module specification

SW4007 - Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics (2024/25)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2024/25
Module title Assessing, Planning and Professional Ethics
Module level Certificate (04)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
72 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
188 hours Guided independent study
40 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Group Presentation 10%   Group Presentation
Coursework 90%   A written assignment based on a practice scenario (2,500 words)
Running in 2024/25

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Monday Morning

Module summary

This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work practice. By the end of this module:


  • You will understand key concepts and to develop a foundational knowledge of need, risk, support and care for children and adults, and the role of the social worker and other related professional fields such as housing
  • You will be able to recognise how legislation, policy and practice guidance relates to assessment and support/care planning.
  • You will be able to understand and reflect on models and theories of assessment and support/care planning for children and adults and to develop practitioner skills in a context of social work ethics and values.
  • You will recognise the importance of promoting the involvement of children and adults in social work processes and the development of skills in the empowerment of service users.

Prior learning requirements



  • The social context and development of social care provision for adults and children (LO 1 & 3).
  • National and local policies, legislation and procedures on assessment relating to both children and adults in a context of anti-oppressive practice and service user involvement and empowerment (LO 2 & 4).
  • Strengths-based approaches to assessment and support planning (L0 1,2 ,4)
  • Exploring concepts and models of need and risk for children and adults in a context of the principles of human rights and social justice (LO 2 & 4).
  • Analysis and evidence-based practice in the assessment of need and risk.  Identify key ethical perspectives with a focus on professional accountability and compliance with professional standards and ethical frameworks (LO 1 & 3).
  • Principles of needs led and person-centred interventions, methods and models.  Awareness of person centred planning and self-directed support and co-production, (LO 1, 3 & 4).
  • Care and support planning for people with mental health problems – a strengths perspective and focus on the central importance of aims and outcomes (LO1. 
  • A network of care – options available and implications and issues for informal carers – debate roles, rights and responsibilities of carers (LO 3 & 4).
  • Risk management – the key role of monitoring and review – focus on risk assessment, and the Recovery Approach for people with mental health problems.  Recognition of opportunities for and patterns of abuse. The focus will be on people with needs for care and support living both in residential care and home settings (LO 1, 2 &3)
  • The assessment of children in need and their families in a context of multi-professional working.  Risk awareness in working with children and families (LO 1 & 2)
  • Assessment and support planning for Adult Carers (LO 1, 3, & 4)
  • Working with other professionals, such as housing professionals to provide solutions to range of clients, including migrants, survivors of domestic abuse and people with mental health issues (LO1, 3 and 4)

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The teaching and learning strategy comprises of a mix of theoretical and practical activities:  a combination of lectures, seminars and small group working, with input from Social Work Practitioners and from People with Lived Experience of Social Services.

Group work activities will be based on case studies drawn from social work practice scenarios. Students will be supported and guided to identify relevant reading to support independent study. Resources available to students on Weblearn to support their independent study will include a wide range of audio-visual as well as text-based resources to support the diversity of student learning styles.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this module you should be able to:


  1. Describe key concepts of need and risk and apply these to the models, legislation, policy and practice guidance that underpin assessment and support planning for both children and adults.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of key theories, policy and research to recognise risk, strengths, and identify when protective action is required. 
  3. Reflect on approaches, such as the personalisation agenda and independent advocacy that enable practitioners to engage with service users to support their participation in their own assessments and support plans.
  4. Consider key ethical perspectives, including professional accountability and the requirement for compliance with the social work role, professional standards and the promotion of service user involvement and empowerment.