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Unit information: Social Care in Crisis in 2021/22

Unit name Social Care in Crisis
Unit code SPOL20047
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Cameron
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit focuses on the provision of personal social services and the political, social and economic values that underlie policies in this field. Key concepts considered include need, risk, care and dependency. Students will consider trends and developments in social care, including the development of the mixed economy of provision as well as the personalisation agenda, and the implications of these developments for different groups of service users. Key themes discussed in this unit include how services are financed; what role the private sector should play in the provision of social care and who should assess an individuals need for services. The unit aims to provide students with a critical appreciation of contemporary debates about how and why personal social care services are delivered in their current configuration.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, the student will be able to;

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of historical and current policy trends in social care practice such as: deinstitutionalisation, personalisation, marketization and deprofessionalisation.
  2. Critically appraise contemporary perspectives on dependency, need, risk and care.
  3. Describe and critically assess current issues in the policy, planning and delivery of services.
  4. Evaluate the impact of changes in policy and practice on users of services; carers; social workers/ care workers and, providers of services.
  5. Demonstrate an ability to communicate key debates to different audiences.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through blended learning involving a combination of synchronous and asynchronous sessions, including weekly narrated presentations, practical activities supported by study-group sessions and self-directed exercises. The narrated power point presentations will cover conceptual and theoretical aspects of social care policy and practice as well as consideration of the research evidence. In-depth extended learning will take the form of self-paced, material delivered electronically, and undertaken individually or in groups and involving elements of tutor feedback and peer-assessment. Small group exercises will be used to foster collaborative learning. Feedback will be provided for formal assessments, preparation for which will be supported through online activities and in weekly study group sessions with tutors.

Assessment Information

Part 1: Policy brief (1000 words) (25%) - assesses ILOs 1,4 & 5

Part 2: Essay (2000 words) (75%) - assesses ILOs 1,2,3 & 4


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOL20047).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.