Postgraduate taught 

Educational Studies MEd

Sustainable Development and Education EDUC51049

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course is for people interested in learning more about education as an international issue. The course explores the changing conditions of society and the world, and their implications for education. Education is now central to the international policy agenda, as a core focus of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 4.0 and highly relevant to other areas such as health, poverty eradication and environmental sustainability. This course will introduce students to the international policy agenda and related socio-political issues around education, globalisation and international development. It will allow students to develop a sound knowledge of the field of international and comparative education and reflect on educational issues within an increasingly mobile and globalised context. Students will develop critical understanding and analytical tools to understand educational issues in the Global North and the Global South.


Weekly teaching sessions

Excluded Courses

EDUC5858 International and Comparative Education




An analytical essay of 4000 words. The student will compare at least two countries/ regions/ local areas with regard to an educational topic. The literature-based essay should include a clear set of questions, a comparative analysis of the issue, and the implications of what the student have learned for education policy and/or practice. 100% of the overall mark will be based on this assessment.

The formative activities - short outline essay and small group presentation, and formative feedback will support student with the development of summative essay.

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. Where, exceptionally, reassessment on Honours courses is required to satisfy professional/accreditation requirements, only the overall course grade achieved at the first attempt will contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To introduce students to key concepts in international education such as sustainable development, equity and diversity.

■ To encourage students to read and reflect critically on the main contemporary challenges in providing quality education across the world, particularly in areas of poverty and deep inequalities.

■ To facilitate reflection about the changing nature of society, and the world, in relation to increased mobility, globalisation, and flow.

■ To familiarise students with basic comparative methods to facilitate reflection on the relationship between education, inequality and social justice within a global and local scale.

■ To critically question prevailing discourses of development, internationalisation and globalisation.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to: 

In terms of subject-specific knowledge, by the end of the course, students will be able to:

■ Critically analyse the impact of the forces of globalisation and internationalisation on education.

■ Demonstrate awareness of key debates in international education, particularly those concerning issues of sustainable development at global, national and local levels.

■ Understand of dominant paradigms of globalisation, development and human rights for understanding world-wide educational challenges.

■ understand key global policy agendas in sustainable development and education.


In terms of subject-specific skills, by the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate ability to:

■ Reflect critically on concepts, theories and case studies encountered in the course.

■ Build on these concepts and theories to analyse educational issues and current debates, locally and globally.

■ Read and analyse international policy, theoretical texts, critically navigate different interpretations and commentaries and relate these to contemporary educational issues.

■ Reflect critically on the use of research methods in a global context.

■ Use theories and concepts derived from international and comparative studies to analyse their own educational experiences from a wider perspective.


In terms of transferable key skills, by the end of the course students will be able to demonstrate an ability to:

■ Read and think critically and independently.

■ Acquire complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way.

■ Construct, sustain and present a reasoned argument.

■ Communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary.

■ Use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources.

■ Work to deadlines.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit an essay as course's summative assessment.