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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Policy

Undergraduate Course: European Social Policy (SCPL08006)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe development of European welfare states in comparative perspective; expenditure trends, reasons for distinctive structures, and the relation between public, private and informal sectors. Challenges resulting from globalisation and demographic changes. The social policy activities of the European Union; its structures, processes and competences, the attempts by the Commission to extend its role, particular initiatives including those on poverty and equal opportunities. Developments resulting from the recent economic crisis and from Brexit.
Course description This course has two parts: firstly, it aims to provide an understanding of the way the welfare state has developed in different European countries and of the dynamics and impacts of recent attempts to adapt social policies in the light of contemporary challenges; secondly, it examines the significance of the 'social dimension' for the European Union and the future of social policy in an enlarged Europe. The course is team taught, with different staff members in Social Policy teaching on their areas of expertise. Weekly tutorials complement the lectures to discuss topics and key concepts on the basis of core readings. Tutorial readings are supplemented with an extensive reading list in the course handbook to aid self-guided learning and the preparation of assignments.

Recommended introductory texts:
Mel Cousins (2005) European Welfare States. Comparative Perspectives, London: Sage.
Karen Anderson (2015) Social Policy in the European Union, London: Palgrave (3rd edition).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level Social Policy course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Systematically compare social policy arrangements across European countries
  2. Critically assess the models used to classify European welfare states
  3. Identify and evaluate the challenges facing mature social protection systems
  4. Understand the contemporary influence of European law and policy on domestic welfare states
Reading List
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Ingela Naumann
Tel: (0131 6)51 3869
Course secretaryMiss Grace Oliver
Tel: (0131 6)51 1337
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