Course specification and structure
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UDSOCWOR - BSc Social Work

Course Specification


Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Professions
Subject Area Social Work
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Course leader Andrew Linton

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The BSc (Hons) Social Work has been designed to meet the requirements of the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, the General Social Care Council and recommendations of the Social Work Reform Board. The course content is also informed by the Subject Benchmarks as defined by the QAA, which inform essential practice for a Social Worker upon qualification. The Social Work Reform Board’s (2009) overarching standards for Social Workers in England identified in the Professional Capabilities Framework have been used to develop the curriculum. These nine standards or capabilities are: 1. professionalism; 2. values and ethics; 3. diversity; 4. justice; 5. knowledge; 6. judgement; 7. critical reflection and analysis; 8. contexts and organisations and 9. professional leadership. These nine capabilities have been integrated across the curriculum in terms of the learning outcomes, content, learning and teaching strategies and assessment and enhanced learning opportunities. Overall, the course content ensures students are prepared to become competent reflective practitioners and who are fit to practise in Social Work.

The learning and teaching strategies applied on the course aim to develop the student’s skills and knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of social work. The teaching programme provides the underpinning theoretical and practical basis for learning in the area of social work. Students’ thinking and practical skills are developed through complementary activities including lectures, seminars, workshops, group work, on-line educational resources, tutorials, assignments, preparing for and undertaking practice- based learning to acquire the professional capabilities.

Students undertake a series of taught modules in the key areas of social work. In addition, students undertake two placements of 90 days at level 5 and 110 days at Level 6. Placement modules are undertaken with qualified practice teachers or equivalent supervision. Prior to placement students attend pre-placement workshops and during placement students undertake progress review. The placements are designed to enable students to achieve the full range of National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Suitable placements are normally found within the London area. Each placement provides contrasting experiences I terms or adult and children client groups. At least one placement require students to undertake statutory work thus students are normally in a different organisational setting to the first placement. Placements are currently sources and approved by the University and senior Placement Co-ordinator in collaboration with the Placement Office.

The teaching team comprises suitably qualified and experienced university staff and as set out by the professional requirements for social work. Students are expected to complement formal teaching with guided VLE learning resources and self directed learning and completion of specified assignments. Students are encouraged to use all open spaces of study available to them within North campus.

The course will also promote the student’s self management and a reflective approach to their learning with a view to the enhancement of their personal and professional development. Students will be encouraged to develop their C.V. and interview skills in preparation for placement and employment through reflecting on their learning from the taught and later the placement modules. The portfolio components of the placement modules will support their PDP as they will provide opportunities to evidence claims for fitness to practise and to record achievements.

Course aims

The aims of this course are to:

  • Provide students with an integrated programme of study, which is both intellectually stimulating and which enables students to reach the required capabilities, defined by the Social Work Reform Board and the National Occupational Standards for Social Work
  • Provide students with the underpinning knowledge, skills, values and abilities to work successfully within social work
  • Engage students in range of teaching and learning opportunities across the portfolio of modules to develop a systematic and applied understanding of key aspects of social work theory and practice
  • Prepare students to become effective, self directed learners and reflective practitioners

Equip students with practical and transferable skills necessary for employment and further research studies

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of Social Work, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. Deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Social Work

  1. Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Social Work

  1. Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Social Work, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;

  1. Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Social Work

  1. Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects

  1. Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem

  1. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences

  1. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts

Undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

Learning outcome 1

- Deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Social Work:

(PCF1; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7)

SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SW4002 Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Perspective (I)
SW4000 Assessment and planning (I)
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work (P)
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 (I, P, A)
SW6W02 Social Work Practice Learning 2 (I,P,A)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)

Learning outcome 2

- Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Social Work:

(PCF4;PCF5; PCF6; PCF7)


SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SW4001 Communication, Values and Practice Skills (I)
SW5050 Law for Social Work Practice (I)
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work (I,P)
SW5051 Social Work with Children and Vulnerable Adults (I, P)
SW6050 Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults (A)
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 (I, P, A)
SW6W02 Social Work Practice Learning 2 (I,P,A)


Learning outcome 3

- Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Social Work, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge:

(PCF1; PCF2; PCF3; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7; PCF8)

SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SH5050 Partnership Working (P)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)

Learning outcome 4

- Manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Social Work:

(PCF1; PCF2; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7)

SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SH5050 Partnership Working (P)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)

Learning outcome 5

- Apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects:

(PCF1; PCF 2; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7; PCF8; PCF9)

SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SW4000 Assessment and planning (I)
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work (I,P)
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 (I, P, A)
SW6W02 Social Work Practice Learning 2 (I,P,A)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)

Learning outcome 6

- Critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem:

(PCF1; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7;PCF8)
SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work (P)
SH5050 Partnership Working (P)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)


Learning outcome 7

- Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences:
(PCF1; PCF2; PCF 3; PCF4; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7;PCF8; PCF9)

SW4001 Communication, Values and Practice Skills (I)
SW4000 Assessment and planning (I)
SH5050 Partnership Working (P)
SW6050 Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults (A)

Learning outcome 8

Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts:

(PCF1; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7; PCF8; PCF9)


SW4001 Communication, Values and Practice Skills (I)
SW4003 Social Contexts for Professional Practice (I)
SW4000 Assessment and planning (I)
SH5050 Partnership Working (P)
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 (I, P, A)
SW6W02 Social Work Practice Learning 2 (I,P,A)

Leaning outcome 9

Undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature:

(PCF1; PCF5; PCF6; PCF7; PCF9) SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 (I, P, A)
SW6W02 Social Work Practice Learning 2 (I,P,A)
SW6P00 Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts (A)

Principle QAA benchmark statements

Subject Benchmark Statement:

Social Work

Assessment strategy

The purpose of the assessments is to reinforce students’ learning through a structured and time-bound process of reflection, presentation, writing and practice-based learning. Students will be assessed throughout each module to ensure that they achieve the learning outcomes of each module. A range of assessment methods will be used for formative and summative assessments. The forms of assessment have been designed to test students’ knowledge of each of the modules and demonstrate the appropriate professional capability. Staff mark work using pre-specified marking criteria in accordance with the university’s regulations and assessment guidance.

Students are assessed through a variety of methods including poster and oral presentations, reports, portfolios, case study analysis, completion of all elements of practice-based learning. In line with the Faculty’s assessment strategy the course will provide feedback on finished work, and redirect that work into providing feedback on draft submissions. Students will be given clear deadlines for handing in drafts, and if they meet these they will be guaranteed to receive feedback in time to allow them to improve their final submission.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

The course includes two compulsory placement modules. Currently the University brokers placement interviews for students with local agencies. Placements are currently sourced and approved by the University and senior Placement Co-ordinator in collaboration with the Placement Office. Each placement is designed to meet the required National Occupational Standards and the Social Work Reform Board capabilities for Social Work. The first placement (level 5) currently consists of 90 days with pre-placement workshops and review workshops. Placements 2 (level 6) currently consist of 110 days with pre-placement works and review workshops. Students will experience placements in different organisational settings. All placements will be subject to supervision normally a qualified practice teacher or equivalent. Students must pass the required modules including the first placement before proceeding to the next year of study.

Course specific regulations

Course Regulatory schedule for Social Work Programmes and the Fitness to Practise procedures - Social Work

Social Work Course Regulations


Course Regulatory Scheme

Course Regulatory schedule for Social Work Programmes

Status

This schedule forms a part of the Regulations for all Social Work programmes and should be read alongside the University’s Regulations, which govern courses and the responsibilities of students.

Preamble

1 All University students are bound from the commencement of their course or from the point of enrolment, by all relevant Regulations, Procedures and policies.

2 Students enrolled on all social work programmes are governed by:

2.1 The University’s Academic Regulations which govern the standards of the University’s awards, the responsibilities of students and the formal roles played by staff in relation to admission to courses and programmes of study, assessment of student’s work and conferment of awards;

2.2 Regulations and Procedures, which govern the conduct of students, in particular, the Regulations applicable to all students in cases of Misconduct – incorporating a Code of Discipline; Fitness to Study; Fitness to Practise Social Work; and,

2.3 Responsibilities placed upon students regarding not only their conduct but also their professional suitability and fitness to practise, as set out in the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics (HCPC, 2012). The HCPC expects that registrants and anyone who wishes to be admitted to the HCPC register will meet those standards. The HCPC Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for students describes the standards required of student social workers as they go about their daily work and at qualifying and post qualifying levels.

2.4 All breaches of the professional standards/codes will be progressed in accordance with the Fitness to Practise Social Work Procedures or other University Regulations or Procedures as appropriate (see 2.2 above).

3 In addition, social work students on the qualifying programmes have specific regulations governing professional practice placements that are also outlined below in paragraphs 10 to 47.

4 It is the responsibility of all students to read the HCPC Standards and the relevant University Regulations (accessed via the University’s online Student Handbook) to familiarize themselves with all responsibilities and requirements


Issues that may affect a student’s suitability to commence or continue training as a social worker

5 Students must familiarise themselves with the Fitness to Practise Social Work Procedures, which set down the suitability requirements and the process for reporting and investigating any breaches.

6 It is the responsibility of each student to bring to the attention of the Head of Social Work or nominated staff member in a timely manner, any matter including ill health of any kind that could be considered to have a bearing on their continued suitability for social work training. Likewise, students are required to bring to the attention of the Head of Social Work any matter as indicated above that could be considered to have a bearing on the suitability of another social work student

7 Failure to disclose any circumstance or information affecting a student’s suitability occurring prior to entry to the course or subsequent to enrolment shall be deemed a breach of the University’s Code of Discipline and shall be progressed in accordance with the Student Disciplinary procedures (see 5 and 6 above).


Exemptions and credit transfer

8 Students will not normally be exempted from any part of the Social Work programme, including the transfer of credits acquired by prior certificated learning and experiential learning due the extensive professional standards that must be met and the capabilities embedded across the whole course. For this reason it is not normally possible to offer credit for prior learning or transfer onto a Social work programme from any other programme including social work at another institution.

Attendance requirements

9 Students are required to attend all placement and skills days. In the event that any of these days are missed they must be made up. Where students are absent for 2 weeks this must be reported to NHS bursaries and payment stopped.

Placement Requirements


10 All students are required to undertake two assessed practice placements, lasting in total a minimum of 170 days, in two different social work agencies or services, as determined by the University. The statutory minimum number of days in the first placement shall be 70 days and in the second placement shall be 100 days; failure to complete these days in full will be deemed a failure to complete the placement.


11 At least one of the placements shall provide experience of statutory social work tasks involving legal interventions and of the provision of services to contrasting user groups.

12 All social work students have to undertake, complete and pass their practice placements in a timely way as part of the requirements for the professional award. The University is responsible for providing and approving the quality of the placements in relation to the professional requirements.

13 Agencies offer placements to the University and students are matched to placements in accordance to the required learning outcomes and professional standards. Students’ travel and personal circumstances are taken into account, but the overwhelming priority is gaining a suitable placement. All students will be offered a maximum of three opportunities to gain a placement. Students who fail to get an approved placement will not be able to complete the professional programme.

14 There is an application process that students must prepare for in order to maximise their acceptance by the agency - the process is similar to a job application including an interview. At interview students are required to present their complete and up to date DBS documentation to the agency. The agency has the right to reject unsuitable candidates and there is no right to appeal.

15 Where a student is successful at interview and is offered the placement – the student must accept the placement – the University will be under no obligation to provide further opportunities to gain a placement if the student refuses a placement or unilaterally leaves their placement.

16 If a student is turned down for a placement after being interviewed by the agency the Placements Office will seek feedback from the agency and, if this is available, will forward this to the student. When feedback is available a student is expected to reflect on the feedback and take this into account when preparing for the next placement interview: the student may be required to meet with the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice or nominated staff member to discuss the interview. The aim of this meeting will be to analyse the reasons for the rejection and to assist the student in preparing for the next placement interview.

17 If the student is turned down after a subsequent interview with a different agency, or with a different representative of the same agency, the student will be required to meet with the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice to discuss both interviews. A third placement interview will be sought for the student only after the student has met with the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice. In the event that the student fails to secure a placement on the third attempt, the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice may recommend to the University’s Awards Board that the student's status be terminated.

18 A student who has not passed the first placement shall not be permitted to start the second placement.

19 Supervision of the student will be undertaken by a designated practice educator or in the case of agencies utilising a long-arm practice educator, supervision will be undertaken by one or a combination of both an on-site supervisor and a long-arm practice educator, as described in the Learning Agreement under ‘Supervision Arrangements [using the agreed templates]. Unexpected and unforeseen exigencies in an agency may necessitate the supervisory arrangements to be temporarily varied.

20 During a placement there are two planned 3-way /4-way meetings – the initial meeting and the midway meeting any additional meeting will hereafter be referred to as a Placements Concerns Meeting (PCM).

21 The Practice Assessment Panel (PAP) undertakes a quality assurance process by acting as a Subject Standards Board in respect of practice placements and shall be governed by Section 8.1 of the University’s Academic Regulations.

21.1 Membership of the PAP shall comprise:
• the Head of Social Work or authorised Deputy who shall Chair the PAP
• the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice;
• the BSc and/or MSc Course Leaders; Tutors; and,
• an appointed external examiner (with practice knowledge and experience).

19.2 The quoracy of the PAP shall be:the Head of Social Work (or authorised deputy); the Senior Lecturer Professional Practice or Course Leader and an external examiner. The authorised deputy will be an Associate Dean of the Faculty. In circumstances where the Associate Dean is not a qualified social worker, there will be a requirement for the PAP to include two external examiners.

19.3 Attendees of the

Modules required for interim awards

All modules are core and compulsory for students to qualify for an award of BSc (Hons) Social Work

Students must take:

Level 4

  • Social Context for Professional Practice
  • Communication, Values and Practice Skills
  • Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Perspective
  • Assessment and planning

Level 5

  • Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work
  • Law for Social Work Practice
  • Partnership Working
  • Social Work Practice Learning 1

Level 6

  • Research and Evaluation Skills for Professional Contexts
  • Protecting Children and Vulnerable Adults
  • Social Work Practice Learning 2

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

This course is accredited by the HCPC.

Career opportunities

On completion of your course, you will be eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration as a social worker. Social work is a protected title and only those registered can work in social work roles.

As the course leads to a generic social work qualification, you will not be limited to any particular field of social work. Our graduates take up posts in a variety of settings and care groups including children and families, adult social care, mental health and working with older people and those with learning disabilities.

Entry requirements

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in A levels (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification, eg Advanced Diploma)
  • a minimum of six months previous experience (at the point of application) either in a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people normally within a social care or health context
  • GCSE Mathematics and English grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above (or equivalent qualification, eg Key Skills Communication Level 2 and Numeracy Level 2)

Applications are welcome from mature students who have passed appropriate Access or other preparatory courses or have appropriate work experience.

Please note that we are not offering university equivalence tests to students offered a place on this course.

It is essential that you have experience in either a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people, normally within a social care or health context. Successful applicants will be required to provide a reference from a current or previous employer/organisation in which the candidate gained the requisite practical experience.

All offers of places are subject to satisfactory health and enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and suitable references. All students who are offered a place will also be required to show original documentation confirming their stated qualifications in order to receive an unconditional offer of a place.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend a selection day where they will be required to take a written test, participate in a group exercise and attend an individual interview. Service users, and current social work practitioners are actively involved in the selection process.

Please ensure that your UCAS application highlights how you meet the above criteria. Given the volume of applications per year any form that does not meet the above conditions unfortunately will not be processed.

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Tier 4 visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely and EU nationals may be considered for admission but please note that an additional international enhanced DBS check will be required.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 01 Sep 2013  
Sources of funding HE FUNDING COUNCIL FOR ENGLAND
JACS codes L500 (Social Work): 100%
Route code SOCWOR

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW4002 Human Growth and Development: A Life Course Per... Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR TUE AM
SW4006 Communication, Skills and Values in Social Work Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
SW4007 Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON AM
SW4008 Social Context for Social Work Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW5050 Law for Social Work Practice Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
SW5052 Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE PM
SW5053 Safeguarding Children and Adults Core 15 NORTH SPR TUE AM
SW5056 Inter-Professional Practice Core 15 NORTH AUT MON PM
SW5W02 Social Work Practice Learning 1 Core 60 NORTH AUT+SPR WED PM

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SW6053 Effective Social Work Practice with Children an... Core 15 NORTH AUT MON AM
SW6P02 Research Project Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR MON PM
SW6W00 Social Work Practice Learning 2 Core 75 NORTH AUT+SPR WED AM