- Department: Social Policy and Social Work
- Module co-ordinator: Dr. Luke Telford
- Credit value: 20 credits
- Credit level: C
- Academic year of delivery: 2023-24
|A||Semester 1 2023-24|
Societies, policy makers and public services currently face a multitude of challenges, including social inequalities and divisions, the climate emergency, the transformation of work and care and the funding of welfare states. Social and public policies have a key role in responding to these challenges but the question of where responsibility lies, and which policy tools are appropriate and effective in tackling social problems is more complex. This module draws on key theories and debates in social and public policy in order to develop your understanding of contemporary challenges and their possible resolution. You will be introduced to key conceptual, theoretical and methodological components of the major debates in social and public policy, and will engage with key questions and thinkers while exploring the social and political context in which they emerge. The module content will equip you with the analytical tools necessary to interrogate social and public policy challenges, and to discuss and critically assess their relevance to society.
To introduce key conceptual, theoretical and methodological dimensions of contemporary social and public policy debates
To familiarise students with a range of current social and public policy challenges within their social, political and economic context
To examine the purpose and patterns of provision of public services
To explore the role of the state, the market and people as policy actors and the ways in which ideas and interests shape social and public issues and policy responses
To examine a range of evidence sources relevant to and applicable in the field of social and public policy
To equip students with the foundational conceptual and analytical skills necessary to apply knowledge to real world problems and to critically evaluate contemporary issues in social and public policy
By the end of this module, you will be able to:
Identify and evaluate key conceptual, theoretical and methodological dimensions of social and public policy debates and locate these debates in their social, political and economic context
Demonstrate awareness of the operation of key policy actors, and the ways in which ideas and interests shape issues in social and public policy
Demonstrate understanding of the purpose of public services and key principles of funding and delivery
Offer informed critique using a range of perspectives and evidence sources relevant to the acquisition and sharing of knowledge in the field of social and public policy
Apply knowledge and theory drawn from the social sciences to address real world challenges in social and public policy
Apply conceptual and analytical thinking skills to critically evaluate contemporary issues in social and public policy
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|Online Exam - 24 hrs (Centrally scheduled)
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Feedback will be given in accordance with the University Policy on feedback in the Guide to Assessment as well as in line with the School policy.
Alcock, P., Haux, T., McCall, V. and May, M. (Eds) (2022) The Student’s Companion to Social Policy. Sixth Edition, Oxford: Blackwell.
Dean, H. (2019) Social Policy. Cambridge, Polity
Fraser, N. (2022) Cannibal Capitalism, How Our System Is Devouring Democracy, Care, and the Planet—and What We Can Do About It, London, Verso
Pierson, C. (2021) The Next Welfare State?: UK Welfare after Covid-19, Bristol, Bristol University Press
Powell, M (2019). Understanding the mixed economy of welfare. Bristol: Policy Press.