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UNIVERSITY OF KENT

Module Specification

Social Policy (KI540)

Level I (FHEQ Level: 5)

Description
This introduces you to the many factors which influence social policy. Included are
historical, conceptual, political, regional, national and other agents of social change.
Their effect on welfare provision will be explored. The module encompasses a variety
of health and social care sectors in the United Kingdom. Analysis of welfare policy
‘landmark’ provision will enable you to evaluate sufficiency and deficiency in
provision. Tracing developments from the period prior to 1945 to the present, you will
be able to compare and contrast major competing perspectives. Reviewing a
selection of national models of provision will allow for consideration of some
alternative perceptions and deliveries of welfare services. Key contemporary issues
for policy makers, welfare recipients, providers and all stakeholders will be examined.

Learning outcomes
To achieve this module a learner must:
1. Understand salient historical and contemporary landmarks in social welfare
provision
2. Analyse the origins of welfare policies and the impact on the service user
3. Investigate recent developments in health and social care policy.

Content
Historical and contemporary landmarks
Pre-1945 provision and perspectives: 19th century concepts: role of religion, the
voluntary sector in welfare: early 20th century Liberalism and the foundations of
British welfare, votes for women etc
1945-1979: World War II, its effects on provision and attitudes to welfare; post-war
‘consensus’ and differences; influence of Butler, Gaitskell, Beveridge and Bevan; the
ending of consensus
1979-present: the New Right and Thatcherism, New Labour and social inclusion,
important legislation and health and social care initiatives

Welfare policies
The roles of institutions: parliament, local government, civil service, government
agencies, political parties, committees, enquiries, legislative process, green/white
papers, debate
Influences on policy: less eligibility, universality, selectivity, welfare state, welfare to
work, charters; movements: pressure groups, campaigns; political spectrums and
ideology; left, right, centre; Marx and Manheim
Impact of policy on users: examples relevant to chosen Act

Recent developments
Current initiatives: gender, ethnic issues, poverty and social security, health and
health services, community care, disability, crime and criminal justice
Impact: on service users
National models: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and European
examples
Outcomes and assessment criteria
Outcomes To achieve each outcome a learner must
demonstrate the ability to:
Understand salient historical  identify key historical landmarks in social
and contemporary landmarks welfare, focusing on the period up to 1945
in social welfare provision  outline evolution of health and social care
policies following World War II until 1979
 outline health and social care policies from
1979 to the present day
Analyse the origins of welfare  identify and analyse the processes involved in
policies and the impact on the development of a key Act of Parliament
service user  analyse the factors that influenced the key
themes and concepts in the Act
 evaluate the impact of the Act on service users
Investigate recent  identify current policy initiatives in all health and
developments in health and social care
social care policy.  evaluate the impact of these policy initiatives
on service users
 analyse the differences in formation and
adaptation of social policy initiatives from other
national perspectives

Textbooks
Alcock C, Payne S and Sullivan M, Introducing Social Policy, FT Prentice Hall, 2003,
ISBN 0131231251
Baldock J, Manning N and Vickerstaff S, Social Policy (a Reader), Oxford University
Press, 2003, ISBN: 01992 58945
Blakemore K, Social Policy, an Introduction, Open University Press, 1998, ISBN:
0335208479
Hantrais L, Social Policy in the European Union, Macmillan, 1995, ISBN:
0333920082
Lavalette M and Pratt A, Social Policy a Conceptual and Theoretical Introduction, 2nd
edition, Sage, 2001, ISBN: 0761969535
Lewis G, Gewirtz S and Clarke J, Rethinking Social Policy, Sage/Open University,
2000, ISBN: 0761967559
Mishra R, The Welfare State in Capitalist Society; Policies of Retrenchment and
Maintenance in Europe, North America and Australia, Harvester Wheatsheaf,
1990, ISBN: 0745002110
SE Curtis, Health and Inequality, Sage, 2003, ISBN: 0761968237
Timmins N (editor), The Five Giants; A Biography of the Welfare State, HarperCollins,
2001, ISBN: 000710264X
Vernon S, Social Work and the Law, Butterworths, 2003, ISBN: 0406894272
Walsh M, Stephens P and Moore S, Social Policy and Welfare, Stanley Thornes,
ISBN: 0748745912