Students studying equity studies focus on issues of social inequality, repression and marginalization. Students learn to develop critical and analytic perspectives and explore opportunities for positive social change. They use an interdisciplinary approach to analyze policies that have threatened principles of equality and inclusion, and that might instead facilitate social inclusion.
Common areas of study include disability, anti-racism, social advocacy, global food systems, global health, and labour. Students get expertise in several areas such as the various theories to human rights, equity rights practice and organization, human rights law, and the social, cultural, and ethical issues surrounding social justice. As part of their programs, students analyze current equity issues in modern society, such as land-claims, immigrant's academic credentials, working conditions for laborers, and the various legal processes surrounding these.
Students studying equity as part of their law program learn the relationship between the law, rights, and the state, while being exposed to Canadian and international human rights discourses and instruments. Students examine law's implication in constructing and maintaining historic and current social, political and economic inequalities, and law's potential and limitations as an instrument of redistributive and egalitarian social, economic and political change. Students can focus on discrimination against women, the poor, immigrants, refugees, aboriginals, persons living with physical or mental disabilities, sexual, religious or linguistic minorities, the young, and the elderly.