Social Policy at Victoria is the study of how and why social policy gets made, and how it works in the real world. At the heart of Social Policy is a focus on what is commonly referred to as peoples' wellbeing or needs. Central to this are three broad questions: are we responsible for one another, as citizens, as taxpayers, as employees/employers, as family/whanau, or as members of an iwi or community? If we are responsible, what form should this take: financial support, protection, or care? And who should provide support or protection: the state, the market, the family, or charities?
The concern with wellbeing, and discussion on who is responsible for improving wellbeing, involves a number of areas of policy debate, including: poverty and social exclusion; changing populations and patterns of family life; health care reform; education policies; and housing and homelessness
Elements from Sociology, Political Science, Social History, Economics, Philosophy, Psychology, and Public Policy are used to explore a range of social issues and questions. In particular, there is constant interaction between the social trends studied by sociologists and the social policies discussed in this subject area. A course in Social Policy is appropriate for students from throughout the University because questions about how a society meets peoples' needs are a prominent part of current public concern and debate.