Youth, Policy and Welfare: Cross-Cultural Perspectives PUBPOL4042

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course provides an opportunity to examine current youth policy debates and how they have been framed and organised in different cultures, particularly in East Asian and Western contexts. Students will focus on various social problems and challenges experienced by young people, compare welfare systems and how they are shaped by different cultural values, and discuss policy measures and welfare organisation in a range of topical youth issues, including housing, poverty and inequality, work and education, and social connections in the "digital age".


Two hour weekly seminar

Requirements of Entry

Entry to Honours Social & Public Policy normally requires a grade point average of 12 (grade C3) over Social & Public Policy 2A and 2B (formerly Public Policy 2A and 2B) as a first attempt.

Excluded Courses





-Essay, 2,500 words - students will be asked to submit a 2500 word essay from a choice of 4 questions, each of which will build on some of the issues explored in the formative element of the course. Weighted at: 50%.

- Briefing note, 1,200 words - students will be tasked with writing a 2-page briefing note, designed for a senior decision-maker, which will succinctly summarise the issue, recommendation and rationale for the action the decision-maker should take. Weighted at: 40%.

- Participation in problem-based learning tutorials - A pass (A1) or fail (E1) would be awarded for evidence of i) tutorial attendance (approved absences exempted), and; ii) individual contribution to problem-based learning work within tutorials (e.g. policy recommendations, policy briefs, group work). Weighted at: 10%.

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non-Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

The aims of the course are to:

■ Develop understandings of how policies and welfare for young people are organised and debated in East Asian and Western contexts, using Hong Kong, Scotland and the UK as illustrative examples.

■ Explore a range of contentious and prominent issues in contemporary youth, and highlight the increasing challenges and diversity of experiences of young people.

■ Examine how systems and delivery of welfare are shaped by different cultural values and traditions, particularly regarding the role of the state and family as welfare institutions for young people.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Identify a range of local and globalised influences that affect the experiences of the younger generation in contemporary societies.

■ Critically assess different approaches in policy and welfare provisions for young people, and evaluate how the delivery of welfare can be influenced by different norms and values in East Asian and Western cultures.

■ Identify similarities and differences of welfare organisation, policy agendas, and conceptions of youth in different cultural settings.

■ Explore and utilise research, evidence, and conceptual and theoretical resources to facilitate independent learning.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.