BSc Education

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Key Issues in Education

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC11100
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


The course unit will cover analyses and commentary on the key debates within contemporary educational theory and practice of education, and relate this to real-world issues. Several concepts in educational research emerge, including:  

•            The hidden curriculum

•            Internationalisation

•            School choice

•            Academic transitions

•            Educational leadership

•            Gender, sexuality and education

•            Mental health and education

•            Education and development

The course unit offers a foundation for the more in-depth and specialist content offered elsewhere on the BSc Education programme.


This unit aims to:

  • Introduce students to a range of critical educational debates drawn from both national and international contexts.
  • Explore, with students, dominant and non-hegemonic discourses on education from a range of perspectives
  • Examine and apply insights from global scholarship to contemporary educational issues.
  • Critically evaluate how concepts of education and schooling are positioned within wider social, economic and political policies and institutional practices within society.
Develop skills to debate and reflection upon the purposes and ambitions of education and schooling, and the historical, ideological, social, cultural, political, and economic underpinnings of a range of educational issues.

Learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

Teaching and learning methods

Weekly teaching and learning sessions will involve a combination of lectures, seminars, group discussions, and academic writing. Students will be expected to engage with journal articles, book chapters, blogs posts , videos and documentaries in relation to the themes and issues. In most weeks, after each lecture, students will undertake some writing, in form of mini essays in Blackboard.



Knowledge and understanding

  • Engage critically with a range of scholarly materials related to educational theory and practice.  
  • Independently source and critique literature related to educational theory and practice.   
  • Explain and justify their own interpretations of selected key discourses to contemporary debates education. 
  • Develop and present coherent and detailed arguments in a variety of oral and written formats for specific purposes

Intellectual skills

  • Apply conceptual tools in describing and commenting on educational theory and practice.  
  • Demonstrate critical evaluation skills through analysis and application of educational concepts and theories to local and national contexts.
  •   Demonstrate sensitivity to the values, viewpoints, and interests of others  

Practical skills

  • Search subject-specific electronic and other resources effectively to identify appropriate and relevant primary and secondary information. 
  • Analyse and interpret research and conceptual papers relating to educational issues.  
  • Apply and communicate, orally and textually, information in literature to support argument in response to individual and group tasks.   
  • Critically reflect on own learning.   

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Work effectively with others in a group and meet obligations to group members, as well as tutors.  
  • Demonstrate cross-cultural sensitivity and effective interpersonal communication skills  
  • Develop and make use of virtual learning environments and information technology-related skills to search databases and other internet resources for literature 
  • Acquire and develop the capacity to produce documents using word processing and presentation programmes.    

Assessment methods

1 x 2000 word group report (50%)
1 x 3000 word article review (50%)

Feedback methods

Feedback via Blackboard

Recommended reading

This is an indicative list of some recommended literature related to topics covered in the Key Issues in Education course. Further advice and guidance for specific reading is provided via BlackBoard. To access the links, you should be signed into My Manchester (see ‘Reading Lists Online’ in Blackboard for extended version).  

The Hidden Curriculum

Apple, M.W. (2019). Ideology and curriculum. Fourth edition. New York: Routledge.

Gillborn, D. (1992). Citizenship, ‘race’ and the hidden curriculum. International Studies in Sociology of Education, 2(1), pp.57-73. Available online

hooks, bell. (1994). Teaching to transgress : Education as the practice of freedom. New York: Routledge.

Jackson, P. W. (1990). Life in classrooms. New York: Teachers College Press.

International Education

Knight, Jane. (2004). “Internationalization Remodelled: Definition, Approaches, and Rationales.” Journal of Studies in International Education, 8(1), pp. 5–31.

Mok, K.H. and Marginson, S. (2021). Massification, diversification and internationalisation of higher education in China: Critical reflections of developments in the last two decades. International Journal of Educational Development, 84, pp.102405.

Stein, S. (2016). Rethinking the Ethics of Internationalization: Five Challenges for Higher Education. Interactions, 12(2).

Scheduled activity hours Practical classes & workshops 26 Tutorials 34

Independent study hours
Independent study 140

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Loretta Anthony-Okeke Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity (Semesters 1 and 2) Hours Allocated
Tutor facilitated sessions (lectures and seminar groups): 28
Group work (online and face-to-face): 26
Tutor workshop / office hours / tutorial /tutorial with academic advisor: 6
Independent study: 50
Directed reading: 20
Preparation of formative and summative assessed work: 70


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