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SP10019: Introduction to social work

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2014/5
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period: Semester 2
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment Group N: Essay (asst grp N) (ES 100%)
  • Assessment Group S: Essay (asst grp S) (ES 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
Further information on supplementary assessment Supplementary Assessment: Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Further information on requisites Requisites: Only available to SWASS and ASS students.
Further information on descriptions Description: Aims:
This unit aims to provide students with a broad understanding of the core foundations of the discipline and profession of social work. The unit aims to equip students with a basic framework of professional competence. More specifically the unit aims to:
* provide a basic understanding of the nature, purpose, functions and values of social work and how this has evolved historically;
* provide an introduction to contemporary social work knowledge bases, debates and tensions;
* provide a basic knowledge of significant legislative and policy frameworks and of services (including the relationship between statutory, voluntary and private sectors);
* introduce students to the different style of learning required for professional social work training, enabling them to develop and demonstrate their professional competence;
* introduce a basic understanding of the application of social models and approaches (for example, task centred work and its use in assessment); and
* develop a broad range of communication skills for application in social work practice: verbal, non-verbal and written, essential for effective social work and to explore the links between theory and practice.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the unit students will be expected to be able to:
* provide and defend a definition of the profession of social work
* demonstrate a preliminary understanding of how social work’s history has shaped its development and its position within contemporary society
* understand the relationship between social work and social care
* identify common fields of social work practice (at micro and macro levels) and have knowledge of the significance of legislative and policy frameworks and the effects on social work practice
* begin to critically explore the intersection of personal and professional values and beliefs
* comprehend basic concepts of social justice in relation to oppression and discrimination and how these impinge on service users
* identify a range of social science theory that social work draws upon
* have knowledge of the skills required for effective communication in a range of settings
* have a basis to understand typical social work purpose, methods and approaches in order to conduct an initial basic assessment.
* to use supervision to contribute to their own professional development and to promote quality practice and professional competence
* have emerging knowledge of organisational processes such as policy implementation and the pursuit of quality in service delivery.

After completing the Unit students should be able to:
* demonstrate the beginning of analytical skills both in written and verbal forms;
* demonstrate core communications skills necessary to conduct an initial assessment;
* learn independently and be able to assess their own learning style and learning needs;
* begin to select and synthesis appropriate and relevant material from a wide range of sources;
* utilise problem-solving skills in a variety of situations;
* explore a variety of relationships (e.g. with service users, with other professionals) and environments (e.g. statutory, voluntary sector) relevant to social work practice;
* reflect on their values and beliefs and begin to develop sensitivity to the values and interests of others; and
* reflect upon their own academic and professional performance and take responsibility for personal and professional learning and development.

1) Defining Social Work and its development as a Profession.
2) Social Work Today: Personal and the Political, the Unique Professional Social Work Identity.
3) Social Work Knowledge and skills: An introduction to core Social Work purpose and methods.
4) Social justice at micro and macro levels. Challenging oppression and discrimination in a changing world.
5) Common fields of Social Work practice (problem based learning and presentations from the field) and legislative and organisational contexts
6)) Communication skills for Social Work practice (focusing on face-to-face interviews with service users but including use of the telephone, report writing, communication with other professionals).
7) Communication skills for social work practice (continued)
8) Applying social work models (for example, task centred, anti discriminatory and ecological)
9) Reflective Learning in Social Work: taking learning into practice and applying Social Work models
10) Supervision and Reflective Practice
11) Professional Competence.
Further information on programme availabilityProgramme availability:

SP10019 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Social & Policy Sciences
  • UHSP-AFB15 : BSc(Hons) Social Work and Applied Social Studies (Year 1)

* This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2014/15 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2015/16 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2014/15.
* Programmes and units are subject to change at any time, in accordance with normal University procedures.
* Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.