Social Policy: Special Topics

Subject 166-520 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Graduate/Postgraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 2, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2-hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Admission to the MSP one year program, or the Master of Criminology 100-point program.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support:


Prof Brian Howe
Subject Overview:

The welfare system is a central focus of social policy studies. While social policy as an area of study is usually said to embrace education, health, housing, employment and social care as well as income security, it is income security which usually occupies a central place in Master of Social Policy courses. We are currently amidst a major historical transition in the way we think about the role of social security or 'welfare'. Radical changes to the economy and the labour market in particular as well as profound changes in the pattern of family life have meant that many of the policies introduced in the period post World war two are no longer working. This subject focuses on these social and economic changes together with the current debates about the future of social welfare. The approach taken is informed by the sociology of risk developed by people like Giddens, Bauman and Beck. This work seeks to understand the changed profile of risk faced by the contemporary citizen. It relates this thinking to the work of Schmid and others on Transitional Labour Markets. This framework looks at the more specific risks people face in the key transitions across the life cycle including the early years, school to work, from work to education and or caring and back to work as well as ageing and retirement. The courses examines each in detail and also considers the possible policy responses needed to create a new social security framework to match the current risk profile.

Assessment: A book review of 1000 words, worth 20% (due mid-semester) and a research essay of 4000 words, worth 80% (due during examination period).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

A subject reader will be available from the Bookroom at the beginning of semester

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to demonstrate competence in critical, creative and theoretical thinking through essay writing, seminar discussion and presentations, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgments and arguments from conflicting evidence, and by critical analysis;
  • be able to demonstrate proficiency in the application of policy analysis skills to empirical problems;
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the academic protocols of research and presentation.
Related Course(s): Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Public Policy and Management (Coursework)
Master of Social Policy

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