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BA Social Policy and Sociology

Academic Year 2017/18

A programme specification is required for any programme on which a student may be registered. All programmes of the University are subject to the University's Quality Assurance and Enhancement processes as set out in the DASA Policies and Procedures Manual.

Programme Title

BA Social Policy and Sociology

Final Award
(exit route if applicable for Postgraduate Taught Programmes)

Bachelor of Arts

Programme Code

SPY-BA-JS

UCAS Code

LL43

JACS Code

L300 (DESCR) 50

Criteria for Admissions

A-level: BBB or equivalent in an Access Course
Irish Leaving Certificate: B2B2B2B2CC/B2B2B2B2B2

All applicants: there are no specific subject requirements to study Sociology

ATAS Clearance Required

No

Health Check Required

No

Portfolio Required

Interview Required

Mode of Study

Full Time

Type of Programme

Joint Honours Single

Length of Programme

3 Academic Year(s)

Total Credits for Programme

360

Exit Awards available

INSTITUTE INFORMATION

Awarding Institution/Body

Queen's University Belfast

Teaching Institution

Queen's University Belfast

School/Department

Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Framework for Higher Education Qualification Level 
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/publications/information-and-guidance

Level 6

QAA Benchmark Group
http://www.qaa.ac.uk/assuring-standards-and-quality/the-quality-code/subject-benchmark-statements

Social policy and administration (2007)

Accreditations (PSRB)

External Examiner Name:

External Examiner Institution/Organisation

Professor Gayle Letherby

University of Plymouth

Dr Christine Skinner (Social Policy)

University of York

REGULATION INFORMATION

Does the Programme have any approved exemptions from the University General Regulations
(Please see General Regulations)

None

Programme Specific Regulations

On completing Level I a Single Honours student in Sociology who has completed 40 CATS at Level I in the other subject and has achieved an average mark across the 40 CATS of 60 or above may be admitted to this Joint Honours programme subject having obtained the approval of the advisor of studies of the subject in which they only have 40CATS.

A Single Honours student wishing to be admitted to the Joint Honours programme must have passed the following modules: SOC1001 and SOC1002 for Sociology and SPY1004 and SPY1005 for Social Policy.

A Single Honours student can only be admitted to the Joint Honours programme if the admission requirement is also met.

Students with protected characteristics

N/A

Are students subject to Fitness to Practise Regulations

(Please see General Regulations)

No

EDUCATIONAL AIMS OF PROGRAMME

This joint Programme brings together the naturally complementary disciplines of Sociology and Social Policy. It seeks to enable students to use key concepts and theoretical approaches within Sociology to illuminate challenges and trends that are the concern of policy makers, whose decisions so profoundly affect our everyday lives.

To this end, this Programme equips students in identifying patterns of social diversity and inequality, and understand the importance and significance of these within Irish, British and other societies. It also gives them knowledge of the factors that contribute to social cohesion and processes that stimulate social change. Alongside this, students on this Programme learn about the historical development of social policy in a range of national contexts as well as about significant differences between social policies in different countries. The Programme brings together contemporary debates around the definition of needs and social problems, as well as those around appropriate forms of state, private or informal intervention.

The Programme also gives students high quality training in research skills. This means that, not only will students be able to understand and critique different research strategies and research methods, they also gain practical experience in their application. General transferrable skills are also embedded in the design of the Programme, which are aimed at enhancing the employability of graduates, particularly in careers connected to specific areas of social policy making and implementation.

LEARNING OUTCOMES

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

interpret events in different ways and to present a range of perspectives around issues and phenomena.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

present reasoned arguments by contrasting and discussing different points of view.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

assess a range of perspectives and discuss the strengths of each for the understanding of social policies and practices

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

draw on materials from a range of sources and synthesise them

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

draw on relevant evidence to evaluate competing explanations for social phenomena, validate information by assessing its merits and draw logical and appropriate conclusions.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

evaluate the viability of competing explanations for social phenomena

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Cognitive skills are largely gained from reading materials and through small group discussion and debate in tutorials and seminars as well as the traditional lecture format.

Methods of Assessment

Methods of assessment include the long essay, timed unseen examinations, group projects and article/book reviews, media diaries and critical reviews.

apply statistical techniques and methods

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students undertake a number of group based training exercises in which they are taught practical qualitative and quantitative research skills

Methods of Assessment

Research skills are assessed via a research proposal, a reflective research diary, annotated statistical (SPSS) analysis (output file), analysing qualitative data (NVIVO) and a policy briefing paper.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge & Understanding

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

describe a range of key concepts and theoretical approaches within Sociology and Social Policy in a range of national contexts

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological and social policy approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.
A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.
The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

recognise contemporary debates around the definition of needs, social problems, and relate these to social diversity and inequality

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological and social policy approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.
A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.
The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

be familiar with key concepts and theories associated with the analysis of well-being, social problems and social welfare

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological and social policy approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.
A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.
The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

They will also understand the issues around the appropriate forms of state, private or informal intervention in relation to social problems. They will gain knowledge of policies in specific fields of social policy and welfare.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are introduced to a broad range of sociological and social policy approaches and perspectives in level one. This ensures that students are equipped with knowledge and understand of a broad range of social issues including class, inequalities, race, mental health, disability and welfare provision.
A range of teaching methods are employed including lectures, tutorials, seminars, workshops, field visits, and supervised independent learning. Many of these teaching methods are enhanced by the use of visual technology, such as PowerPoint presentations, dvd clips, handouts, and key materials being made available through Queen’s Online.
The School also promotes student volunteering in local independent sector agencies

Methods of Assessment

Knowledge and understanding are assessed through unseen timed examinations, coursework assignments, oral presentations, seminar and tutorial contribution and multiple choice tests.

use a range of research strategies and methods, assess the appropriateness of their use, and identify an appropriate strategy for specific research problems.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, NVIVO analysis for qualitative data, a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis) and a policy briefing paper.

evaluate strengths and weaknesses in the use of comparison in relation to social problems, issues, trends and social policies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, NVIVO analysis for qualitative data, a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis) and a policy briefing paper.

summarise and analyse quantitative and qualitative empirical data about social problems, issues, trends and social policies.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Knowledge and understanding of social research methods and practices are developed through a combination of traditional lectures and group based workshops where students develop and rehearse data collection and data analysis skills.

Methods of Assessment

Assessment of research understanding and knowledge is via the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, NVIVO analysis for qualitative data, a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis) and a policy briefing paper.

Learning Outcomes: Subject Specific

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

use key theoretical perspectives and concepts in Sociology and Social Policy and to comprehend their application to real life situations.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All social policy students undertake the task of writing a Policy Briefing Paper in their final year. This project involves the development of a group research project – and presentation of results – in response to a ‘real life’ problem posed by organisations in the community and voluntary sector directly to the students.

Methods of Assessment

Policy briefing paper

use their knowledge to formulate and investigate social problems and social policy

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All social policy students undertake the task of writing a Policy Briefing Paper in their final year. This project involves the development of a group research project – and presentation of results – in response to a ‘real life’ problem posed by organisations in the community and voluntary sector directly to the students.

Methods of Assessment

Policy briefing paper

conduct sociological and policy-related research, and will be able to identify a range of research strategies and methods, including their advantages and disadvantages.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All social policy students undertake the task of writing a Policy Briefing Paper in their final year. This project involves the development of a group research project – and presentation of results – in response to a ‘real life’ problem posed by organisations in the community and voluntary sector directly to the students.

Methods of Assessment

Policy briefing paper

access or gather appropriate qualitative or quantitative information to address social policy and sociological questions using qualitative and quantitative methods

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

All social policy students undertake the task of writing a Policy Briefing Paper in their final year. This project involves the development of a group research project – and presentation of results – in response to a ‘real life’ problem posed by organisations in the community and voluntary sector directly to the students.

Methods of Assessment

Policy briefing paper

recognise the ethical implications of research into sociological and policy problems and identify appropriate solutions

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students are taught the importance of identification of ethical issues in research, and how protocols and procedures protect and minimise harm to participants

Methods of Assessment

All Research Skills modules, plus Policy Briefing Paper

review, summarise and evaluate empirical information and research findings about sociology and social policy

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

Again, a wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

develop a capacity for recognising the relevance of sociological knowledge to social, public and civic policy.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

Again, a wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

The course encourages students to be sensitive to the values and interests of others, taking account of the normative and moral positions of others in understanding how human needs are felt and met.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

These learning outcomes are consistently addressed across almost all of the modules offered on the programme. As a result a wide range of different teaching methods are employed to promote depth learning, to facilitate consolidation of knowledge and understanding and to support student progression across the three years.
Key to this is the use of interactive teaching methods (discussions, Q&As, pub quizzes, individual tutor meetings, problem orientated sessions, PRS) to promote student engagement within lectures and tutorials.

Methods of Assessment

Again, a wide range of assessment methods are employed across the three years of study. Highlights include the use of reflective reports, diaries, book and film reviews, peer assessment and feedback

Learning Outcomes: Transferable Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

communicate effectively in writing and speaking

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods and group based project work allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats including book reviews, diaries, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, SPSS output, oral presentations, research proposals, questionnaire modules.

present data and evidence in an appropriate format for a variety of audiences (including computing skills in relation both to text and the presentation of basic research data)

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Flexible and interactive teaching methods and group based project work allow students to develop a range of presentation and communication skills

Methods of Assessment

Students are required to present course work in a number of different formats including book reviews, diaries, excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint presentations, SPSS output, oral presentations, research proposals, questionnaire modules.

be efficient in time planning and management

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, group based employability exercises and the team project behind the policy briefing paper.

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework, and the policy briefing paper.

work productively in a group and have developed interpersonal skills that facilitate collaboration with others.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Time planning, project management, group working skills are developed through personal tutor workshops and exercises, group based employability exercises and the team project behind the policy briefing paper.

Methods of Assessment

Time and project planning/management is a core requirement of all coursework, and the policy briefing paper.

evaluate evidence of diverse kinds and drawing appropriate conclusions

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology and Social Policy programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to systematic review procedures and the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of policy and sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

make critical use of published data sources

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology and Social Policy programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to systematic review procedures and the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of policy and sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

identify the most important arguments or evidence in a text and recording and/or representing these

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology and Social Policy programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to systematic review procedures and the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of policy and sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

Use bibliographic and referencing skills: the identification of relevant published and web-based materials in relation to a particular topic

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Critical comparative analysis of available information sources is a theme that runs through the Sociology and Social Policy programme. Students are immersed in techniques for the collation, analysis and comparison of published material. Students are also introduced to systematic review procedures and the review of meta-analytical studies

Methods of Assessment

Critical review of policy and sociological sources is a key component of most coursework assignments. Rigorous assessment, combined with detailed and constructive feedback, is essential to the development and refinement of critical analysis skills.

formulating researchable problems within a general area of concern

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a policy briefing paper encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, qualitative data analysis (NVIVO), a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis), accessibility audit and a policy briefing paper.

research design and data collection skills in relation to sociological and social policy questions and problems

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a policy briefing paper encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, qualitative data analysis (NVIVO), a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis), accessibility audit and a policy briefing paper.

data analysis, including indexing and retrieval of qualitative data

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a policy briefing paper encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, qualitative data analysis (NVIVO), a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis), accessibility audit and a policy briefing paper.

use and understanding of descriptive and inferential statistics (including summary measures, measures of association and significance, contingency tables, regression analysis and knowledge of the use and value of appropriate learning technologies), and awareness of the use and potential misuse of statistics

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Several research based modules and a policy briefing paper encourage students to acquire and enhance their skills in the design, planning, execution and analysis of both quantitative and quantitative research

Methods of Assessment

Students are assessed on the completion of a research proposal, the design of a questionnaire, undertaking face-to-face interviews, qualitative data analysis (NVIVO), a reflective research diary, SPSS analysis (including regression analysis), accessibility audit and a policy briefing paper.

Learning Outcomes: Cognitive Skills

On the completion of this course successful students will be able to:

design and use appropriate research strategies for data collection using quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Teaching/Learning Methods and Strategies

Students undertake a number of group based training exercises in which they are taught practical qualitative and quantitative research skills.

Methods of Assessment

Research skills are assessed via a research proposal, a reflective research diary, annotated statistical (SPSS) analysis, analysing qualitative data (NVIVO) and a policy briefing paper.

MODULE INFORMATION

Programme Requirements

Module Title

Module Code

Level/ stage

Credits

Availability

Duration

Pre-requisite

 

Assessment

 

 

 

 

S1

S2

 

 

Core

Option

Coursework %

Practical %

Examination %

Understanding Society

SOC1001

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

The Sociological Imagination

SOC1002

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

60%

0%

40%

Policy Briefing Paper

SPY3002

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Issues in Contemporary Irish Society

SOC3005

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Welfare in Theory and Practice

SPY2002

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Disability and Society

SPY3014

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Health, Illness and Care

SPY3012

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

The Development of Social Theory

SOC2001

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Comparative Social Inequalities

SOC2002

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Qualitative Research Skills

SOC2003

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Introducing Criminology

CRM1001

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Quantitative Research Skills

SOC2004

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Sociology of the Family

SOC3028

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

50%

0%

50%

Introducing Social Policy

SPY1004

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Themes and Issues in Social Policy

SPY1005

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Ageing and the Life Course

SPY2009

2

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Gender, Family and Social Policy: Comparative Perspective

SPY3019

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Digital Society

SOC1005

1

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Sociology of Religion

SOC3052

3

20

YES

12 weeks

N

YES

100%

0%

0%

Notes

Level 2: Students must have completed SOC1001 or SOC1002 before enrolling on SOC2003 and SOC2004.

Students are advised that optional modules may not be offered in every year and are subject to a minimum number of enrolments. Level 1: Students must have enrolled for SOC1001 to be allowed to enrol for SOC1002.