SPE211 Foundations in Social Policy (8)

SPE211 provides a historical perspective on political social policy debates that helps us to understand contemporary developments in which social provisions are distributed and social conduct is regulated. The first part of this subject provides an introduction to politics, government and the Australian political system. This is aimed at providing a foundation for Part 2 which focuses more specifically on the role of governments in shaping society towards the achievement of social and economic goals. In the second part of this subject we explore the controversial and contested territory of the pursuit of social well-being through government social policies. The focus will be on the role of governments in shaping society and thereby creating a social environment in which individual citizens and whole sectors of the population enjoy more, or less, social opportunities and rewards. You are encouraged to participate in the SPE211 subject online by discussing and sharing your learning about subject topics and its application to debates in the media.


Session 2 (60)
On Campus
Dubbo Campus
Port Macquarie Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Wagga Wagga Campus
Session 3 (90)
Wagga Wagga Campus

Continuing students should consult the SAL for current offering details: SPE211. Where differences exist between the Handbook and the SAL, the SAL should be taken as containing the correct subject offering details.

Subject Information

Grading System



One session


School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Incompatible Subjects

POL204, SPE101, SPE201, SPE301

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:
  • be able to understand the concepts of liberal and democratic as they relate to a Liberal democratic political system.
  • be able to demonstrate how Liberal Democratic Political Systems Enhance or limit the well being of citizens.
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of rights and freedoms in a Liberal Democracy
  • be able to demonstrate an understanding of the impacts social policies can have on diverse sectors of the population.


This subject will cover the following topics:
  • Part 1: Introduction to Politics: Political ideas and Ideologies; Liberal Democracy; Australian Democracy; The Constitution and Australian Federal Parliament; Political Parties.
  • Part 2: Introduction to Social Policy: Defining Social Policy and Social Welfare; Origins and Developments of the Welfare State; Defence and Critique of the Welfare State; Australia Living Wage, Social Wage; Restructuring the Australian Welfare State; Inequality and Social Policy.

Indicative Assessment

The following table summarises the assessment tasks for the online offering of SPE211 in Session 3 2020. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated and can also differ to suit the mode of study (online or on campus).

Item Number
Value %
Assignment 1
Policy essay

The information contained in the CSU Handbook was accurate at the date of publication: May 2021. The University reserves the right to vary the information at any time without notice.