Social Policy and Social Control - SA300

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2018-19
(version 2)
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4 15 (7.5) DR T Haux
(version 2)
View Timetable
4 15 (7.5)




Unavailable for Stage 3 students



The module aims to develop the understanding of the policy making process and the role of the different actors within the wider context of the tools and limits of the ability of the UK national government to influence behaviour. It has a particular focus on processes of social control as they relate to social policy. Learning will be centred around two main tasks:

i. Understanding the links between social policy and the regulation of behaviour e.g. the uses and outcomes of incentives, sanctions and educative communication to promote behavioural changes sought by policy makers.

ii. Taking topical examples of policy issues, contextualised analysis of the policy making process, its 'stages', key actors and
institutions will be used to explore how and why particular policy options emerge and evolve. A central concern will be to help students understand the nature of support and opposition for particular policy proposals and the implications for developing alternative policies.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

21 contact hours consisting of lectures, workshops and seminars
129 hours of private study
150 total hours for this module

Method of assessment

100% coursework

Essay 1: 1500 words (40%)
Essay 2: 2000 words (60%)

Indicative reading

Alcock et al. (2016) The Student's Companion to Social Policy. Oxford: Wiley & Blackwell.
Halpern, D. (2015). Inside the Nudge Unit: How small changes can make a big difference. London: WHAllen
Hudson, J. (2009) Understanding the Policy Process: Analysing Welfare Policy and Practice. Bristol: Policy Press.
John, P. (2012) Analyzing Public Policy. London: Routledge
King, A., & Crewe, I. (2013). The blunders of our governments. Oneworld.
Wincup, E. (2013) Understanding Crime and Social Policy. Bristol: Policy Press.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

Understand the underlying rationale for social policies, including their interconnections with processes of social control
Understand the key stages of the policy making process
Demonstrate an ability to identify the key actors related to a given policy question
Articulate and apply the principles of the different ways of affecting behavioural change in relation to social policy and social control
Critically evaluate the solutions to social problems
Have an understanding of the role of (quantitative) evidence in policy making

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