Social Policy and Social Control - SA300

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2020 to 2021
(version 2)
Autumn 4 15 (7.5) DR E Hogg checkmark-circle


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 the following module collections.

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 Retrospective Policy Analysis (40%)
Essay 2: 2000 words Prospective Policy Analysis (60%)

Indicative reading

Alcock, P. (2016) Why We Need Welfare, Bristol: Policy Press
Garland, D. (2016) The Welfare State: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford; Oxford University Press.
Hills, J. (2015) Good Times, Bad Times: the Welfare Myth of Them and Us, Policy Press, Bristol.
Hudson, J., S. Kuhner and Lowe, S. (2008) The Short Guide to Social Policies, Policy Press, Bristol.
King, A. (2015) Who Governs Britain? London: Penguin.
Moran, M. (2015) Politics and Governance in the UK. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

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


  1. Credit level 4. Certificate level module usually taken in the first stage of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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