Accessibility statement

Global Social Problems & Global Social Policy - SPY00084M

« Back to module search

  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Kevin Farnsworth
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21

Module aims

This module aims to:

  • Explore the global character of many of the social problems challenging contemporary societies.
  • Examine the social, economic and political processes underlying the globalisation of social problems.
  • Analyse the ways in which institutions and political leaders conceptualise social problems with reference to the national, the global and the transnational, and how and why dominant constructions of social problems have shifted over time.
  • Critically examine national, international and global policy responses to contemporary social problems.
  • Explore how vulnerabilities to the risks posed by global social problems, the capacity and willingness to develop effective strategies to address them, and the precise content of any strategies formulated, reflect and reproduce social and economic divisions within and between peoples, nations and regions of the globe.
  • Apply the knowledge and understanding developed through aims 1 to 5 to a range of specific social problems and the policy responses to these.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness and understanding of the global character of many of the social problems challenging contemporary societies.
  • Appreciate and offer informed commentary on the processes underlying the globalisation of social problems.
  • Demonstrate a critical awareness of national, international and global policy debates and policy developments in relation to a range of social problems, and their evolution over time.
  • Demonstrate critical knowledge of the institutions and actors responsible for addressing global social problems, and the relationships between them.
  • Understand the importance of analysing global social problems and policy responses with reference to wider geo-political, economic and social divisions.
  • Locate relevant national, international and global data related to a range of social problems, and be aware of their limitations.


Task Length % of module mark
5000 word essay
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
5000 word essay
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback using a standard marking pro-forma is provided within 5 weeks of submission.

Indicative reading

Deacon, B. 2013 Global Social Policy in the Making: The Foundations of the Global Social Protection Floor. Bristol: Policy Press

George, V. and Page, R. 2004 Global Social Problems Cambridge: Polity

Mkadawire, T. 2005 Social Policy in a Development Context Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Surender, R. and Walker, R. (2013) Social Policy in a Developing World, Cheltenham. Edward Elgar

Yeates, N. (2014) Understanding Global Social Policy, Second Edition, Bristol: Policy Press

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students