What you will study
The module offers an imaginative and innovative perspective on the role played by social policy in society today through its core concepts of the personal, social policy and their mutual constitution – investigating marginalised issues, such as disability and sexuality, as well as ‘taken for granted’ topics, like women’s caring roles, highlighting their meanings in welfare practices and discourses.
Its approach is to explore the module themes across theoretical frameworks – post-structuralism, feminism, Marxism, psychoanalytic approaches and post-colonialism – in order to critically evaluate particular concerns and debates. Students are also encouraged to reflect on their own experiences of welfare and the research process (as well as analysing representations by other individuals and groups) through assignments which employ a variety of formats such as a report, as well as more conventional essays.
A clear emphasis on the evaluation of research evidence runs throughout and there are opportunities to consolidate and develop skills in analysing visual, numerical and printed data from a range of historical and contemporary sources. To gain greater insights and develop hands-on research skills, students are supported in undertaking a small piece of independent research consisting of two semi-structured interviews after reflecting on an initial interviewing experience.
This module adopts an interdisciplinary approach that is designed to be of interest and relevance to students planning OU level 3 study in social policy. In addition, it is likely to be of interest to students in other social science disciplines including sociology and psychology, as well as those in the Faculty of Wellbeing, Education and Language Studies. It has also been designed to encourage and facilitate entry to postgraduate-level study.
This module has relevance to a wide range of employment since it offers students the opportunity to develop transferable skills, such as report writing and interviewing, and will help you plan and design your own work. It would be most valuable for people who work, or want to work, in social welfare, health care or public service settings such as the criminal justice system and various voluntary organisations. The skills developed through the module are also relevant to administration and management in the commercial and service sectors.
This module may help you to gain recognition from a professional body.