SA4J8      Half Unit
Social Policy and Development: Core Concepts

This information is for the 2017/18 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Armine Ishkanian OLD.2.54 and Dr Timothy Hildebrandt OLD2.55

Dr Hakan Seckinelgin OLD.2.27


This course is compulsory on the MSc in Social Policy and Development and MSc in Social Policy and Development: Non-Governmental Organisations. This course is not available as an outside option.



Students will be required to take part in a three-day residential workshop  at Cumberland Lodge in Windsor Great Park, during the Lent term. The cost is included in MSc SPD & NGOs student fees. 

Course content

The course is designed to give students  knowledge of core concepts within the theory and implementation of social policy in developing countries. Such an overview is essential for those focusing on mainstream social policy and development issues, and those choosing to specialise on non-governmental organisations. Main topics will include: Comparative social policy in north and south; social development and human development; conceptualizing the state, market and civil society as policy actors; citizenship, social justice, and rights; comparative approaches to the understanding of poverty, wellbeing and exclusion; welfare regime theory; concepts of sustainable livelihoods; global institutions and the international aid system; conceptualizing the policy process.


15 hours of lectures and 15 hours of seminars in the MT.

There is also a compulsory residential workshop held in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor during a weekend in January (Lent Term).

Formative coursework

All students will write and receive feedback on a 2000 word  formative essay. The formative essay  is based on a set question.

The weekly student-led  seminars will require all students to come prepared to discuss the required readings and link these to the learning outcomes.  The seminar teaching is designed to help students develop critical thinking, reading, and analytical skills.  

Indicative reading

De Haan, A. (2007) Reclaiming Social Policy: Globalization, Social Exclusion and New Poverty Reduction Strategies. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Deacon, B (2007) Global Social Policy and Governance, London: Sage; Gough, I. and G. Wood et al. (eds, 2004) Insecurity and Welfare Regimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press; Hall, A. and J. Midgley (2004) Social Policy for Development. London: Sage; Houtzager, P and Moore, M. (eds, 2005) Changing Paths: International Development and the New Politics of Inclusion. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press; Mkandawire, T. (ed, 2004) Social Policy in a Development Context. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan; Riddell, R. (2007) Does Foreign Aid Really Work? Oxford: Oxford University Press; Turner, M. and Hulme, D. (1997) Governance, Development and Administration: Making the State Work. Houndsmill: Macmillan.


Essay (100%, 3500 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2013/14 - 2015/16 combined)

Classification % of students
Distinction 14.4
Merit 35.6
Pass 45.4
Fail 4.6

Key facts

Department: Social Policy

Total students 2016/17: 65

Average class size 2016/17: 16

Controlled access 2016/17: Yes

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: 90%



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)