module specification

SW7049 - Practice Learning 1 (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Practice Learning 1
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 20
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 600
490 hours Placement / study abroad
70 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
40 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100% 50 Practice Study
Coursework 0% 1 Portfolio
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester North Not applicable -

Module summary

This module provides opportunities for students to:
• Develop their understanding and recognition of the role of professional social worker, learning through involvement and interaction with service users and services, the professional responsibilities and behaviours appropriate to this level of training. 
• Develop their understanding of the importance of awareness, reflection and limitation as well as maintaining professional boundaries. 
• Recognise problems and concerns as they arise and with support and guidance, understand how to address these.
• Demonstrate their knowledge of procedures relevant to the practice agency/service.

Prior learning requirements

Successful completion of module SW7055  (Communication, Skills and Values module)


The student will undertake a minimum of 70 days within the agency under the direct supervision of a practice educator who will allocate work in relation to the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) qualifying level.  A planned induction should be provided to the student and learning activities should include:

Opportunities to visit related agencies; undertake direct work with service users with guidance and support and attend team meetings. LO 1,2

Work alongside professionals from different disciplines and utilise opportunities to gain a critical understanding of the role of the agency within its organisational and legal context.  LO 2,3,4

Students will be provided with an appropriately qualified practice educator.  The practice educator will provide the student with 1.5 hours of formal supervision per week.  LO 1,3,4

Students on placement are allowed an equivalent of 0.5 hours per placement day for reflective learning.  LO 3,4

The placement will be governed by a learning agreement drawn up by the practice educator, practice supervisor, student and a placement tutor from the University.  LO 1, 2,3

The placement tutor will also meet with the practice educator and student at the midway stage.  LO 1,2,3,4

Practice learning will be dependent on the individual circumstances and learning opportunities available in each placement. This will be related to specific service user groups, for example older people, children and families, people with mental ill health, people with disabilities.  LO 2,3,4

The placement will be governed by a learning agreement drawn up by the practice educator, practice supervisor, student and the placement tutor.  The placement tutor will also meet with the practice educator, practice supervisor and student at the midway stage.  LO 1,3,4

A practice placement handbook provided to both student and practice educator gives detailed information about placement requirements and processes. LO 3,4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Evidence of practice capability will come from the practice educator as well as from the student. Students will be provided with variety of different teaching and assessment models, including a minimum of three 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 Framework (PCF).

The placement will be governed by a learning agreement drawn up by the practice educator, practice supervisor, student and a placement tutor from the University at the beginning of the placement.  The placement tutor will also meet with the practice educator/practice supervisor and student at the midway stage.  The final portfolio will be submitted at the date agreed by the student, the practice educator, practice supervisor and the placement tutor.

Learning outcomes

1. 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.   Demonstrate a critical awareness of self and others and a level of conceptual understanding that facilitates in-depth analysis and management of values, ethical issues and dilemmas in practice.

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

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

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

Assessment strategy

There are two summative assessment strategies for this module, and this is made up of a practice study and a placement portfolio. The student must pass both assessments.

• The first component is a 3,000-word practice study which will be a critical evaluation based upon the student’s practice working with a service user. This is weighted at 100%.

• The second component will be the compilation of a placement practice portfolio that includes (but not limited to):

 A critical reflection diary completed by the student
 Evidence from the direct observations of the student’s practice
 Feedback from professionals and or colleagues within the agency
 Feedback from service users/carers
 The assessment of the student’s practice capability against the PCF at the level required at the end of the first placement made by the practice educator
 A written report from the practice educator outlining the student’s progress to demonstrate capability in relation to the PCF
 The practice educator will be required to conclude their report with the recommendation of either a Pass/Fail.


Core Textbooks:
Burton, J. (2016) Practice Learning in Social work.  Palgrave

Other Texts:
Thompson, N and Thompson S. (2008) The Social Work Companion. Basingstoke: Palgrave.

The British Journal of Social Work.
Children and Families Journal of Social Work
Journal of Adult Protection


British Association of Social Workers - is the largest association representing social work and social workers in the UK and is now the guardians of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).