module specification

SW4006 - Communication, Skills and Values in Social Work (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Communication, Skills and Values in Social Work
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
180 hours Guided independent study
120 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 50%   Reflective log
Coursework 50%   Placement application
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning
Year North Thursday Afternoon

Module summary

This module will provide students with an understanding of professional social work values, standards and opportunity to develop practice skills. A wide range of communication methods and theories will be presented. The module will be taught with contributions from practice partners, service users and carers and who will have the opportunity to assess students’ suitability to undertake a practice placement. It will provide students with the underpinning knowledge of professional capabilities and assessment of readiness for direct practice. The module contains a number of skills development days.

Module aims

This module provides opportunities for students to:

  • develop practice skills in an environment that is risk-free for service users and students
  • develop abilities, skills and understanding of the generic role of a social worker to achieve readiness for practice across a range of different service user groups
  • develop basic communication skills in-line with the Readiness for Practice criteria and PCF domains


  • Understanding of reflection, reflective practice and anti-oppressive practice
  • Communication skills and application to practice in relation to a range of service user groups.
  • Practice knowledge and skills including engagement, information gathering, investigation, authenticity, active listening, self-awareness, use of self, interviewing & questioning skills, managing conflict & confrontation, the use of assertiveness, report writing, presentation and recording skills
  • Knowledge of the HCPC Social Work Standards of Proficiency, British Association of Social Workers (BASW) Capabilities Framework and the BASW Code of Ethics and understanding of professional accountability and the duty to report concerns
  • Use of supervision in practice and understanding of continual professional development.

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching methods on this module will include the following approaches:

  • Interactive skills-based workshops: collaborative experiential learning
  • Small group and peer learning and reflection on feedback
  • Experiential role plays
  • Case-study analysis and problem-based learning
  • Personal reflection and reflective writing
  • Preparation for supervision and direct practice
  • Weblearn, video materials & other online educational content
  • The module will include service user, carer and practitioner contributions

The use of these approaches will be complemented by students’ active engagement with the learning process as they identify their own learning needs. Students will be encouraged to engage meaningfully with these strategies through personal reflection and reflective writing, use of WebLearn, visual materials and other online educational content. Students will be expected to access educational resources independently and also to work with peers outside of the formal teaching contact hours.
These methods will be underpinned by an understanding of social work values, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, which will be integrated throughout the module.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

LO1: Demonstrate an understanding and awareness of social work values, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, knowledge and skills to permit progression to their first practice learning placement.

LO2: Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding and an awareness of the social work context and social work practice, including legislative context.

LO3: Develop an understanding of professional boundaries and the social work role.

LO4: Demonstrate an ability to learn from service users and carers

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to develop and test students’ skills and values and especially in communication to ensure that they are ready for their first placement. 

Summative Assessment:

1. Placement Application Form
Students will be required to complete a 3000 words placement application form.  Students will need to discuss how their professional development and the skills and knowledge they have gained within the skills days will enable them to demonstrate their readiness for direct practice in line with the Professional Capability Framework PCF).    Formative feedback will be provided regularly in class to support the students in completing the Placement Application Form.  Summative Feedback will be provided at 28 weeks.  Weighted 50%

2. Reflective Log
The students will observe the Practice Scenario for (15 minutes) in class and will be given three days in which to write a reflective log.  The students’ will identify and discuss the key issues presented in the scenario including areas of need, potential risks and strengths.  They will reflect on their own reaction to the scenario and consider how their values may inform or influence their understanding of the scenario.  The will critically reflect on anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive issues that may be relevant.  They will identify any issues or challenges they might encounter in applying these skills or capabilities in practice and how they will address these.  Weighted 50%.


Abbott, C. and Taylor, P. (2013) Action learning in social work. United Kingdom: Learning Matters.
British Association of Social Workers (BASW) (2014) ‘The Code of Ethics for Social Work’, Available at: (Accessed 17 July 2016)
British Association of Social Workers (BASW) (2016) ‘Professional Capabilities Framework’, Available at: (Accessed 17 July 2016)
Davies, K. and Jones, R. (eds.) (2015) Skills for social work practice. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Gardner, F. (2014) Being critically reflective: Engaging in holistic practice. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Grant, L. and Kinman, G. (eds.) (2014) Developing resilience for social work practice. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) (2016) ‘Guidance on conduct and ethics for students’, Available at:
Accessed 18th July 2016
Healy, K. (2012). Social work methods and skills: the essential foundations of practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Moss, B. (2015) Communication skills in health and social care. United Kingdom: SAGE Publications
Parrott, L. (2014) Values and ethics in social work practice. United Kingdom: SAGE Publications
Thompson, N. (2009). Understanding social work.  3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Thompson, N. (2012). Anti-discriminatory practice: equality, diversity and social justice. 5th ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave.