Social Policy and Everyday Lives - SOCI7490

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


This module approaches the study of social policy and welfare from the perspective of the everyday contexts in which it is implemented and experienced. Via this focus it will explore key substantive issues in contemporary social policy areas including health and social care, family, childhood and education, work and housing, as well as responding to contemporary and live debates. Key conceptual concerns include inequality and difference, the nature of care and the changing identities of welfare subjects and professionals. These concerns are set within the context of shifting welfare settlements and entitlements at national and international level. The policy issues are organised around everyday scales and spaces of policy intervention, including the body, home and family, neighbourhood, community and institution. This approach will enable students to engage with how welfare and social policy is ordered, experienced and contested within everyday contexts, as well as unevenly distributed at a local and regional level. Case studies relevant to each lecture will enable students to explore lived experiences of welfare in diverse settings as well as develop analytical skills in responding to empirical research data. The module has a focus both on UK and European welfare contexts, and on how these local experiences of welfare are shaped by global change and dynamics, for example around migration, health and care.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


BSc Social Sciences
BA Criminal Justice and Criminology

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Reflective Analysis (2000 words) - 30%
Essay (3000 words) - 70%

Reassessment methods

Reassessment Instrument: 100% coursework

Indicative reading

Baldock, J., Mitton, L., Manning, N., & Vickerstaff, S. (2012), eds, Social Policy. Oxford University Press: Oxford.
Bochel, H. & Daly, G. (2014), eds, Social policy. Routledge: London.
Coffey, A. (2004). Reconceptualising social policy. Sociological perspectives on contemporary social policy. Open University Press: Maidenhead.
Milligan, C., & Conradson, D. (2006), Landscapes of voluntarism: New spaces of health, welfare and governance. Policy Press: Bristol.
Valentine, G. (2014), Social geographies: space and society. Routledge: London.

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

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

8.1 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of contemporary social policy debates and practices including in areas of health and
social care, family and education policy, housing, work and benefits.
8.2 Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of key political and theoretical debates within the study of these policy areas, including
questions of inequality and difference, care and control, identity and power, and the ability to apply this knowledge and understanding to
other social policy areas.
8.3 Demonstrate knowledge of conceptual approaches to researching social policy in practice in diverse settings, including an understanding
of how these relate to empirical methods.
8.4 Critically evaluate the impact of globalisation and international perspectives on social policy.
8.5 Demonstrate the ability to analyse empirical case study material from research projects and contemporary social policy arenas, including
primary and secondary qualitative and quantitative sources, and to relate this analysis to evaluating policy.

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

9.1 Understand different kinds of empirical data used in research on social policy in practice.
9.2 Demonstrate effective communication skills, as evidenced through participation in group work, seminar discussions and essay writing.
9.3 Critically evaluate different academic perspectives on social policy in practice.
9.4 Demonstrate effective skills in finding and using library and internet resources.
9.5 Demonstrate effective skills in synthesizing theories and arguments in a coherent manner.


  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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