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Irish Social Policy I

Module Code: SSU22010

Module Name: Irish Social Policy I

  • ECTS Weighting: 10
  • Semester/ Term Taught: Michaelmas and Hilary Term
  • Contact hours: MT component delivered online and 1 Tutorial. Hilary Term component 2 x 1 hour lecture per week
  • Module Personnel: Dr Philip Curry & Dr Louise Caffrey

Michaelmas Term - European Refugee Policy (5 Credits)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:

  1. Outline key legal frameworks in relation to refugee protection, in particular the main provisions of the United Nations Convention and Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees.
  2. Discuss how asylum and refugee protection systems operate in practice and the kinds of difficulties such systems contend with.
  3. Assess how and why European governments have attempted to control and direct migration using legal and policy frameworks
  4. Evaluate the impact this has had on victims of forced displacement. 5.
  5. Analyse contemporary journal articles in refugee studies.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Lectures and seminars.

Assessment Details
Please include the following:

  • Assessment Component
  • Assessment description
  • Learning Outcome(s) addressed
  • % of total
  • Assessment due date*

Assessment Component

Assessment Description

LO Addressed

% of total

Review of journal articles.

Students must read and discuss four recent, major journal articles in the field of refugee studies. They then write a 2000 word analysis of all four articles.















Reassessment Requirements

The course is reassessed using the same assignment as above.

Contact Hours and Indicative Student Workload


 Contact hours: 16 Hours. Lectures (12 hours); seminars (4 hours).

Independent Study (preparation for course and review of materials): 40 hours
Read lecture notes and review own notes; read articles on the lecture reading list; independent reading of journal articles; exploration of online resources; follow contemporary developments in refugee policy and practice.

Independent Study (preparation for assessment, incl. completion of assessment): 44 hours
Read and re-read four assignment journal articles; read other relevant material; write draft analysis of each article prior to tutorial; discuss issues arising from articles with peers; critical reflection; write final version of assignment.

Recommended Reading List   

Fiddian-Qasmiyeh, E., Loescher, G., Long, K., and Sigona, N. (Eds.) (2014) The Oxford Handbook of Refugee and Forced Migration Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

The following excellent journals relevant to this course may all be accessed online through the College library website:

  • Journal of Refugee Studies
  • Refugee Survey Quarterly
  • Journal of Immigrant and Refugee Studies

A penalty of 10% will be applied to students who submit essays late without an authorised extension.



Hilary Term: Critical Analysis & Argument Development (5 credits)

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
LO1. Recall definitions of key concepts including critical analysis, academic argument and theoretical framework;
LO2. Identify competing perspectives on social policy issues
LO3. Critically evaluate competing explanations using an evidence-informed approach
LO4. Develop balanced arguments on social policy issues
LO5. Recall knowledge on key social policy debates including, the changing context of work, social security, the gender pay gap and the social determinants of health

Module Overview and Content

This component of the module aims to develop students’ core social policy skills, including critical analysis, argument development and the use of an evidence-informed approach. The module introduces students to key social policy issues including the changing context of work and employment, social security, the gender pay gap. Students are challenged to practice and develop the skills they have learnt by engaging critically with these topics. Students are supported to critically appraise how explanations of and solutions to social issues may be influenced by analysis of evidence and competing perspectives

Recommended Reading List

Cottrell, S. (2011). Critical thinking skills: Developing effective analysis and argument. Basingstoke Palgrave Macmillan. (Available as an e-book).
Greetham, B. (2013). How to write better essays. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
European Commission (2009). Gender segregation in the labour market: Root causes, implications and policy responses in the EU. Luxembourg: Publications Office of the European Union
Standing, G. (2011) The Precariat: The New Dangerous Class. London: Bloomsbury.