Full Title Making & Analysing Social Policy

Short Title MASP

Code POLI09002
Level 09
Credit 10

Author McTaggart, Breda
Department Social Sciences

Subject Area Policy Studies
Attendence N/A%

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the myriad ways in which social policies, particularly those targeting the ECCE sphere, are conceived, developed, implemented and evaluated. A key objective of this module is to equip students to apply their nascent policy-making and policy analysis knowledge to contemporary workplace issues. The module examines the evolution of Irish ECCE policy and structures and identifies contemporary and future influences. Students will develop a critical awareness of policy, practice and research in diverse ECCE systems and evaluate the Irish system in context.

Indicative Syllabus
Definitions, background and essential concepts: What is Applied Social Policy Analysis? Why analyse? The politics of social policy: political philosophy of welfare, free markets, communities and individuals, rights and responsibilities. Social justice perspectives and emerging political ideologies.

Construction of Social Problems: the nature of policy problems; policy models and problem structuring.

Key Elements of Social Policy Analysis, policy within the wider political & social context.

Making policy arguments: Structure and modes of policy argumentation; evaluating policy arguments. Communicating social policy analysis.

The State's policy instruments and their impact on agencies: Information, education and advice, direct intervention, economic , legislation and regulations , Market-based solutions including self-regulation; performance management framework.

Learners will be given the opportunity to acquire an in-depth knowledge of the evolution of the ECCE sector in Ireland and be expected to explore the role of agencies and government in the development of the sector to date. They will critically reflect on the influence of international policy and research on the development of the early years sector.

Learning Outcomes
On completion of this module the learner will/should be able to
  1. Critically demonstrate an understanding of rational choice and social justice discourses on the development of social policy in Ireland and at EU level

  2. Understand the importance and significance of ideological, political, cultural and economic influences on the development of social and public policy

  3. Critically examine and evaluate Irish early years policy, structure and contemporary strategy in the context of national and international developments.

  4. Demonstrate the growing significance of cost benefit analysis considerations when developing social policy responses including the requirement to future proof policy offerings while identifying appropriate key performance policy evaluation indicators

  5. Assess the impact of a Rights Based Approach on the evolution of early years policy initiatives in Ireland today

  6. Investigate the value of advocacy in promoting children' rights and contributing to contemporary policy development

Assessment Strategies
The assessment strategy is composed of two interdependent continuous assessment components: 1.Individual or group (not exceeding three group members) policy feasibility pitch or advocacy campaign (40%) 2. Individual or group (not exceeding three group members) policy document write-up (4,000 words per individual, 6,000 per couple and 7,500 per group of three) (60%).

Module Dependencies
Pre Requisite Modules
Co Requisite Modules
Incompatible Modules

Coursework Assessment Breakdown %
Course Work / Continuous Assessment 100 %

Coursework Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week
Policy Feasibility Pitch/ Advocacy Campaign 3,4,6 40 Week 7
Policy Document Analysis 1,2,3,4,5,6 60 Week 13

End Exam Assessment Breakdown

Description Outcome Assessed % of Total Assessment Week

Distance Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Part Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 0.00 Hours

Full Time Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Group Learning Flat Classroom Tutor(s) facilitated intensive learning residential 18 Once Per Semester 1.20

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 1.20 Hours

Online Learning Mode Workload

Type Location Description Hours Frequency Avg Weekly Workload
Online Lecture Distance Learning Suite Online tutor delivered Synchronous and asynchronous lectures, screencasts and problem based learning activities 3 Fortnightly 1.50

Total Average Weekly Learner Workload 1.50 Hours

Book Resources
Alcock, C., Daly, G.,Griggs, E. (2008). Introducing Social Policy (2 ed.). Harlow: Pearson Education. Blakemore, K. (2003).Social Policy: An Introduction (2 ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press. Budd, L., Charlesworth, J., & Paton, R. (2005). Making Policy Happen . London: Routledge.

Dunn, W.N. (2007).Public Policy Analysis: An Introduction (4 th ed.). London: Prentice Hall.

Howlett, M. (2011).Designing Public Policies: Principles and instruments . London: Routledge.

Lister, R. (2010).Understanding Theories and Concepts in Social Policy . University of Bristol: Policy Press

Nussbaum, M. C. (2011).Creating Capabilities: The Human Development Approach . Cambridge, MA: The Belknap Press of Harvard University.

Taylor, M. (2012), 'Social Policy', in M. Mhic Mhathna and M. Taylor (eds.).Early Childhood EducationCare: an Introduction for Students in Ireland. Dublin: Gill& Macmillan.
Other Resources
Url Resources
Additional Info

ISBN BookList

Book Cover Book Details
D. W. Parsons 1995 Public Policy: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Policy Analysis Edward Elgar Pub
ISBN-10 1852785543 ISBN-13 9781852785543
2014 Theories of the Policy Process Westview Press
ISBN-10 0813349265 ISBN-13 9780813349268
Fiona Dukelow Mairead Considine 2009 Irish Social Policy Gill & Macmillan Ltd
ISBN-10 071714156X ISBN-13 9780717141562
Catherine F. Smith 2015 Writing Public Policy: A Practical Guide to Communicating in the Policy-Making Process Oxford University Press
ISBN-10 0199388571 ISBN-13 9780199388578
Nancy Campbell 1998 Writing Effective Policies and Procedures: A Step-By-Step Resource for Clear Communication Writing Amacom Books 1998-02-23
ISBN-10 081447960X ISBN-13 9780814479605
2016 Evidence-based Policy Making in the Social Sciences: Methods that Matter Policy Press
ISBN-10 1447329376 ISBN-13 9781447329374
2014 The Capability Approach: From Theory to Practice Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10 1137001445 ISBN-13 9781137001443
Clive Sealey 2015 Social Policy Simplified: Connecting Theory with People's Lives Palgrave Macmillan
ISBN-10 1137362952 ISBN-13 9781137362957
Joe Moran 2013 Unfinished Business: Social Policy for Social Care Students in Ireland Orpen Press