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Master of Social Policy

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  • Objectives
    Students who complete this course should develop a number of generic skills that should help them with future study and employment. Students will enhance their skills in: * Research: through competent use of advanced information sources and retrieval of appropriate information; * Critical and theoretical thinking: through presentation of research papers, conceptualising theoretical problems, forming judgements and arguments from conflicting evidence, and by critical analysis; * Time management and planning: through managing and organising workloads; * Team work: through small group discussions
  • Academic Title
    Master of Social Policy
  • Course description
    200 point program

    Duration: 2 years full-time / up to 4 years part-time

    First 100 points:

        * two compulsory subjects (25 points)
        * six elective subjects (62.5 points)

    Second 100 points:

        * four compulsory subjects (62.5 points)
        * three elective subjects (37.5 points), at least one of which must be selected from List A

    Total 200 points. Subjects are 12.5 points unless otherwise stated.

    100 point program

    Duration: 1 year full-time / up to 2 years part-time

    Refer to the second 100 points of the 200 point program

    Total 100 points. Subjects are 12.5 points unless otherwise stated.

    First 100 points
    Compulsory subjects

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points
    166-423  Organisations and Management
    This subject examines the modern public sector management function through a range of practical and theoretical perspectives. Focusing on placing public sector management into surrounding historical and quasi-ideological debates, the subject explores...     Semester 2     12.50

    102-497  A Century of Australian Social Policy
    This subject explores the history of Australian social policy, interweaving five themes: the rise and fall of state-regulated wages, the ways that income support was shaped by this arbitration system, the gendering and de-gendering of the welfare sys...     Semester 2     12.50

    Elective subjects

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points

    166-419  Policy Design
    This subject examines policy making from a number of different theoretical perspectives, introduces a range of methods and approaches to examining public policy, and develops policy design skills. It introduces students to how policy is made, through...     Semester 1     12.50

    166-470  Contemporary Issues in Governance
    This subject examines contemporary issues in public policy in Australia and internationally. Students will investigate traditional and emerging governance models, with an emphasis on the changing nature of governance in the network society. The subje...     Semester 1     12.50

    191-420  Qualitative Research Methods
    This subject forms an advanced overview of theories, methods and ethical issues in qualitative research. The subject will focus on the techniques of field studies, intensive interviewing, and case studies. Students will carry out small scale qualitat...     Semester 1     12.50

    166-453  Executive Internship
    In this subject students will be placed in an organisation which either has governmental responsibilities or deals with government, where they will work under the supervision and guidance of a senior manager in the organisation. Students will be requ...     Semester 1, Semester 2     25

    191-438  Texts and Violence
    Violence is an issue of great social, individual and cultural concern. This subject investigates some of the ways in which violence is represented, talked about, and interpreted. The subject focuses on two issues: how to interpret textual representat...     Semester 2     12.50

    191-440  The New Punitiveness?
    This subject focuses on the idea that since the 1970s there has been a rise in punitiveness right across the developed nations of the west. The subject asks students to identify and understand the different domains in which punitiveness might reside ...     Semester 2     12.50

    166-442  Rights and Public Policy
    This subject aims to assist students with the development of skills relevant in the policy-making process. This is carried out by familiarising students with legal and political developments within a variety of rights fields and by requiring them to ...     Semester 2     12.50

    191-435  Drugs and Justice
    This subject introduces students to a range of historical and contemporary issues surrounding the measurement of drug use and the popular and scientific construction of the health, crime and social consequences of drug use. The subject is concerned w...     Semester 2     12.50

    Note: Written permission is required from the MSP Coordinator prior to enrolment in the thesis. To be eligible to enrol in the minor thesis students must have completed at least 37.5 points within the program with an average of H1 (80%) and have submitted a written proposal of 300 words for approval by the MSP Coordinator.

    Students cannot do both the thesis and the individual research topic (166-522).

    Second 100 points


    Students in the 100 point program need to complete the second 100 points.
    Compulsory subjects

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points
    166-516  Foundations of Social Policy
    The subject engages with contemporary theories of social inclusion and capital with an emphasis on networks and their role in community strengthening, community building and regional economic development. The subject also engages in the role these st...     Semester 1     25

    166-554  Social Research Design and Evaluation
    This subject provides a critical and practical engagement with social research design and evaluation, in a range of societal contexts including, but not limited to, social policy. As such, it provides theoretical frameworks and research skills for an...     Semester 1     12.50

    166-525  Contemporary Social Problems
    This subject locates contemporary social policy and debates about its future in the context of the social, cultural and political changes associated with globalization. The subject focuses on individualisation, the changing relationship between indiv...     Semester 2     12.50

    166-531  Comparative Social Policy
    This subject uses a comparative approach to analyse key areas of contemporary social policy, with a focus on the reform strategies that emerged over the 1990s. The subject examines the different social policy responses that have characterised these s...     Semester 2     12.50

    List A elective subjects
    :

        * at least one elective suibject must be completed from List A

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points
    166-537  Health Politics, Policy & Governance
    This subject focuses on critically analysing politics, policy and governance in relation to health. It asks students to examine the institutions, structures and organisations that shape the policy process in health, consider how health problems are d...     Semester 1     12.50

    316-685  Economics For Public Policy
    This subject focuses on the relationship between economics and politics. It explores the role and limitations of economic analysis in public policy. Economics principles and methods are applied in order to analyse public policy issues and the importa...     Semester 1     12.50

    166-526  Managing Communications & the Media
    This is a skills rather than a theoretical subject. It has two themes: how to understand and manage the media from the perspective of a communications manager, and how to build a communications strategy into the development of policy. While it is des...     Semester 1     12.50

    166-517  Minor Thesis - Public /Social Policy
    This subject involves a supervised thesis of 12 000 words, embodying the results of the student's own research.     Semester 1, Semester 2     37.50

    166-522  Individual Research Project
    This subject involves focused, independent READING and research and the presentation of the findings in a scholarly manner, under the supervision of a member of the teaching staff in the MPPM or MSP programs. On completion of this subject students sh...     Semester 1, Semester 2     12.50

    166-520  Social Policy: Special Topics
    The welfare system is a central focus of social policy studies. While social policy as an area of study is usually said to embrace education, health, housing, employment and social care as well as income security, it is income security which usually ...     Semester 2     12.50

    List B elective subjects

    Subject     Semester     Credit Points

    121-545  Understanding Development
    This subject forms an introduction to the main past and current theories of development, involving the approaches of several social science disciplines. It also considers many of the major issues in development, including the environment, gender, hum...     Semester 1     12.50

    121-529  Social Impact Assessment and Evaluation
    This subject develops the skills to understand and assess the social impacts of development. The different actors involved in shaping and implementing development projects and programmes (the state, international development agencies, non-government ...     Semester 2     12.50

    196-507  Social Policy Analysis     
    This subject will not be available in 2009     12.50

    196-516  Ageing, Social Work & Social Policy     
    This subject will not be available in 2009     12.50

    196-514  Program Planning and Evaluation
    This course introduces a number of approaches to program planning and evaluation, and highlights both practical aspects of the program design and evaluation process, and more conceptual or theoretical aspects.     Semester 2     12.50

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