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Social Policy in Focus, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Socialpolitik i fokus

This syllabus is valid: 2020-03-16 and until further notice

Course code: 2SO209

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Sociology: First cycle, has only upper-secondary level entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Responsible department: Department of Sociology

Established by: Head of Department of Sociology, 2020-02-24


The aim of this course is to introduce students to the field of social policy. The course provides an overview of the main theories and empirical developments in welfare state and social policy analysis. Major and updated topics (e.g. aging societies, globalization or immigration) are discussed. Special emphasis is put on the characteristics of welfare policies and family policies in Sweden. The development and distinctiveness of the "Swedish Model" is analysed in a comparative, international perspective.

Expected learning outcomes

In regards to comprehension and knowledge, on successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • have a deeper understanding of the Swedish welfare system
  • have knowledge of other welfare systems in the world
In regards to ability and proficiency, on successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • Be able to analyze and systematize different theoretical perspectives used in the understanding of different social policy systems
Concerning the logic of inquiry, on successful completion of the course, the student will have:
  • Be able to apply and relate theoretical perspectives used in the understanding of different social policy systems to empirical research questions

Required Knowledge

General entry requirements

Form of instruction

Course meetings will take the form of lectures and seminars and include both group and individual work. All coursework is in English. Lectures and seminars will be held in English.

Examination modes

The examination consists of two parts. In seminars, students will present work in groups. At the end of the course, students will take a final exam. Grading decisions are based on an assessment of the individual student's performance. In order to be awarded a Pass grade for the course as a whole, the student must pass both parts of the examination and attend all compulsory sessions indicated in the course schedule. The Swedish grading system states that the following grades may be awarded: Pass with Distinction (väl godkänd), Pass (godkänd) or Fail (underkänd). For comparison of grades, Umeå University has decided that the ECTS Grading Table (EGT) shall be used. International students' home university is responsible for any translation into their local grading system.

For each examining part of the course is a regular examination given with a second reexamination within two months after the regular examination. For examinations performed in May and June is the first reexamination offered within three months of the regular examination. In addition to this is a third reexamination given within a year after the end of the course. Examination based on the same course plan as the regular examination is guaranteed within two years after the earlier course plan has ceased to be valid or the course is no longer given (see rules for grades and examination on basic and advanced level, Dnr: FS 1.1.2-553-14). A student who has failed two tests for a course or a part of a course is entitled to have another examiner appointed after a written request to the head of department. 

Deviations from the form of examination in the course plan can be made for a student who has pedagogical support due to disabilities. Individual adjustment of the examination form shall be considered based on the student's needs. The examination form is adjusted within the framework of the expected learning outcomes of the course plan. After a request from the student shall the course coordinator, in consultation with the examiner, quickly decide on the adjusted form of examination. The decision is then to be reported to the student.  

Transfer of credits
In order to transfer credits to a corresponding course at Umeå University, students have the right to submit previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession for evaluation. Application for transfer of credits is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. More information on transfer of credits is available on Umeå University's student website,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal for transfer of credits may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies whether the entire application or part of the application for transfer of credits is refused.


Valid from: 2020 week 12

Castles Francis Geoffrey
The Oxford handbook of the welfare state
Oxford : Oxford University Press : 2010 : 876 s. :
ISBN: 978-0-19-957939-6
Search Album, the University Library catalogue