SIW4400 Understanding Citizens' Encounters with the Welfare State: Structures, Institutions and Actors Emneplan

Engelsk emnenavn
Understanding Citizens' Encounters with the Welfare State: Structures, Institutions and Actors
Master Programme in Applied Social Sciences - Study Option International Social Welfare and Health Policy / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning barnevern, deltid / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning barnevern / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning sosialt arbeid, deltid / Masterstudium i sosialfag - studieretning sosialt arbeid
10 stp.


This course provides a critical review of theoretical perspectives on citizens' encounters with the welfare state. This course provides an overview of some of these theories.

The course covers theories that emphasise a focus on individual, rational actors, those applying structural and functionalist explanatory models, those that emphasise social reproduction and feedback mechanisms in society to those that emphasise social construction and interactional processes.

The course provides training in how to apply select theories to analysis of empirical evidence when studying and interpreting phenomena within social welfare and health policy research.




A student who has completed his or her qualification has the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student has

  • advanced knowledge of a series of social theories of institutions and actors
  • insight into how to critically assess these theories and their arguments
  • thorough knowledge of how the theories may be applied to research analyses
  • practical knowledge of how she or he may apply one or more of these theories in the master's thesis


The student

  • is able to identify and discuss different social theories
  • can identify how practical research analyses may be conducted using these theories
  • can critically discuss the empirical implications of particular social theories

General Competence

The student

  • has achieved general competence for doing independent research
  • can contribute to innovative thinking and competence in transferring knowledge and skills to new areas
  • can apply social theories in new areas in order to carry out advanced assignments and projects

Arbeids- og undervisningsformer

The course will comprise a mix of lectures, discussions and hands-on exercises. Students will end the course with a paper and a presentation in which they discuss one of the theories covered in the curriculum. There will be a meeting set aside for student presentations.

Arbeidskrav og obligatoriske aktiviteter

Compulsory activities must be completed and approved by the given deadline in order for the student to take the exam.

In order to take the exam students must deliver a written paper (6 pages, calibri, pt.12, 1,5 line spacing) as coursework requirement where they present and discuss one of the theories covered in the curriculum and present it in one of the two final meetings, with a feedback from lecturers and classmates.

If one or more coursework requirements have not been approved, the student will be given the opportunity to submit an improved version one time by the given deadline.

Vurdering og eksamen

The assessment consists of an individual six hour school exam. 

Hjelpemidler ved eksamen

English-English dictionary 


Grade scale A - F


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

A random selection consisting of at least 25% of the exam papers will be assessed by two examiners. The grades awarded for the papers assessed by two examiners form the basis for determining the level for all the exam papers.


Rune Halvorsen