BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2023

Course unit details:
Education in a Global Context

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC14082
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? Yes


This course introduces students to the study of education in a global and comparative context.




The unit aims to:

To introduce students to issues surrounding education from a global and comparative perspective. Exploring themes surrounding the relationship between education and other social forces, including politics, religion, gender and economics in multiple contexts will enable cross-cultural comparison to highlight similarities and differences. Students will develop these comparative skills in preparation for their final project.


Teaching and learning methods

Each week will involve a 1 hour lecture followed by work in small groups for 20-30 minutes followed by discussion. The work builds toward a final group presentation and individual essay that involved comparison of two education systems from a global and comparative perspective.

The course is designed to encourage students to engage in comparison of educational systems. The lecturer models relevant dimensions in national case studies, which will provide the basis of the first summary assessment – a report on one of the cases.

In small groups, students will develop knowledge of a comparative case not listed above in preparation for a presentation and online wiki posted on Blackboard.

The final assessment will link these initial projects and assessments together in the form of a final essay, which will compare two cases and analyse this from a global perspective.


Knowledge and understanding

Understand principles of study of education from a global perspective

  • Have an appreciation of key policy, legislation and international conventions relating to education.
  • Be familiar with the range and focus of literature in the field of international education policy
  • Learn about specific national and regional education systems and how and why these differ from others.

Intellectual skills

Develop critical thinking skills in relation to the challenges of defining and analyzing education from a global perspective

  • Reflect on teaching and learning in international contexts;
  • Critically examine theoretical perspectives on global education.
  • Understand principles of comparative education studies.

Practical skills

  • Contribute global perspectives of practical experiences in international classrooms and learning environments;
  • Be able to conduct database searches to identify relevant literature appropriate to writing tasks and assessment;
  • Engage in systematic comparison in small groups for research and analytic purposes

Transferable skills and personal qualities

Develop conceptual, analytical and presentation skills;

  • Demonstrate skills in analysing documents and other evidence;
  • Make effective use of electronic and other sources of information;
  •  Collaborate with others in group tasks.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written assignment (inc essay) 100%

Recommended reading

Marshall, J. (2019). Introduction to comparative and international education. Pp. 121-132. SAGE Publications Limited.

Meyer, John W. and Patricia Bromley. (2013). ‘The Worldwide Expansion of “Organization”’. Sociological Theory 31(4):366–89.

Brown, Phillip and Hugh Lauder. (1996). ‘Education, Globalization and Economic Development’. Journal of Education Policy 11(1):1–25.

MacIntyre, Alasdair, (1972) "Is a Science of Comparative Politics Possible?" from Runciman, W.C. & Skinner, Q., Philosophy, Politics and Society pp.8-26, Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Waters, J. L. (2012). Geographies of international education: Mobilities and the reproduction of social (dis) advantage. Geography compass, 6(3), 123-136.

Study hours

Independent study hours
Independent study 200

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Eric Lybeck Unit coordinator

Return to course details