Homelessness: Problems, perceptions and policies URBAN5141

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Social and Political Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Repeated in Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

The course will provide an overview of the scale and scope of contemporary homelessness in Scotland and beyond; examine routes into homelessness assessing who is at most risk, consider the health and harm consequences for people who experience homelessness and identity what works to prevent homelessness from occurring and reoccurring. Learners will acquire knowledge and skills which will be invaluable for re-skilling or upskilling in a range of roles and sectors focussed on equality and welfare rights, community and social work, law; advocacy; primary health care, mental health, health harming behaviours, education, environmental health and housing.


10 weekly online lectures (pre-recorded) - available asynchronously (1 hour each) 2 online tutorials - available synchronously (2 hours eac

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





Individual reflective writing 1,000 words maximum weighted at 40% in the form of a blog to evidence learning based on the outcomes of the pre-recorded lectures, live tutorials and reflections upon skills gained on the course. Individual Reflective Report of 1,500 words maximum, weighted at 60% to evidence learning based on the outcomes of collaborative group work, the pre-recorded lectures and reflections upon skills gained on the course. Where appropriate this will also include reflections on current professional practice.

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the social and economic contexts of homelessness including the way in which homelessness is defined and understood and to highlight best practice in homelessness prevention. It provides learners with the tools to critically reflect upon the causes of homelessness as a social problem and to evaluate policies which seek to prevent or alleviate it

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

· Appraise the interconnected and complex causes and consequences of homelessness in Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. · Identify structural and institutional contexts which frame homelessness as a policy problem, a lived experience and in a comparative context. · Demonstrate critical thinking and reflective practice in the evaluation of policies which aim to prevent or mitigate homelessness.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.