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Unit information: Social Work Studies 2 in 2021/22

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

Description including Unit Aims

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 Information

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 Information

Part 1: Policy Briefing on a topic covered in one of the elements (1,500 words) (50%)

This task will provide experience in writing for a policy audience and critically evaluating a current welfare problem/ concern relevant to this audience.

Part 2: Proposal for a community development project with a service user group students are working with on placement (2000 words) (50%)

Students will be provided with a proposal template to complete and required to consider aspects such as: rationale for a community development initiative; local context for the project; project objectives and aims; key stakeholders; methods and mechanisms for involving service users/ community members; and, methods for evaluating the project. This task will provide experience in proposal writing for a funded project.

Please note that both parts of the assessment will be submitted at the same time.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. SPOLM0035).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.