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

Undergraduate Course: Comparative Social Policy: Global Perspectives (SCPL08014)

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 course provides students with the analytical tools to make sense of similarities and differences across welfare states, focussing - among others - on the socio-economic outcomes associated with different welfare states, the reasons for distinctive social policy structures across countries, and the relation between public, private and informal sectors in the provision of social policy. It illustrates these similarities and differences by introducing in detail selected national models of welfare states drawing on examples from Europe, North America and East Asia. It discusses crises and opportunities for renewal that affect contemporary welfare states.
Course description This course has four parts: firstly, it sets the scene by introducing a series of analytical categories and dimensions that can be employed to examine social policy in comparative perspective; secondly, it illustrates similarities and differences in the social policies of high-income countries by reviewing in detail selected national models of welfare state; thirdly, it moves from the national to the supranational level by examining the role of selected supranational institutions in shaping social policies in the Global North and the Global South (e.g. European Union; World Bank; ILO); fourthly, it reviews some key challenges that welfare states are currently faced with and the opportunities for renewal that these challenges may offer. 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Students MUST NOT also be taking European Social Policy (SCPL08006)
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
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 10, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 164 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Mid-term Essay - 40%
Exam - 60%
Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)Exam2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Systematically compare social policy arrangements across different countries.
  2. Critically assess the models used to classify different welfare states.
  3. Identify and evaluate the challenges facing mature social protection systems.
  4. Understand the contemporary international dynamics affecting domestic welfare states.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Philip Rathgeb
Course secretaryMr James Heitler
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