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Social Policy

Minor

Social Policy is a field of study that is concerned with the wellbeing of all of us as a society. Social Policy is interested in the questions of how to address inequalities amongst us and how to make our society a fairer and more inclusive society. In the Social Policy minor, we will be looking at the issues behind the headlines we see in the news every day and analyse the decisions that governments make and who and what influences those decisions.

Students will be introduced to the subject through key concepts and ideas that have been developed to help understand the world. These foundational ideas will be consolidated in their second and third year units that explore a range of social policies that are introduced, tested and restructured over time both in the context of Australia and elsewhere.

These policies include but are not limited to the areas of:

  • Work and labour market
  • Healthcare
  • Family
  • Old-age
  • Social security
  • Indigenous population
  • Globalisation
  • Immigration


We will challenge and unpack some of the common sense assumptions about certain groups both young and old, and men and women. We study central assumptions behind the design of these policies and investigate how they work in various contexts.

Studying social policy enables us to better understand how to manage social risks; what policy instruments are used to address them; and what underpins their very existence. We ask difficult questions about social problems and discuss what we want to do about them. The Social Policy minor offers an opportunity to engage in this discussion so that one day we can be a part of the solution to make the world better place to live.

For more information on the program structure and content including unit of study information, please refer to the Arts and Social Sciences Handbook.

This minor is offered by the Department of Sociology and Social Policy.

Graduate opportunities

Sydney Arts and Social Sciences graduates work in government departments at all levels, and major private sector consultancies and corporations, locally and overseas. The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences offers a range of subject areas that prepare graduates for careers in administration, education, business research, marketing, media, management consultancy, public relations, gallery and museum curatorship, hospitality and tourism, community and welfare. Our graduates are proficient in research and inquiry, and demonstrate personal and intellectual autonomy, and ethical, social and professional understanding, qualities sought after by leading employers all over the world.

The course information on this website applies only to future students. Current students should refer to faculty handbooks for current or past course information.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.