CARE06021 2018 Introduction to social policy

General Details

Full Title
Introduction to social policy
Transcript Title
Introduction to social policy
100 %
Subject Area
CARE - Social Studies
SOCS - Social Sciences
06 - NFQ Level 6
05 - 05 Credits
Start Term
2018 - Full Academic Year 2018-19
End Term
9999 - The End of Time
John Pender
Programme Membership
SG_HSOCI_H08 201900 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice SG_WSOCI_H08 202100 Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Social Sciences in Social Care Practice

This module introduces students to social policy. Social policy refers to the policies which governments use for welfare and social protection and to the ways in which welfare is developed in a society. It entails the study of the social relations necessary for human wellbeing and the systems by which wellbeing may be promoted. Students will study how such systems determine wellbeing and their modes of delivery: healthcare and education, housing and social security as well as love and security. All of these systems are organised by a range of bodies: government and official bodies; businesses, social groups, charities, local associations and churches, neighbours, families and loved ones. Understanding how all such systems operate is the focus of this module.

This module maps to the CORU Standards of Proficiency below:

Domain 1: Professional Autonomy and Accountability

Domain 2: Communication, Collaborative Practice and Team working

Domain 3 Safety and Quality

Domain 4: Professional Development

Domain 5: Professional Knowledge and Skills

Learning Outcomes

On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to;


Describe the key junctures and formative influences in the evolution of social policy in Ireland (Domain 5.14)


Outline central concepts such as rights, redistribution, equality, justice, recognition, solidarity and their relevance to social policy (Domain 5.2, 5.3)


Define poverty and explain causes and outcomes for a range of social groups: children, women, men, families, disabled people, immigrants (Domain 1.8, 1.9, 5.15)


Explain how social policy in relation to income security, housing, health and education operates in the Irish context (Domain 5.14)


Assess how a range of welfare state models operate in comparison with the Irish context with particular reference to families, children and early years provision (Domain 1.8, 1.9)

Teaching and Learning Strategies

This module is core to learning for early years students and will be run as a problem-based learning programme. This will give students the tools to understand and apply core principles to current policy issues in the sector. It will be taught in a one hour lecture format and one two hour tutorial format. This will enable students to work together, discuss key principles, develop research foci and present solutions to social policy challenges in Irish society today.

Module Assessment Strategies

The teaching and learning strategy suggests the assessment strategy for this module. Assessment provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their capacity to understand and apply core social policy principles to contemperory social policy contexts. Assessment 1 (40%) takes the form of a research project on an aspect of welfare provision for a selelcted group. Assessment 2 (60%) builds on this work and provides students with similar research interests to build a policy response to the issues arising and defend these to their peers in a tutorial-based presentation and discussion setting. 


This module’s assessment allows for assessment of CORU Standards of Proficiency as follows:

Feasibility pitch presentation (Domain 1.8, 1.9, 1.18, 2.6, 2.7, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.14)

Attendance at and participation in simulation event (Domain 1.18, 3.5, 5.2, 5.3, 5.5, 5.14, 5.15)

Policy position paper (Domain 1.18, 2.6 2.7, 3.5, 5.3, 5.5, 5.6 & 5.14)

Repeat Assessments

Research Project

Indicative Syllabus

Introduction to social policy: its scope, function and relevance to early years

History of social policy and formative influences on its development in Ireland

Core principles in the development of welfare provision: equality, redistribution, rights, recognition, solidarity, justice, welfare, need, neoliberalism

Institutional and residual models of welfare; selective and universal methods of provision

Paying for welfare: monetarism and keynesiamism

Models of welfare provision: social democratic, conservative, corporatist and examples of each

Structures of services delivery: public, private, voluntary, mutual aid, informal.

Social Services Provision: introduction to housing policy, education and health policy and income security

Gender and Welfare: the 'male breadwinner' and the 'dual earner' models-implications for policy

Early years provision: Irish policy development in comparative context: European models

Assessing trends in social policy development in Ireland: how neoliberalism constitutes the individual, the child and the family and the implications for policy and practice responses 

Coursework & Assessment Breakdown

Coursework & Continuous Assessment
100 %

Coursework Assessment

Title Type Form Percent Week Learning Outcomes Assessed
1 Feasibility pitch presentation Continuous Assessment Assessment 20 % Any 2,3,5
2 Attendance and participation at a policy simulation event Continuous Assessment Assessment 50 % Any 1,2,3,4,5
3 Completion and submission of a policy position paper not exceeding 2000 words Continuous Assessment Written Report 30 % Any 1,2,3,4,5

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Workload
Lecture Lecture Theatre Lecture Delivery 1 Weekly 1.00
Problem Based Learning Flat Classroom Tutorial 2 Weekly 2.00
Total Full Time Average Weekly Learner Contact Time 3.00 Hours

Required & Recommended Book List

Recommended Reading
1999 Suffer Little Children New Island Books, Dublin

Recommended Reading
2009 Irish Social Policy a critical introduction Gill and Macmillan Dublin

Recommended Reading
2013 Right from the Start Dept of Childrens and Youth Affairs, Dublin

Recommended Reading
2004 Making Connections CECDE

Recommended Reading
2016 Policy Issues on Housing Social Justice Ireland

Recommended Reading
2016 Children and Young People Social Justice Ireland

Recommended Reading
2016 International Spotlight on Irelands treatment of children Childrens Rights Alliance, Dublin

Recommended Reading
2012 Families- Childrens First Educators Start Strong, Ireland

Recommended Reading
2013 Key themes in Social Policy Routledge

Recommended Reading
2013 Barry, Ursula and Conroy, Pauline (2013) 'Ireland in Crisis 2008-2012: women, austerity and inequality' In: Jill Rubery and Maria Karamessini (eds). Women and Austerity - the economic crisis and the future for gender equality. London: Routledge

Recommended Reading
1990 The three worlds of Welfare Capitalism Princeton University Press

Module Resources

URL Resources

Childrens Rights Alliance

Start Strong

Social Justice Ireland

Dept of Children and Youth Affairs years


 What is social policy? You-Tube Lecture Jonathan Bradshaw

Other Resources