The School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research is one of the best in the country for teaching and research.
This programme is regulated by Social Work England (SWE).
Reasons to study Social Work at Kent
Successful graduates of this programme are eligible for professional registration with Social Work England (SWE), the regulatory body for social work.Social Work at Kent is ranked 1st for research quality in The Times Good University Guide 2022.You are taught by qualified social workers with diverse practical experience, whose research explores the complexities of the social worldYou gain the knowledge, skills, confidence and critical understanding necessary to practise social work.Social Work at Kent is ranked 2nd in the UK for graduate prospects in The Complete University Guide 2022.
What you’ll learn
You gain a thorough understanding of issues and trends in adult services and social care for children and families. You critically examine how to work with individuals experiencing mental distress, and the role of mental health services. You study partnership working, interventions and skills, research skills and critical and reflective practice.
You’ll complete 20 practice-focused skills days in your second year, as well as a 70-day practice learning placement and five skills development days. Additionally, your final year includes 100 days of practice learning and five skills development days. During these placement periods, you are supported by a practice educator and assessed in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
See the modules you’ll study
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, service users and carers SB5.4.ii; the service delivery context SB5.4.iii; and the nature of social work practice SB5.4.v
- Critical knowledge of theories and models for social work intervention with individuals, families, groups and communities, and the methods derived from them PCF5.8; SB5.2.i; PS 3
- The nature, definition, development and application of relevant values and philosophical ethical principles SB5.3.i; PS 3, 6
- The principles of rights, justice and economic well-being and their significance for social work practice 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 PS 3; 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; PS 3
- The legal and policy framework for social work practice with individuals, families, groups and communities PS 1,3, 6 including critical understanding of the scope for professional judgement PCF5.2
- The impact of injustice, social inequalities, policies and other issues which affect the demand for social work services PS 3
- Concepts of participation, advocacy, empowerment, partnership working, including working with service users and carers, and information sharing across professional disciplines and agencies PS 1, 2
- The relevance of sociological perspectives to understanding societal and structural influences on human behaviour PS 1, 3, 6
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
- An ability to use research and inquiry techniques with reflective awareness, to collect, analyse and interpret relevant information SB7.3
- Ability to practise as an autonomous professional, exercising their own professional judgement PS; exercise autonomy and initiative in individual decision-making SB7.4
- Awareness of the impact of culture, equality and diversity on practice SPS 3
- Ability to reflect on and review practice PS 3, 4, 5; incorporating appraisal of previous learning into future learning and practice SB7.3
- Understanding of the key concepts of the knowledge base relevant to their profession PS 3
- Acknowledgement and understanding of the potential and limitations of social work as a practice-based discipline to effect individual and social change SB7.3
You gain specfic skills in the following:
- Ability to draw on appropriate knowledge and skills to inform practice PS1, 2, 3, 5; using knowledge and understanding in an integrated way in specific practice contexts and to engage in effective relationships with service users and carers SB7.3
- Ability to practise safely and effectively within their scope of practice PS 1, 2 applying creatively a repertoire of core skills SB7.4
- 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
- Ability to practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of their profession PS 6; integrate clear understanding of ethical issues and codes of values in practice SB7.4
- Ability to maintain fitness to practise PS 6
- Ability to practise in an anti-discriminatory and non-oppressive manner SPS 2, 3
- Ability to maintain confidentiality PS 2and maintain records appropriately PS 2, 3, 5
- Ability to assure the quality of their practice PS 4, 5; demonstrate habits of critical reflection on their performance and take responsibility for modifying action in light of this SB7.4
You gain transferable skills in the following:
- Ability to communicate effectively to an advanced level SB5.15; PS 2
- Ability to apply I.T. and numerical skills SB5.18
- Problem solving skills, including managing problem-solving activities, gathering information, analysis and synthesis, intervention and evaluation SB5.10
- Ability to work effectively and appropriately with others, including challenging others where necessary SB5.16; PS 1, 2
- Skills in personal and professional development including managing uncertainty, change and stress; critical and effective use of research SB5.17
This course aims to provide high-quality social work education, including admissions procedures and an assessment strategy and design, that meet:
- The Social Work England Education and Training Standards (SWE 2019)
- The Professional Standards required for registration as a qualified social worker with Social Work England (SWE 2019)
- The outcome statements for qualifying education in relation to the Professional Capabilities Framework (BASW)
- Expectations about standards for the award of the bachelor’s degree in social work as set out in the Subject Benchmark Statement for Social Work (QAA2019)
Deliver research-led social work education to a diverse student population which will equip students with the knowledge, skills, confidence and critical understanding necessary to practise social work in complex and demanding environments
Provide social work education which emphasises the importance of social work as a moral activity involving “the study, application of and reflection upon ethical principles” SB4.6; ensure that students understand the implications of the Professional Standards 4.1, 4.8 SWE SET
Enable students to “learn to become to become accountable, reflective, critical and evaluative” SB4.7 and support and develop autonomous and reflective thinking SWE SET 4.13
Enable students to “acquire, critically evaluate, apply, and integrate knowledge and understanding” in the specified core areas of study SB5.1 and to integrate theory and practice effectively SWE SET 4.5
Promote “the development of skills that may be of value in many situations, (e.g. analytical thinking, building relationships, working as a member of an organisation, intervention, evaluation and reflection)” SB5.7.
Deliver social work education that is relevant and up-to-date and which encourages creativity, evidence-based and research-informed practice SWE SET 4.13
Deliver 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 SWE SET 4.2
Maintain and enhance partnerships with regional employers and other stakeholders in order to: secure the supply of appropriate practice placements and suitably qualified practitioners; exchange ideas concerning the content of the qualifying programme; lead at strategic level SWE SET 3 (Practice Placement Guidance)