Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Politics in Diverse Societies
Academic Year
Semester 1
Reading List
Other Staff

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Policy brief  1500 Words  40%
Semester Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%
Supplementary Assessment Policy brief  1500 Words  40%
Supplementary Assessment Essay  2500 Words  60%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Define the historic, social and political dimensions of multiculturalism in modern democracies

Demonstrate an understanding of key issues and policy challenges in multicultural societies

Demonstrate knowledge of how and why certain models and policies have been formulated and implemented

Demonstrate an understanding of the successes, limitations and failures of particular models and policies

Communicate information, arguments and analysis of models and policies across a range of case studies

Demonstrate an understanding of the diversity of traditions and viewpoints, as well as a more extensive appreciation of ‘difference’ in a range of countries

Brief description

This module examines contemporary policy debates around the management of diversity, identity and citizenship. Different interpretations of multiculturalism will be considered and different approaches to diversity traced - from the ‘melting-pot’ perspective in the US in the early 20th century, Canada’s adoption of the multiculturalism policy during the 1960s, the so-called retreat from multiculturalism witnessed in Europe since the mid-1990s and Quebec’s interculturalism model. The module will exemplify arguments with current issues such as race relations, free speech, inequalities and discrimination and will focus specifically on the rights of indigenous peoples, immigrant groups and national minorities in comparative contexts.


The lectures and seminars will introduce students to different models of dealing with diversity including multiculturalism and interculturalism as a public policy philosophy. To exemplify and explore the challenges, limitations and possibilities linked to various models (e.g., multiculturalism, interculturalism, ‘colour-blindness), the module will focus on several countries including Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. It will explore models and policies across different case studies and will focus specifically on the rights of indigenous peoples, immigrants groups and national minorities to highlight the different approaches adopted by a range of governments along with the implications of these policies. It will also focus on the critiques of multiculturalism and the recent ‘backlash’ against multiculturalism in a post- 9/11 world.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Communication Students will learn how to present their ideas verbally and in writing, and how to present their arguments most effectively. They will develop skills in using the many sources of information available to best advantage. They will learn to be clear in their writing and speaking and to be direct about aims and objectives. They will learn to consider only that which is relevant to the topic, focus and objectives of their argument or discussion. Students will also be required to submit their written assessments in word-processed format and the presentation of work should reflect effective expression of ideas and good use of language skills in order to ensure clarity, coherence and effective communication.
Improving own Learning and Performance The module aims to promote self-management but within a context in which support and assistance is available from the module convenor and other students. Students will be expected to improve their own learning and performance by undertaking their own research and exercising their own initiative, including searching for sources and deciding how to answer assessed essay questions.
Information Technology Students will enhance their proficiency using Blackboard, where materials to support learning will be made available. Students will also develop skills in searching for, and assessing the validity of, online information sources as part of preparation for lectures, seminars and assessed tasks. Assessed work will be presented in electronic format, according to standard expectations.
Personal Development and Career planning The module is designed to hone and test skills of use to students in their working lives, particularly in speaking to small groups, listening, thinking and responding to the statement of others. Moreover, the written work requires students to write clearly and concisely, which is a common task in the workplace. Students will be encouraged throughout to reflect on their performance and to consider lessons for future application.
Problem solving Independent work and problem solving will be one central goal of the module; the submission of written assignments will require that students develop independent research skills as well as problem solving skills. The ability of students to solve problems will be developed and assessed by asking them to: adopt differing points of view; organize data and estimate an answer to the problem; consider extreme cases; reason logically; construct theoretical models; consider similar cases; look for patterns; divide issues into smaller problems
Research skills Students will be required to undertake independent research in order to complete the assessed work. This will involve utilizing a range of information sources, including core academic texts, journal articles, electronic publications, and online news sources.
Subject Specific Skills Students have the opportunity to develop, practice and test a wide range of subject specific skills that help them to understand, conceptualise and evaluate examples and ideas on the module. These subject specific skills include: • Collect and understand a wide range of data relating to the module • Evaluate competing perspectives • Apply a range of methodologies to complex historical and contemporary social and political problems.
Team work Students will undertake team exercises in the seminars. For many of the topics of this module, seminars will consist of small-group discussions where students will be asked to discuss as a group the core issues related to the seminar topic. These class discussions and debates form a significant part of the module, and will allow students to approach and examine a given topic through team work.


This module is at CQFW Level 5