Law

Law and the Welfare State

Module code: M6073
Level 6
15 credits in spring semester
Teaching method: Lecture, Seminar
Assessment modes: Essay

This module introduces students to the welfare state. It explores the history of this institution, how neoliberal reforms have affected its nature, and the ways in which welfare might be organised and provided for in the future. The types of question that will concern us include: What can contemporary social policy reveal about the relationship between the citizen and the state? How might the welfare state be understood as an institution for controlling the poor, rather than for alleviating their poverty? What role does private finance play in today’s publicly funded welfare systems? The module explores such questions via a consideration of some examples from contemporary social policy and law. These may include the UK’s National Health Service, unemployment policy, social housing, and higher education.

Module learning outcomes

  • Explain and critically evaluate academic literature on the welfare state
  • Demonstrate an appreciation of controversies within social policy
  • Formulate coherent written arguments
  • Undertake independent research on a topic using library resources