SA488      Half Unit
Social Policy Goals and Issues

This information is for the 2013/14 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Sonia Exley OLD2.65


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) and MSc in Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning). This course is available on the MSc in China in Comparative Perspective, MSc in Criminal Justice Policy, MSc in Gender, Policy and Inequalities, MSc in Health, Population and Society, MSc in Public Management and Governance and MSc in Social Policy (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

The nature of social policy and policymaking: key approaches and issues. The goals of social policy in relation to policy formation and the policymaking process. Issues including: the political economy of social policy; the mixed economy of welfare; the governance of social policy; gender and social policy; poverty, inequality and social exclusion; globalisation and the future of social policy.


10 hours of lectures and 13 hours and 30 minutes of seminars in the MT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the LT. 1 hour and 30 minutes of seminars in the ST.

Indicative reading

Some introductory texts are: Alcock, et al. (eds) The Student's Companion to Social Policy, 4th edition, Blackwell, 2011; H Dean, Social Policy, 2nd edition, Polity, 2012; H Glennerster, British Social Policy since 1945, Blackwell, 3rd Edition, 2007; M Hill, Social Policy in the Modern World: A comparative text, Blackwell, 2006; R Lister, Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy, The Policy Press, 2010. M Daly, Welfare, Polity, 2011. A full bibliography will be handed out with the programme of seminar topics at the start of the course.


Exam (100%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.

Student performance results

(2009/10 - 2011/12 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 8.6
Merit 60.5
Pass 25.2
Fail 5.7

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2012/13: 73

Average class size 2012/13: 15

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information