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SP10287: Social policy and YOU

[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 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: CW 20%, PF 80%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • CW 20% (CW 20%)
  • PF 80% (PF 80%)

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:
Aims: 1. To illustrate to students the ways in which policy influences their lives from before their birth through until after their death.
2. Focus on key transitional stages of life (such as school years and transition into work), examining the role of policy in shaping these transitions that have particular relevance to current University students.
3. To understand the theoretical perspectives under-pinning the policy positions held by different sides in policy debates.
4. To critically examine policies in action, discussing and debating the merits of different policy options in a range of contexts using evidence from the academic and policy literature.
5. To highlight the importance and relevance of the topics studied by focusing on the arguments for and against recent policy changes or current proposals to change policy in the life-stages studied.
Learning Outcomes: By the end of this unit, students will be able to:
1. Understand a wide range of areas in which policy choices directly affect each of us at different times in our life.
2. Use empirical evidence to critically evaluate a number of current policy positions (and their theoretical underpinnings) and draw their own conclusions regarding the 'right' policy direction.
3. Recognise how inequality between individuals can operate along a number of dimensions, with government policy having the opportunity to reduce or exaggerate the effects.
4. Understand the boundaries between the state, civil society institutions (such as the family) and individuals, appreciate how policy affects these boundaries and the pros and cons of shifting them.
* 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
* Essay writing skills.
* To manage time effectively and respond to changing demands.
Content: Provisional content, depending on staff expertise and availability:
* School years: the raising of the education participation age
* Trafficking and modern slavery
* Family life: family structure, female employment and inequality
* Working life: the New Deal for young people, and the Living Wage.
* Intergenerational transmission
* Children and mental health
* Lone parenthood
* Pensions and ageing.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP10287 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB21 : BSc(Hons) International Development with Economics (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB21 : BSc(Hons) International Development with Economics with Year long work placement (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AFB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy (Year 1)
  • UHSP-AKB16 : BSc(Hons) Social Policy with Year long work placement (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)


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2021/22 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2020/21.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change 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.
  • Find out more about these and other important University terms and conditions here.