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SP10019: Introduction to social work

Follow this link for further information on academic years Academic Year: 2018/9
Further information on owning departmentsOwning Department/School: Department of Social & Policy Sciences
Further information on credits Credits: 6      [equivalent to 12 CATS credits]
Further information on notional study hours Notional Study Hours: 120
Further information on unit levels Level: Certificate (FHEQ level 4)
Further information on teaching periods Period:
Semester 1
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Summary: ES 100%
Further information on unit assessment Assessment Detail:
  • Assessment Group S: Essay (asst grp S) (ES 100% - Qualifying Mark: 40)
  • Assessment Group N: Essay (asst grp N) (ES 100%)
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:
Overall, this unit aims to contribute to the student's ability to meet the standards of proficiency in social work, as set out by the health and care professions council (HCPC). The unit will achieve this by focussing on the following specific aims.
The unit aims to:
* provide a basic understanding of the nature, purpose, functions and values of social work and how this has evolved historically, in order to be able to explain the role of the social worker in a range of contexts;
* introduce a range of theories and models for social work intervention with individuals, families groups and communities and the methods derived from them, in order to begin to explore the links between theory and practice;
* provide a basic knowledge of legislative and policy frameworks and the profession's ethical principles and how these impact on decision making in practice;
* provide an understanding of the inter-agency, multidisciplinary and inter-professional dimensions to practice across private, voluntary and social enterprise organisations services;
* develop a broad range of communication skills for application in social work practice: verbal, non-verbal and written, essential for effective social work;
* develop an understanding of The College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework and the Health and Care Professions Council's Standards of Proficiency for social work.

Learning Outcomes:
At the end of the unit students will be expected to be able to:
1. provide and defend a definition of the profession of social work PCF1.2
2. demonstrate a preliminary understanding of how social work's history has shaped its development and its position within contemporary society
3. 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 PCF5.2
4. begin to critically explore the intersection of personal and professional values and beliefs PCF2.1; 2.2; 2.3; 2.4
5. begin to recognize the importance of diversity in human identity and experience, and the application of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive principles in social work practice PCF3.1; 3.2; 3.3
6. identify a range of theoretical perspectives that social work draws upon and develop an understanding of the application of research, theory 5.8
7. have knowledge of the skills required for effective communication in a range of settingsPCF7.1; 7.2
8. have a basis to understand social work processes, methods and approaches in order to conduct an initial basic assessment. PCF 7.5; 7.6
9. to use supervision to contribute to their own professional development and to promote quality practice and professional competence PCF1.3
10. have emerging knowledge of organisational processes such as policy implementation and the pursuit of quality in service delivery PCF8.3

After completing the Unit students should be able to:
1. demonstrate the beginning of analytical skills both in written and verbal forms; (taught and assessed)
2. begin to develop the core communications skills necessary to engage with people and build, manage, sustain and conclude compassionate and effective relationships; (taught and facilitated) PCF 7.1
3. learn independently and be able to assess their own learning style and learning needs; (Facilitated) PCF 1.9
4. begin to select and synthesise appropriate and relevant material from a wide range of sources; (taught, facilitated and assessed) PCF6.2
5. utilise problem-solving skills in a variety of situations; (facilitated)
6. 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; (taught and assessed) PCF 1.2; 2.4; 8.2
7. reflect on their values and beliefs and begin to develop sensitivity to the values aand interests of others; and reflect upon their own academic and professional performance (taught, facilitated and assessed) PCF 2.2


* Reflective practice
* A history of social work: contemporary definitions and international perspectives
* The professional capabilities framework and the standards of proficiency.
* An introduction to social work and the law
* Social work services: communication skills and working with people
* Introduction to social work theories and methods
* Towards empowerment: Anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice
* The social work process: Assessment, planning, intervention and review
* Complexity, uncertainty and risk in social work.
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)