SSA4100 Social Policy Course description

Course name in Norwegian
Study programme
Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning barnevern, deltid / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning barnevern / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning sosialt arbeid, deltid / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning sosialt arbeid
Year of study
FALL 2022
Course history


The course provides an in-depth insight into the different support systems -the employment market, the family, the voluntary sector and the welfare and social assistance services are linked in Norway and in other European countries. This provides an insight into how class, gender, and ethnicity has influenced the development of welfare measures. Key normative reasons for welfare measures, such as justice, equality and solidarity are highlighted. Challenges to the welfare state, such as demographical changes, immigration, globalisation, privatisation and exposure to competition are discussed in light of existing research. Welfare policy for children is discussed as a separate topic.

Required preliminary courses


Learning outcomes

After completing the course, the students are expected to have achieved the following knowledge, skills and competence:


The student has

  • knowledge about what characterises the Norwegian welfare state and the Nordic model in relation to the welfare states in other European countries, such as the United Kingdom, Germany and countries in southern Europe.
  • knowledge about the factors that have created different characteristics of the welfare systems, highlighting class, gender and ethnicity
  • knowledge about the labour market, and the politics of the labour market and the Norwegian workfare policy
  • insight into the family's role as a support system, changes in family patterns, and different family policy measures
  • insight into the factors that create poverty and social exclusion for different demographic groups, including children
  • knowledge of how economic, demographic, political and ideological changes influence welfare policy
  • insight into what globalisation might mean for the development of welfare and welfare measures in Norway and other countries


The student is capable of

  • analysing similarities and differences between welfare measures in Norway and other countries
  • analysing welfare measures in light of existing socio-political principles and ideologies
  • problematising analytical categories and measurement instruments in welfare research
  • applying key theories and concepts in his/her own written work
  • making use of data from different sources in such contexts, such as Statistics Norway, OECD, Eurostat and Missoc
  • obtaining relevant literature from electronic journals


The student is capable of

  • discussing positive and negative aspects of different types of socio-political measures and dilemmas in welfare policy
  • assessing how current social changes and changes in attitudes and values, influence welfare policy, and the frameworks and content of work in the health and social services

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching switches between lectures and seminars. Students are expected to play an active role. 

Course requirements



The students will take a 72 hours individual home exam on a set topic. The scope of the assignment should be approx. 8 pages (+/- 10 percent), calibri, pt. 12, line spacing 1.5 , tables and bibliography not included. 

Permitted exam materials and equipment

All referenced material is allowed.

Grading scale

A grade scale A-F.


The exam papers are assessed by an internal and an external examiner.

A random selection consisting of at least 25 % of the exam papers will be graded by both an internal and external examiner. This will inform the grading of the remaining exam papers.

Course contact person

Ivar Lødemel