Foundations of Social Policy

Subject 166-516 (2009)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2009. Search for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 25.00
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2009:

Semester 1, - 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: Total Time Commitment: 4 contact hours/week , 4 additional hours/week. Total of 8 hours per week.
Prerequisites: Admission to the postgraduate certificate/ diploma or fourth-year honours in Sociology, Master of Social Policy, Master of Criminology or Master of Public Policy and Management 100-point programs, or the Master of Policy Studies (ASST).
Corequisites: This is a compulsory/core subject in the Master of Social Policy (100 point program), and the Master of Policy Studies (ASST).
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 Paul Smyth


Prof. Paul Smyth
Subject Overview: The subject engages with contemporary theories of social inclusion and capital with an emphasis on networks and their role in community strengthening, community building and regional economic development. The subject also engages in the role these strategies have in larger projects of social policy reform such as the Third Way, the Partnership movement and "joined-up" government. The subject will engage in specific social policy issues (health, housing, welfare, employment etc) as a means to investigate the use of social capital and network analysis techniques.
  • understand the theories of social inclusion and social capital formation as they apply to social policy issues in income support, employment, health, education, culture, housing and community care;
  • understand social and economic development as an integrated process from the perspective of both the social policy literature and the development literature;
  • understand the analytical implications of different social policy frameworks such as social inclusion and social capital;
  • understand the theories and strategies of 'joined up' government and the role of networks in social governance;
  • have a sound understanding of the use of comparative perspectives.
Assessment: An essay of 2000 words 20% (due early in semester), take home paper of 3000 words based on weekly seminar material 30% (due at end of semester) and a 5000 word project 50% (due in examination period).
Prescribed Texts: A key text will be available
Recommended Texts: Mark Considine, Enterprising states: The public management of welfare to work, Cambridge University Press, 2001 R,E Goodin (ed) The theory of institutional design, Cambridge University Press, 1996. Jan Kooiman (ed) Modern Governance: New Government-Society Interactions, Sage, 1993 Robert Putnam, Making Democracy work, Princeton University Press, 1993 Steven Smith and Michael Lipsky, Non-profits for Hire: The welfare state in the age of contracting, Camb. Mass., Harvard University Press, 1993 K. Walsh Public services and Market Mechanisms: Competition, Contracting and the new public management, Houndsmills, Macmillan, 1995
Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have developed research skills, through the competent use of library and other information sources, and the definition of areas of inquiry and methods of research;
  • have developed an understanding of the social, ethical and cultural contexts of research;
  • have developed critical thinking and analysis skills, through recommended READING, essay writing, and seminar discussion, and by determining the strength of an argument;
  • have developed skills in written and oral communication, time management and planning, and group work, through completion of course requirements;
  • have developed the capacity to think in theoretical terms, through class requirements and engagement with theories and methods of the social sciences;
  • have developed the capacity to think creatively, through course work and course discussion, and by critical analysis of competing arguments.

Formerly available as 166-516. Students who have completed 166-516 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

This is a compulsory/core subject in the Master of Social Policy (100-point program) and the Master of Policy Studies (ASST).

Related Course(s): Master of Arts (Policy Studies)(Advanced Seminars & Shorter Thesis)
Master of Criminology (CWT)
Master of Development Studies(CWT)
Master of Social Health (Health Policy)
Master of Social Policy
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Sociology

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