• Offered by Crawford School of Public Policy
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Policy and Governance
  • Areas of interest Policy Studies
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Course convener
    • Peter Whiteford
  • Mode of delivery Online or In Person
  • Offered in Winter Session 2024
    See Future Offerings

On-campus & remote (online) learning available. Students participate in interactive, real-time classes. 2024 class dates: Aug 30; Sept 2,6,9,23 & 27

This course aims to provide an introduction to the main principles of social policy in a comparative context as a foundation for further studies in the social policy area. It discusses the parameters of social policy and how social policy intersects with other aspects of government policy, such as labour policy, taxation policy and health policy. It analyses varying models of social welfare provision and social protection as well as fundamental policy issues, such as the merits of targeting versus universality, horizontal versus vertical equity, and rights-based versus discretionary entitlements. The course then considers social protection in the context of key groups of potential beneficiaries, including people who are unemployed, children and families, retirees, and indigenous peoples. The course emphasis is on a comparative approach, comparing Australian social policy with that of other OECD countries and of other countries in the Asia and Pacific region.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Demonstrate a working knowledge of key terms, concepts and ideas in the study of social policy and social protection.
  2. Critically assess the role of values, institutions and key actors involved in the social policy process.
  3. Analyse and assess alternative approaches to social policy interventions.
  4. Understand how the Australian social protection system compares with those of other high-income OECD nations as well as the approaches taken in developing countries.
  5. Effectively communicate analysis and arguments on social policy and social protection in a comparative context.

Indicative Assessment

  1. First essay (2500 wds) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  2. Second essay (2500 wds) (45) [LO 1,2,3,4,5]
  3. Reading assessment report (10 mins) (10) [LO 1]

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


The standard workload for a 6 unit course is 130 hours including class time and independent study.

Inherent Requirements

Not applicable

Prescribed Texts

See Wattle.

Preliminary Reading

Students will also be provided with a Guide to Source Materials (including the Internet) and a comprehensive bibliography.


Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

Commonwealth Support (CSP) Students
If you have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). More information about your student contribution amount for each course at Fees

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are a domestic graduate coursework student with a Domestic Tuition Fee (DTF) place or international student you will be required to pay course tuition fees (see below). Course tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $4440
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2024 $6360
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

The list of offerings for future years is indicative only.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.

Winter Session

Class number Class start date Last day to enrol Census date Class end date Mode Of Delivery Class Summary
On Campus
6609 30 Aug 2024 29 Aug 2024 13 Sep 2024 18 Oct 2024 In Person N/A
6610 30 Aug 2024 29 Aug 2024 13 Sep 2024 18 Oct 2024 Online N/A

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