On Campus
1 x 2-hour seminar weekly

Distance Online
1 x 10-hour online exercise weekly
Enrolment not permitted
1 of POLI2025, SOAD3002 has been successfully completed
Assumed knowledge
First and second level undergraduate policy topics.
Assignments, Examination, Participation
Topic description

In this topic students will critically assess the historical development of the welfare state and contemporary social policies in Australia. There will be an emphasis on understanding the role of government in its response to a range of social issues and consideration of the ideologies and values which have shaped government policy. The contemporary role of community sector organisations will be explored in the context of contracting-out of service provision. Key concepts include social justice, citizenship, mutual obligation, social coalition, social capital. These key concepts will be explored in an Australian context.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Examine the development of the Australian welfare system and the values and principles on which it is based
  • Introduce students to theoretical concepts relevant to the critique and assessment of social policy
  • Provide an understanding of contemporary social policy and the values and ideologies that influence policy decisions through the examination of real life case studies
  • Develop independent research skills and policy analysis skills, especially critical analysis
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Explain and critically assess the development of the welfare state in Australia and the key policy positions of successive governments in relation to welfare issues
  2. Critically assess the impact of policy processes and institutional arrangements on social policy outcomes
  3. Identify and analyse the key issues in Australian social policy with an understanding of relevant theoretical concepts
  4. Explain and critically assess the contemporary relationship between government, community and private sectors in the provision of a range of social services
  5. Demonstrate advanced independent research and writing skills and critical thinking