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SP20285: Society, welfare and policies in Europe

[Page last updated: 11 August 2020]

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2020/1
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Intermediate (FHEQ level 5)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 80%, EX 20%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
SP20285 - CW 100% Supplementary (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Before taking this module you must take SP10001 AND take SP10002
Description: Aims:

* To introduce the different policies which make up welfare systems in diverse countries in Europe.
* To explore the principles which underpin the variety of social and welfare arrangements in Europe.
* To explain and evaluate the similarities and differences between policy approaches in different countries
* To explain the challenges faced by different welfare states in Europe, and evaluate their responses.
* To explain the role of the EU in shaping the development of social policies in European countries.
* To introduce the concepts of welfare regime, social investment and welfare governance, and apply these to comparative policy analysis.
By the end of the unit, the students will have:
* An in-depth knowledge of the way in which at least two European societies organise their welfare provision, how these vary and why.
* A sound knowledge of the wide range of policies and governance arrangements which exist in Europe as responses to societal issues, how these vary and why.
* A critical understanding of the concepts of welfare regime, social investment and welfare governance, and knowledge of how they can be applied to understand society and welfare in European countries
* Studied the variety of ways in which social policies can be compared and evaluated
* Explored the challenges faced by different welfare states in Europe
* Explored the ways in which recent policy reforms have been theorised
* Studied the impact of the EU on social policy developments
* Used both literature and secondary data in order to evaluate policy developments in two European countries.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit, students should be able to:
* compare, analyse and evaluate the similarities and differences between these welfare systems
* compare, analyse and evaluate the similarities and differences between policies addressing similar issues or social groups
* analyse and evaluate the varied challenges facing welfare systems in Europe, and the responses to these challenges.

Skills:

* To think creatively and analytically.
* To communicate an argument.
* To evaluate others' arguments and research.
* To learn independently and be able to assess own learning needs (i.e. identify strengths and improve weaknesses in methods of learning and studying).
* To critically evaluate and assess research and evidence as well as a variety of other information.
* To gather information, data, research and literature from a number of different sources (i.e. library, web-based, archives etc.).
* To select appropriate and relevant information from a wide source and large body of knowledge.
* To synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding.
* To utilise problem solving skills.
* To analyse and evaluate innovative practices in students' relevant degree discipline.
* To effectively and efficiently apply principles of sociological/social policy analysis within a variety of environments.
* To develop study & learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing)
* To develop basic information and computing technology skills (word processing, email, using the web to search for information)
* To be able to construct a bibliography of varying complexity
* To develop time-management and administrative skills.

Content:
What choices do European countries have in how they look after their citizens? What choices do they make - about who provides welfare, who gets it and who pays for it? What affects these choices, and how does this vary by country? Who wins and who loses as a result of those choices? This unit focuses on answering these questions, by looking at social polices in Germany, Sweden, Italy and Poland. We then compare specific policy areas across these 4 countries, such as pensions, health services, family policies, labour market policies and treatment of migrants, evaluating policies and socio-economic ouutcomes. More generally, we evaluate the key challenges for the provision of welfare in Europe, and the impact of the EU on different countries.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP20285 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)

SP20285 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology with Year long work placement (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 2)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 2)

Notes: