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SP30008: Social policy dissertation 1

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2013/4
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Honours (FHEQ level 6)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment: DS 100%
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: After taking this unit you must take SP30009
This unit is not available to visiting/exchange students.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
The aims of the unit are:
a) To develop the student's knowledge and understanding of social policy, as set out in the learning outcomes listed below;
b) To develop the general critical and analytical powers of the student;
c) To develop research skills, with particular reference to those skills relating to investigation and analysis.
Students will design and carry out either a fieldwork based piece of research or a library-based piece of research on a social policy topic of their choosing. The dissertation will be carried out under supervision. Further details are provided in the Dissertation Handbook.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of the unit the students should be able to:
* conceptualise and design a 10,000 word piece of research on a social policy topic of the students’ choosing;
* conduct a thorough literature review in the area of research chosen;
* display critical and broad knowledge of research on the chosen topic;
* identify clear research aims for their dissertation.

Intellectual skills: Students will develop their knowledge and understanding of:
* the fundamental concepts of social policy relevant to the student becoming an effective practitioner;
* theories of welfare state development;
* the main sources of data about social welfare and a critical approach to their use;
* how to apply knowledge and concepts from across various social sciences disciplines;
* the main sources of data about social issues and a critical approach to their use;
* issues of human needs and social welfare - poverty, inequality, exclusion, diversity and differences;
* key concepts, theories and developments in at least two of sociology, social policy, politics, economics, psychology;
* methodological principles and research design;
Transferable/Key skills:
* To develop critical and analytical powers in general;
* To develop research skills with particular reference to those skills relating to investigation and analysis;
* To think creatively and analytically;
* To communicate an argument;
* To evaluate others' arguments and research;
* 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 reflect upon new technology and innovation within social sciences and to make decisions regarding legitimacy, reliability and effectiveness;
* Study & Learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagiarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing);
* Basic Information and Computing Technology skills (word processing, email, using the web to search for information);
* Inter-personal and communication skills;
* Essay research, preparation and writing skills;
* To construct a bibliography of varying complexity.

Students will choose a specific research topic and design a research project. Students will undertake either a library-based piece of research or fieldwork research on their chosen topic. This will provide the basis for their dissertation.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP30008 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc (hons) Social Policy (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc (hons) Social Policy (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc (hons) Social Sciences (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc (hons) Social Sciences (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc (hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Full-time) - Year 3
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc (hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Full-time with Thick Sandwich Placement) - Year 4

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2013/4 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2014/15 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2013/14.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.