SW0743 - Introduction to Social Work Practice

What will I learn on this module?

This module has two stages of assessment in relation to practice. In the first, university-based stage, this module aims to support you to move from entry level to readiness to engage in direct practice, by providing underpinning knowledge of communication skills informed by social work values and codes of practice. This will be located within a broader understanding of the social work role, collaborative working, and the organisational contexts for practice. You will begin to develop a professional identity reflecting the standards of proficiency, and to develop your professional resilience. The first stage of this module plays a key role in assessing learning in relation to the PCF at a level where you are considered ready for direct social work practice learning. The second stage of this module will provide opportunities to enable you to acquire practice skills and integrate practice and academic learning in a practice environment during a 70-day practice learning placement. This will also provide the opportunity for holistic assessment against the SWE PS, and allow you to demonstrate your professional capability at a level assessed to be commensurate with the PCF level ‘end of first placement’.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, skills workshops, simulated interviews, enquiry-based learning, practice learning, and directed learning. In the first stage, small seminar groups will focus on skills development in relation to interviewing, self-awareness, recording, reflection, and evaluation of practice. Tutor and peer feedback will support your development. Staff modelling, role play, simulation, and electronic materials will be used to enhance the learning experience and provide opportunities for skills development. Involvement of Educators by Experience as people with lived experience of social services will reinforce the authenticity of the learning offered on the module. Skills workshops will address practitioner and user perspectives, and a range of practice skills. Formative tasks in workshops and seminars will provide an opportunity to reflect on your developing professional skills and identity. A summative workbook and recording of an interview with someone with lived experience will consolidate learning. Your summary feedback will include the interviewee’s views on your ability to engage and establish rapport with people who use social services.
In the second stage, learning in practice will be supported and assessed in the workplace by an appointed Practice Educator, who will coordinate practice learning opportunities and supervise your practice. Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid- placement review of progress towards meeting professional standards. The summative assessment will be assessed by both the Practice Educator and the Personal Tutor and will consist of a written record of professional practice and a written analysis of practice. The assessment strategy will enable you to demonstrate capability in relation to the SWE PS and PCF.

Teaching and learning strategies provided by the Practice Educator will include direct observation, practical experience, individual supervision, discussion, written work, reading, reflection and directed learning which supports professional practice. You will have a Personal Tutor to monitor professional development and provide systematic academic support during placement.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The module begins with an introduction to its content and structure, explaining how it contributes to the overall programme learning outcomes, and exploring in particular the module aims, learning outcomes and assessment strategy. This module offers a range of support including the provision of lectures, seminars, skills workshops, enquiry-based learning, practice learning opportunities, practice supervision and individual tutorials, all of which are key in offering academic support to you as well as providing a reflective space for you to explore practice issues as a developing social worker. These sessions will provide opportunities to engage in structured critical debate about the knowledge, skills and values required of qualified social workers. You will be encouraged and supported to have the confidence to engage in discussion and present and critique your own and others’ work in safe and supportive environments.

Feedback and feedforward to guide future work will be provided through individual tutorials, skills simulation, involvement of people with lived experience, practice supervision, and formative and summative assessment throughout the module. This feedback will also support you to discuss and develop your understanding and application of key concepts reflecting on your emerging professional identity helping you identify strengths and areas for development.

General queries about the module will be addressed by the Module Leader. Contact details for all Personal Tutors and teaching staff are available in the module handbook and via the Electronic Learning Portal (eLP). You will have access to lecturers at teaching times, by email, and telephone.

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

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

LO.1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of the professional social worker within a practice context.

LO.2. Critically appraise the conditions for effective collaborative working and engage in this with a range of stakeholders.

LO.3. Critically appraise the role of supervision and make an active contribution in this process

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

LO.4. Demonstrate a range of knowledge and direct practice skills indicating readiness for direct practice within the Professional Capabilities Framework, and successfully demonstrate the Social Work England Professional Standards and Professional Capabilities for the end of the first professional practice in placement

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

LO.5. Demonstrate an understanding of values based and ethical issues and apply professional codes and standards of behaviour required in professional social work practice

How will I be assessed?

You need to complete three summative assessments for this module, each of which has a formative assessment task linked to it.

The formative assessment tasks are:

1 Interviews with peers in small seminar groups, to rehearse and demonstrate your understanding and application of communication skills. You will receive feedback from peers and tutors to inform the recorded interview you will complete as part of summative assessment part 1.

2 A student-led seminar in which you will present a community profile of a specific geographic area that you have compiled through enquiry-based learning. You will receive feedback from peers and tutors to inform your record of professional practice (summative assessment 2)

3 A student-led seminar in which you will give a brief presentation on ‘The challenges and opportunities of collaboration with other practitioners in a social work context’ You will receive feedback from peers and seminar leaders to inform your assignment on collaborative practice (summative task 3)

The summative assessment for the module is in three parts. Each element of the summative assignment must be passed to successfully complete the module.

Part one
A summative workbook demonstrating your ability to reflect on and apply knowledge from the module teaching, and a recording of a simulated interview with an Educator by Experience as someone with lived experience, demonstrating effective communication and interpersonal skills meeting the requirements for ‘readiness to engage in direct practice’ in accordance with the Professional Capabilities Framework (Pass/Fail)

Part two
A record of professional practice demonstrating the Social Work England Professional Standards and providing evidence of meeting the 9 domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework at the level required by ‘end of first placement’ (Pass/Fail).

Part three
A 1,800 word (+ 400 word unmarked preface) reflective assignment demonstrating understanding of collaborative professional practice (100% of mark).




SW0741, SW0742

Module abstract

This module will enable you to develop key areas of knowledge, skills and values preparing you to undertake direct practice with service users. Preparation will involve a range of teaching methods including lectures, seminar discussions, practice simulations, personal tutorials, and 15 days development of skills for practice. This will include an opportunity to shadow a social worker. Assessment of “readiness for direct practice” is located in this module. Following successful completion of this first stage, you will be provided with a first practice learning opportunity of 70 days, undertaken as the second stage of this module. This will include opportunities for direct practice under supervision, and assessment in relation to Social Work England’s Professional Standards (SWE PS) and the Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

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