module specification

SW7010 - Social Work Practice and Working with Disability (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Social Work Practice and Working with Disability
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
45 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
207 hours Guided independent study
48 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A written case study, 4000 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
No instances running in the year

Module summary

• This module will enable participants to explore the impact of social work on the lives of people who have disabilities, positive and negative, including critique and commentary from people with disabilities themselves.
• It will look at historical models of support for people based on societal and medical constructs of disability and dependence, and the development of the social model of disability.
• We will explore the barriers that people with disabilities face and the social work role in challenging them.
• It will look at the experience of people who have disabilities in 2018. The impact of the MCA and the Care Act, empowering and person-centred approaches and positive impact social work can have in promoting people’s rights and helping to secure positive outcomes.
• We will support participants to develop an in-depth understanding of Disability and professional practice, the landscape in 2018/19.
• Having explored how far we have come and the current situation the module will require participants to explore positive future approaches and the development of autonomy and chosen lifestyles.


Disability, core concepts, support models and the history of oppression.  L.O 1,2,3,
To include:
History, institutions and resettlement
Medical models and clinical care.
Enforced dependency and the welfare state
Movement towards disability rights legislation and challenging stereo-types

Understanding differences and commonalities in the experiences of people who have a range of disabilities. To include:  L.O 2,5,7,
Mental illness
Personality Disorder
Learning Disability
Physical Disability
Sensory impairment

The Social Model of Disability. What does it mean? Does the experience of people who have disabilities reflect its implementation? To include;  L.O 1,2,3,5,8
Disability and exclusion (employment, education and society)
Disability and identity
Disability rights post Brexit

The law and social policy. How has it developed? Where are we now and where is it going? To include;  L.O 4,6,7,8
The Disability Rights Act…from implementation to deletion.
The Equality Act 2010 and its impact
The Mental Capacity Act and the decision-making rights it champions
The Care Act, partnership and promoting wellbeing

Challenging stereo-types, overcoming barriers and the role of social work into the future. To include;  L.O 1,2,3,4,5,6,8
Changing attitudes and public perceptions
From sympathy to empathy and respect
Form disabilities to abilities
How the media impacts on perceptions
The impact of positive models, Paralympians, media presenters, and successful, individuals. 

Partnership working with people with disabilities and their representatives. To include:  L.O 2,3,4,5,6,7
Communication and engagement
A collaborative empowering approach
Creative strengths-based approaches
Keeping solution focussed.
Working in partnership.

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

The richness of adult learning and training is the diversity of the participants. In roles, levels of experience, priorities, levels of understanding, personality, ethnicity etc.
This module will enable everyone to have a positive experience of the course, the key messages of the programme will be re-enforced in various ways to ensure people with visual, auditory or kinaesthetic learning styles have equal opportunity to absorb the essential information. This will be achieved by using lots of real examples, chosen to relate as closely as possible to the work place of the specific participants. It should also involve encouraging participants to think of examples themselves in situations they may be part of and in settings they visit. If the sessions feel really relevant and targeted to the participants, they are far more likely to achieve the learning outcomes.

We will ensure participants understand how to access further resources, e learning packages to support their learning is essential in achieving a blended learning approach. Only a limited amount of information can be absorbed at a workshop so it important participants have opportunity for good reflective effective supervision, mentoring and modelling to embed new skills and knowledge and the motivation to seek further information as required.

Learning outcomes

At the end of this course, students should be able to:
1. Analyse the concept of disability and its relationship to culture, historically and currently
2. Identify and understand societal barriers and models of support that affect the lives of people with disabilities.
3. Understand the issues for people with disabilities in employment, education, leisure and all other community-based activities and the social workers role in supporting people to challenge these.
4. Demonstrate knowledge of research approaches that advance understanding of disability and the impact they have on the future direction of law and policy.
5. Have empathy with the life experiences of people who have disabilities.
6. Propose strategies for improving inclusion, autonomy and chosen life outcomes for people with disabilities and their part in that
7. Practice confidently when working with people who have disabilities and their relatives.
8. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the disability rights campaigns of recent years and their impact on social work practice and societies view of people with disabilities.

Assessment strategy

A written case study focusing on an individual with a disability from your own practice



Core Text:
Social Work Practice Across Disability (2018). By Juliet Rothman  2nd Edition

Other Texts:
Social Work and Disability (Social Work in Theory and Practice) Hardcover – 22 Apr 2016 by Peter Simcock (Author), Rhoda Castle (Author)

Human rights and social work: Towards rights-based practice
J Ife - 2012

A critique of the domestic law framework Access to Social Care Human Rights: transforming services? By Bowen, P (2014) London. Social Care Institute for Excellence (SCIE)

Social Work Theory and Practice (2017) by Lesley Deacon - University of Sunderland, UK Stephen J. Macdonald - University of Sunderland, UK

The British Journal of Social Work (Oxford journals for BASW)
Professional Social Work. (BASW)
Journal of Social Work  SAGE Publications Ltd
British Journal of Social Work  Social Care Online

Disability Rights UK

Disability Research Centre, Goldsmiths, University of London

Centre for Disability Studies

British Association of Social Workers: BASW
Community Care Social Work News & Social Care Jobs
National Institute for Social Work: NISW
The British Journal of Social Work Oxford Academic - Oxford Journals

Electronic Databases:
Social Care Online.
Social Policy & Practice

Social Media Sources