Programme And Module Handbook
Programme Specification

Date Specification Approved
College College Social Sciences
School School of Social Policy
Department Soc Policy, Sociology & Crimin
Partner College and School
Collaborative Organisation and Form of Collaboration
Qualification and Programme Title B.A. Social Policy (Crime, Policing and Community Justice) Full-time
Programme Code 9699
Delivery Location Campus
Language of Study English
Length of Programme 3 Year(s)
Accreditations This programme has no outside accreditations
Aims of the Programme Social Policy investigates the actions and inactions of a range of actors and organisations in the pursuit of human wellbeing. It pays particular attention to a range of problems which cause diswelfare and examines the systems and relationships that seek to end suffering and misery. The discipline requires a level of complexity which not only engages with key fields of welfare (poverty, unemployment, health, housing and education) but also the development of new topics and debates in a rapidly changing, global context. Understanding the pursuit of human wellbeing requires an engagement with ideological debates, conceptual differences and conflicting evidence, all of which are involved and drawn upon within the policy process to create the interventions which enhance (or diminish) wellbeing.

The social policy degree at Birmingham enables students to understand the nature of social problems in the UK and beyond. It encourages students to not only develop an understanding of contemporary social issues but investigate potential solutions and how to promote change to tackle social problems.

Social policy is constantly shifting and changing. In recent years there has been a plethora of organisations engaged in the generation of ideas and policies to address social problems. The subject of social policy therefore must rise to the challenge of equipping its students to not only understand but also engage in the process of policy reform and change. Consequently its requires an approach which embeds students in key concepts and topics of social policy alongside the analytical skills necessary for understanding and informing the policy process.

Constant flux in the sector requires that students be equipped with a range of conceptual, methodological and analytical tools suited to both academic study and the wider demands of employment within a range of sectors which interact with the policy process.

Moreover, Social Policy represents a key aspect of the social sciences, to not only understand the world, but to seek to change it. Students must therefore graduate with the capability of understanding and investigating the causes of human misery and the consequences of policies which seek to its remedy. Consequently, social policy studies the way societies determine the various basic human needs of their populations and the arrangements that are made to meet those needs. Such needs include having sufficient to eat, somewhere to live, a sustainable and safe environment, good health and health care, provision for those who cannot live a fully independent life, education and training and the opportunity for individuals to fully participate in their society.

An important aspect of such studies requires students to engage with the wider mixed economy of welfare. To appreciate that the state is not the only actor involved in the provision of welfare services. An appreciation of the role of the state in relation to the market whilst central to the historical development of social policy must now be broadened to consider additional providers, such as the Third Sector. Social Policy at Birmingham seeks to bring this into an appreciation of the subject alongside the key theoretical and conceptual debates which make the routes to human welfare unclear and uncertain.

Engaging students in this subject (and in line with the QAA benchmarks for the subject) the study of social policy at Birmingham develops a particular pathway through its core modules. The ambition is to create critically aware and engaged students pursing the achievement of social justice (in its various definitions) through policy implementation. This requires a gradual development of students by first introducing students to key topics, concepts and problems facing the UK in a contemporary global context.
Programme Outcomes
Students are expected to have Knowledge and Understanding of: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
The scope, contested nature and development of social policy
The broad range of theoretical and social perspectives; how society and important features of the social are conceptualised
Research methodologies and the limitations of social research
The policy process
Specialist area within social policy
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, presentations, student-led discussion groups, individual and group project work, observation visits.
Unseen examinations
Individual presentations
Group presentations
Literature reviews
Research outline
Research project (dissertation)
Learning diaries/self-evaluation reports
Students are expected to have attained the following Skills and other Attributes: Which will be gained through the following Teaching and Learning methods: and assessed using the following methods:
Team based working
Writing skills essays, reports, briefing papers
Oral communication skills
Skills of critical analysis, logic and argument
Working with data
Reflecting on their own learning
Integrate and synthesise knowledge from a range of disciplines and apply it to particular policy problems
Lectures, seminars, tutorials, workshops, presentations, student-led discussion groups, individual and group project work, observation visits.
This information is to be supplied