The University of Southampton

EDUC1039 Education in other countries

Module Overview

This module is about exploring education systems in a wide range of different countries. In studying this module, you will develop your skills in assessing the outcomes and inequalities of different educational systems. You will also develop your understanding of the ways in which international comparisons of educational performance, such as PISA, have influenced the curriculum at both global and at local levels.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

- Investigate education systems in a wide range of different countries; - Develop your understanding of the ways in which international comparisons of educational performance have influenced the curriculum at both global and at local levels; - Develop your skills in assessing the outcomes and inequalities of different educational systems.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the meanings and models associated with comparative education.
  • Explore the rationale and implications of international comparisons of educational performance.
  • Reflect on the influence of education performance metrics at local and global levels of curriculum.
  • Explore the rationales and impact of global/international comparisons of educational systems based on countries in both the developed and emergent economies.
  • Critically reflect on inequalities and policy convergence and divergence.


- Meanings and models of comparative education: historical development of comparative methods; comparative education models in selected countries; use and misuse of comparative data; the role of international organisations in comparative education. - Research in comparative education: research on international aid and development; research on cross country comparisons of educational performance; research on the impact of colonialism in less developed countries. - Alternative educational practices in different countries: research on formal and non-formal educational provision; the growth of private education in developed countries; technical and vocational education in different countries. - Critical analysis of school level and national levels practices to alternative educational provision: educational practices such as streaming, setting, ability grouping, homework policy, assessment for learning and national examination practices in different countries.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Typically, this module is taught through weekly sessions plus one optional tutorial session to prepare for the assessment. - Participation in seminar groups - Group and class discussion - Posing and responding to questions - Directed reading - Suggested additional research

Independent Study126
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Key Data on Education in Europe. Brussels: European Commission.

PISA reports in the last 10 years.

The Education Systems of Europe. 

Phillips, D and Schweisfurth, M (2014). Comparative and international education: An introduction to theory, method, and practice.. 

Education at a Glance: Highlights. 

Other. Selected articles from Comparative Education, International Review of Education , International Journal of Educational Development, Comparative Education Review , and Current Issues in Comparative Education.



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (1500 words) 60%
Group Poster Presentation  (1500 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s)  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:


Cost implications associated with the printing of the poster for group presentations will be covered within the programme (only one basic A1 paper poster print per team). No exceptional cost implications have been identified for this module.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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