PP0422 - Social Policy: Children, Families and Communities

What will I learn on this module?

This module provides you with an introduction to the academic discipline of social policy, its key concepts and analytical frameworks. Social policy impacts on all of our lives in some way, this module examines the way in which social issues and policies impact on the well-being of children, families and communities in society. This will be achieved by examining policies that affect children and young people. Specifically, policies relating to safeguarding will be a key focus.

You will explore how individuals shape and are shaped by policy making and welfare practices as well as how social policy is organised, represented and experienced. The intention is to open up challenging questions about the policymaking process locally, nationally and globally both in the past and in contemporary society. The module will cover specific policy areas such as education, health and social care, employment and welfare as well as the development of welfare systems in the UK and Europe.

You will be introduced to key concepts in social policy such as social justice, poverty and inequality. The module focuses on key perspectives, theories and contemporary issues in relation to children, families, communities and social policy. It considers questions such as:

What is the relationship between children, families and the state?
How are children's lives influenced by social policy?
Why are welfare systems and services different in different countries?
What role does social policy play in supporting children, families and communities?
To what extent are our lives controlled by social policy?

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn in a variety of ways during this module. The module will encourage peer group and collaborative learning as well as independent, self-directed study. Activities will include a programme of lectures delivered to a large group of students as well as seminars and small group discussions. Attendance at lectures and seminars will help you to meet the learning outcomes for the module. Lectures will provide you with a range of perspectives on particular issues and policies providing examples of the development and implementation of specific policies. Seminars provide you with the opportunity to discuss and share your thinking with peers and tutors in a supportive environment. Seminar activities incorporate brief seminar presentations on selected readings and debates as well as exercises interpreting a range of evidence including quantitative and qualitative data. In this module there will be a series of workshops in IT labs during which you will learn and practice the skills required for the summative assessment. A range of electronic and interactive resources will be available via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP), including lecture materials, tutors' audio and video explanations as well as discussion boards and links to external websites and podcast materials.

There are opportunities for formative assessment throughout the module to support your learning and to help you work towards the summative assignment. As part of the collaborative learning approach students will be involved in peer and self-assessment which will develop evaluation skills and capacity for autonomous learning. Your self-directed reading and engagement with the module materials also form an important part of your learning. Your participation in small groups and teams will also play a central role in your learning and assessment.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will support your learning in a variety of ways. They will provide a programme of lectures which relate to the learning outcomes for the module. Seminars will provide a supportive environment in which you can discuss and share your ideas. Tutors will provide reading materials, examples, and activities for seminars to support the development of your understanding of social policy. Supervised workshops will also support the development of IT skills necessary for the summative assessment. You will also be provided with an electronic reading list which will include essential and recommended reading for the module and its assessment.You will also be supported to explore and engage in your own search for literature to develop your curiosity and enquiry into particular areas of social policy of interest to you and your group.

Peer group work is central to learning on this module and tutors will support the development of this through a series of discussions and exercises which will focus on the skills needed for collaborative working and for peer and self-assessment. Contact details for all tutors for this module are available in the module handbook and via the eLP. Where appropriate, and with your agreement, answers to your queries that would be beneficial to the whole group will be posted on the eLP discussion board so all may benefit.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

1.Identify key social issues, concepts and perspectives in relation to the development of social policy and welfare systems for children, young people and families.

2.Apply these perspectives to a particular social policy and explain how this policy has developed over time and the effects it has on children, young people and/or families.

3.Ability to gather a range of evidence and data to explore different perspectives in social policy, synthesising these into a coherent argument.

4.Demonstrate a competence in IT, and bibliographic skills for information gathering and communicate ideas effectively.

5. Demonstrate curiosity, collaboration and analysis in relation to global and national transformations in social policy.

How will I be assessed?

As part of a student-led workshop in small teams you will produce a video in which you will evaluate a social policy of your choice.

(summative assessment addresses MLO's 1,2,3 & 4)

Formative assessment

During the mdoule you will be expeced to work in small teams and deliver presentations on particular aspects of your chosen social policy to your seminar groups

(formative assessment addresses MLOs 1, 2, 3 & 4).


Summative: Tutors will formally assess your teams' video providing written feedback and marks based on the assessment criteria.

Formative: Module tutors will encourage peer feedback on teams' videos during the course of the module. Additionally, you will also benefit from informal feedback (from tutors, peers and self) throughout the module as you undertake a carefully structured sequence of learning activities and tasks, which will include discussion of 'worked examples' of contemporary social policies which affect children and young people.





Module abstract


Course info

UCAS Code W3P9

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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