Your first year is designed to help you find your feet and get up to speed with the subject. We introduce some of the main disciplines, themes, concepts and problems facing the UK in a contemporary global context. These include:
- Key concepts in social policy: for example, need, citizenship, equality, difference, globalisation and risk
- The mixed policy economy of wellbeing
- Key topics of social policy: health, education, housing, migration, poverty, social security and income maintenance
- The demographic and socio-economic context of social policy provision
- The construction of social issues and problems and changing policy responses over time;
- Introductory research skills
- An introduction to criminology to explore the criminalisation of social problems and the shifting nature of social policy responses
Modules in first year include:
You will also take two further modules. One from a selection of sociology modules which are available through the department and one module from the University Widening Horizons programme.
Taken together, your core and optional modules will provide you with opportunities to develop your understanding of social policy, and the space to explore new areas of academic study.
In your second year you will consolidate and build upon the knowledge base and skills gained in your first year. The focus here is initially upon supporting students in developing their research and analytical skills so that you have the capability to conduct your own small scale investigation in your final year of study and also the ability to effectively appraise and use bodies of research at every stage of your studies. This will provide you with a range of practical skills and knowledge needed in the wider world of work after your degree. There are two core modules in year two:
You can also choose a further four optional modules which reflect your particular interests from a range of subject areas. You may wish to continue developing analytical skills and your understanding of the social and political worlds, or your specialist knowledge in a range of key social policy topics. Example optional modules may include:
By your final year you will be prepared to conduct your own research project (or extended essay) providing you with the opportunity to select a topic which is of particular interest to you and explore knowledge and policy within that policy area. As such your core module is a choice between a research-based dissertation or an extended essay.
Module options at this level will enable you to focus on additional areas of the research expertise of the School of Social Policy and the research centres of the School, further enabling you to benefit from research excellence and leading, contemporary research. As such you can explore issues such as:
- Matters of personal finances, wealth and the relationship these have with social policy
- The role of religion in politics and social policy
- The future prospects and developments within social policy
- Political histories of the ways in which social policies have developed
- The challenges of migration and diversity for social policy aims and ambitions
If you choose to do the dissertation (40 credits) as your core module then you can select four optional modules. If you choose to do the extended essay (20 credits) you can choose five optional modules. Example optional modules may include:
Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. Unless indicated otherwise, the modules listed for this programme are for students starting in 2017. We aim to publish any changes to compulsory modules and programme structure for 2018 entry by 1 September 2017 and recommend you refer back to this page shortly after that date for any changes. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules after that date; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.