SA4C9      Half Unit
Social Policy - Organisation and Innovation

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Lucinda Platt OLD 2.25


This course is compulsory on the 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 Global Population Health, MSc in Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) and MSc in Social Policy (Research). This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.

Course content

This course examines the organisation of social policy, structures, processes and delivery, and recent developments in social policy in industrialised countries. The course examines how policy debates affect policy implementation, with a particular focus on innovation, identifying the social forces influencing the relevant policy changes, and examining the practical consequences for service provision in industrialised countries. Changes in the organisational structure and management approach, in the nature of social control, and in the social and economic context are examined.


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

Indicative reading

Le Grand J. 2007. The Other Invisible Hand: Delivering Public Services Through Choice and Competition. Princeton University Press; McLaughlin, K., Osborne, S.P., and Ferlie, E. (eds) 2001. New Public Management: Current Trends and Future Prospects. Routledge; Garland, D. 2001. The Culture of Control. Oxford University Press ; Hills, J. 2017. Good Times, Bad Times: The Welfare Myth of Them and Us. Second Edition. The Policy Press; G Lewis, Race, Gender and Social Welfare: encounters in a post colonial society, Polity Press (2000); M. Banton Discrimination (1994); Stern, N. 2007. The Economics of Climate Change: The Stern Review. Cambridge University Press; Klein, N. 2014. This Changes Everything. Allen Lane. Walker, R. 2005. Social Security and Welfare: Concepts and Comparisons. Oxford University Press.


Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the main exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the ST.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 15
Merit 64.7
Pass 18
Fail 2.3

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 47

Average class size 2016/17: 16

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

Lecture capture used 2016/17: Yes (LT)

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course survey results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

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

The scores below are average responses.

Response rate: 85%



Reading list (Q2.1)


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