Having studied social policy for two years, I know that it’s a broad course which is not fixed on one topic. There are always new or different ideas and discussions.
I have heard many misconceptions about social policy. Often I hear it being called social work, which is one major misconception about it. I have written a previous blog which narrows down the differences between social policy and social work – do have a read so you become familiarised with understanding the two different courses!
Apart from this, the fact that social policy, as an area, is barely known has also been said as to why the course is not standard in many institutions.
Many questions have been raised as to what it social policy about, what it involves and most importantly, in terms of career aspects, how does one benefit or gain anything out of it for employment? Because of this, the misconceptions about social policy as a course are accentuated. However, these misconceptions should not be the reason as to why one should not study nor understand social policy.
I believe social policy delivers and enables an individual to be able to understand their society and its problems. The course involves discussions and analysis of these various problems and issues, and considers how problems can be solved. Through this, you will be able to have transferable skills and experiences such as critical analysis, awareness of current affairs and issues, communication, team working, problem solving, development of writing skills to advanced academic level within reports, and research. In my opinion, such skills can be relevant in many employment and one’s career path such as becoming a researcher, teaching, working with social services, government/politics. The skills and experience open door for many other opportunities and further progression of studies.
To conclude, there will always be a misconception about something if it is not understood. Therefore, for social policy to be understood, it is vital to do your own research and reading about the course, content, career paths and employment wise. Be encouraged, engaged and familiarised with the course, to develop your own understanding of it.
Below I have includded some relevant links as a first useful read about skills and careers.
The Complete University Guide – reasons to study social policy
Social Policy Association – career options