• University of York

Understanding and Solving Poverty and Inequality

Delve into the history of poverty and inequality across the globe, and explore potential solutions to these social issues.

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Develop your understanding of current social issues

The understanding and dissection of poverty and inequality are fundamental to understanding how people’s experience of the welfare state differ.

On this course, you’ll explore these concepts in detail and take a look at how these social issues could be solved. You’ll also consider the difficulties that might be faced when developing solutions.

Discover the global history of poverty and inequality

You’ll delve into the history of both poverty and inequality, with a focus on child poverty and health inequalities in the UK. Alongside a global look at the issues, you’ll look at why these problems matter and the social policies surrounding them.

Explore possible solutions to social problems in the UK

Many arguments have been made about both concepts, both critical and theoretical. You’ll engage and assess these different arguments before reflecting on the insights they bring to the discussion.

The final part of the course will guide you through using these insights to offer solutions to these issues. You’ll look through the lens of different perspectives, such as Prime Minister, Activist, Student, and Footballer to see how we might solve poverty and inequality in the UK.

Learn from the experts from SPSW at York

The Department of Social Policy and Social Work (SPSW) at York is one of the leading UK centres for teaching and research in social policy, social work, and applied social science.

On this course, you’ll be taught by academics possessing wide-ranging expertise on a range of topics, from child poverty to global inequalities in health.

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Skip to 0 minutes and 8 seconds Two of the biggest problems facing society are poverty and inequality. How do we make society fairer and more equal? How do we stop parents struggling to put food on the table for their children? Whose responsibility is it to eradicate poverty in the UK? The Governments? Parents? Teachers? Activists? Footballers? These are challenging questions and there is no simple solution. Yet taking a look through the lens of social policy may offer some ideas and directions on how to tackle these two issues. Social policy is concerned with promoting the welfare of citizens. Traditionally the subject focused on the ‘big five’

Skip to 0 minutes and 48 seconds areas of: poverty, health, housing, education and unemployment, but has expanded in recent years to broader social issues and international contexts. Often social policy questions the ways in which services do or do not meet the needs of specific groups, such as children, people with disabilities, women, older people, or members of minority ethnic groups. The understanding and dissection of the concepts of poverty and inequality are fundamental to understanding how people’s experience of the welfare state differ. This course will offer individuals the opportunity to explore these two concepts in detail before turning to take a look at how we can potentially solve such social problems as poverty and inequality whilst considering why this may be difficult.

Skip to 1 minute and 22 seconds Join us as we attempt to solve the crisis of poverty and inequality. Could your perspective be the one that helps shape our approach?

What topics will you cover?

  • Poverty: history of the concept, a global look at the issue, a focus on child poverty in the UK, an exploration of why it matters;
  • Inequality: history of the concept, a global look at the issue, a focus on health inequalities in the UK, an exploration of why it matters;
  • Solving Social problems: a look through the lens of different perspectives, Prime Minister, Activist, Student, Footballer…

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

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Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explain the concepts of poverty and inequality
  • Present an overview of the two concepts from a historical perspective
  • Engage with key critical and theoretical arguments about both concepts
  • Reflect on why both concepts are important
  • Explore these insights to offer solutions from multiple perspectives as to how we might solve such issues

Who is the course for?

This course is for anyone interested in exploring poverty and inequality, and how we can possibly solve these social issues.

It will be particularly useful to A-level students looking to study sociology or, more specifically, social policy.

Who will you learn with?

I am lecturer in Social Policy and Crime in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work at the University of York. I specialise in crime based teaching with a specific focus on prisons.

I'm a Senior Lecturer in Comparative Social Policy at the University of York, though I am originally from Bradford. I enjoy football, running, and a good book!

Who developed the course?

University of York

The University of York combines the pursuit of academic excellence with a culture of inclusion, which encourages everyone – from a variety of backgrounds – to achieve their best.

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