North, South, East, West: Comparative Social Policy - 2017

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 3
  • Availability for 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Paper 1 - 750-1,000 words (15%) , Paper 2 - Discussion paper 3000 words (60%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,317.00
International 2,567.00

This capstone unit investigates and analyses social policy experiments around the world. Social policies that aim to enhance public welfare are often incorrectly considered to solely be the province of wealthy Western democracies. In fact, some of the most interesting social policy experiments in recent times have occurred in East Asia, Latin America and beyond. This semester, we build on foundational knowledge established in earlier core social policy units (SOCX810 and SOCX818) and core methodology units (SOCX830 and SOCX831), which we strongly recommend that you do before undertaking this unit. We extend our analysis to social policy in richer and poorer countries, considering similarities as well as differences in scale, scope, instruments and politics. The course engages with frameworks for comparing social policies, welfare states and understanding historical developments. It also considers recent developments in the welfare regimes of Europe, North America and the Antipodes, as well as contemporary experiments in East Asia, Latin America and Africa, contemplating their implications for how we understand social policy.

At the completion of this unit students will be able to:

  1. explain interdisciplinary approaches and frameworks for the study of comparative social policy
  2. compare and contrast social policy designs from around the world
  3. understand key processes involved in social policy development
  4. situate developments in Australian social policy internationally
  5. further develop vocational and research skills
  6. discuss and present relevant research findings
  7. communicate policy information and social research in a discussion paper.
  • Paper 1 — 750-1,000 words (15%)
  • Paper 2 — Discussion paper 3000 words (60%)
  • Participation — Seminar particiaption (10%)
  • Presentation — Seminar particaption (15%)

Admission to Master of Policy and Applied Social Research

  • 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.

2Convergence & divergence
3Comparing motivations
4Marketisation, financialisation and the service transition
5Welfare state cultures
6The paradox of redistribution
7Social policy in Africa
8Social Policy in East Asia
9Social policy in Latin America
10Social policy case study 1
11Social policy case study 2
12Social policy case study 3

This unit is delivered using the following methods and materials:

Instructional Methods

  • Discussion Forum/Discussion Board
  • Embedded Multimedia
  • Online Quizzes/Tests
  • Online assignment submission
  • Podcasting/Lecture capture
  • Standard Media
  • Web links

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.

Textbook information for this unit is currently being updated and will be available soon. Please check back regularly for updates. Alternatively, visit the The Co-op website and enter the unit details to search for available textbooks.

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