Social Work is an applied degree that links theory to the practical skills required of social workers. Most staff teaching on the Social Work degree are qualified social workers and all have a varied range of practice, managerial, research and academic experience. Practice experience is an integral part of the course and placements allow you to try out the knowledge and values you have learned in your studies.
Teaching methods include formal lectures, large and small group discussion and experiential work, and a programme of seminars.
During placement periods, you will be supported by a practice educator and assessed in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework.
In addition to the assessed placements, you will be assessed through a mixture of written assignments, in class tests, presentations and video work. Successfully completing Stage 1 also includes satisfying the Board of Examiners that you are safe to undertake the practical component of Stages 2 and 3. This will include completing the Readiness for Direct Practice module.
Social workers are required to be computer literate and you will be expected to develop these skills.
Knowledge and understanding
You gain knowledge and understanding of:
- social work services, users and carers (SB5.1.1), the service delivery context (SB5.1.2) and the nature of the practice of social work (SB5.1.5)
- theories and models for social work intervention with individuals, families, groups and communities and the methods derived from them (PCF5.8; SB5.1.4; SoP13.4)
- the nature, definition, development and application of relevant values and philosophical ethical principles (SB5.1.3; SoP13.4)
- the principles of rights, justice and economic well-being and their significance in the practice of social work (PCF4)
- the relevance of research from psychological, environmental, sociological, economic and physiological perspectives for understanding the impact of a range of factors on personal and social development and functioning (SoP 13.4; PCF5.4), including spiritual and cultural factors (PCF5)
- human growth and development across the lifespan, including mental health, disability and needs arising from age-related ill-health and disadvantage (PCF5.3; SoP13.4)
- the legal and policy framework for social work with individuals, families, groups and communities (SoP 13 4), including a critical understanding of the scope for professional judgment (PCF5.2)
- the impact of injustice, social inequalities, policies and other issues that affect the demand for social work services (SoP13.4)
- concepts of participation, advocacy, empowerment, partnership working, including with service users and carers, and sharing information across professional disciplines and agencies (SoP13.4)
- the relevance of sociological perspectives to understanding societal and structural influences on human behaviour (SoP 13.4).
You gain the following intellectual abilities:
- a developed capacity for the critical evaluation of knowledge and evidence from a range of sources, including empirical research (SB7.3)
- to use research and inquiry techniques with reflective awareness, to collect, analyse and interpret relevant information (SB7.3)
- to practise as an autonomous professional, exercising your own professional judgment (SoP4), autonomy and initiative in individual decision making (SB7.4)
- an awareness of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on the practice of social work (SoP5)
- to reflect on and review practice (SoP11), incorporating appraisal of previous learning into future learning and practice (SB7.3)
- an understanding of the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to the profession (SoP13)
- to acknowledge and understand the potential and the limitations of social work as a practice-based discipline to effect individual and social change (SB7.3).
You gain specfic skills in the following:
- the ability to draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform your practice of social work (SoP14) using knowledge and understanding in an integrated way in specific contexts and to engage in effective relationships with service users and carers (SB7.3)
- to practise safely and effectively within your scope of practice (SoP1), applying a repertoire of core skills (SB7.4)
- the ability to acquire and integrate skills in problem solving, including managing problem-solving activities, gathering information, analysis and synthesis and intervention and evaluation (SB5.5)
- to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of the profession (SoP2) with a clear understanding of ethical issues and codes of values in practice (SB7.4)
- an ability to maintain your fitness to practise (SoP3)
- to practise in an anti-discriminatory and non-oppressive manner (SoP6)
- the ability to maintain confidentiality (SoP7) and keep records appropriately (SoP10)
- the ability to assure the quality of your work (SoP12), demonstrate habits of critical reflection on your performance and take responsibility for modifying action in the light of this (SB7.4).
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- effective communication to an advanced level (SB5.6; SoP8)
- the application of IT and numerical skills (SB5.9)
- problem solving, including managing problem-solving activities, gathering information, analysis and synthesis, intervention and evaluation (SB5.5)
- to work effectively and appropriately with others, including challenging others where necessary (SB5.7; SoP9)
- personal and professional development, including managing uncertainty, change and stress and the critical and effective use of research (SB5.8).
Our aims are to provide students with:
- education and training that meets
- the standards set out by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC 2017)
- the standards of proficiency required for registration as qualified social workers with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC SoPs; SETs 4.1; 6.1)
- the outcome statements for qualifying education in relation to the Professional Capabilities Framework
- expectations about the standards for the award of the Bachelor's degree in social work as set out in the Subject Benchmark Statement for Social Work (QAA 2016)
- a research-led social work education that will equip you with the knowledge, skills, confidence and critical understanding necessary to practise social work in complex and demanding environments
- knowledge that emphasises the importance of social work as a moral activity involving the study, application of, and reflection upon, ethical principles (SB4.6) and understanding of the implications of the HCPC’s standards of conduct, performance and ethics (HCPC SETs 2012: 4.5)
- the ability to become accountable, reflective, critical and evaluative (SB4.7), and to support and develop autonomous and reflective thinking (HCPC SETs 4.6)
- knowledge and understanding in the specified compulsory areas of study (SB5.1) and to effectively integrate theory and practice (HCPC SETs 4.3)
- skills that are of value in many situations: analytical thinking, building relationships, working as a member of an organisation, intervention, evaluation and reflection (SB5.2)
- an education that is relevant, current and which encourages creativity, evidence-based and research-informed practice (HCPC SETs 4.4; 4.7)
- an effective 'process curriculum' in terms of how content is taught, paying close attention to the involvement of service users and carers, practitioners, modelling anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory practice and confident professional identity (TCSW edref4)
- partnerships with regional employers and other stakeholders in order to: supply practice placements and suitably qualified practitioners; exchange ideas concerning the content of the qualifying programme; lead at strategic level (TCSW)
- relevant teaching, learning and assessment across the full range of knowledge and skills as required by the relevant professional agencies (TCSW PCF, HCPC Sop, SETs, and SB) to allow students to undertake specific learning and assessment in key areas.