Sociology and Social Policy

This information is for the 2016/17 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Lucinda Platt OLD 2.25


This course is compulsory on the BSc in Social Policy and Sociology. This course is available on the BSc in Social Policy, BSc in Social Policy and Criminology and BSc in Social Policy with Government. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

This course introduces students to sociological ideas and thinking, and how they link to key illustrative social policy issues. The course is organised around certain major social policy concerns such as: inequalities in health, labour markets, and education; social stratification and social segregation; housing provision and neighbourhood deprivation; ethnic and racial inequalities; families, care and ageing, which are then related to key classical and contemporary theoretical perspectives and concepts that have been used to describe and explain them, such as theories of class and status, social control, gender and the division of labour, socialisation and intergenerational transmission, identity and belonging, urbanisation, globalisation and risk.


10 hours of lectures and 9 hours of classes in the MT. 10 hours of lectures and 10 hours of classes in the LT. 1 hour of lectures in the ST.

Formative coursework

One essay in the Michaelmas term.

Indicative reading

The course will be drawing on three four core texts: David Grusky, D. and Szelenyi, S. (Eds.) 2011 The Inequality Reader: Contemporary and Foundational Readings in Race, Class, and Gender. 2nd Edition. Westview Press; Fulcher, J. and Scott, J. (2011) Sociology, 4th Edition. Oxford University Press; Payne, G. (ed.) Social Divisions. Third Edition. Palgrave Macmillan; and Platt, L. 2011 Understanding Inequalities: Stratification and Difference. Polity Press.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 1500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
First 34.3
2:1 52.9
2:2 11.4
Third 0
Fail 1.4

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2015/16: 25

Average class size 2015/16: 13

Capped 2015/16: Yes (30)

Lecture capture used 2015/16: Yes (MT & LT)

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

PDAM skills

  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

1 = "best" score, 5 = "worst" score

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 100%



Reading list (Q2.1)


Materials (Q2.3)


Course satisfied (Q2.4)


Lectures (Q2.5)


Integration (Q2.6)


Contact (Q2.7)


Feedback (Q2.8)


Recommend (Q2.9)