Module code: SOC2043

Module Overview

This module focuses on social need and the way that society organises to provide for those in need. We will examine how social problems are defined and policies formulated in response to them.  We consider the relative position of social classes, generations, ethnicities, and men and women in respect to poverty, inequality and welfare. We explore the changing boundaries between the roles of the state, the market, the family and the voluntary sector in the mixed economy of welfare. A range of topics are covered including: education, health, housing, criminal justice, work and pensions and arts and culture.

Module provider


Module Leader

SEAL Alexander (Sociology)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 5

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 128

Lecture Hours: 11

Seminar Hours: 11

Module Availability

Semester 1

Prerequisites / Co-requisites


Module content

Indicative content includes:

  • The development of the state’s role in social welfare

  • Contemporary social policy including: education; health; housing; criminal justice; social services; and, pensions

  • Themes in social policy including the role of social class, gender and ethnicity

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 1500 WORD ESSAY 40
Coursework 2000 WORD ESSAY 60

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through critical engagement with a wide range of scholarly material.

Thus, the summative assessment for this module consists of:

  •  2 essays the first worth 40% and the second worth 60%

Formative assessment and feedback

  • Feedback in class

  • Written feedback on essay one will shape the preparation of the second

Module aims

  • The key issues and perspectives relevant to the study of social policy
  • The role and nature of the central welfare institutions in society
  • Comparative and historical patterns in social policy

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
1 Recognize the factors which shape experiences of poverty in the UK KC
2 Critically evaluate the role played by welfare institutions in providing for citizens social need KCT
3 Consider how approaches to social need have changed over time and why KC

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to:

Introduce students to the study of social policy, key issues and perspectives relevant , the role and nature of core institutions of welfare and comparative patterns

The learning and teaching methods include:

  • lectures/seminars/class discussion/independent reading and preparation of essays

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list

Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: SOC2043

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Criminology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Criminology and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
English Literature with Sociology BA (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module
Politics and Sociology BSc (Hons) 1 Optional A weighted aggregate mark of 40% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2019/0 academic year.