Care of older people, lone motherhood, education, poverty and unemployment are among a long list of matters of national concern. Setting social policy is all about how we as a society decide who receives support, what form it takes, and who delivers it to the individuals who are thought to be vulnerable and in need. Should it be the state that delivers support? Or the market, charities or families?
Studying social policy you’ll explore a variety of issues that are defined as social problems, and learn how governments tackle them. You’ll appreciate how issues like disability, race and sexuality influence the development of social policies and welfare practices.
From a career perspective, you’ll find your studies will be of particular value if you’re involved in, or plan to work in the criminal justice system, health care, housing, local government, public services, social welfare, or the voluntary sector.
Undergraduate or bachelors degrees are nationally recognised qualifications consisting of academic study designed to that help you gain a thorough understanding of a subject.
For a degree in a named subject, such as business studies or humanities, you'll study mainly in your chosen subject, although you may be able to include some modules from other subjects.
With The Open University you could also study an Open degree where you can combine a range of modules from similar or different subjects to suit either your particular career or personal interests.
You can use a degree to:
A Diploma of Higher Education (Dip HE) is equivalent to two thirds of an honours degree. They are nationally recognised qualifications focusing either on a particular job or profession, or academic study.
Dip HEs are designed to increase the professional and technical skills of staff within a profession or extend your knowledge and understanding of a particular subject. A Dip HE shows that you are capable of extended study at university level.
You can use a DipHE to:
The Diploma of Higher Education might be of particular interest to those living and working in Scotland.
A Certificate of Higher Education (Cert HE) is a nationally recognised qualification focusing on either a particular job or profession, or academic study. Equivalent to the first year of a full honours degree, they are the most basic level of qualification that can be gained in higher education and show that you are capable of studying successfully at university level.
You can use a CertHE to:
There are two ways to start a qualification. If you haven’t studied for a long time or need to build your confidence, beginning your studies with an Access module may be the right choice for you.
Choose a qualification to find out more.
You can study a single module on its own for personal interest or to improve your career prospects. See the list of all our individual courses in Social Policy.
If you already have a degree, you may want to see postgraduate courses and qualifications in Social Sciences.
If you want to study for an undergraduate qualification and you are living outside the UK and Republic of Ireland, visit our international prospectus.
Try our frequently asked questions.
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