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Module Title LH Your Money and Your Life: From Welfare State to Personal Finance
SchoolSchool of Social Policy
Department Soc Policy, Sociology & Crimin
Module Code 08 23837
Module Lead Karen Rowlingson
Level Honours Level
Credits 20
Semester Semester 2
Restrictions None
Contact Hours Lecture-40 hours
Guided independent study-160 hours
Total: 200 hours
Description The central theme for this module is the shift in responsibility and risk from the state to the individual in relation to financial security. Whereas in the 1940s and 1950s, the welfare state aimed to provide social security from cradle to grave, the 1980s and 1990s have seen a growing emphasis on individuals to provide for their own financial needs through occupational pensions, home ownership and personal savings. This shift from the state to individual responsibility and risk is particularly problematic at a time of growing economic uncertainty, wealth inequality and demographic change.
The module will consider the role of other actors here, such as the financial services sector, employers and the third sector in relation to financial security. A particular focus will be placed on issues around class, gender and ethnicity in relation to the topics covered. Some international comparisons of systems (i.e. US, Europe) which would help to place the changes in the UK into wider context
This module will cover a range of topics, such as: saving for retirement - the balance between state and private pensions; home-ownership and the housing market; social insurance versus private insurance; credit and debt; making ends meet; within-household distribution of income and wealth; money over the life course; the generational contract; saving; paying for long-term care; financial capability; financial inclusion; inheritance; wealth inequality; taxation; using up assets; the relationship between money and happiness; asset-based welfare.
As well as taking a critical, academic approach to these issues, students will also be introduced to a range of issues which may increase their own personal financial capability (eg in discussing issues around student debt, home ownership and pensions). We have good links with Student Funding Office in the University and with Birmingham City Council's Financial Inclusion team. We would hope to draw on these in the delivery of the module, eg in highlighting materials aimed to help students manage money and in arranging off-site visits, eg to a Citizens Advice Bureau, Housing Associations and so on.
Learning Outcomes By the end of the module the students should be able to:
  • 1. Demonstrate knowledge of the changes in provision of financial security from the state to the individual
  • 2. Critically analyse these changes in terms of why they have occurred and who has been most advantaged/disadvantaged by them
  • 3. Examine particular areas of personal finance in the context of current economic and demographic trends
  • 4. Communicate an argument regarding the appropriate relative roles of the state, the individual and other actors in relation to financial security
Assessment 23837-02 : 3 hour exam : Exam (Centrally Timetabled) - Written Unseen (100%)
Assessment Methods & Exceptions Assessments: 3 hour unseen exam
Reassessments: None
Reading List