module specification

SW7P29 - Social Work Dissertation (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module status DELETED (This module is no longer running)
Module title Social Work Dissertation
Module level Masters (07)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 127
27 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
76 hours Placement / study abroad
24 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100% 50 Dissertation
Running in 2022/23

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

Module summary

This module provides the opportunity for students to:

• Advance their knowledge and understanding by the undertaking of a sustained and detailed dissertation that critically examines and evaluates an aspect of social work theory, policy and/or practice of particular interest to the student and approved by their supervisor.

• Select and apply the principles of social research to inform their chosen methodology

• Apply appropriate skills of analysis and critique existing research in the exploration of current issues relating to social work theory, policy and practice.

• Reflect critically on the process of developing and executing a sustained piece of work.

Prior learning requirements

Must pass evaluating research module prior to commencing this module


This is a 60-credit module for the Masters programme the content of which focuses on the planning and execution of a literature review as a dissertation. It enables students to demonstrate the knowledge and skills gained throughout the social work programme, particularly, but not exclusively, the core modules and social work theories, and to apply this to a specific question or topic. Students are expected to be self-motivated and able to work independently. However, attending designated supervision sessions with a named supervisor will also be important.

Learning Outcomes 1 - 4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

This module requires 50% teaching and 50% independent study as the student purses their individual area of research. They will also be allocated a dissertation supervisor and be expected to initiate and engage with supervision to enhance their learning. The teaching will be presented in a workshop style, with small groups of students with similar areas of interest having the opportunity to collaborate.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the module students will:

1. Appraise critically and synthesise research approaches and methods

2. Appraise and synthesise the literature and evidence base related a subject relevant to social work practice.

3. Evaluate the ways in which theories are applied for research and critically informed practice

4. Evaluate literature that addresses anti oppressive practice and ethical issues in social work

Assessment strategy

The assessment will include both formative and summative methods. It will consist of project proposal which is formative (1,000 words, submitted at the end of the evaluating research module) and a dissertation which is summative (10,000 words).



Core Text: Aveyard, H. (2014) Doing a literature review in health and social care: a practical guide. 3rd Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill/Open University Press

Core Texts: Denzin, N. & Lincoln Y.S. (2011): Handbook of Qualitative Research London: Sage

Core Text: Carey. M, (2013) The Social Work Dissertation: Using Small-Scale Qualitative Methodology (2nd Ed) Basingstoke: Open University Press

E Journals
Current Research Journal of Social Sciences
Evaluation Review: A Journal of Applied Social Research
Journal of International Social Research  

On-line Resources
Sociological Research Online:
Social Research Update:

Additional Texts:
Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. 5th Ed. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill, Open University Press
Bryman, A. (2008) Social Research Methods. 3rd Ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press
Cresswell, J.W. (1994): Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches London: Sage
Gomm, R. (2008) Social research methodology: a critical introduction, 4th Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Levitas, R., & Guy, W. (eds) Interpreting Official Statistics, London, Routledge.
May, T (2011) Social Research: Issues, Methods and Process, 4th Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Nazroo, J. (ed.) (2006) Health and social research in multi ethnic societies, London: Routledge.
Moule, P. & Hek, G. (2006) Making Sense of Research: An Introduction for Health and Social Care Practitioners (3rd  edition) London: Sage
Neuman, W. (2007) Basics of social research: qualitative and quantitative approaches, London: Pearson/Allyn and Bacon
Newman, T., Moseley, A., Tierney, S. and Ellis, (2005) A. Evidence-based social work: a guide for the perplexed Lyme Regis: Russell House
Patton, M.Q. (2002) Qualitative research and evaluation methods, 3rd Ed. London: Sage
Punch, K.F. (2005) Introduction to social research: quantitative and qualitative approaches, 2nd Ed. London: Sage
Sarandakos, S (2005) Social Research. 3rd Ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Electronic Databases:
E Books

Denscombe, M. (2010) Ground rules for social research: guidelines for good practice. 2nd Ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Matthews, B. & Ross, L. (2010) Research methods: a practical guide for social sciences Harlow: Pearson Longman