Case Studies in Social Policy
This module discusses social policy research methods, historical and theoretical developments, and policy-making processes as they relate to the themes and topics discussed in ‘Introduction to Social Policy’. As such, it aims to deepen your understanding, and encourage you to begin to apply your knowledge to the study of social policy in practice.
Introduction to Social Policy
This module promotes an exploration of the history of social policy, alongside the intellectual approaches that have informed policy developments from the early twentieth century to the present day. In line with this aim, you will gain the ability to link theoretical analysis with empirical enquiry in relation to a range of contemporary issues, including the promotion of health and the treatment of illness, education, work and unemployment, housing, ageing, child care, youth, and disability.
This module explores both what makes Sociology distinctive and how research methods and sociological knowledge are connected. The module begins with an exploration of the capacity and potential of the ‘sociological imagination’, and is then organised around five key sociological concerns of: order and deviance; inequality and social class; gender and the family; race and ethnicity; social change. The module is designed then to introduce you to key sociological concerns, a range of research strategies, and an appreciation of the importance of ethics in research.
This module introduces you to the core concept of citizenship, as well as the different theoretical traditions that provide variable normative interpretations. Central to the aim of the module is the exploration of socio-political concepts that are directly linked to an understanding of citizenship, appreciations of which are necessary to understanding the development of social policy.
This module covers the key social and economic changes that occurred with the coming of modernity, and the birth of Sociology to comprehend these changes. Contemporary social change is discussed in the second half of the module, accompanied by a review of key theoretical developments within the discipline to establish the continuing relevance of Sociology and its adaptability. The module both introduces you to foundational sociological concepts and theoretical approaches, and begins to establish that there is a relationship between knowledge and the social, political, economic, and cultural context in which it is produced.
Who Am I?
This module takes the contemporary interest in identity and the self and establishes that even such highly individualistic concerns are rooted in historical, social, economic, cultural and political structures and processes. This module draws on Sociology and other cognate social science disciplines such as psychology, philosophy, and political theory, to provide a dynamic learning environment in which you are encouraged to recognise and appreciate theoretical diversity and appreciate the remit and capacity of Sociology for an understanding of the self.
Divisions, Diversity and Difference I
This module explores core sociological themes of social divisions, difference, exclusion and power, and examines them both theoretically and empirically. This module also serves as a platform to develop transferable employability skills and to offer support in the transition to this level of study.
Theory and Methods
This module has been designed to extend your knowledge of social theory and research methods, and builds explicitly on the foundation established in the ‘Sociological Imagination’ module. It aims to provide both a comprehensive knowledge of sociological theories and an applied understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods.
Welfare and Wellbeing
This module aims to promote an enhanced understanding of the institutions involved in the development and implementation of social policies, how these have developed over time, and the themes, issues and debates surrounding them. You will explore the construction of social problems, in different historical periods and different national contexts.
Comparative Social Policy
This module aims to explore the ways in which different societies have attempted to tackle social problems and inequalities at different points in history, and to analyse to the impact of policy developments within national and cross-national contexts. You will engage with core theoretical approaches and more recent policy trends and intellectual developments to understand the evolution of welfare systems within distinct national contexts; the cross-national diffusion of welfare models and policy developments; and the ways in which welfare systems have changed over time to meet the demands of a globalised world.
Divisions, Diversity and Difference II
This module aims to extend and deepen your understanding of the core sociological themes of social divisions, difference, exclusion, and power. The module provides continuity, coherence and community in the student experience; the space to deliver and develop transferable skills; and structured advice for options following completion of your degree.
When studying Sociology and Social Policy you must also undertake an ‘Individual Study’. This provides the opportunity to explore personal interests and work autonomously on a piece of work after an initial taught induction phase. There is an option for you to take a longer, more in-depth 40 credit study, which will often include empirical investigation.
Likely optional modules
Citizenship and Empowerment
This module is designed to provide you with a firm grounding in the concepts and theories of citizenship, and to encourage an informed understanding of the active practice of citizenship in contemporary Britain including a discussion of social movements.
Crime and Deviance
This module has always been a popular choice amongst our students, and supports you in preparing for careers in policing, criminal justice and local government. The module extends the discussion of order and deviance begun in the ‘Sociological Imagination’ module, and aims to develop a critical understanding of key perspectives, theories, methodologies and issues in the field of criminology.
Medicine, Health and Society
This module provides a firm grounding in the sociology of health and illness, and will be of particular interest to those students wishing to pursue careers in health or social work. The module will critically examine the history, power and dominance of biomedical knowledge and the continued persistence of health inequalities.
Research Skills: Qualitative and Quantitative Data Analysis
This module is designed to develop practical skills of data collection, analysis, presentation, and interpretation. You will be encouraged to collect and analyse data for local community organisations. This module will be of particular interest to students who wish to undertake a 40 credit Individual Study at Level 6 (Year 3), or who are contemplating postgraduate studies.
Sociology of Education
This module examines how Sociology and Social Policy contribute to an understanding of education. It may be of particular interest to those students wishing to enter the teaching profession, but also for those considering other professions. The learning and teaching environment aims to develop the practical communication and organisational skills valued within the educational sector.
Sociology of Family Life
This module aims to provide a thorough exploration of continuity, change and diversity in intimate relationships, and to support students wishing to enter teaching and social work. Drawing on sociological theory and historical analyses, the module encourages a sophisticated understanding of families in transition.
Citizenship and Community
This module encourages you to apply your existing and developing knowledge and understanding of social citizenship and participation to the service and care sector delivered by either the public, private or charity sector.
Mind, Body and Society
This module is designed to examine the Sociology of madness and the Sociology of the body and will be of interest to everybody but especially to you who wishes to enter social work and health related professions. Sophisticated theoretical debate will be supplemented by an empirical examination of inequalities in the diagnosis and epidemiology of mental illness.
Race, Ethnicity ad Society
This module provides an in-depth conceptual, theoretical, and empirical understanding of the roles played by processes of racialization and ‘othering’.
Reading Social Texts
This module requires you to engage critically with high level social theory. Its focus on critical reading and independent research skills will support you if you wish to make the transition to postgraduate study.
Sexuality and Modernity
This module engages with questions of desire, pleasure, identity, sexual normativity and power in modernity from a social scientific perspective.
"My research examines the ways in which social policies are shaped by ideas about youth and age, gender and family, work and retirement, and a range of other questions. To me, Sociology and Social Policy is about how we understand the world and our role in it: this is what makes it such a fascinating field."