Key Issues in Social Policy
Run by School of History, Philosophy and Social Sciences
20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Hefin Gwilym
Overall aims and purpose
This module accompanies the research training modules and is designed for those students pursuing the MA/PhD in Social Policy. It comprises lectures, seminars and self directed study using guided study packs. It aims to link theoretical analysis in welfare to empirical enquiry and offers students an opportunity to explore key issues, debates and concepts, as well as social policy analysis and evaluation. Contemporary debates relating to issues of social change, equal opportunities and discrimination, risk and dependency, citizenship and rights will be explored amongst others. The Module aims to:
- Develop and understanding of how key theoretical debates in social policy impact on social/health interventions and policies.
- Introduce students to key conceptual debates in contemporary social policy.
- Develop an understanding of the relationship between major social change (demographic, social structural, labour market etc) and social and health policy and practice.
- Develop an understanding of key institutional mechanisms, including professional groups to the delivery of health and welfare.
- Develop an understanding of the impacts of discrimination and oppression.
- Enhance students ability in social policy analysis and evaluation
The course introduces the key philosophical concepts in social policy, such as the idea of rights and liberties, social justice as well as the specific issues, such as the relationship between market and the state, welfare polices in global, national and local context. The specific content of the course is tailored to the expectations and interests of the students.
Demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key debates and concepts in social policy and an awareness of the structures through which policies are planned, delivered and monitored. Be familiar with some of the ways in which social, economic and cultural change influence welfare objectives. Demonstrate suitable levels of skill in acquiring and disseminating information relating to the area.
Demonstrate a thorough knowledge and understanding of key debates and concepts in social policy, an awareness of the structures through which policies are planned, delivered and monitored, and the advantages and disadvantages of different mechanisms for delivery. Be familiar with most of the ways in which social, economic and cultural change influence welfare objectives. Demonstrate high levels of skill in acquiring and disseminating information relating to the area.
Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of key debates and concepts in social policy, an awareness of the structures through which policies are planned, delivered and monitored, and an ability to evaluate critically the advantages and disadvantages of different mechanisms for delivery. Be the wide variety of ways in which social, economic and cultural change influence welfare objectives. Demonstrate skill of a very high level of competence in acquiring and disseminating information relating to the area.
Have a mature grasp of the differential impacts of social policies on particular groups in society and how these groups engage with social welfare agendas.
Have a good understanding of the processes of social policy analysis and evaluation.
Have a comprehensive grasp of theoretical issues in social policy as they pertain to current debates about the direction and content of the field
Display mature awareness of and ability to critically evaluate key conceptual debates in contemporary social policy.
Have advanced knowledge of the contribution of comparative research within and across societies to the evaluation of social policy and practice.
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Teaching and Learning Strategy
Involves research, reading and writing.
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
- Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
- Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
- Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
- Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
- Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
- Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
- Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others
Subject specific skills
- Critically evaluate the mixed economy of welfare and the interrelationships between health and social care and between the agencies, practitioners and individuals involved in their provision;
- Explain the origins and nature of the social organisation of healthcare and associated services in advanced industrialised and majority world societies globally;
- Ability to formulate and investigate sociologically informed questions.
- Be able to recognize how social data and sociological knowledge apply to questions of public policy.
- Use the theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse policy problems and issues
- Undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations of social questions, issues and problems, using statistical and other data derived from research publications.
- Analyse and discuss social policy and related issues distinguishing between normative and empirical questions
- use some of the established theories and concepts of social policy and other social sciences to analyse how social needs, social problems and policies themselves are constructed and understood in both national and international contexts
- seek out, use and evaluate qualitative and quantitative data derived from social surveys and other research publications
- distinguish among and critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches to social problems and issues
- undertake either on their own, or in collaboration with others, investigations on social questions, issues and problems. This will involve skills in problem identification; the collection, storage management and manipulation of data, including secondary data, and other information; the use of archival sources; the construction of coherent and reasoned arguments; and the presentation of clear conclusions and recommendations distinguish among and critically evaluate different theoretical, technical, normative, moral and political approaches to social problems and issues.