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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Centre for Open Learning : Social and Political Science

Undergraduate Course: Social Policy in Practice (LLLJ07006)

Course Outline
SchoolCentre for Open Learning CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 7 (Year 1 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course is not available to University of Edinburgh matriculated students. This is a for-credit course offered by the Office of Lifelong Learning (OLL); only students registered with OLL should be enrolled.
The course examines the changing world of welfare in light of the current economic situation. We look at the institutional and political factors which have shaped the development of the welfare state followed by an analysis of policy and practice through the lens of health, housing, employment and social security, and criminal justice.
Course description 1. Introduction to Policy and Practice. The Changing Ideologies of Welfare. This introductory class explains the concept of the course and the choice of policy areas for discussion. We also consider changes in the dominant ideologies of the main political parties over the last 60 years.
2. Who pays for welfare? An introduction. We look at the way in which welfare services are paid for by introducing arguments for taxation in its various forms, direct user charges, and charitable giving. Here, we raise questions about equity, efficiency and consent.
3. Who Provides Welfare? In this session, we ask whether the government through public services are the best providers of welfare. Are there are alternatives sources of provision such as the private sector, charities, the voluntary sector and the devolved powers.
4. The State and the Policy Process. Here, we introduce the policy process and how it actually works. We will identify and describe the different policy process models before analysing the key strengths and weaknesses of each model.
5. Health Policy I: Development and Organisation. The history and organisation of the NHS.
6. Health Policy II: Reform. The changing face of health in all the devolved countries.
7. Housing. An examination of key changes in housing policy since the Second World War
8. Criminal Justice. The development of Criminal justice from the consensus approach of the fifties and sixties to the post devolution developments of today.
9. Employment and Social Security. An examination of the significant changes in employment since Beveridge with particular emphasis on the changes to Social Security due to come into force from 2012.
10. The future of the welfare state. This session examines the future prospects for the British welfare state.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of this course, students should be able to:

* Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the welfare state and how it works;
* Identify the challenges faced by the welfare state and the ways in which these are being addressed;
* Use some of the skills that are integral to the study of politics and social policy such as understanding and assessing arguments, evaluating evidence and utilising theory.
Reading List

Alcock, P., May, M. and Wright, S., eds., 2012. The Student's Companion to Social Policy. 4th ed. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.


Baldock, J., Manning, N. and Vickerstaff, S., eds., 2011. Social Policy. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Alcock, C., Daly, G. and Griggs, G., eds., 2008. Introducing Social Policy. 2nd ed. Harlow: Prentice Hall.
Hill, M. and Irving, Z., 2009. Understanding Social Policy. 8th ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
Lister, R., 2010. Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy. Bristol: Policy Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr James Mooney
Tel: (0131 6)50 3077
Course secretaryMrs Sabine Murdoch
Tel: (0131 6)51 1855
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