Caring for Vulnerable Adults: Understanding Social Care - SOCI6780

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2022 to 2023.


Social care is of central significance in the support of a range of vulnerable adults, forming one of the key services of the welfare state, though one that sometimes loses out to higher profile concern with medical care. In this module we trace the development of social care from its origins in nineteenth century philanthropy, through its consolidation as a key service within the post war welfare state, to its current state of flux as it becomes increasingly fragmented and subject to new models of provision. The module looks at the care experiences of people with physical disabilities whether acquired in childhood or as result of accident or illness later in life; with learning difficulties; and frail older people whether living at home or in residential care. It also explores the roles of those who provide care and support in the form of family carers and paid workers, whether social workers or care assistants. It analyses the key social and policy debates in this field: for example: can we afford the cost of the rising numbers of older people? What role does ageism play in recent scandals about the quality of care provision? How can we support family carers and should we do so? How do we integrate people with learning disability into wider society? In doing so it looks at funding, affordability and the mixed economy of care, as well as addressing fundamental questions about how disability, age and care are experienced and understood.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 44
Private study hours: 256
Total study hours: 300


Core module for the programme listed below and optional module for other SSPSSR programmes
Health and Social Care BA

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Essay 1 - 25%
Essay 2 - 25%
Examination - 50%

Reassessment methods

100% coursework.

Indicative reading

Adams R Social Work and Empowerment 3rd edition, Palgrave
Adams R (ed) (2007) Foundations of Health and Social Care, Palgrave.
Bytheway B (2002) Understanding Care, Welfare and Community, Routledge
Glasby J (2007) Understanding Health and Social Care, Policy Press
Glasby J and Littlechild R (2004) The Health and Social Care Divide, Policy Press
Means R et al (2003) Community Care: policy and practice 3rd edition, Palgrave
Parrott L (2002) Social Work and Social Care, 2nd edition Routledge
Twigg J (2006) The Body in Health and Social Care. Palgrave
Phillipson, C (2013) Ageing, Polity

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Demonstrate knowledge of the evolution of the social care sector and the role and range of services provided therein and knowledge of
the current structures of health and social care including an ability to locate them in a wider context. Show knowledge of the current
sources of welfare in the UK, including health and social services, social security, housing and education)
8.2 Understand the various methods of financing social care and their implications for policy
8.3 Understand the role of the state within a 'mixed economy of welfare'
8.4 Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the perspectives of both service users and providers of social care.
8.5 Understand the contribution of sociological perspectives to understanding the policy field of social care
8.6 Understand the relevance of inequality, difference and diversity for social care
8.7 Understand how to evaluate and criticise research evidence, engaging directly with research materials and official data
8.8 Understand the distinctive nature of UK social care within a comparative context

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Demonstrate their ability in presentation and debate
9.2 Learn to utilise research and statistical data, including web-based materials
9.3 Synthesise knowledge across a range of disciplinary fields within the social sciences
9.4 ork collaboratively with others in seminar groups


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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