Homelessness: Problems, Perceptions & Policies (PGT)


Homelessness: Problems, Perceptions & Policies

Duration: 10 weeks
Credits: 10 Academic Credits (PG)
Delivery: All course content is delivered on Moodle, our virtual learning platform. You will converse with the tutors and fellow students in online forums.
Timetable: Fully online and flexible, with no scheduled classes to attend.
Funding: You are eligible for a fully funded place on this course if you are Scottish-domiciled and/or work for an organisation based in Scotland.
College: College of Social Sciences
School: School of Social & Political Sciences

Why are housing emergencies on the rise across councils? What health and well-being implications stem from housing poverty? Is homelessness really a "lifestyle choice"? Delve into the root causes of homelessness and explore the most effective policies for prevention. While homelessness remains a constant presence in headlines, recent times have witnessed unprecedented conversations about its origins, consequences, and actionable solutions. This Upskilling course presents a unique opportunity to deepen your understanding of the social and economic contexts surrounding this critical issue, along with current approaches to address it effectively.

Why this course

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  • Appraise the interconnected and complex causes and consequences of homelessness in Scotland, the UK, and beyond;
  • Identify structural and institutional contexts which frame homelessness as a policy problem, a lived experience, and in a comparative context;
  • Critically evaluate a range of policy responses and interventions to prevent and mitigate homelessness;
  • Synthesise and explain the importance of inter-agency collaborative work and identify key actors in addressing homelessness;
  • Demonstrate skills in policy analysis and evaluation, including identifying resources to aid decision making, policy networks, and communities of practice.


Course structure

This course is designed to empower learners to cultivate expertise in a profoundly significant contemporary social challenge. It will cover the following topics:

Week 1: Introduction: Contemporary Debates About Homelessness

Week 2: Definitions of Homelessness

Week 3: The Framing of the Problem & Policy Responses

Week 4: The Consequences of Homelessness

Week 5: What Works: An Evaluation of Current Practice

Week 6: Sharing Professional & Lived Experiences of Homelessness

Week 7: The Prevention Approach to Homelessness

Week 8: Multi-Agency Working

Week 9: Policy Analysis & Evaluation

Week 10: Support For Assessment



  • Individual Reflective Writing Piece (40%) (optional)

Learners will produce an Individual Reflective Writing Piece (1,000 words maximum) 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. Due in Week 6.

  • Homelessness: Evaluating Policy Responses & Professional Practice  (60%) (optional)

Learners will produce an Individual Reflective Report (1,500 words maximum) 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. 

Learners who choose to submit these assessments and pass will be awarded 10 Academic Credits towards a relevant Master's degree at the University of Glasgow.


Meet The Team

This course is curated and instructed by Dr. Craig Gurney, an accomplished educator with over 30 years of experience teaching housing and related courses across Scotland, England, and Wales. Presently serving as the program director for the MSc/Postgraduate Diploma in Housing Studies at the University of Glasgow, Craig is renowned for his award-winning teaching. His research and prolific publications extensively cover housing-related subjects, particularly exploring the intersection of housing with health and social theory.

For all enquiries related to this course, contact the Upskilling team at upskillingproject@glasgow.ac.uk.


Course alteration or discontinuation
The University of Glasgow endeavours to run all courses as advertised. In exceptional circumstances, however, the University may withdraw or alter a course. For more information, please see: Student contract.

Career prospects

Ideal for aspiring housing professionals and anyone interested in understanding homelessness, this course offers valuable insights and career-enhancing opportunities for those in health care, trauma-informed practice, social work, public and environmental health, education, and community development.

Completion of this course grants potential for:

  • Further academic study
  • Promotion
  • Increased earning potential
  • New career path

Fees & funding

Funding: If you are based in Scotland and/or work for an organisation based in Scotland, you are eligible for a fully funded place on this course, meaning you can upskill free of charge.

Fee: £799

Discounts: A 20% discount is available to NHS, Civil Service and Third Sector employees. A 10% discount is available to UofG alumni and for group bookings.

Find out more

Entry requirements

It is suggested that learners on this course have an IELTS equivalent of 6.5. Learners will not be asked to prove their academic or professional history.