Social Issues and Social Policy


This module explores the relationship between social problems and social policy in contemporary society. The introductory part of the module explores why the label social problem has been attached to particular social phenomenon and not others. Is there a `social scientific’ rationale for such selections or have social problems been constructed and responded to because of other political, social and economic factors? Attention will also be given to the distinguishing features of social policy and the way in which such policies have been developed to ameliorate or resolve identified social problems. The core of the module will explore the relationship between social problems and social policy through a series of case studies on topics such as juvenile crime, homelessness, immigration, lone parenthood and poverty. In each of these case studies attention will be given to the historical background of the `problem,’ contemporary trends and developments and the various policy responses.


  • 2000 word essay : Coursework (50%)
  • 3 hour examination : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (50%)