Human Services (HSRV) 322

Ideology and Policy Evolution (Revision 2)

HSRV 322 course cover

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Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None. Students are expected to have university-level analytical and writing skills.

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Services Home Page

HSRV 322 has a Challenge for Credit option.

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This course adopts a critical learning approach to the study of the function of ideology in policy development over the centuries and considers the role of influential ideologies, such as libertarianism, conservatism, liberalism, socialism, and progressivism as they shape policy.


The following outline lists the units of this course:

Part 1: Ideology's Effects on Policies in the Human Services

  • Unit 1: Ideas and Values Influence Human Services Policies
  • Unit 2: Libertarians and Conservatives
  • Unit 3: Liberals and Progressives

Part 2: Policy Evolution: Historical

  • Unit 4: Elizabethan Poor Law and the Colonies
  • Unit 5: Industrialization and Social Policy

Part 3: Policy Evolution: Modern

  • Unit 6: The Golden Age of Social Policy and Mobilization
  • Unit 7: After the Welfare State—Retrenchment
  • Unit 8: Human Services Policy in the World
  • Unit 9: Reflections on Learning

Course Objectives

After completing Human Services 322: Ideology and Policy Evolution, you will be able to

  • outline the differences in the major ideologies that have influenced, and continue to influence, the development of human services policy.
  • discuss the major influences and events in history that have affected the evolution of the social safety net.
  • compare the Golden Age of policy development in the 20th century with the more recent period of "retrenchment" and globalization.
  • compare human services policy development that affects the scope, content, and delivery of human services in several jurisdictions.
  • synthesize theory, your prior learning and personal values, and information from external sources (colleagues, public opinion, etc.) into a personal understanding of human services that you can apply in various contexts.


To receive credit for HSRV 322, you must complete four graded assignments and achieve an overall course composite grade of D (50 percent) or higher. The weightings for each assignment are as follows.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 20%
Assignment 2 20%
Assignment 3 30%
Assignment 4 30%
Total 100%

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

Course Materials


Lightman, E., & Lightman, N. (2017). Social policy in Canada (2nd ed.). Don Mills ON: Oxford University Press.

Other Materials

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you 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 about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the HSRV 322 challenge registration, you must complete all required components, and achieve an overall grade of at least D (50 percent).

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 20%
Assignment 2 20%
Assignment 3 30%
Assignment 4 30%
Total 100%

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 2, February 4, 2011.

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