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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 14/12/2022 15:12:04

Title of Module: Activism In Communities

Code: BACE08001 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:D.  Wallace

Summary of Module

This module will examine activism in the context of contemporary community education practices in Scotland.  Taking local (personal) and international examples as exemplars, the overall purpose of the module is to locate activism in the central shibboleths of community education and to determine how and why practitioners may be called to support sustain and develop activism.

Activism is a broad term (Ricketts, 2012; Murray 2012) but it has been usefully defined as a desire to act in the interests of creating change and making the world a better place (Taft, 2011, p.26). It is this definitional reference point that provides the bridge to the central value base and competences currently described by the community learning and development standards council.  Activists and activism in community development may exist in one of three discrete domains or may overlap and intersect across domains. Newman (2006) suggests in his typology:

  • community action in the local domain 
  • social action in the societal domain
  • and political action in which the structures of the state serve as the catalysis for action.

Building an appraisal of the place of activists in organisational and community development, students on this module will connect theories of activists’ learning to policy and aspirations for community empowerment and capacity building.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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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:




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


Term 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Identify the place of activism in the core principles of community education

L2. Demonstrate an understanding of learning through activism

L3. Describe the utility of activism in organisational and community development

L4. Reflect on the knowledge skill and dispositions required to be an activist

L5. Demonstrate an ability to communicate effectively and appropriately, orally and in writing, in terms of different academic methods and theories.

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 knowledge that covers and integrates the major disciplines in question within community education;
Demonstrate a critical understanding of the principal theories, definitions and concepts related to this topic;
Apply understanding of a range of theories, concepts and principles to this topic

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 8.

Apply knowledge, skills and understanding in using a range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with this topic.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 8.

Apply analysis, evaluation and synthesis to forefront issues, or issues that are informed by forefront developments in the subject/
Develop original and creative responses to problems and issues for practice in this area

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 8.

Communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise; communicate with peers, and tutors; use a wide range of ICT applications to support and enhance work at this level.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 8.

Exercising autonomy and initiative in professional and equivalent activities;
Take responsibility for own work and for the work of others; practise in ways which draw on reflection on own and others’ roles and responsibilities.

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.

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Learning and Teaching
Though there will be occasional lectures, the teaching and learning strategy for the programme is founded on the notion of communities of practice, on problem based strategies and on collaborative learning. This will be underpinned, supported and extended through reading assignments based on the VLE and tailored assessment. In tutorial discussions, students will be able to reflect on their understanding of theoretical and empirical information, apply their knowledge to concrete scenarios and case studies, and develop their interpersonal and communication skills.
Through their assignments, students will be able to demonstrate their ability to search for sources, evaluate, analyse and interpret source materials, integrate theoretical knowledge and empirical information, and develop balanced and evidence-based conclusions, in appropriate academic style.
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 Delivery12
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity24
Asynchronous Class Activity24
Independent Study140
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:

Murray, K. (2012) Regulating activism: an institutional ethnography of public participation Community Development Journal Vol 47, no 2, April 2012 pp199-215

Newman, M. (2006) Teaching Defiance – Stories and Strategies for Activist Educators San Francisco: John Wiley

Packham, C. (2008) Active Citizenship and Community Learning Exeter: Learning Matters

Ricketts, A. (2012) The Activists’ Handbook: A Step By Step Guide to Participative Democracy London: Zed Books

Taft, J.K. (2011) Rebel Girls – Youth Activism And Social Change Across The Americas New York: New York University Press

Wallace, D., (2017). Experience, Democracy, Community – Identifying with John Dewey through Youth activism in Scotland. Education in the North. 24(1), pp.27-52

(**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:
In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance 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 Moodle, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement and attendance procedure
For the purposes of this module, academic engagement equates to the following:
Attend classes as directed in module handbook and undertake off-campus or on-line tasks, as directed by module tutor.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelCommunity Education
ModeratorA. Coburn
External ExaminerF Howard
Accreditation DetailsCLD Standards Council for Scotland
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
100% Practical Creative Output / Game
(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) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Creative output/ Audiotapes/ Videotapes/ Games/ Simulationscheck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1004
Combined Total For All Components100% 4 hours

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

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  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
Our UWS Equality and Diversity Policy is available at the following link:

Community Education is an emancipatory practice that works with communities to challenge inequality and promote social justice. Thus, a commitment to equality and accepting difference underpins curriculum, content and process, across the Programme. It is therefore not surprising that our values and ethos adhere to, and go beyond, the minimum legal position as detailed within the Equality Act 2010, in requiring compliance with the general equality duty to:
• Eliminate unlawful discrimination, harassment and victimisation and other conduct prohibited by the Act;
• Advance equality of opportunity between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not; and
• Foster good relations between people who share a protected characteristic and those who do not.
The programme supports equality of opportunity for students from different backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using appropriate platforms, learning materials are presented in formats that facilitate flexible access and with all reasonable adjustments being made to ensure fair and inclusive engagement. The programme 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.
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.