Political Economy for Social Policy and Research - 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 2017: Sem2
  • Assessment: Analysis Task (30%) , Analysis Task (40%) - Learn more

Unit provided by

2017 Fees
Domestic 2,317.00
International 2,567.00

This unit was previously known as SOCX865 Economy and Society

This unit examines the interaction of economic and social forces relevant to policy and social research. It introduces students to economic concepts and forms of analysis from a range of different theoretical perspectives. It also introduces students to economic frameworks that are relevant to social policy analysis, such as macro economic policies to boost employment and the use of price competition to promote efficiency. There is no assumption of prior economic study, and the unit takes a broad and critical approach to economic analysis as it might be used in social research. Finally, the unit examines a number of contemporary debates, such as sustainability, work, gender discrimination and consumerism.

At the completion of this unit students will learn:

  1. to understand key concepts and frameworks from economics, economic sociology and political economy
  2. to apply a political economy analysis to social policy issues
  3. to use concepts from sociology and political economy to analyse economic issues in terms of inequality, efficiency and sustainability 
  4. to evaluate policy positions and theories from the perspective of political economy.
  • Analysis Task (30%)
  • Analysis Task (40%)
  • Exercises (20%)
  • Online Discussion (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:

  • SGY887 — Political Economy for Social Policy Research (Previously SGY387)

Admission to the below programs

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.

1Introduction. Key concepts and overview of the unit
2Going for growth: understanding markets
3Economic decision making (and how economists think)
4Poverty and inequality: understanding class
5Reproducing economic life: the role of care and ecology
6Work Society and the Corporation; Economic cycles, recession and understanding crisis
7Managing the economy: the traditional tools of the state
8Re-thinking the state and the market
9Fiscal Crisis and the Welfare State
10Managing markets: the use of competition in social policy
11Case studies of subsidised services

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 is part of a major, minor, stream or specialisation 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

There are no required textbooks for this unit.

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