Page Navigation

Module Descriptors

This page displays the selected Module Descriptor.

Printer friendly version Printer friendly version

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 27/06/2022 10:08:58

Title of Module: Controversial Issues and Citizenship

Code: UGED08010 SCQF Level: 8
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:P  Cowan

Summary of Module

This module will   provide opportunities for students  to explore global issues such as genocide, and racism, thereby developing critical debate and enquiry in global citizenship, and real world issues. Recognising that one’s understanding of controversial issues is based on one’s perceptions of the world,  students will  critically examine their own attitudes and beliefs and challenge their assumptions.

Focus on controversial issues that arise for the Holocaust will enable students to reflect on the contemporary lessons that one can learn from the Holocaust and develop students’ understanding of the barriers to full opportunity to exercise citizenship arising from socio- economic circumstances, prejudice and discrimination. Student recognition of the importance of human rights, the changing nature of antisemitism, and the responsibilities of citizens provide a  foundation of the complexities  of responsible citizenship.

The module will support students towards meeting the GTCS Standard for Provisional Registration by working towards the following standards: Social Justice (1.1);  Professional Commitment  (1.2/1.3); Have knowledge and understanding of the importance of research and engagement in professional enquiry (2.1.2) and Read and critically engage with professional literature, educational research and policy (3.3.1).   In relation to learning for sustainability, students will engage in a range of issues pertaining to global citizenship.  Through participating in this placement module, students will develop UWS Graduate Attributes and will demonstrate, in particular, that they are critical thinkers, research-minded individuals with a sound awareness of current equality issues.


Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
check markcheck mark

Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


check mark




check mark


Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2check markTerm 3


[Top of Page]

Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the defining features of a controversial issue and the relevance of this to citizenship.

L2. Critically analyse current debates in global citizenship.

L3. Apply knowledge of the Holocaust to their understanding of current global issues

L4. Carry out routine lines of enquiry into two selected controversial issues

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 8.

Demonstrate and/or work with
• An understanding of the scope, and defining features of a controversial issue and citizenship
• A discerning understanding of the Holocaust and its significance to citizenship
• Awareness and understanding of some major current issues such as the new expressions of antisemitism

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding:
• in using a range of professional skills, techniques, practices and materials associated with controversial issues and citizenship
• in carrying out routine lines of enquiry into issues pertaining to global citizenship

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Undertake critical analysis and synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues that are within the common understandings in controversial issues and citizenship

Use a range of approaches to formulate and critically evaluate evidence-based responses to defined and/or routine problems and issues.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Convey complex information on controversial issues and selected aspects of citizenship to a range of audiences and for a range of purposes

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in carrying out discussion about/research on citizenship and controversial issues that arise from the Holocaust.

Practise in ways that show awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities when carrying out group tasks.
activities at a professional level in practice or in a subject/discipline/sector.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

[Top of Page]

Learning and Teaching
Use of VLE, live lectures on Zoom or Windows Teams, online tutor/student led discussions tutorials, and seminar style activities. Lecturers at the International School for Holocaust Studies, Yad Vashem, Jerusalem, will be contributing to the delivery of specific sections of this module (developing the Memorandum of Understanding between the two institutions) through the use of Zoom or Windows Teams. Lectures, tutorials, group-work, presentations, workshops, and problem based learning will be used to develop student learning.
Student handbooks, and other detailed material made available to students, will give more specific information on the particular learning and teaching methodologies, and combinations of these methodologies, to be used for timetabled student sessions. This will clarify for students their expectations for timetabled sessions, for online teaching, and for the overall balance of learning and teaching methodologies to be used during the module.
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery24
Laboratory/Practical Demonstration/Workshop8
Independent Study168
200 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

**Indicative Resources: (e.g. Core text, journals, internet access)
The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for learning outcomes:
The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Cowan, P and Maitles, H. (eds.) (2012) Teaching Controversial Issues in the Classroom, Continuum:London

Osler, A. and Starkey, H. (2010) Teachers and Human Rights Education, Trentham: Stoke-on-Trent.

Woolley, R. (2010) Tackling Controversial Issues in the Primary School: Facing Life's Challenges with Your Learners, Routledge:London.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
/All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: accordance with module and programme handbooks, any student whose attendance has fallen below the 75% minimum requirement for a module could be withdrawn from and given a re-attend decision for that module. To assure placement partners that students are appropriately prepared to undertake periods of school experience, unsatisfactory attendance across academic modules may prevent progress to placement, or result in withdrawal from the programme, as a student would be deemed not to have met the professional requirements of the programme as accredited by the GTCS.

[Top of Page]

Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEducation
ModeratorC Holligan
External ExaminerL Craig
Accreditation DetailsGeneral Teaching Council Scotland.
Version Number


[Top of Page]

Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formative assessment consists of VLE and workshop tasks.
Summative assessment consists of two components.
A group oral presentation, outlining students' response to the debates in global citizenship focusing on genocide or racism.
This comprises 40% of the total module assessment.
A written assignment (2000 words) in which students analyse the extent to which human rights , rights for refugees, prejudice and antisemitism are barriers to the exercise of citizenship.
This comprises 60% of the total module assessment.
The module handbook, and other detailed material made available to students, will clarify the relationship between formative assessment tasks and the specific learning outcomes for the module. This will ensure that students can relate feedback from formative assessment to their individual progress on the learning outcomes for the module. On summative assessments, students will receive detailed information indicating the ways in which summative assessments will assess individual learning outcomes for the module. As appropriate, students will also receive detailed information on how feedback will be provided for summative assessments. For assignments, this will include the use of individual pro-forma.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark400

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essaycheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark600
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

[Top of Page]

  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using VLE, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.