0920 Social Policy
ao.Univ.Prof. Dr. August Österle
Contact details
Weekly hours
Language of instruction
09/18/23 to 09/27/23
Registration via LPIS
Notes to the course
Subject(s) Bachelor Programs
Day Date Time Room
Friday 10/06/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12
Friday 10/13/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12
Friday 10/20/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12
Friday 11/10/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.2.02
Friday 11/17/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12
Friday 11/24/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12
Friday 12/01/23 09:00 AM - 12:30 PM TC.5.12

Topics covered in this course:

  • social policy, social welfare and the welfare state: objectives, principles, actors, policies,
  • comparative welfare state analysis: comparing welfare states, welfare state models, 
  • European social policy: EU social policy, the impact of EU integration on national social policies,
  • sustainability of the welfare state. 

In addition, student group projects will deal with selected social policy issues in comparative perspective. 

Learning outcomes

The course provides a framework for understanding, reviewing and critical analysis of alternative approaches to the study and the practice of social policy. After attending this course, students will be able to:

  • outline and apply the conceptual foundations of social policy,
  • identify alternative welfare state models,
  • characterise social policies in selected countries,
  • evaluate the role of EU social policies,
  • analyse and discuss social policy approaches against the background of major economic and social policy objectives,
  • understand and discuss academic social policy papers. 

In addition, students will:

  • gain practice and improve their skills in writing, presenting and discussing their ideas.
Attendance requirements

This being a ‘course with continuous assessment (PI)’, the university requires students to attend at least 80% of all classes for completing the course successfully. Ideally you don’t miss any classes. If you are unable to attend a session, please let me know before that session.

Teaching/learning method(s)

The first part of the course is based on inputs by the lecturer and group discussions. In the second part of the course, groups of students will focus on selected social policy areas, present comparative analyses and discuss these in sub-group and/or plenary debates. Activities include:

  • lectures
  • team-based learning
  • group discussions
  • oral presentations
  • written papers 

The final grade is based on: 

  • exam: 40%
  • written paper (individual): 25%
  • group project with oral presentation (group): 25%
  • active participation in class: 10% 

Grades (point ranges):

  • Excellent (1): 90-100 points
  • Good (2): 80-89 points
  • Satisfactory (3):  65-79 points
  • Sufficient (4): 50-64 points
  • Fail (5): 0-49 points
Prerequisites for participation and waiting lists

This is a course offered for WU bachelor students (in the Economics and Socio-Economics Major program), and for incoming students as part of the English Program.


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Availability of lecturer(s)


Meetings by arrangement. 

Last edited: 2023-05-02