Undergraduate Course: Social Policy and Society (SCPL08004)
|School||School of Social and Political Science
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 1 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course explores how welfare issues are constructed and debated in contemporary society. It revolves around a number of main themes including equality, social needs, social problems and social rights, and how different debates about welfare have been influenced by these themes. It focuses on the implications of social change for debates about welfare, considering some of the major contemporary issues in social policy. This half course is complementary to Politics of the Welfare State.
The course is based around a series of case studies that are linked to the concepts of equality, power, needs, rights and responsibilities. Each week, we examine a specific area or issue in Social policy. Illustrative examples include access to higher education, health inequalities, poverty, social security, city deals and local government. We examine these policies in order to gain a deeper understanding of how social policy is made and how these policies are able to offer a deeper understanding of the concepts within the course.
The course will be taught through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Each week there will be at least two and up to four 25 minute lectures together with a set of moderated and facilitated discussions taking place live on campus. Discussions are very interactive and students will be encouraged to develop their debating and critical thinking skills. Additionally, each week, you will be able to ask your course organiser or lecturer questions to gain a greater understanding of the material and to give students the opportunity to question, debate and discuss pertinent contemporary issues. Furthermore, each week you will have a specific study skill component helping students to develop broader skills such as: how to interpret data graphically and in tables; how to construct an argument; how to read critically; how to evaluate evidence; and how to interpret written documents and discourse. The course is very suitable for students looking for a multi-disciplinary experience. It is historically informed and will complement other courses in sociology, politics, economics, law, and social policy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2022/23, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 22,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9,
Summative Assessment Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||1500-word Essay 40%
Exam (3 sections c.1000 words each for A+B, c.750 words for C) 60%
||Assessment is via a 1500-word essay (40%) and a written exam (60%). Each tutorial features a study skill component, which will allow students to gain feedback from their tutors about how well they construct arguments, evaluate evidence, and interpret data. Students can also submit an essay plan to their tutor for comment.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- have an understanding of the main social issues and problems facing societies
- have an understanding of how social policy issues are constructed and contested in contemporary society
- have an understanding of some key concepts in social policy debates, such as needs, rights and responsibilities
- have an understanding of these concepts contrasted with utility-driven approaches in classical economic analyses of policy
- be aware of different perspectives in relation to debates on these concepts
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
|Course organiser||Mr Richard Brodie
Tel: (0131 6)50 4278
|Course secretary||Mr Ethan Alexander
Tel: (0131 6)50 4001