? Why is Euro-scepticism on the rise throughout Europe? It also investigates European integration and European Union enlargement: does an integrated Europe still make sense as a political project? Was the euro a good idea? Should Turkey be part of the EU? By posing these questions, the module attempts to capture different voices of contemporary Europe in order to equip students with solid grounding to make sense of what is happening in the contemporary world.

The module will be delivered through lectures and seminars.

How to Change the World

30 credits

Building on SO4001 ‘Contemporary Issues in Sociology' and SO4003 ‘Social Selves', this module will develop the concept of ‘the sociological imagination', first outlined by the US theorist C. Wright Mills to indicate "the vivid awareness of the relationship between personal experience and the wider society" (1959). Although Mills was writing in the post-war era, the concept can be traced back to the development of the discipline as it emerged in response to the challenges of social life in industrial cities of the 19th century. Hence this module will use a range of classic and contemporary thinkers to address the double role that sociology has inherited from its origins: not just to understand the world, but to try to change it. This problem will be explored within the context of the city as a strategic unit of analysis in order to understand wider processes of modernisation, industrialisation and the subsequent onset of postmodernity and post-industrialism.

By studying original texts and placing them within their social and historical contexts, students will deepen their understanding of the discipline's critical engagement with different aspects of social life. There will be a strong focus on London with opportunities for fieldwork.

The module will be team-taught and will address the underlying questions: what role can sociologists play in tackling different forms of social injustice and inequality?   

Contemporary Issues in Economics

30 credits

The module aims to develop your ability to apply economic analysis to a range of contemporary economic problems and policies.

International Relations and Global Governance

30 credits

Contemporary world politics involves a plethora of global actors, institutions and processes that provide governance at an international level.  They help to regulate the behaviour of states, maintain stability in global politics and encourage cooperation between.  Moreover, in an increasingly inter-connected world, global governance mechanisms provide the starting point for a fuller sense of international community - a platform for the peaceful resolution of disputes and an environment in which the pursuit of peace, human rights, development and global justice might be realised.  At the same time, the nature of world politics and sometimes the global governance mechanisms themselves pose significant challenges to the development of a more harmonious and just world order.  The module provides you with some of the knowledge and thinking tools to begin to understand and to conceptualise possible solutions to these problems.

The module begins by considering the question of how we understand international politics and the different thinking tools that have been developed to help us interpret global political events and processes.  International relations theory has played valuable role in helping us to understand the nuances and underlying processes that influence state behaviour and the development of foreign policy.  Important themes here are the role that theory plays in both expanding and limiting our imagination of alternative world orders, and who speaks and who doesn't in the production of knowledge about world- politics.

The module then goes on to look at the systems of global governance that have emerged to help develop a more peaceful and cooperative world order.  Themes of collective security, regional integration, development and international economic governance are examined, alongside the organisations like the UN, NATO and the EU that have emerged to support these objectives.  This part of the module raises critical questions about how power influences the evolution and operation of these governance systems, why we still live in a deeply unequal world and how things might be changed.

Taken as a whole, the module aims to foster an outward-looking internationalist consciousness within our students, an appreciation of the ways power flows across state borders, and new imaginations of a more just global politics.  

Study abroad

You have the option to take an additional year to study abroad or to undertake a year-long work placement overseas (or even a mix of both.)

This course has a sandwich year option which takes place between Year 2 and your Final Year. During this sandwich year you will take a placement within a relevant setting, ensuring you gain essential experience to add to your CV and help you secure a graduate job.

The Final Year engages with economic, social and cultural rights, considering armed conflict and other political events. You will undertake an advanced research project on a topic of interest and receive training in research skills. The project culminates with a presentation at our annual student conference.

Core modules

Dissertation

30 credits

This module is the 'capstone' module for all half-field Politics, International Relations or Human Rights students. Working in small groups, students will be provided with the skills and support necessary to embark upon, complete and present a final year research project. The initial focus of the module will be on small groups of students working to familiarise themselves with an area of staff research expertise, under close supervision of that subject matter expert. This will be made possible through the establishment of a range of staff-led, research-orientated 'reading groups', to which students will sign up. During the first half of the module, students will also receive training in project design and implementation, to complement and consolidate the research methods training received at Levels 4 and 5. The research skills and foundational subject knowledge acquired in the first part of the module will allow students to embark upon their own research project as the year progresses. Individual projects will reflect student interests and desired focus, but will remain embedded within one of the areas of Politics, International Relations and/or Human Rights offered by staff as an initial 'reading group'. The student-led research projects will be presented at the end of the year in an undergraduate academic conference: Themes and Issues in Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

Advanced Research Project (Extended)

60 credits

This module is the 'capstone' module for full-field Politics and International Relations students. Working in small groups, students will be provided with the skills and support necessary to embark upon, complete and present a final year research project. The initial focus of the module will be on small groups of students working to familiarise themselves with an area of staff research expertise, under close supervision of that subject matter expert. This will be made possible through the establishment of a range of staff-led, research-orientated 'reading groups', to which students will sign up. During the first half of the module, students will also receive training in project design and implementation, to complement and consolidate the research methods training received at Levels 4 and 5. The research skills and foundational subject knowledge acquired in the first part of the module will allow students to embark upon their own research project as the year progresses. Individual projects will reflect student interests and desired focus, but will remain embedded within one of the areas of Politics, International Relations and/or Human Rights offered by staff as an initial 'reading group'. The student-led research projects will be presented at the end of the year in an undergraduate academic conference: Themes and Issues in Politics, International Relations and Human Rights.

Optional modules

Crimes of the Powerful: Corporations, the State and Human Rights

30 credits

This module takes a critical look at the concepts of crime, power and class in the contemporary world, and the impact of 'crimes of the powerful' on the struggle for human rights and social justice. The gaze of many political scientists and criminologists tends to be focused firmly 'downwards', towards analysing the misdemeanours of the poor, the dispossessed, the underclass. This module, in contrast, will focus 'upwards', in an attempt to understand and explain deviant actions by states, corporations, and the ruling class more broadly. Through the use of case studies, presented by the teaching team but also generated by students, we will examine issues such as war crimes, torture, corruption, global supply chains, police abuses, and state terrorism. 

Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity

30 credits

This module will be examining some deeply troubling events in recent history and politics and the various ethical, legal and political responses that they have generated. It has been argued that the Holocaust was a critical turning point, a catastrophe which required a fundamental ethical, legal and political rethinking of how the rights of human beings could be protected when states in the modern world engage in the systematic attempt to murder large numbers of people, including many of their own citizens. The module begins with reflections on the Nazi attempt to eliminate a whole group of people (the Jews) and to murder and enslave millions of others. It then considers a range of responses, including the Nuremberg trials, the Genocide Convention, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. It examines a number of cases of genocide and crimes against humanity that have nevertheless occurred subsequently. It evaluates the repeated failure for decades to halt or prevent these crimes and then considers the rethinking caused by the genocides in Yugoslavia and Rwanda, and the setting up of ad hoc tribunals and an International Criminal Court to prosecute perpetrators and provide justice to victims. It concludes with reflections on how much progress has been made in protecting citizens in a world of sovereign nation states and what forms of justice can work after such crimes have been committed. These are highly contested questions and the module is designed to encourage the critical analysis and evaluation of a wide range of arguments that have been put forward from a variety of perspectives.

Britain, Europe and the Extreme Right, 1918-to the Present

30 credits

This research-led module explores the rise and impact of the Extreme Right in the 20th and early 21st centuries in Britain and in three other countries in Western Europe (namely France, Germany and Italy). It adopts a historical and comparative approach, and focuses on fascist, populist and authoritarian ideas, parties and movements in Britain and across Europe, and the challenges these posed for the liberal democratic state and its main institutions. The relationship between democracy and dictatorship proved to be a major source of controversy and change in the 20th century, and the question of how the liberal state 'managed' (or mis-managed and succumbed to) the threat from the Extreme Right has been a major theme in the historiography in recent years. In fact, such issues remain very prominent today. The first half of the course thus describes and analyses the historical developments, main patterns and key controversies engendered by these events and challenges in the interwar period. The second half of the course explores the extent to which these historical developments and the associated challenges were possibly replicated in the post-1945 period, especially with the more recent resurgence of the extreme Right across Britain and Europe in the early 21st century. 

Identity, Culture, Politics

30 credits

Culture and politics are often taken for granted; we tend to assume we know what they are. However, when it comes to defining either culture or politics, much uncertainty arises. Does culture mean a collection of artefacts or a ‘web of meaning' as anthropologists would put it? Is culture part of a superstructure or part and parcel of hegemony? Is it part of structure which constrains human behaviour? What is politics? If the personal is political as feminists have claimed, is everything and anything politics? Is the distinction between the public and private no longer tenable? What is the relationship between culture and politics? Is there any? Is culture driving politics or the other way round? And where is identity situated in this relationship? The module explores these fundamental questions using identity politics as an overall framework.

Identity politics is an umbrella term that refers to a type of politics which does not appear to be class based, such as environmental politics or the LGBT movement. While the traditional political parties are generally losing their members, these often single-issue based movements attract more participants, thus facilitating political participation of a different form. The central contention in the idea of identity politics is that the focus of politics has shifted from industrial values to post-industrial values (Inglehart), and that we are witnessing the rise and development of new types of politics in which identity and culture play as major a role as class position, if not a more important one. This is a contestable claim which deserves careful examination. For instance, is the idea of identity politics a form of ideology in the Marxist sense?

The module use the idea of identity politics as a starting point to investigate culture and identity in today's politics through thematic studies and case studies.

Cold War, Hot War: the Politics of the Middle East

30 credits

Cold War, Hot War examines various events in the Middle East from past to present and will provide a comprehensive outlook on a troubled area.

It begins by studying the historical foundations in the region and then explores the impact of the Cold War on the region through case studies such as the Eisenhower Doctrine; the Baghdad Pact, the Suez Crisis and the 1973 war. All this would be assessed against the wider framework of nationalism and regional politics from the early 1950s to the collapse of the USSR in 1990s. Using primary documents we will then assess the consequences of the end of the Cold War on the current crisis and the rise of religiopolitics. The theme of nationalism and leadership will be further explored during the second half of the module, focusing on a number of case studies (Egypt, Syria, Jordan and Israel) their ‘hot wars', foreign policy and current upheavals and challenges.

War and Society

30 credits

Many social theorists argue that the prospect of ‘endless war' will be an abiding feature of the 21st century. Terms such as ‘securitisation' and ‘militarisation' are increasingly used to describe the condition of contemporary societies, whether or not their armed forces are engaged in combat and/or ‘peacekeeping' roles in other parts of the world. As the lines between ‘war' and ‘peace' become increasingly blurred through the idea of the ‘war on terror' and so-called ‘hybrid' wars, the impact of past and present wars on our social imaginaries can often remain hidden or unexamined in the study of key sociological and criminological themes.

This module aims to encourage students to develop a critical awareness of the ways in which war, militarism and militarisation influence contemporary social relations and culture.  Taking the UK as a primary case study in a variety of comparative contexts, this module will explore the effects of war in shaping nationhood, identity, class, gender, race, culture and citizenship in postcolonial European societies. The focus will be largely on civil societies and noncombatants although the political, social and cultural aspects of military institutions will be a significant component.

While the module will be based within a sociological and criminological framework, a variety of disciplinary and methodological approaches will be used, including cultural history, social policy, visual analysis, media studies, gender studies, postcolonial studies and citizenship studies.

Development Economics

30 credits

This module will introduce the economic structure of developing countries, the specific challenges they face and their position in world economy today. It is an optional module for all Economics full-fields and Applied Economics. It should interest all students who wish to acquire a good background in issues of growth and development in lower income countries and their significance for world economy.

The will start by introducing theories of economic development and measurement issues. It will examine some problems affecting all or groups of these countries, such as population growth, poverty, environment, income distribution, structural adjustment and volatile capital flows. It will also deal with policy issues specific to developing countries.

Migration and Social Transformation

30 credits

Global migration has intensified rapidly since 1960, with the UNPD estimating an increase from 80 to 210 million by 2009. It has become a contentious political topic with far-reaching consequences for contemporary societies, and arguably for established sociological paradigms (e.g. methodological nationalism).

The module will equip students to understand and investigate in depth the social dynamics of migration and its consequences, and enable them to offer informed and critical comment on contemporary debates (e.g. media coverage of migration, on the economics of migration, and on migration's consequences for social solidarity).

It offers students the opportunity to build on interests and skills developed at Level 5 (e.g. in International Perspectives and Sociological Approaches), and broadens the department's offering at Level 6 to a new area of contemporary social relevance.

The Politics of Crime in the Black Atlantic

30 credits

The module studies the role played by race in all aspects of the criminal justice systems in the United States and United Kingdom. It takes as its point of departure Professor Paul Gilroy's 1993 concept of the ‘Black Atlantic' as a cultural-political ‘space of hybridity' involving Africa, America, Britain and the Caribbean, and we use that concept to examine the extent to which crime and the criminal justice system have been politicised.

The module concerns itself with the shifting politics of race within the criminal justice system. Among other topics, it explores historical representations of race and crime; press and media depictions of black male offenders; racial profiling and the ‘othering' of female offenders; and the commodification of prison that has led to the United States having the highest incarceration rates in the world.

Other focal areas include racial disparities within the criminal justice system, the politics of punishment and sentencing, and empirical, theoretical, practical and policy issues. The module addresses issues of representation, the production of knowledge, the historical contexualisation of minority experiences in theoretical perspectives, and the ethical duties of criminologists working within minority experiences.

The module includes a field trip to Bristol to explore the history of immigration and emigration as it relates to crime. 

Social Intersections: Gender, Race and Class

30 credits

This module explores the social intersections between gender, race and class. It begins by examining historical conceptualisations of these terms and intersections, and the social and civil movements that challenged how these terms were considered in both women's and men's lives.

From the beginning, the module will introduce you to a wide range of feminist approaches in order to make sense of various intersections of gender, race and class. In this module you will consider how such categories and intersections contribute to identity constructions and contestations. You will reflect on these elements within contemporary examples of everyday life – for example, consumption, families and intimacies, education and sport. Upon completion of this module you will have expanded your skills in critical reflection and analysis of social intersections and inequalities.

Human Rights and Social Justice in the Arts

30 credits

This module will focus upon ways in which the arts have intersected with ever changing political, social and historical circumstances. The arts are both influenced by and, ultimately, inseparable from the social and political context, cultural traditions and institutional frameworks within which they are created. As such, understanding and critiquing the standpoints and desires of those artists and groups involved in an engaged and political art practice, as well as their relationships to others within their specific world historical conditions, will form a central plank of the module. Mindful of working towards an inclusive curriculum, we cover a broad spectrum of material in terms of geographic locations, artistic genres and cultural and political approaches, illustrating key demands articulated by movements for liberation e.g. Socialist, radical, anti-colonial, post-colonial, anti-war, Black, feminist, Queer or intersections thereof. We combine this focus upon radical (re-) interpretations of problems of social injustice with the evolution of new approaches to artistic practice and their relationship to the formulation of collective identities. Therefore, students will be introduced to a range of applicable critical and social theory in order to broaden and deepen our understanding.

 

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Foundation year - Social Sciences

If you would like to study this degree at Kingston University but are not yet ready to join the first year of a BSc (Hons) course, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year.

After you graduate

Graduates from human rights courses in our department have pursued careers in campaign groups, human rights organisations, the civil service, consultancies, media, or continued with postgraduate study. Other students have continued with postgraduate study in human rights, international relations, law, and politics. 

Career opportunities directly related to this degree include policy-making, law and communication roles. The legal aspects of human rights also form a good foundation for law conversion.

  • Employers
  • Ashmolean Museum
  • HSBC
  • Lost Society
  • Sugar Bag Blue Ltd
  • Quinn Legal

Entry requirements

Typical Offer

  • 112 UCAS tariff points (to include at least two A-levels or equivalent qualifications)
  • BTEC Lvl3 National: Distinction, Merit, Merit (DMM)
  • Candidates are normally required to hold five GCSE subjects grades A*-C including Mathematics and English Language (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).

Additional requirements

  • Entry on to this course does not require an interview, entrance test, audition or portfolio

Alternative Routes

  • Mature applicants (21 years and older) will need to pass a QAA-approved Access to Higher Education Diploma in a relevant subject with 60 credits, minimum 45 credits at Level 3 including 21 at merit + GCSE English Language grade C + GCSE Maths grade C (or comparable numeric score under the newly reformed GCSE grading).
  • Applicants under 21 years will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

International

  • We welcome applications from International Applicants. Please view our standard entry requirements from your country
  • All non-UK applicants must meet our English Language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5

Teaching and assessment

Timetabled teaching and learning on this course includes lectures, small group tutorials and seminars. 

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Academic support

Our academic support team here at Kingston University provides help in a range of areas.

Dedicated personal tutor

When you arrive, we'll introduce you to your personal tutor. This is the member of academic staff who will provide academic guidance, be a support throughout your time at Kingston and who will show you how to make the best use of all the help and resources that we offer at Kingston University. 

Your workload

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Year 1
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Year 2
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study
Final year
  • Scheduled teaching
  • Guided independent study

 

  • Year 1 - 22% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Year 2 - 19% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity
  • Final year - 13% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules

 

How you will be assessed

Assessment typically comprises exams (eg test or exam), practical (eg presentations, performance) and coursework (eg essays, reports, self-assessment, portfolios, dissertation). The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

 

Year 1

Year 2

Final year

Year 1
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam: 0%
Year 2
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam
Final year
  • Coursework
  • Practical: 0%
  • Exam: 0%

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

Your individualised timetable is normally available to students within 48 hours of enrolment. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9.00am and 6.00pm. For undergraduate students Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities, but there may be occasions when this is not possible. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Class sizes

To give you an indication of class sizes, this course normally attracts 15 students and lecture sizes are normally 10-50. However this can vary by module and academic year.

Who teaches this course?

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on this course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with industry experience. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader. The following group of staff members are currently involved in the delivery of different elements of this course.  This pool is subject to change at any time within the academic year.  

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or 'International' student. In 2020/21 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category Amount
Home (UK and EU students)

Foundation year: £9,250
£9,250*

International

Foundation year: £13,100
Year 1 (2020/21): £13,100 or £14,600**
Year 2 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Year 3 (2022/23): £13,900 or £15,450**

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme.

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

2019/20 fees for this course

The tuition fee you pay depends on whether you are assessed as a 'Home' (UK or EU), 'Islands' or International' student. In 2019/20 the fees for this course are:

 Fee category  Amount
Home (UK and EU students) Foundation year: £7,800
£9,250*
International Foundation: £12,700
Year 1 (2019/20): £12,700 or £14,200**
Year 2 (2020/21): £13,100 or £14,600**
Year 3 (2021/22): £13,500 or £15,000**
Islands (Channel Islands and Isle of Man) To be confirmed by the Island Authorities

* For full time programmes of a duration of more than one academic year, the published fee is an annual fee, payable each year, for the duration of the programme. Your annual tuition fees cover your first attempt at all of the modules necessary to complete that academic year. A re-study of any modules will incur additional charges calculated by the number of credits. Home/EU tuition fees may be subject to annual increases but will not increase by more than the fee caps as prescribed by the Office for Students or such other replacing body. Full time taught International fees are subject to an annual increase and are published in advance for the full duration of the programme. 

** The international fee rate charged will depend upon the course combination chosen.

Eligible UK and EU students can apply to the Government for a tuition loan, which is paid direct to the University. This has a low interest-rate which is charged from the time the first part of the loan is paid to the University until you have repaid it.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Text books

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residences.

Free WIFI is available on each of the campuses.

Printing

In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.

Travel

Travel costs are not included but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.

Note for EU students: UK withdrawal from the European Union

EU students starting a programme in the 2019/20 academic year will be charged the same fees as those who began in 2018/19 (subject to any annual increase in accordance with the applicable terms and conditions and the Kingston University fees schedule).

They will also be able to access the same financial support for the duration of their course as students who began in 2018/19, even if their degree concludes after the UK's exit from the EU.

No assurances have yet been made regarding 2020/21 and beyond. Updates will be published here as soon as they become available.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

Undergraduate study
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