Developing Social Policy - 2016

To enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into a course from the provider. Read before you start

Unit summary


  • Level of Study: Postgraduate
  • Study load: 0.125 EFTSL
  • Delivery method: Fully Online
  • Prerequisites: Yes
  • Duration: 14 weeks
  • Government loans available: FEE-HELP
  • Availability for 2016: Sess 1
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Assignment 1 - Policy Task 1 (20%) , Assignment 2 - Policy Task 2 (20%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2016 Fees
Domestic 2,250.00
International 2,500.00

This unit was previously known as SGY881 Developing Social Policy.

This unit introduces and advances major topics in social policy – the policies that governments make to improve individual and public welfare. The idea of social policy can be narrow, involving giving cash benefits and social services to the most needy. But our understanding of social policy might be broader, and encompass the provision of social infrastructure – health, housing and education services. Sometimes, social policy can be 'disguised' in other policies entirely, such as the policy of life-long employment promoted in industrial Japan, minimum wages in Australia, and guaranteed prices for food staples. This semester, we consider how different social policies shape different welfare states. The unit will have three parts. The first part engages with key concepts of social policy and the welfare state. The second part outlines three historical welfare models (Australia, Sweden, and the United States) and offers tools for classifying welfare states. The third part looks at the contemporary political and social dynamics surrounding welfare states. Across the semester, we keep a focus on welfare policymaking in Australia and recent social policy changes.

At the completion of this unit students will:

  1. critically assess, use and synthesise information
  2. discuss key social theories and frameworks used to understand the development of social policies
  3. contextualise Australian social policy by reflecting on international developments
  4. challenge your preconceptions about welfare and other areas by engaging in policy debates
  5. apply and adapt knowledge to 'real world' problems in an ethical and consistent manne
  6. locate and retrieve reliable and high quality information and analysis through individual research
  7. develop vocational skills such as writing policy briefs for government departments and non-government organisations
  8. further develop communication skills to convey your own ideas simply, directly and respectfully
  9. demonstrate effective time management and work organisation.
  • Assignment 1 — Policy Task 1 (20%)
  • Assignment 2 — Policy Task 2 (20%)
  • Assignment 3 — Research Assignment (50%)
  • Online Discussion — Online Participation (10%)

Equivalent units

You cannot enrol in this unit if you have successfully completed any of the following unit(s) because they are considered academically equivalent:

  • SGY881 — Developing Social Policy (Previously SGY381)
  • Broadband access — Students are required to have regular access to a computer and the internet. Mobile devices alone are not sufficient.

In order to enrol in this unit, you must be accepted into one of the following courses:

Please visit the course details page and read the Requirements tab for more information about eligibility.

This unit addresses the following topics.

1Course Introduction
2Poverty & Inequality
3Risk and Social Policy
4Developing Social Policy 1
5Developing Social Policy 2
6Analysing Social Policy
7Australia's Welfare State
8Comparing Sweden & America
9Indigenous Social Policy
10Reforming Income Support
11Population Ageing and Social Policy
12Health Policy
13Course Conclusion.

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board

This unit is a core requirement in the following courses:

This unit may be eligible for credit towards other courses:

  1. Many undergraduate courses on offer through OUA include 'open elective' where any OUA unit can be credited to the course. You need to check the Award Requirements on the course page for the number of allowed open electives and any level limitations.
  2. In other cases, the content of this unit might be relevant to a course on offer through OUA or elsewhere. In order to receive credit for this unit in the course you will need to supply the provider institution with a copy of the Unit Profile in the approved format, which you can download here. Note that the Unit Profile is set at the start of the year, and if textbooks change this may not match the Co-Op textbook list.

Textbooks are subject to change within the academic year. Students are advised to purchase their books no earlier than one to two months before the start of a unit.

Click on the titles of the listed books below to find out more:

Required textbooks

  • Social Policy in Australia

    By:McClelland, Alison

    ISBN: 9780195526868


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

  • Australian Welfare State Who Benefits Now ?

    By:McDonald, Marston, Bryson

    ISBN: 9781420256765


    Supplier:Go to The Co-op Bookshop

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