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SP10002: Social problems & social policy

[Page last updated: 15 October 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: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 20%, OT 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment Group N: CW 20% (asst grp N) (CW 20%)
  • Assessment Group N: PF 80% (asst grp N) (OT 80%)
  • Assessment Group S: CW 20% Social Work (ES 20% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Assessment Group S: PF 80% Social Work (OT 80% - Qualifying Mark: 40)

Information regarding synoptic assessment for this unit will be published shortly. In the meantime please contact the Director of Studies or consult your programme handbook for further details.

Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites:
Description: Aims:

i. to introduce students to theoretical and empirical resources used in the analysis of social problems;
ii. to introduce students to an understanding of the framework, operation and financing of social policy;
iii. to apply these resources and this understanding to an analysis of the connections between social problems and social policies.

Learning Outcomes:
By the end of this unit students should be able to:
* seek out and use empirical evidence for analysing social problems and social policies;
* understand a range of theories and concepts used to analyse social problems and social policies;
* understand the distinction between normative and empirical questions;
* communicate and discuss ideas in writing and in discussion, including giving a brief presentation.


* 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 synthesise information from a number of sources in order to gain a coherent understanding.
* Study & learning skills (note taking, avoiding plagarism, using the library, gathering and using information, constructing a bibliography, referencing).
* Basic ICT skills (word processing, email, using the web, use of VLEs).
* Interpersonal and communication skills.
* Essay research, preparation and writing skills.
* To construct a bibliography of varying complexity.
* Essay writing skills.
* Presentation skills.
* Team and group working skills.
* To manage time effectively and respond to changing demands.

* the social construction of social problems (examples used may change, but could include poverty, social exclusion, disability, crime and anti-social behaviour, health inequalities, teenage pregnancy, unemployment, homelessness).
* social differences and social problems.
* theories of human need and wellbeing.
* social problems, power and the policy process (to include questions of funding, government, management, profession and administration).
* Key themes of power, need and the role of the state.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP10002 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB15 : BSc(Hons) Social Work and Applied Social Studies (Year 1)

SP10002 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB14 : BSc(Hons) Applied Social Studies (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB05 : BSc(Hons) Social Sciences with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB04 : BSc(Hons) Sociology with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB10 : BSc(Hons) Sociology and Social Policy with Year long work placement (Year 1)

SP10002 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Psychology