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Unit information: Global Justice in 2022/23

Please note: It is possible that the information shown for future academic years may change due to developments in the relevant academic field. Optional unit availability varies depending on both staffing, student choice and timetabling constraints.

Unit name Global Justice
Unit code POLI20010
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Alix Dietzel
Open unit status Not open
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School/department School of Sociology, Politics and International Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Unit Information

Debates surrounding issues of global justice are at the centre of political theory, international relations scholarship and political practice. This unit aims to explore key debates concerning the scope of justice, the validity of thinking about justice and human rights at the global level, and the application of global justice arguments to key problems threatening global cohabitation. The course is divided into two parts. Part One (weeks 1-5) provides a conceptual foundation for the unit, exploring the roots of global justice, key proponents of the approach, fundamental questions shaping the practice of global justice, as well as criticisms of the notion of global justice and ethics. Based on this foundation, Part Two (weeks 6-10) of the course explores the conceptual issues framing global justice and human rights within the context of specific empirical case studies, examining key global problems, including poverty, gender inequality and rights, labour rights, post-conflict/transitional justice, refugees and humanitarian intervention.

Unit Aims

By the end of the unit, students will have a critical understanding of the global justice debate, a contextual understanding of key philosophical and practical issues within these debates as well as demonstrable in depth knowledge of a number of urgent global cohabitation problems. Students will gain cognitive, communicative and transferable skills, including the ability to evaluate advanced concepts, arguments and theories, to employ both primary and secondary sources, to present reasoned and effective arguments in written and oral form, to pursue independent learning and to show critical judgement.

Your learning on this unit

On successful completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an appreciation of the relevance of global justice scholarship for assessing global political problems.
  • Critically engage with the work of leading political philosophers.
  • Understand key philosophical and practical problems within global justice scholarship.
  • Draw on knowledge of key global cohabitation problems.

How you will learn

The unit will be taught through blended learning methods, including a mix of synchronous and asynchronous teaching activities

How you will be assessed

Essay 1: 1,500 words (25%)

Essay 2: 2,500 words (75%)

Both assessments test all learning outcomes listed above.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. POLI20010).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.