module specification

SS6000 - Comparative and Global Social Policy (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Comparative and Global Social Policy
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences
Total study hours 300
219 hours Guided independent study
81 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 40%   Essay: 2,500 words
Coursework 60%   Essay: 3,500 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

This module investigates in depth the key aspects of comparative analysis, the debates about globalization and social policy and international perspectives on welfare futures.


Module aims

A1. To provide students with an understanding of the diversity of welfare in different countries.

A2. To examine a range of transnational and global social policies and their influences on national social policies.

A3. To study the broader political, social and economic context in which social policy is constructed and implemented.


• Comparative Social Policy: Theory, Methods, Data
• Social Democratic (Nordic) regime
• Conservative (Bismarckian) regime
• Liberal regime
• Southern regime
• Post-communist, Transition States
• Social policy in China
• Social Policy in South East Asia
• ‘Race’, Racism and Migration
• Gender and Family
• Education
• The European Union
• Globalisation and welfare
• Poverty and social exclusion in the context of globalisation
• Global Policy institutions
• Social Policy and Development
• Environment and sustainability
• Global urban policy
• Welfare futures

Learning and teaching

Teaching will comprise  weekly lectures followed by exercises and reflexive discussion in seminars. Teaching will be informed by research and scholarly activities of the tutors.
Learning will be supported by the WebLearn site for the module which will include all the teaching materials and guidance for assessment.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

(L01) apply different models of welfare regimes to the analysis of social policies in comparative perspective
(LO2) critically assess the influence of global social processes on welfare in particular countries and regions
(LO3) apply theories and models of social policy analysis to a range of social policy areas such as migration, education, family, poverty and social exclusion and  urban development

Assessment strategy

An essay (2500 words) to be submitted in week 16 will assess the students’ understanding of welfare regime modelling in relation to social policies in comparative context. Students will be asked to compare and contrast the welfare regimes and analyse how far these regime types have or have not showed convergence or path dependency. It will have 40% weighting. A 3500 words essay in week 30 will assess the students’ ability to apply the key concepts and models of social policy analysis to specific policy areas. It will have 60% weighting.


Alcock, P. & Craig, G. (eds) (2009 – 2e) International Social Policy, Palgrave
Alcock, P. et al (2016) Student’s Companion to Social Policy, 5th ed, Wiley
Blank, R. (2013) Comparative Health Policy, 4th edition, Palgrave
Castles, F. et al (2010) Oxford Handbook of the Welfare State, Oxford Univ Press
Greve, B. (2013) Routledge Handbook of the Welfare State, Routledge
Hudson, J. et al (2008) The Short Guide to Social Policy, Policy Press
Pascall, G. (2012) Gender Equality and the Welfare State, Policy Press
van Kersbergen, K. (2014) Comparative Welfare State Politics, Cambridge Univ Press
Wahl, A. (2011) The Rise and Fall of the Welfare State, Pluto