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Unit information: Social Work Studies 2 in 2020/21

Unit name Social Work Studies 2
Unit code SPOLM0035
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Willis
Open unit status Not open

Social Work Studies 1

Applied Social Sciences and Law

Practice Learning 1



School/department School for Policy Studies
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law


This unit provides depth and breadth of understanding in relation to specialist areas. The key theme is the critical application of research knowledge to inform practice. The unit is structured so as to allow optional choices to be made, so as to prepare students for practice in different settings, using appropriate methods of social work intervention. Students are allowed to choose from a range of specialist options available.

The Unit aims to:

i) familiarise students with the research and theory necessary for evidence-informed assessment, decision-making and intervention in key areas of social work practice

ii) enable students to develop the skills associated with their chosen methods of intervention, including assessment, planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation

iii) develop students’ skills in applying critical analysis and ethical reasoning to the range of problems that occur in practice to deal with these effectively

iv) foster students’ abilities to work effectively with a range of other professional and occupational groups

v) enhance students’ understanding of the professional social work role

Intended learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this Unit will:

i) have a critical understanding of theory and research necessary for evidence-informed assessment, problem-formulation and case/project planning and be able to apply this in their chosen practice setting

ii) be able to analyse critically the role of social work in relation to other professional and occupational groups, with particular reference to their chosen practice areas

iii) demonstrate a critical, research informed understanding of the needs and problems of service user groups and of the effectiveness of interventions to address these

iv) have a critical understanding of the statutory responsibilities of social workers and be able to analyse critically tensions and conflicts between professional and organisational demands

v) be able to analyse critically the ethical dilemmas that can arise and have the confidence and ability to take appropriate decisions and actions

vi) be able to demonstrate skills in the implementation of methods of intervention

Teaching details

This unit will be delivered mostly online as students will be on practice placements during the delivery of this unit over TB1&2. The unit is broken into five elements reflecting specialist areas of social work practice - children and families; social work with adults; CAMHS; mental health, and social work with communities. Delivery online will include a mix of the following: narrated powerpoints; individual and joint asynchronous learning activities (e.g. set readings, reflective writing exercises on discusison boards and wikis, short films and other media); and, regular synchronous group meetings online with peers and with element leaders.

Assessment Details

Summative essay of 4,000 words: a critical evaluation of ONE area of contemporary social work practice: either mental health (adult or child & adolescent) OR child and family social work OR social work with adults that has been covered during the teaching sessions for this unit.

Reading and References

Beckett, C. (2010) Assessment and Intervention in Social Work: Preparing for Practice. London, Sage.

Corby, B., Shemmings, D. and Wilkins, D. (2012) Child Abuse: An Evidence Base for Confident Practice. Maidenhead, Open University Press.

Davies, M.B. (2012) Social Work with Adults, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

Teater, B and Baldwin, M (2012) Social Work in the Community, Bristol: Policy Press.

Webber, M. (2011) Evidence-Based Policy and Practice in Mental Health Social Work, 2nd edition, Exeter, Learning Matters.

Whyte, B (2008) Youth Justice in Practice Bristol; Policy Press.