SW0743 - Introduction to Social Work Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module has two stages of assessment in relation to practice. In the first stage, before commencement of practice learning, this module aims to support you to move from entry level to readiness to engage in direct practice, with an underpinning knowledge of communication skills for beginning social work practice informed by social work values and codes of practice. This will be located within a broader understanding of the social work role, collaborative working and the organisational contexts for practice. You will begin to develop a professional identity reflecting the standards of proficiency and develop professional resilience. The module plays a key role in assessing learning in relation to the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at a level where you are considered ready for direct social work practice learning. In the second stage of assessment in relation to practice, this module will provide opportunities to enable you to acquire practice skills, and integrate practice and academic learning in a practice environment in a 70 day practice learning placement. This will also provide the opportunity for holistic assessment of your professional capability at a level where they are assessed as capable at the level expected of a first placement.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, skills workshops, simulated interviews, and directed learning. Small seminar groups will focus on skills development in relation to communication focusing on interviewing, self awareness, reflection and evaluation of practice with tutor and peer feedback to support development. Staff modelling, role play, simulation and electronic materials will be used to enhance the learning experience and provide opportunities for skills development. Skills workshops will address practitioner and user perspectives, a range of practice skills including professionalism, managing conflict. A formative Workbook for this part of the module along with a formative recording of an interview will provide an opportunity to reflect on your developing professional skills and identity. A summative workbook and recording of an interview with a service user or carer will consolidate learning. Service user and practitioner involvement in the summative assessment will include a simulated interview and recording of this to reinforce the authenticity of the learning offered on the module.

Learning in practice will be supported and assessed by an appointed Practice Educator in the workplace in relation to the development of practice competence to meet the PCF outcomes. Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid- placement review of progress towards meeting professional standards. The summative assessment will be assessed by both the Practice Educator and the Personal Tutor and will consist of a written record of professional practice and a written analysis of a practice. The assessment strategy will enable you to demonstrate capability in relation to the Professional Capability Framework.

Teaching and learning strategies provided by the Practice Educator will include direct observation, practical experience, individual supervision, discussion, written work, reading, reflection and directed learning which supports professional practice. You will have a Personal Tutor to monitor professional development and provide systematic academic support during placement.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module begins with an introduction to the module explaining how it contributes to the overall programme learning outcomes exploring in particular the module aims, learning outcomes and assessment strategy. This module offers a range of support including the provision of lectures, seminars, skills workshops, practice learning opportunities, practice supervision and individual tutorials all of which are key in offering academic support to you as well as providing a reflective space for you to explore practice issues as a developing professional. These sessions will provide opportunities to engage in structured critical debate about the knowledge, skills and values required of qualified social workers. You will be encouraged and supported to have the confidence to engage in discussion and critique your own and others work in safe and supportive environments.

Feedback and feedforward to guide future work will be provided through individual tutorials, skills simulation, practice supervision and academic feedback throughout the module. This feedback will also support you to discuss and develop your understanding and application of key concepts reflecting on your emerging professional identity helping you identify strengths and areas for development.

General queries about the module will be addressed by the Module Leader. Contact details for all Personal Tutors and teaching staff are available in the module handbook and via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP). You will have access to lecturers at teaching times, by email, and telephone.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

LO.1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the professional social worker within a practice context.

LO.2. Critically appraise the conditions for effective collaborative working, and engage in this with a range of stakeholders.

LO.3. Critically appraise the role of supervision and make an active contribution in this process

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

LO.4. Demonstrate a range of knowledge and direct practice skills such that they have been assessed as ready for direct practice within the Professional Capabilities Framework and successfully meet the Professional Capabilities for the end of the first professional practice in placement

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

LO.5. Demonstrate an understanding of values based and ethical issues and apply professional codes and standards of behaviour required in professional social work practice

How will I be assessed?

The assessment in this module have both a formative and summative component that you need to complete.

The formative assessment task is

A workbook and dvd demonstrating understanding of and the practice of communication skills.

The summative assessment for the module is in three parts. Each element of the summative assignment must be passed to successfully complete the module.

Part one
A summative workbook demonstrating understanding of communication and interpersonal skills within a professional social work context along with a dvd of an interview with a service user demonstrating effective communication and interpersonal skills meeting the requirements for ‘readiness to engage in direct practice’ in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework (Pass/Fail)
Part two
A record of professional practice providing evidence of meeting the 9 domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework at the level required at the ‘end of first placement’ (Pass/Fail).

Part three
A 1,500 word (+ 500 word appendix) reflective assignment demonstrating understanding of professional practice (100% of mark).




SW0741, SW0742

Module abstract

This module will enable you to develop key areas of knowledge, skills and values preparing you to undertake direct practice with service users. Preparation will include a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminar discussions, practice simulations, personal tutorials and 15 days development of skills for practice. This will include an opportunity to shadow a social worker. Assessment of “readiness for direct practice” will also be located in this module and take place before the commencement of the practice learning opportunity. Following successful completion of this first stage you will be provided with a first practice learning opportunity of 70 days which also comprises part of this module and will include practice supervision and assessment in relation to the Professional Capabilities Framework for the end of the first placement.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start January 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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