Social policy refers to public policy covering the fields of income security, housing, education, health, community services, employment, leisure and other aspects of the social infrastructure of society. Social policy responds, in various ways and with varying degrees of consistency and success, to individual, family, community and societal needs and concerns. This unit of study introduces students to political and social policy processes. It assists students to identify currently debated social issues and to challenge oppression and bring about change. This unit focuses on political and policy processes and provides students with opportunities to pursue their own interests in contemporary social policy issues.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


192 Credit Points (Core ABSW Year 1 and Year 2)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Articulate links between familiar social issues and relevant social policy;  
  2. Investigate a range of common Australian social policy processes;  
  3. Exhibit familiarity with Australian political systems and human services;  
  4. Analyse ways that human service workers may engage with and influence policy processes;  
  5. Exemplify beginning skills in policy analysis; and  
  6. Analyse and discuss issues and debates in contemporary Australian politics and social policy.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Test Quiz (1 hour) 25%
Assignment Critical Reflection (800 words) 30%
Essay Identify and analyse a social policy issue (1800 words) 45%

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

Study a single unit

This unit may be available as a single unit of study.

Find out more about how to apply for single units of study at VU.

VU takes care to ensure the accuracy of this unit information, but reserves the right to change or withdraw courses offered at any time. Please check that unit information is current with the Student Contact Centre.