Credit points


Campus offering

No unit offerings are currently available for this unit



Unit rationale, description and aim

This unit further extends the knowledge and attitudes developed in the units EDAC137 Disability Studies and the unit EDAC133 Attitudes and Inclusion to deepen students understanding of the development of injustice and responses to social justice issues. 

This unit develops students’ ability to achieve the overall course outcomes of recognising how attitudes are formed and perpetuated and being able to be effective change agents to influence structural change and advocate on behalf of marginalized people. Social Justice involves action to work towards ensuring all members of society are treated fairly and justly. This is particularly pertinent to people living with disability as they frequently have their rights denied. This unit will examine concepts of oppression, devaluation and inequality as they relate to a range of disadvantaged and marginalised groups in our society, such as Indigenous people, migrants and people living with disability. The unit looks at current issues such as economic inequality, domestic violence, sexual assault and gender inequality as key factors in oppression. Efforts to achieve equality and justice such as the human rights movement, an empowerment approach, legislative changes, and a community development approach will be explored.  

Learning outcomes

To successfully complete this unit you will be able to demonstrate you have achieved the learning outcomes (LO) detailed in the below table.

Each outcome is informed by a number of graduate capabilities (GC) to ensure your work in this, and every unit, is part of a larger goal of graduating from ACU with the attributes of insight, empathy, imagination and impact.

Explore the graduate capabilities.

On successful completion of this unit, students should be able to:

LO1 - Discuss social inequalities in relation to class, gender, race and ethnicity, disability, age and sexual preference (GA1, GA2)

LO2 - Discuss the role of protective and enabling legislation in upholding human rights (GA3)

LO3 - Utilise concepts of empowerment and human rights to inform practice (GA2, GA3)

LO4 - Using an understanding of the nature of inequality, oppression and abuse to identify implement actions to prevent oppression, abuse and exploitation of vulnerable people (GA4, GA6).

Graduate attributes

GA1 - demonstrate respect for the dignity of each individual and for human diversity 

GA2 - recognise their responsibility to the common good, the environment and society 

GA3 - apply ethical perspectives in informed decision making

GA4 - think critically and reflectively 

GA6 - solve problems in a variety of settings taking local and international perspectives into account


Topics will include: 

  • Traditions and instruments of human rights and social justice, internationally and in Australia 
  • Social inequity issues related to class, gender, race and ethnicity, disability, age and sexual preference  
  • Indigenous Australians and social justice 
  • Sexual assault, and abuse of people with disabilities 
  • Role of protective and enabling legislation  
  • Rights, guardianship and duty of care

Learning and teaching strategy and rationale

150 hours in total with a normal expectation of 36 hours of directed study and the total contact hours should not exceed 36 hours. Directed study might include lectures, tutorials, webinars, podcasts etc. The balance of the hours then becomes private study. 

The teaching and learning organisation may take a number of forms, depending on specific course/subject requirements at the time of delivery, this may include a combination of face to face and/or online learning delivered on a weekly or intensive schedule. Tutorials and/or synchronous learning will enable students to participate in cooperative and supportive learning opportunities. All learning modes will be delivered and/or supported by a range of resources and activities on ACU’s technology learning platform (LEO).

Assessment strategy and rationale

The assessment tasks and their weighting for this unit are designed to demonstrate achievement of each learning outcome. In order to pass this unit, students are required to submit and participate in all assessment tasks.

The total of assessment tasks will amount to the equivalent of 4,000 words. In order to pass this unit, students are required to obtain a pass in all assessment tasks.

Overview of assessments

Brief Description of Kind and Purpose of Assessment TasksWeightingLearning OutcomesGraduate Attributes

Assessment Task 1 

2,000 words 

Students will review readings on social justice issues


LO1, LO2

GA1, GA2, GA3,

Assessment Task 2 

2,000 words 

Students will write an essay examining a social justice issue 


LO3, LO4

GA2, GA3, GA4, GA6

Representative texts and references

Alcock, P. (2011). The student's companion to social policy (4th ed). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Brennan, F. (2015). No small change: The road to recognition for Indigenous Australia. St Lucia, Qld: University of Queensland Press. 

Crowley, E.P. (2016). Preventing abuse and neglect in the lives of children with disabilities. Cham: Springer International Publishing. 

Hayes, A. & Mason, R. (2016). Cultures in refuge seeking sanctuary in modern Australia. Routledge Ltd. 

Healey, J. (2014). Indigenous rights. Thirroul, NSW: The Spinney Press. 

Keith, H., & Keith, K., (2013). Intellectual disability ethics, dehumanization and a new moral community. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley. 

Kriese, P., & Osborne, R.E. (2011). Social justice, poverty and race. New York: Editions Rodopi 

Rowse, T. (2013). Rethinking social justice from 'peoples' to 'populations'. Chicago, IL: Aboriginal Studies Press. 

Slee, R. (2012). Inclusive communities a critical reader. Rotterdam, The Netherlands: Sense Publishers. 

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