Social Policy is about understanding how we can improve human well-being through tackling intractable social problems and delivering better-quality public services. As an applied social science, Social Policy provides a useful and relevant bridge between politics, sociology and economics and it draws on insights from these disciplines to analyse current policy and consider how we can achieve improvements. Social Policy asks questions such as: How much responsibility falls to the individual or to society and the state when an individual is homeless, unemployed, poor or ill? Should the welfare state offer care and protection to everyone 'from the cradle to the grave' or should society help those who help themselves? Do people have a right to a basic income, a home, a job and education, or are obligations and duties more important than rights? Against a backdrop of social and economic upheaval it is more important than ever to understand the effects of government policies on individuals, families and communities, and the practical, political and ideological reasons underlying the formation of specific social policies. Our degrees concentrate overall on policy in the UK and Ireland, but also take a comparative perspective that explores, where appropriate, how other nations provide public services.