SW5052 - Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work (2021/22)
|Module specification||Module approved to run in 2021/22|
|Module title||Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work|
|Module level||Intermediate (05)|
|Credit rating for module||15|
|School||School of Social Professions|
|Total study hours||300|
|Running in 2021/22||
The module focuses on the need for students to analyse theoretical perspectives relevant to social work taking into account the practical and ethical impact these perspectives have upon different individuals, groups and communities. In addition they need to critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives and research-evidence with regard to relations of power and anti-oppressive practice relevant to social work in a manner that may be innovative, utilising knowledge from social work practice and theories relating to practice.
• To enable students to understand and analyse the contested nature of social work
explanations for the existence and circumstances of service users and the
intervention implied by these explanations.
• To identify and analyse theoretical perspectives relevant to social work taking into
account the practical and ethical impact these perspectives have upon different
individuals, groups and communities.
• To critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives with regard to relations of
power and anti-oppressive practice relevant to social work
• Social work theories, methods and applications to practice L.O 1, 4
• Psychodynamic and psychosocial approaches L. O 1, 2, 3
• Cognitive-Behavioural Approaches L.O 1, 2, 3, 4
• Systems theory L.O 3, 4
• Humanism and Person-Centered work L.O 2, 4
• Radical, critical, and Postmodern approaches L.O 3, 4
• Task-Centred intervention L.O 1, 3
• Crisis intervention L.O 2, 4
Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity
Students’ learning will be developed through their engagement with a range of individual and group-based learning and teaching methods including small group learning, exploring case-study analysis, debates and interactive workshops, problem based learning, personal reflection and reflective writing, use of Weblearn, service user reflections, video materials and other online educational content. Students will be expected to access educational resources independently and also to work with peers outside of the formal teaching contact hours.
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
1. Discuss relevant theoretical perspectives and how these contribute to the knowledge base of social work
2. Analyse social work theories, demonstrating critical awareness of their implications for service users, taking into account existing power dynamics and the practical and ethical impact on individuals, groups and communities
3. Apply appropriate theory to practice with diverse client groups and communities
4. Demonstrate a critical knowledge of social work theory, research and evidence, and evaluate how they inform interventions with service users including practice responses to the contexts of poverty and social exclusion
The assessment strategy consists of a series of formative exercises to help students to develop their ability to understand the theoretical basis for social work. This will deepen their understanding and application of theories to social work practice. Class based exercises are designed to develop critical abilities in relation of theory through formative analysis of case studies undertaken regularly in small groups. With class debates also used to stimulate critical approaches to theories and allowing individual and general feedback to can be given immediately. They together with an individual essay plan will support development of the required skills to complete the summative assessment which is a 2,500 words essay based on a case study analysis to assess all the learning outcomes.
Lindsay, T. (2013) Social work intervention. London, SAGE/Learning Matters.
Harms, L. (2015) Understanding trauma and resilience. United Kingdom: Palgrave Macmillan.
Payne, M (2014) Modern social work theories (4rd ed.) Basingstoke : Palgrave Macmillan
British Journal of Social Work
Practice: social work in action
Websites: British Association of Social Workers: BASW https://www.basw.co.uk/