Breadcrumbs

Social Policy

Be a force for change. Study Social Policy at Waikato and develop a critical understanding of how policy-making impacts on every person, regardless of their age, ethnicity or gender – then learn how to influence it.

Studying Social Policy involves examining the issues that affect people and society. It analyses the policies and practices of politicians, public servants, governments and non-governmental agencies, and how they impact on communities and wider society. It takes a broad and encompassing approach, because social policy impacts on all parts of everyday life – from health and education to families, transport and housing, plus the systems and institutions that support them.

Your Social Policy studies at Waikato will cover why and how societies respond to problems such as poverty and unemployment. You'll take part in popular and recurring social policy debates, and gain an in-depth understanding of why social problems arise. You'll investigate and evaluate different ways of responding to those problems.

At the end of your studies, you'll be equipped to seek employment opportunities within government agencies, non-government organisations, tertiary education institutions, voluntary and community agencies, and groups advocating for social equity and change.

 Career opportunities

  • Advocate
  • Case Manager
  • Community Worker
  • Policy Analyst
  • Researcher

100 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ARTSC110Old Worlds - New Worlds18A (Hamilton)
This multi-disciplinary paper offers students a rich context in which to develop arts-based reading, writing and research skills. It is structured around stories of cultural encounter and journeys through place and time, and focuses on a variety of printed and electronic texts, moving and still images, and sound. The paper is deliv...
ARTSC111Social Science Theory and Action18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper introduces University of Waikato social scientists as researchers. Each presenter’s research will be discussed to demonstrate how it illustrates key themes of the social sciences and their specific disciplines.
ECONS102Economics and Society18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces selected economic models, with a focus on developing and applying critical thinking skills to a range of business and social issues and to economic policies.
LABST100Work, Employment and Society18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
The purpose of this paper is to focus on the interdisciplinary account of the changing forms and social contexts of work from ancient times to the present and beyond.
POLSC102New Zealand Politics and Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a foundation for the study of public policy, with a particular focus on the New Zealand government context and the "politics" of policy making.
SOCIO101Introduction to Sociology18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper prepares students for further study in a range of social science subjects. It introduces the main sociological theories, concepts and practices that enable an understanding of contemporary societies.
SOCPY100Introduction to Social Policy18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper examines the values behind social policy and introduces students to some of the important issues and debates in New Zealand and other democratic societies. The paper will include presentations by guest speakers who are active in implementing social policies in our community.

200 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
EDSOC200Education and New Zealand Society18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper critically examines educational ideas and practices by considering philosophical, historical, political, socio-cultural and economic aspects. It examines how the interrelationships between education and society change over time.
LABST201Employment Relations in New Zealand18A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the employment relations legislation and its impact on employers, unions and workers. Other issues considered include occupational health and safety, industrial training and practice of employment relations
POLCY212Public Policy: International Perspectives18B (Hamilton)
An introduction to the theory and practice of public policy and comparative policy analysis.
POPST201Population Studies18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Online)
This course provides a comprehensive introduction to the multidisciplinary field of Population Studies. Students will develop a sound understanding of the demographic drivers of population change and composition, while exploring some of the rich theories and methodological approaches which comprise Population Studies.
SOCIO202Class, Race, Gender18A (Hamilton)
This paper presents sociological theories which examine gender, class, and race and how power is distributed within and across these categories. It uses class theory and intersectionality to explore and explain the complex interconnections between them.
SOCPY200Social Policy and Social Issues18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
The paper continues the study of social policy at 200 level. The focus of this paper is on the welfare state, the policy cycle as well as social problems, such as poverty.
SOCPY201Social Policy, Families and Children18A (Hamilton) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper further develops students' theoretical understanding of social policy, while focusing specifically on policy related to families and children, providing insight into the relationships between policy and lived experience.
SOCWK205Community Development18A (Tauranga)
This paper critically explores the evolution, dimensions and practice of community development in Aoteoroa New Zealand including Maori development. It also focuses on the strategies, skills and tools necessary for community development practice.

300 level

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
ECON313Economics of Human Resources and Public PolicyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
ECON315Environmental and Natural Resource Economics18A (Hamilton)
An examination of the economics of sustainable development, resource use, pollution control and the conservation of the environment, including practical applications.
FASS396Work Placement18C (Block) & 18D (Block)
This paper enables students to undertake work placement in an area related to their major as part of their degree. Students work in a chosen field for a period of time in order to gain valuable work experience and learn from experts in their chosen field.
LBST301Globalisation and International Development18A (Hamilton)
This paper examines the impact of globalisation on labour across both developed and developing countries. Assignments focus on the application of comparative methods.
LBST331Education, Skill and Employment18A (Hamilton), 18A (Online) & 18A (Tauranga)
This paper provides an examination of current policies, issues and institutions in workers' education and training. Assignments are designed to help students acquire practical skills for employment in industry training, areas relevant to labour studies or in related policy development and analysis.
POLS318Global Environmental Politics and Policy18A (Hamilton)
The aim of this paper is to understand and critically evaluate the development of environmental policy and the politics of environmental policy processes in the international arena.
POPS302Exploring Population Change18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Online)
This paper applies methods for measuring population size, composition and change, which are used extensively for understanding population issues in public policy, human resource planning, forecasting and business planning.
SOCP302Social Policy18B (Hamilton) & 18B (Tauranga)
This paper focuses on developing a critical approach to the formulation, content and implementation of New Zealand social policy in an international context. It examines a variety of contemporary policy domains, all of which, in some way, affect the wellbeing of children and families. The paper provides knowledge and skills relevan...
SOCP304Health, Wellbeing and Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper gives a sociological and policy dimension to health, wellbeing and policy from a critical perspective.
SOCP389Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18S (Hamilton) & 18T (Hamilton)
Students with a B+ average may, with the approval of the programme convenor and the proposed supervisor, undertake an individual programme of study within the field of Social Policy.
SOCP390Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton), 18S (Hamilton), 18T (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
Students with a B+ average may, with the approval of the programme convenor and the proposed supervisor, undertake an individual programme of study within the field of Social Policy.
SOCW305Community Development18A (Tauranga)
This paper critically explores the evolution, dimensions and practice of community development in Aoteoroa New Zealand. It also focuses on the knowledge, skills and tools necessary for community development practice, including the key factors and the role of Iwi, hapu and Whanau in Maori development.
SOCY301Contemporary Social Theory: A Praxis Approach18A (Hamilton) & 18B (Hamilton)
An analysis of some of the major contemporary issues in sociological theory.
SOCY311Criminology: A Sociological Introduction18B (Online)
This paper examines sociological explanations of deviance and crime and examines issues in the field of criminology.
WGST303Gender, State and Public Policy18B (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to feminist political theory concerned with issues of state, policy, equality/equity, social justice, rights and representation.

Prescriptions for the GradCert(SocPol) and GradDip(SocPol)

A Graduate Certificate and Graduate Diploma are available to graduates who have not included Social Policy at an advanced level in their first degree. Each programme of study for the Graduate Certificate must include SOCP206 and SOCP302. Each programme of study for the Graduate Diploma must include SOCP206, SOCP302, SOCP304 and 40 further points at 300 level in Social Policy.

For further details, contact the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Office.

Prescriptions for the PGCert(SocPol), PGDip(SocPol) and BSocSc(Hons) and MSocSc

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in a BSocSc(Hons) in Social Policy, a student should normally have at least a B average in SOCP302 and two other 300 level papers. Students who do not meet this requirement should discuss their proposed programme of study with the Programme Convenor prior to confirming their enrolment.

To complete a BSocSc(Hons) in Social Policy, students must gain 120 points at 500 level, including at least 30 points in research (normally SOCP591), SOCP506, SOCP508, and SOCY502.

To be eligible to be considered for enrolment in the MSocSc in Social Policy, a student should have completed either:

a) a BSocSc with a major in Social Policy (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average in either the best three of their 300 level Social Policy papers or all of their undergraduate Social Policy papers, or

b) a BSocSc(Hons) in Social Policy (or equivalent) and have gained at least a B+ average across all 500 level papers.

Completion requirements for the MSocSc in Social Policy vary according to admission criteria:

Students admitted under a) above must complete 180 points from approved 500 level papers, including SOCP506, SOCP508, SOCY502, one of SSRP503 or SSRP504 and either a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis or a 60 point dissertation.

Students admitted under b) above must complete a 120 point thesis, a 90 point thesis and a further 30 points from approved 500 level papers, or a 60 point dissertation and a further 60 points from approved 500 level papers.

To be considered for enrolment in a dissertation or thesis, all students must have completed at least 60 points from approved 500 level papers and have gained at least a B+ average to be admitted to SOCP592 or SOCP593 and at least an A- average to be admitted to SOCP594.

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
DEVS504State Policies on Indigenous Development18A (Online)
This paper will undertake a comparative examination of changing state policies regarding indigenous rights and development in the Pacific region. The paper will consider factors influencing these changes, how 'disadvantage' is understood, how the effects of different policy approaches are evaluated, and the involvement and response...
DSOE557Research Methods18A (Hamilton), 18A (Tauranga), 18B (Online) & 18S (Block)
This paper introduces students to the major educational research paradigms, methodologies appropriate to collecting data in schools (including interviews, observations, surveys, case studies), action research, literature reviews, critiquing research, and report writing. It includes consideration of ethical issues in research.
HDCO501Ageing and SocietyThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
LBST531Advanced Employment Relations 1: The Employment Relations Framework18A (Hamilton)
Students will be expected to analyse and to discuss the Employment Relations Act in its social and economic context and also to focus on specific issues such as good faith bargaining.
LBST532Advanced Employment Relations 2: Current Policies and Practices18B (Hamilton)
The paper is concerned with a number of topics of contemporary relevance to New Zealand employment relations, and in particular issues of labour market flexibility, employment equity, employee participation, employee health and safety and workplace privacy.
LBST541Labour, Education and Training 1: Issues and Policies18A (Hamilton)
This paper explores issues related to the restructuring of tertiary education in New Zealand. Students will gain a thorough understanding of current issues in adult education and training and become familiar with a wide range of contemporary policy documents.
PCSS508Education Policy and Society18A (Hamilton)
A critical analysis of educational policies and practices, with particular references to New Zealand.
POLS501The Policy Process and Policy Analysis18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to theoretical perspectives on policy analysis and the policy process providing a conceptual tool-kit for the practice of, and higher level research in, public policy.
POLS537Environmental Politics and Public Policy18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to the complexities and challenges of environmental policy processes, and develops skills in scholarly research on environmental policy making. A significant focus of the paper is on analysing and understanding the complex intersections of institutions, culture, science and technology, and systems of ...
POPS507Critical Demography18A (Hamilton)
This paper introduces students to critical demography as a field that marries social science theory with quantitative and qualitative methods to understand demographic phenomena. Lectures and in-class discussion will focus on weekly readings drawn from Aotearoa/NZ and internationally. Study topics include population categories and ...
POPS508Population Health and Equity18B (Hamilton)
This paper explores population health within particular communities, emphasising the broader determinants of population health and social equity. It introduces students to aspects of epidemiology, considers demographic and social science perspectives, and explores the relationship between health, community and society. It examines ...
PSYC511Evaluation Research Design18A (Hamilton)
This paper provides a theoretical grounding in programme evaluation, with an emphasis on the evaluation of programmes in the not-for-profit sector. Emphasis is placed on qualitative methods, collaborative approaches and evaluation as a strategy of incremental social change.
PSYC513Evaluation Research Analysis18C (Block)
This paper provides an introduction to evaluation praxis with a major focus on completing a small scale evaluation of a social service or health programme. Such roles as consultant, advocate, liaison and technician are part of the skills students experience. Engagement with the client through refining and negotiating an evaluation ...
PSYC518Family Violence: Research and InterventionsThis paper will not be taught in 2018.
This paper will not be taught in 2018.
SOCP506Social Policy: Comparative Approaches18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides a theoretical grounding and applied dimension to comparative perspectives in social policy and welfare. Students develop a critical awareness of diversity in policy.
SOCP508Techniques for Policy Analysis18B (Hamilton)
This paper exposes students to a selection of techniques in the policy toolkit that can be applied to problem solving in social policy issues. It also reflects on the values and assumptions underlying methods. Students wil be taught to apply policy methods critically and in context.
SOCP509Comparative Criminology: Issues and Policy18B (Hamilton)
Students will study criminological issues of various countries and the ideologies that underlie the policies and practices of criminal justice systems.
SOCP589Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18S (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff. Open to selected students who meet the criteria set out in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Handbook.
SOCP590Directed Study18A (Hamilton), 18B (Hamilton) & 18Y (Hamilton)
Students have the opportunity to pursue a topic of their own interest under the guidance of academic staff. Open to selected students who meet the criteria set out in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences Graduate Handbook.
SOCP591Dissertation18C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
SOCP592Dissertation18C (Hamilton)
A report on the findings of a theoretical or empirical investigation.
SOCP593Social Policy Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SOCP594Social Policy Thesis18C (Hamilton)
An externally examined piece of written work that reports on the findings of supervised research.
SOCY502Society, Economy and State18A (Hamilton)
This half paper brings Sociological theory and Social Policy practice together in a paper that is grounded in a praxis approach. Students will be expected to think critically and deeply about the nature and dynamic of structures and regulatory frameworks of contemporary capitalism, and to think actively about how social change occu...
SOCY503Criminology from a Sociological Perspective18A (Online)
This paper surveys criminological theory from a sociological perspective and uses examples of criminological research to develop a critical awareness of New Zealand issues and policies related to criminal behaviour.
SOCY505Globalisation and Social Movements18B (Hamilton)
Within the context of an analysis of the neoliberal policy framework and global capitalism; this half paper focuses on the merging social movements of the 21st century. Initial focus will be placed on the anti-globalisation movement, but in the context of a range of related movements especially the labour movement, new peasant move...
SSRP503The Conduct of Social Science Research: Qualitative Research18B (Hamilton)
This paper provides an advanced investigation of the conduct of qualitative interviewing culminating in students undertaking their own tape-recorded in-depth interviews.
SSRP504The Conduct of Social Science Research: Survey Research18A (Hamilton)
This paper has been designed to explore quantitative approaches to research with a particular focus on structured and semi-structured data collection techniques. It is intended that students gain a first hand appreciation of the practical aspects of the survey approach as well as a critical view of its appropriateness, strengths an...
WGST507Gender, Policy and Development18B (Hamilton)
The purpose of this paper is to facilitate students' understandings of, and critical reflections on, policy and practice relevant to gender and development, and to simultaneously enhance their skills in research and gender analysis.

Prescriptions for the PhD

The Doctor of Philosophy is a three year research-based degree in which students undertake a programme of approved and supervised research that leads to a thesis which critically investigates an approved topic of substance and significance, demonstrates expertise in the methods of research and scholarship, displays intellectual independence and makes a substantial original contribution to the subject area concerned, and is of publishable quality.

Code Paper Title Occurrence / Location
SOCP900Social Policy PhD Thesis18C (Hamilton)
No description available.

Social Policy is available as a major for the BSocSc. Social Policy may also be taken as a second major or as a minor within other undergraduate degrees, subject to academic approval of the Faculty or School of Studies in which the student is enrolled.

To complete a major in Social Policy, students must gain 120 points above 100 level in Social Policy, including SOCP206, SSRP202, SOCP302, SOCP304, and at least 20 further points above 200 level. It is recommended that students intending to major in Social Policy include SOCP102 and SOCY101 in the first year of their programme of study in order to meet prerequisites at 200 and 300 levels.

To complete a minor in Social Policy, students must include two of SOCP102, SOCP206 or SOCP302.

Note: Social Policy is available as a major for the BSocSc in Hamilton and Tauranga.  Tauranga-based students majoring in Social Policy may substitute SOCW305 for SOCP304

Please note: For all graduate subject requirements check the information provided in the papers section above.

Contacts

Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences:
Phone: 0800 800 145 or +64 7 838 4138
General and Undergraduate Email Enquiries: socp-fass@waikato.ac.nz
Graduate and Postgraduate Email Enquiries: socp-grad@waikato.ac.nz