Social Policy

About Social Policy

Whether you have an interest in politics or not, studying social policy shows how much politics is connected to our everyday lives. At this particular time in history as a result of the pandemic, the State is very much involved in our lives

We all need protection against vulnerabilities during the lifecourse. Whether it is in health , education, housing, at some point or other, we, or a member of our family will need support. In Social Policy we ask what supports and services do we need to maintain our health and well-being? The state has a shared responsibility in supporting people. We realise that where there are gaps in services or where there is a social problem that needs a response it can be traced back to the policy choices of the Government.

The Irish social policy module is an introduction to social policy in Ireland. It will introduce key concepts and will examine the historical development of social policy in Ireland. There will be an indepth exploration of poverty and income inequality across the lifecourse. We will look at economic vulnerability and the effects of financial debt on family life and children growing up. We examine the work of organisations responding to the homeless crisis. We also look at housing as a fundamental human right as in some European countries. We compare the health system in Ireland to those in other EU countries.

As part of Social Policy, you will get an opportunity to learn about social services in your own local area and attend community events such as the Mensana festival. We will also have guest speakers from local social services .

The next module, Contemporary Issues in Social Policy, explores different models of welfare across the EU. It will examine key welfare ideologies including neo-liberalism and social democracy. We look at the main features of the Irish and EU labour market including precarious and insecure employment and the position of migrant workers. We look at the EU Social Investment model in the context of new social risks and the ongoing issue of income security.

Mental Health policy and services in Ireland are also examined.

The Irish Government has outlined its commitment to a sustainable future, to develop policies in a framework of climate action and new job opportunities. We examine the new policies and the challenges that lie ahead where state expenditure on social and environmental goods become a priority.

Doing Social Policy as part of your degree provides a knowledge base for working in social services, Government offices, local authorities, NGO’s, in a range of jobs including social care and community work. You could also work as a policy analyst or in research in a number of Government funded agencies

There are also opportunities to pursue Masters in Social Policy and in Social Work and other related postgraduate courses.

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