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Unit information: Unit 5: Practice Education in 2014/15

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Unit name Unit 5: Practice Education
Unit code SPOL32004
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Turney
Open unit status Not open

Unit 1: Professional Skills in Practice



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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit is designed to be delivered in collaboration with social work employers in the region and focuses on enabling staff to support learning in the workplace. The unit will fulfil the requirements of the General Social Care Council (2005), Post-qualifying Framework for Social Work Education and Training, paragraph 49 (vii), under which specialist level post-qualifying programmes must enable qualified social workers to "Teach and assess the practice of student social workers and mentor and support students or colleagues". The unit will introduce participants to theories of adult learning, and will enable them to plan learning opportunities for student social workers. It will promote skills in assessment and observation of practice, and in mentoring of colleagues.


This unit will enable students to:

1) Gain a critical appreciation of theories of adult learning and their application in the workplace;

2) Develop a critical understanding of the arrangements needed to promote practice education and professional development;

3) Participate in practice education and work-based learning through activities such as mentoring, supervision, student supervision, practice assessment, or equivalent.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the Unit, students will be able to:

1) Critically evaluate relevant theories of adult learning and apply this knowledge in the context of supporting social work students, colleagues or other learners;

2) Demonstrate skills in planning, organising and evaluating learning opportunities, e.g. for social work students, colleagues and other learners;

3) Promote learning and professional development in practice through the use of effective working relationships with learners.

4) Critically evaluate a range of assessment strategies, and take responsibility for the assessment of learners such as social work students or other relevant staff;

5) Integrate, evaluate and reflect on personal and professional values in their work with learners, including anti-oppressive practice, child-centred practice and service user perspectives (see the professional Codes of Practice, GSCC, 2002);

Teaching Information

Lectures, seminars.

Assessment Information

Assessment will be in two parts:

1. An assessment of relevant practice through observation by a practice assessor (pass/fail) followed by

2. A reflective assignment (3000  4000 words)

The submissions may be based on student supervision and assessment, or a piece of work relating to staff development, supervision or mentoring, provided there is a staged approach, in accordance with the requirements of the General Social Care Council (Guidance on the assessment of practice in the workplace, Nov 2002; and Post-qualifying framework for social work

Reading and References

  • Cartney P. (2000), Adult Learning Styles: implications for practice teaching in social work. Social Work Education, 19 (6), 609-626.
  • Fry H., Ketteridge S. and Marshall S. (2003), A Handbook for Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. London: Kogan Page (2nd ed).
  • Parker J. (2004), Effective Practice Learning in Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters.
  • Shardlow S. and Doel M. (2005), Modern Social Work Practice: Teaching and Learning in Practice Settings. Aldershot: Ashgate.
  • Thompson N. (2006), Promoting Workplace Learning. Bristol: Policy Press.
  • Turner B. (2000), Supervision and mentoring in child and family social work: the role of the first-line manager in the implementation of the post-qualifying framework. Social Work Education, 19 (3), pp 241  240.