module specification

SS6P03 - Social Policy Dissertation (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Social Policy Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
54 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
246 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 0%   Dissertation roposal
Coursework 0%   Draft literature review 3,000 words
Dissertation 100%   Dissertation 10,000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Afternoon

Module summary

• To provide an opportunity for students to identify through a policy analysis the historical, theoretical and methodological issues in their chosen topic.
• To encourage students to apply the conceptual understanding gained in their programme of study to a substantive issue/theme.
• To present an evaluation of existing policy relating to the topic of their choice.


Attend workshops on:

- Research Question formation LO1
- Theory and Methods in Social Policy LO2,LO3
- Literature Reviews LO2,LO3
- Policy Analysis LO4
- Writing UP LO5
Independent work leading to a 10,000 words dissertation

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The dissertation supervisor will be responsible for advising and guiding the student in the selection of a project title and the organisation and development of the material. They will ensure that sufficient material is available and guide students on its use. In collaboration with the student supervisors will set a work and tutorial timetable. The on-going process of receiving and scrutinising drafts – with at least ten supervisory sessions – is integral to the completion of the project.

There will also be timetabled classes for all dissertation students to induct them in academic skills and the criteria that is to be met.

Learning outcomes

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

1      Identify an area or theme of social policy inquiry.
2      Use theoretical and empirical knowledge, research and analytical skills gained in their programme of study to investigate the area and formulate a project. 
3      Identify and Undertake an investigation using a relevant theory and methodology.
4       Undertake an review and analysis, social policy and raw conclusions from this analysis and made possible policy recommendations where appropriate. This will include a library search and other data sources relating to a general field in which the theme is located. 
5      Maintain an agreed schedule of work submit a well-presented piece of work in the conventional academic format with well-documented sources.

Assessment strategy

The dissertation plan will assess the student’s ability to identify an inquiry theme and to formulate a project . The 3000 words draft literature review  will assess the ability to summarise existing research and policy documents. The final written submission should be about 10,000 words.


Identify core and additional reading

Alcock, P., Erskine, A. and May, M. (eds.) (2003) The Student’s Companion to Social Policy, 2nd edition, London: Blackwell, Parts I and II
Deacon, A. (2002) Perspectives on Welfare, Buckingham: Open University Press, Pierson, C. (2006) Beyond the Welfare State? 3rd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press
Pierson, C. and Castles, F. (eds.) (2006) The Welfare State Reader, 2nd edition, Cambridge: Polity Press