Module code: ENG1092

Module Overview

This module examines different approaches to defining and assessing inequality and poverty, global stratification and international development processes. Different theories of national development are considered along with processes such as migration, globalisation, international aid and investment. The module also looks at inequality within the UK. Greater equality is fundamental to achieving sustainable development.

This module is taught on an intensive basis, with classes running over a three / four week period. This intensive teaching format facilitates learning by allowing the student to really focus on the module content. It also assists with cohort development as students work closely together on collaborative tasks that develop their understanding of sustainable development challenges.

Module provider

Sustainability, Civil & Env Engineering

Module Leader


Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 4

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 105

Lecture Hours: 18

Seminar Hours: 7

Guided Learning: 10

Captured Content: 10

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

-Measuring economic and social progress

-Classifying countries according to the level of development

-Theories of national development

-The role international aid and investment

-Sustainable livelihoods

-Power inequalities


-Poverty and gender

-Modern welfare states

-Inequality within the UK

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework Inequality case study 40
Coursework Short answer questions 60

Alternative Assessment

If a student fails the group work they will be assigned an individual resit coursework.

Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of key theories and debates about inequality and poverty. Students have the opportunity to focus in on areas of particular interest when choosing their coursework case studies. 


  Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  • A group case study project on inequality worth 40% of the module mark

  • A coursework consisting of a series of short answer questions, worth 60% of the module mark 


Formative assessment and feedback:

Students receive verbal feedback during lectures. There are also weekly seminar sessions during which key issues and debates on inequality and poverty will be discussed and analysed together by the class, with students receiving informal feedback on the input into these discussions.  For example, prior to students completing the group case study project on inequality, each group will present their preliminary analysis and findings in a seminar session and get feedback from their peers and the instructor.  

Module aims

  • To explore processes of national development
  • To consider causes of inequality within and between countries
  • To explore the effects of inequality
  • To examine policy responses to poverty and inequality.

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Demonstrate an understanding of the difference between relative, absolute and subjective poverty via a case study analysis on inequality CK
002 Be able to articulate key concepts and theories relating to global inequality KC
003 Be able to discuss effectively the different forms of inequality present within a society when preparing a case study report in groups KC
004 Be able to articulate the causes of poverty and inequality CPT
005 Demonstrate an understanding of policy responses to inequality in coursework submissions KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

  • Develop students’ understanding of the causes of inequality.

  • Develop students’ knowledge of key theories relating to poverty, inequality and development.

  • Develop students ability to articulate the causes of inequality and potential policy solutions.

Students understanding of inequality will be developed by exploring in lectures, seminars and class discussions the topics listed in the module content above.


The learning and teaching methods include:

  • Lectures and class discussions (11 hours)

  • Captured content (11 hours)

  • Seminars (11 hours)

Captured content and live lectures will introduce core topics and theories about inequality. There will be some scope to discuss these core topics and theories in the lectures. The seminars will encourage deeper engagement with the content presented in lectures by allowing students to explore practical case study examples and consider the broader implications of different aspects of inequality both globally and within the UK.

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: ENG1092

Other information

The Centre for Environment and Sustainability is committed to developing graduates with strengths in Employability, Digital Capabilities, Global and Cultural Capabilities, Sustainability and Resourcefulness and Resilience, in line with the Surrey Curriculum Framework. This module is designed to allow students to develop knowledge, skills and capabilities in the following areas:

Sustainability: With sustainability defined as “the capacity for everyone to live well, within the Earth’s ecological limits, now and into the future”, reducing inequality is at the heart of sustainable development. Students on this module will be encouraged to discuss, analyse and debate issues of inequality during seminars and coursework.

Global and cultural capabilities: Inequality impacts on how societies interact with each other and how people within societies interact with each other. By developing a deeper understanding of the causes and impacts of inequality on different groups and societies through the review of theories relating to global inequality and case study examples, students will become more culturally and socially aware.

Resourcefulness and resilience: This module encourages students to consider how societies, communities and individuals respond positively and effectively to opportunities, challenges, difficulties and setbacks. By reflecting on how others respond to challenges and difficulties students can discover new resourcefulness and resilience strategies. Working in small groups for one of the assessments students develop their resourcefulness and resilience as they navigate the challenges of effective group work under the direction of the lecturer/tutor who will guide the group work process.

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Environment and Sustainability BSc (Hons) 1 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2025/6 academic year.