MA Social Work / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Practice Learning and Professional Development

Course unit fact file
Unit code SOWK60666
Credit rating 0
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


The student will spend 70 days in an approved social work setting where s/he will undertake direct practice with service users. Prior to this the student will complete a defined number of skills days and be required to pass 'Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice'. This will be assessed through the Observed Structured Assessment, which includes simulated interviews and written work.


  • Ensure that students understand and develop the skills and knowledge necessary to meet the Social Work England Professional Standards by the time they complete the course.
  • Enable students to achieve and demonstrate the Professional Capability Framework (PCF) domains for the end first placement held by British Association of Social Workers (BASW).
  • To provide a social work experience that facilitates the integration of theory and practice.

Teaching and learning methods

  • Shadowing experienced practitioners
  • Supervised and/ or observed work with service users
  • Supervision with practice educator
  • Peer supervision.
  • Reading of case work undertaken by experienced practitioners
  • Specific agency/ service user group related training provided by the agency
  • Use of agency intranet as a resource for information.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Demonstrate a systematic understanding of current research and advanced scholarship and apply it to social work practice.
  • Understand and with guidance, apply in practice, the principles of social justice, inclusion and equality. 

Intellectual skills

  • Demonstrate the ability to reflect critically on own and others’ professional practice
  • Inform decision making through the identification and gathering of information from more than one source and, with support, question its reliability and validity
  • Evaluate and review hypotheses in response to information available at the time and apply, with support, in practice.

Practical skills

Demonstrate the Social Work England Professional Standards and the PCF domains for the end of first placement. 

SWE Professional Standards:

  • Promote the rights, strengths and wellbeing of people, families and communities. 
  • Establish and maintain the trust and confidence of people. 
  • Be accountable for the quality of my practice and the decisions I make. 
  • Maintain my continuing professional development.
  • Act safely, respectfully and with professional integrity. 
  • Promote ethical practice and report concerns.  

Professional Capability Framework domains: 

  • Professionalism 
  • Values and ethics 
  • Diversity 
  • Rights, Justice and Economic Wellbeing 
  • Knowledge 
  • Critical Reflection and Analysis 
  • Intervention and Skills 
  • Contexts and Organisations 
  • Professional leadership 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Build good working relationships with a variety of service users and carers and use appropriately a range of communication skills.
  • Work effectively with others within the organisational context
  • Recognise personal and organisational discrimination and oppression and the importance of respect for diversity
  • Communicate effectively information, advice, instruction and professional opinion
  • Build and conclude compassionate and effective relationships appropriate to the placement setting

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Portfolio 100%

Feedback methods

Students will normally have the opportunity to receive feedback on formative work submitted to the online portfolio - Practice Assessment Record & Evaluation (PARE) prior to the summative assessment. Online summative feedback is provided in PARE. Provisional feedback based on internal marking will be made available prior to the Exam Board on the basis that these marks are yet to be ratified at the Exam Board and therefore may be subject to change. PARE provides detailed and constructive feedback on each component and aspect of the assessment and identifies areas of strength and those aspects which could be enhanced. Student feedback is obtained via the online student Quality Assurance Practice Learning (QAPL) and the University unit evaluation forms at the end of the unit.

Study hours

Placement hours
Placement 490

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Claire Harnett Unit coordinator

Return to course details