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BESC2121 Social Policy

Bachelor Course Unit

Level: 200

Credit points: 6

Prerequisites: BESC2111 Social Theory 

Unit description

This unit introduces students to social policy and its role in social development and social change. Major theoretical frameworks for understanding social policy formation are studied and the impact of policy implementation is explored. The historical, social and economic contexts of policies are examined to better understand policy development, implementation and evaluation. A range of social policy areas is explored in this unit, including employment, health, education, the family, and law and order, to enable students to analyse their social contexts and the influence of policy implementation on society and groups. Students will analyse the social implications of social policies to develop their analytical and research skills, and consider ways in which knowledge of policy development can enhance professional practice.

Learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Define and discuss the theoretical underpinnings of social policy;
  • Explain how social policy is developed by governments and organisations;
  • Describe and discuss the historical, economic, social and political forces which shape social policy;

  • Define and discuss the concept of social justice;

  • Describe and analyse the function of the welfare state in employment, health, education, and family spheres;

  • Analyse the social implications of contemporary trends in education, employment, health, family, and law and order policy.

Unit workload

The workload for this unit is 9 hours per week.


The required text book for this unit  can be found by viewing the School of Counselling textbook list by selecting the course and trimester at the following link:

Academic misconduct

Ethical conduct and academic integrity and honesty are fundamental to the mission of ACAP. Academic misconduct will not be tolerated by the college. Please refer to the Academic Misconduct Policy for full details.


Unit information may be subject to change prior to the teaching trimester commencing. Once term has commenced please review the Unit Outline in your class space to ensure your trimester study plan is correct.