SW0421 - Sociological and Psychological Perspectives on Social Work

What will I learn on this module?

This module has been designed to provide you with underpinning knowledge and understanding regarding the various theories and conceptual perspectives that influence and inform social work practice. This module will support you explore different approaches from sociology and psychology related to development across the life course, as well as the impact of social and psychological contexts to social work practice and service users. Through a range of teaching and learning strategies you will be encouraged to reflect on and explain how and why these thereotical perspectives are important to social work practice contributing therefore to your development as a student social worker and in your professional career.

How will I learn on this module?

You will be able to learn through a variety of ways on this module. The module is based both on lectures and seminars. Lectures will address key theoretical approaches and models in relation to sociology and psychology and will be delivered by academics with different professional and research backgrounds, giving you therefore a variety of perspectives for social work theory and practice. In seminars you will have the opportunity to explore in depth these perspectives with your peers, applying them to social work practice. The teaching methods will include group activities, recent research as well as video and other resources. The emphasis in this module is to enable you to reflect on your emerging knowledge and you will be supported in this throughout the activities of the module.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module leader and seminar tutors will support you throughout this module in various ways. Lectures and any support material will be available on Electronic Learning Portal (eLP). Assessment guidance will be provided during the semester as well as formative feedback on your critical reflection skills, the development of your knowledge and understanding that will support you towards the written summative assessment.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk

How will I be assessed?

Formative assessment

As part of the learning process for this module, you will be required to record a ‘critical commentary’ on points of personal and professional learning. This may be in a form of diary, in which you will record thoughts, ideas and questions that arise when you are undertaking independent reading or participating in lectures and seminars. Details and guidance for this commentary and assessments you will be given in the Module Handbook, as well as by module leader and seminar tutors.

Your formative assessment will be a 5 minute presentation based on a specific aspect of your critical commentary. Your tutor and fellow students will provide you with feedback for your presentation.

Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
• Your summative assessement will be a 2000 word (+/- 10%) workbook
in two parts:
• Part A: a written summary (1000 words) of your critical commentary on your weekly reflections from your learning over the course of the module. You will need to demonstrate how and why this may be useful for social work practice.

• Part B: a short-answer coursework task (1000 words) where you will answer two questions, drawing on theory and research to support your responses.

Both formative and summative assessments will provide you with an opportunity to record your learning and being able to reflect how you reached your learning and understandings on the module topics and linked these with why these are important for your own social work development and practice.


Not applicable


SW0417, SW0418, SW0419, SW0420, SW0422

Course info

UCAS Code L502

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


Your Learning Experience

Find out about our distinctive approach at 

Admissions Terms and Conditions

Fees and Funding

Admissions Policy

Admissions Complaints Policy