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Social Policy

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 611 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €800.00 per programme


The course requires an intermediate level of preparation. Is it aimed towards the specific major in social policy, but it is relevant to a major in sociology or political science. Students that followed the European Welfare State course (beginner level) are automatically accepted.

Course objectives:
1. To provide the students with a solid understanding about the core principles and functioning mechanisms in social policy.
2. To identify different practices and concepts across the world using cases from students’ home countries and contrasting social security systems from various welfare states;
3. To prepare the students for a potential prospective social policy study track and to offer the students a professional orientation in this area.

Course description:
Part of the public policy family, social policy is the discipline concerned with the governmental action aimed at insuring individuals in situations when these fail or face difficult times to provide for themselves (e.g. unemployment, childcare). Once the governmental programs in social policy expanded (with the expansion of the welfare state), countries across the world adopted a variety of social policy interventions. In this course, we will learn to distinguish between these interventions (e.g. is a state more liberal and relying on taxation instruments to insure the wellbeing of its citizens or has it adopted a more universal approach and equally provides with welfare services). We will deepen our knowledge through practical assignments based on social policy tools (e.g. work with
unemployment benefit, social assistance benefit or tax credit). This way, we will learn to
engage in the course as both: a professional in social policy and an analyst who understands
core principles behind social policy. At the end of the course, students will have a good
understanding of key social policy terminology and will be able to judge for themselves if
they would like to become a social policy professional or continue on this study track.

 Ministry of Social Affairs.

Instruction language

Recommended books:
1. Beresford P. And Carr S. (2018), Social policy first hand, Policy Press.
2. Edwards M., Howard C. and Miller R. (2001) Social Policy, Public Policy: From
Problem to Practice Allen & Unwin.
3. Hudson J. And Kuhner S. (2015), The short guide to social policy, Policy Press.
4. Rich C. R. (2018), Empirical political analysis: quantitative and qualitative
research methods, Routledge.

Teaching methods
▪ Assignments ▪ Cast Studies ▪ PBL

Assessment methods
▪ Attendance ▪ Participation ▪ Final paper

Social policy, Policy cycle, Policy evaluation, Policy reform, Public funding, Public finance,
Public cuts, Regulations, Directives, Recommendations

Apply now! Block 3.2 2018/19
Application deadline
Jun 1, 2019 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 15, 2019

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States