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Unit information: Social Policy and the Welfare State: Key Concepts and Contemporary Ideas in 2014/15

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Unit name Social Policy and the Welfare State: Key Concepts and Contemporary Ideas
Unit code SPOL10013
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Eroglu-Hawksworth
Open unit status Open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit provides an introduction to the key concepts and issues in social policy. In the first part of the unit, a series of key concepts, such as need, globalisation, citizenship and risk will be addressed. The second part of the unit will serve to illustrate the relevance of these concepts to the analysis of a number of contemporary issues. The unit will focus on current debates in a variety of areas of social policy such as employment, housing and poverty.

Intended learning outcomes

Students will:

  • Understand the key concepts in social policy
  • Be familiar with contemporary social policy issues
  • Be able to apply concepts to the analysis of contemporary issues

Teaching details

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment Details

Assessment will be against the programme criteria defined for the appropriate level.

Formative assessment: One 1,500-2,000 word essay

Summative assessment: 3 hour unseen exam

Reading and References

  • Alcock, P, May, M and S.Wright (2012) The Student's Companion to Social Policy, (4th Ed.). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
  • Baldock, J. Mitton, L., Manning, N. and S. Vickerstaff (2011). Social Policy (4th Ed). Buckingham: Oxford University Press.
  • Blakemore, K. (2007) Social Policy: an Introduction. Buckingham: Oxford University Press.
  • Daly, M. (2011) Welfare. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Dean, H. (2012) Social Policy: a Short Introduction. Cambridge: Polity Press.
  • Lister, R. (2010). Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy. Bristol: Policy Press.