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Social Policy

Education, health, housing, social care, welfare provision, employment - social policy impacts our lives every day.

Social Policy impacts on our lives every day, whether that is through education, health, housing, social care, welfare provision or employment. Social policy, and the role it plays in redistributing resources, is therefore central to issues of social justice, equality and citizenship.

Since 2010 we have seen a period of austerity, with public spending cuts affecting nearly every aspect of social policy. As a consequence the UK has seen increases in homelessness, foodbanks and child poverty. What is more, these cuts in public spending have been accompanied by renewed debate about rights and entitlement, and whether the voluntary and private sectors would play a more prominent role in providing welfare services.  

If you care about challenging disadvantage and inequality; if you want all citizens to have the opportunity to fully participate in society; if you are motivated to find solutions to contemporary social problems, this Social Policy undergraduate programme at Wolverhampton is for you.

From September 2020 we will offer Social Policy as a joint honours degree. A joint honours degree is where you study it in combination with another subject. 

You may also be interested in studying Social Policy jointly with Social Care, which is offered by the Institute of Community and Society

(Please note: We welcome back our current students who are studying Social Policy as a single honours degree; Social Policy and Economics; and Social Policy and Family and Childhood Studies)

Tracey Minton, 3rd year Social Policy student said...

"Immediately I started the course I felt engaged. Social policy is about 'real life'; it impacts us all. The module choice is wide but relevant and gives plenty of opportunity to explore areas of interest.

"From a personal point of view, as a mature (very mature 58!) it has made me think very differently about life and especially politics. I am no longer happy to accept that things are ‘just how they are’, I question the motives of policy and realise that with political will things could change. Social policy tackles the important current issues such as foodbanks, healthcare, housing, education and welfare. The course gives you an understanding of how we got here, how things could change and the importance of good policy.

"Upon entry to university my hope was to maximise my employment opportunities and hopefully enjoy the challenges along the way, however, it has surpassed my expectations. I have thoroughly enjoyed it. I have found it challenging but extremely satisfying.  Doing this course has inspired in me a wish not just to find employment but also to do something that might make a difference to others. In short, it has completely changed my outlook on life, widened my views and challenged perceptions I held prior to studying social policy. I would thoroughly recommend it.”

Why study with us?

  • Learner-centred teaching, where we build on your knowledge and experience of public services, and equip you with the theoretical understanding and research skills you need to progress in your studies and your future career.
  • Innovative teaching which supports you to develop the skills you need to work more effectively with 'real' people and to address 'real' world problems, such as critical thinking, reflective practice and effective communication skills.
  • Wolverhampton is a unique environment to study social policy: with its diverse social, economic and cultural landscape, not to mention its unique history, the locality provides students with a rich backdrop to embed their learning experience.
  • The Faculty of Social Sciences has strong links with local community and voluntary organisations, and local public sector organisations, such as schools. As a result we have many collaborative research projects which aim to benefit the community, and we are able to provide students with the option to take up placements and voluntary opportunities with organisations, such as Citizen’s Advice, Victim Support and Refugee Action.
  • Your learning will be supported by research active staff, as well as drawing on the expertise of visiting speakers from relevant organisations.
  • You design your degree programme, selecting from a range of modules looking at topics such as poverty, racism, unemployment, crime, children and families, gender and disability.
  • You will be a name, not a number!

Boost your career prospects

Our graduates continue to be attractive to employers in the public, private and voluntary sectors. Careers in public sector management, policy writing, research, evaluation and consultancy are all possible career routes for our graduates. The ability to interrogate data and highly developed analytical skills which graduates cultivate during their study of these subjects, are ideal for careers in social research in public or private settings, or with think tanks; as professional practitioners or working on projects in areas concerning, for example, social inequalities and social exclusion.

Typical graduate destinations include:

  • Community Worker
  • Social Worker (following postgraduate study)
  • Housing Officer
  • Personal Adviser
  • Project Manager
  • Police Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Public Sector Administrator
  • Social Researcher
  • Welfare Rights Adviser