History (HIST) 328

History of Canadian Social Policy (Revision 3)

HIST 328 course cover

Permanently closed, effective May 17, 2018.

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Humanities

Prerequisite: None. Some background in Canadian history is strongly recommended.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

History Home Page

HIST 328 has a Challenge for Credit option.


History 328 outlines the development of social programs in Canada and its provinces, assessing the social and political pressures that produced particular programs at particular times. It also examines the implementation of these programs, evaluating the extent to which they provided benefits to various groups of Canadians and the extent to which they either ignored needy groups or were used as social control measures over them.

Course materials analyze critically the impact of class, sex, and race prejudices in the design and implementation of major social programs at various points in Canada's past, and the impact of class-, sex-, and race-based pressures to change these programs.


  • Unit 1: Confronting Industrialization and Urbanization: From Pre-Contact to Charity to the State--Canada to 1914
  • Unit 2: War, Depression, and Social Policy, 1914-1939
  • Unit 3: Modifying Capitalism: Family Allowances, Pensions, and Medicare
  • Unit 4: The Limits of the Postwar Welfare State: Child Care, Aboriginal Policy, Housing, and Poverty, 1945-1980
  • Unit 5: Neo-liberalism and Social Policy


To receive credit for HIST 328, you must complete all of the assignments, achieve a minimum grade of 50 percent on the final examination, and obtain a course composite grade of at least “D” (50 percent).

Assignment 1 Assignment 2 Final Exam Total
20% 40% 40% 100%

The final examination for this course must be taken online with an AU-approved exam invigilator at an approved invigilation centre. It is your responsibility to ensure your chosen invigilation centre can accommodate online exams. For a list of invigilators who can accommodate online exams, visit the Exam Invigilation Network.

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Finkel, Alvin. Social Policy and Practice in Canada: A History. Waterloo, ON : Wilfrid Laurier University Press, 2006.

Other materials

The course materials also include a student manual, a study guide, and a variety of required on-line readings to which the study guide links you.

Challenge for Credit Course Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows students to demonstrate that they have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university level course.

Full information for the Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HIST 328 challenge registration, you must achieve a grade of at least “D” (50 percent) on the examination.

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 3, January 29, 2014.

View previous syllabus

Updated April 03 2019 by Student & Academic Services