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Unit information: The International Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion in 2015/16

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Unit name The International Analysis of Poverty and Social Exclusion
Unit code SPOLM1068
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Fahmy
Open unit status Not open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

Tackling poverty, inequality and social exclusion is currently a core aim of both international and domestic policy. This unit explores the range of issues relevant to researching in this policy field. Many of the theoretical and methodological themes are approached through discussion of illustrative international policy areas, such as health, human rights and development policy.

Upon completion of this unit the student should be able to:


  • Identify key issues in the definition and measurement of poverty and social exclusion and their implications for research practice and policy development.
  • Critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives on the nature, causes and effects of poverty and social exclusion.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the dynamics of poverty and social exclusion in different societies and for different groups of people.
  • Assess the implications of existing research evidence for the development of effective policies to tackle poverty and social exclusion within the UK and internationally.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will:

  • Have a clear understanding of the concepts of poverty, social exclusion and inequality
  • Be confident in critically interpreting quantitative and qualitative evidence on poverty and social exclusion
  • Be well informed on the policy and research debate on poverty and social exclusion

Teaching Information

This unit will be delivered through lectures and seminars.

Assessment Information

The completion of a 4,000 word essay in which students must demonstrate an understanding of relevant concepts and theories and an ability to interpret data. They must exhibit a knowledge of the development and implementation of policy on poverty and social exclusion in an international context.

Reading and References

Andreß H (Ed) (1998) Empirical Poverty Research in a Comparative Perspective. Ashgate, Aldershot.

Banerjee A et al (2006) Understanding Poverty Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Gordon D, Spicker P (Eds) (1999) The International Glossary on Poverty. London, Zed Books

Gordon D, Nandy S, Pantazis C, Pemberton S, Townsend P (2003) Child Poverty in the Developing World, The Policy Press: Bristol.

Levitas R (1998) The Inclusive Society? New Labour and Social Exclusion Macmillan

Lister R (2004) Poverty. Cambridge, Polity Press.

Oyen E, Miller S, Samad S (1996) Poverty: A Global Review. Oslo, Scandinavian University Press.

Townsend P (1979), Poverty in the United Kingdom, London: Allen Lane and Penguin Books

Townsend P (1993) The International Analysis of Poverty, Hemel Hempstead: Wheatsheaf

Townsend P, Gordon D (Eds) (2002) World Poverty: New Policies to Defeat an Old Enemy. Bristol. Policy Press, pp 53-80."