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Unit information: Housing, Economy and Society in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Housing, Economy and Society
Unit code SPOL30020
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Alex Marsh
Open unit status Open




School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

The course aims to provide students with an understanding of housing provision and housing policy set within a broader account of the social structure and the economic system. In doing so it seeks to make links between housing as an area of policy intervention and more general academic and policy debates. These broader debates include the changing nature of welfare provision in contemporary capitalist societies; changing demographic patterns; issues of social division and exclusion; the role of housing investment and housing-related consumption in the macro economy; multiculturalism and patriarchy. The course concentrates mainly on the British housing system but incorporates a European dimension and draws upon experiences in other countries where appropriate.

This unit aims to:

  • examine how housing is provided, financed, distributed and consumed in Britain.
  • explore the links between housing and other areas of social life and policy intervention.
  • examine changes in the pattern of state intervention in housing in Britain.
  • consider current key policy issues in housing.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit students should:

  • have a broad understanding of the key elements of the British housing system and the way they interconnect, and connect to the wider context.
  • be able to give an account of the underlying causes of a selection of contemporary housing problems.
  • be able to set housing issues within the context of broader academic and policy debates.

Teaching Information

Lectures, interactive lectures, seminars.

Assessment Information

Assessment will be against the programme criteria defined for the appropriate level.

Formative assessment: One 2000- 2500 word essay

Summative assessment : Level H - 3 hour unseen exam

Reading and References

    • Bramley, G., Munro, M. and Pawson, H. (2004) Key issues in housing: policies and markets in 21st century Britain, Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Clapham, D., Clark, W.A.V., and Gibb, K. (eds) (2012) The Sage handbook of housing studies, London: Sage.
    • Lowe, S. (2011) The housing debate, Bristol, Policy Press.
    • Lund, B. (2011) Understanding housing policy, 2nd edition, Bristol, Policy Press.
    • Malpass, P. (2005) Housing and the welfare state, Palgrave Macmillan.
    • Malpass, P. and Murie, A. (1999) Housing policy and practice, 5th edition, Macmillan.