module specification

SW5W02 - Social Work Practice Learning 1 (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title Social Work Practice Learning 1
Module level Intermediate (05)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 600
10 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
100 hours Guided independent study
490 hours Placement / study abroad
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Portfolio
Other 0%   Practice Educator's report
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday Morning
Year North Wednesday Afternoon

Module summary

Social Work Practice Learning one provides experiential learning opportunities to integrate theory with practice, to demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour and relationships, to develop professional values and gain working knowledge of organisational contexts. Through this professionally supervised practice learning experience, students will be provided with constructive feedback on their performance and will be challenged to critically reflect on their effectiveness and capability in line with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP) and the appropriate level of the College of Social Work’s (TCSW) Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for the end of this first placement.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of module SW4001 (Readiness for Practice module)

Module aims

The Practice Learning One module aims to provide the opportunity for students to develop and apply the knowledge, skills and values required for practice with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities. It provides the first opportunity for students to practise in social work under supervised conditions, develop skills and enable the student to make progress towards meeting the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP).


BSc Social Work Students are required to complete two practice placements during the programme.  A 70 working days placement in year 2 and a 100 working days placement in year 3 as well complete 30 skills days.  The required standard of practice by the end of the programme is defined by the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) and Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP). Students are also required to demonstrate ethical conduct in line with the HCPC (2012) Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students (HCPC 2012a) and HCPC Standards of conduct, performance and ethics (HCPC, 2012b).

Learning opportunities on placement should include: a planned induction; opportunities to visit related agencies and ‘shadow’ staff; undertake direct work with a range of service users under guidance and with support; attend and contribute to team meetings and utilise opportunities to gain a greater insight into the role of the professional and agency within its organisational and legal context. There is a minimum of two formal direct observations of practice.  Students will be provided with 1.5 hours of formal supervision per week.

Learning and teaching

The learning and teaching strategy will be governed by the need to meet the professional requirements and specific development needs of the student and as agreed in the learning agreement.  Evidence of meeting all the required professional capabilities is required. This evidence is generated by both the Practice Educator and the student. Students will be provided with variety of different teaching and assessment models, including a minimum of two direct observations of their practice. The 1.5 hours of formal supervision per week should include reflection on the student’s progress towards meeting the Professional Capabilities. The placement will be governed by a learning agreement drawn up by the practice educator and student and agreed by a tutor from the University who will meet with the practice educator and student on at least two occasions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:
Provide evidence of progress towards meeting the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) (TCSW,
2012) Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP) at the appropriate level. This includes:
LO1 Recognise the role of the professional social worker including the importance of personal presentation, team work, organisational structure, attitude and behaviour and use supervision to guide development based on practice experience.

LO2 Demonstrate awareness of health and safety (including emotional resilience) of self and others’ and an appropriate level of understanding of values, ethical issues and dilemmas in practice.

LO3 Identify key legislation, national and local policies and procedures relevant to practice, within a context of anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice as well as the authority of the social work role.

LO4 Engage service users with support, demonstrating to a professional level communication, report writing, and interviewing skills necessary to intervene effectively with service users.

LO5 Demonstrate awareness and the ability to apply specifically the principle of working in partnership with service users and carers to achieve user-focussed practice within a rights perspective.

LO6 Demonstrate ability for self-reflection, including self-care, creative thinking and professional curiosity in applying at least two social work models and methods to practice, and in a context of engagement and interventions with service users.

L07 Recognise the importance of professional leadership and the value of sharing and supporting the learning and development of others.

Assessment strategy

The assessment strategy is made up of a mixture of formative and summative assessments. The formative work is undertaken throughout the module and as set out in the Placement handbook and in a Learning Agreement and there is a mid-point review through a mid way meeting where progress is reported. The guidance and document templates for the placement are in the placement handbook.
There are two summative assessment components:

  1. A portfolio consisting of three elements
    • An oral presentation (15 minutes) based on direct work with a service user
    • A practice study of 4,000 words based on the student’s direct work with a service user
    • Provision of evidence outlined in the placement handbook including feedback from direct observations, feedback from colleagues and service users.
  2. Practice Assessment Report: an holistic assessment is made by the Practice Educator of the student’s acquisition of the professional capabilities against the nine domains in the Professional Capability Framework. The Practice Educator completes a final Report at the end of the first placement – this includes evidence of meeting the capabilities. The Practice Educator will be required to make a final recommendation on whether the student has met the required standard as either a pass or fail at the end of their report.


Banks, S (2012) Ethics and values in social work. 2nd edition. Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Beckett, C. (2010) Assessment and Intervention in Social Work – Preparing for Practice. London: Sage
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Dalrymple, J. and Burke, B.  (2006) Anti Oppressive Practice: Social Care and the Law. (2nd Edition). Milton Keynes: OUP
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HCPC (2012a) Guidance on conduct and ethics for students [Online] Available from:
HCPC (2012b) Standards, of conduct, performance and ethics [Online] Available from:,performanceandethics.pdf
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Okitikpi, T. and Aymer, C.  (eds) (2008) The art of social work practice. Lyme Regis: Russell House
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Thompson, N. (2009) Practising Social Work.  Basingstoke: Palgrave.
Thompson, S. and Thompson N. (2008) The Critically Reflective Practitioner Basingstoke: Palgrave
Trevithick, P.  (2012) Social work, skills and knowledge. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

British Association of Social Workers - is the largest association representing social work and social workers in the UK

Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency (SOP) SocialworkersinEngland.pdf

Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE) is an independent registered charity, whose role is to develop and promote knowledge about good practice in social care.

The College of Social Work (TCSW) (2012) Professional Capabilities Framework