The Department does not offer a full undergraduate course. We provide an option paper in Social Policy to undergraduates studying Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Human Sciences, and Modern History and Politics.

The Social Policy option paper explores the nature and development of social policy and welfare arrangements and contemporary policy problems and challenges. The key framework for analysis is the ‘mixed economy of welfare’ – the shifts in the relative importance of the state, the market, the voluntary sector and the family. The course focuses on Britain, but seeks to set the British experience in comparative perspective.

The course is taught through the Oxford tutorial system in which undergraduate students are tutored by faculty members and fully trained DPhil students in the Department of Social Policy and Intervention. The course is accompanied by a lecture series which runs for eight weeks in Michaelmas term.

Option paper course structure

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  • Introducing Social Policy and the 'Welfare State’
  • The Changing Nature of the Welfare Mix
  • Worlds of Welfare
  • Analysing Social Policy

In the second half of the course students select four topics from a range of subjects that might include:

  • Social Policy and Ageing
  • Poverty and Social Exclusion
  • Health and Health Policy
  • Education Policy
  • Family Policy
  • Housing and Homelessness
  • Labour Market Policy
  • Area-based initiatives