SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code M3L524265
Module Leader David Clarke
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • B (January start)
  • A (September start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

-108 Successful completion of Level 2 BA (Hons) Social Work/equivalent.

Summary of Content

By providing a critical analysis of evidence-informed interventions and exploring models of empowerment, this module will unite recent practice experience (SDP1) with theory and skills developed from Years 1 & 2. This module will build upon prior learning by consolidating theory and experience within a framework of empowering practice in preparation for SDP2. Critical theories on power, social control and empowerment will be considered alongside evidence for interventions that students can use to enable both service-users and themselves (as practitioners) to function as reflexive agents of social change in contemporary society. The process of intervention will be explored by critical evaluation of methods and modes of assessment and statutory interventions in social work practice. Students will develop a critical understanding of approaches such as community development, advocacy, group work, collective action and anti-oppressive practice. Students will assess the impact of empowering practice at both micro + macro levels, whilst demonstrating a commitment to values of social justice, inclusion, promoting independence, enabling service user involvement, upholding rights and challenging inequality. This module will employ a strong service-user voice throughout each element including teaching, evaluation and assessment.


-284 1. Understanding Empowerment 2. Understanding Service-User and Carer Participation 3. Frameworks for empowerment 4. Self-Empowerment 5. Empowering Individuals 6. Empowering Groups 7. Empowering Organisations 8. Empowering Communities 9. Achieving Empowerment

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate critical understanding of empowerment.2. Demonstrate critical understandig of literature and research.3. Demonstrate critical understanding of interventions.4. Demonstrate integration of practice learning to assessments.5. Demonstrate skills in ethnographic research methods.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

This module will employ a flexible combination of lectures, podcasts, online material, student-led seminars and self-directed learning. Students will co-produce knowledge through participatory activities with other students, service users, outside speakers and teaching staff. Multiple avenues of learning will be applied to suit individual learning needs. Students will engage with online communities of practice and sites of community activism. Students will be actively encouraged to champion particular social issues they feel concerned about. Assessment will be in two interrelated parts: -284b7 Students will produce an ethnographic report on a chosen social group. Students will attempt to articulate the lived experience of socially excluded individuals and marginalised communities. Students will examine themes of power and empowerment throughout this project. Students will be required to produce a report using multi-media. Students will collate and analyse information from pictures, videos, podcasts, fieldwork visits, written material and blog posts. This report will be assessed by the module team. (70% weighting). -284b7 Students will then present their findings in groups. This will be assessed by the teaching team (30% weighting).

Indicative Reading

Adams, R., 2018. Empowerment, Participation and Social Work. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Adams, R., Dominelli, L. and Payne, M., 2009. Developing Critical Practice in Social Work. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Bourdieu, P., 1989. Social Space and Symbolic Power. Sociological Theory. 7(1), pp.14-25. Bourdieu, P., 1991. Language and Symbolic Power. Cambridge, Polity Press. Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M., 1995. Empowering Practice in Social Care. Buckingham, Open University Press. Dominelli, L., 2017. Anti-Racist Social Work. Basingstoke, Macmillan International Higher Education. Dominelli, L. ed., 2007. Revitilising Communities in a Globalising World. Aldershot, Ashgate. Dyke, C., 2019. Writing Analytical Assessments in Social Work. Critical Publishing. Fenton, J., 2016. Values in Social Work: Reconnecting with Social Justice. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Glendinning, C., Powell, M. and Rummary, K. eds., 2000. Partnerships, New Labour and the Governance of Welfare. Bristol, Polity Press. Grey, M. and Webb, S. eds., 2013. The New Politics of Social Work, London: Palgrave Macmillan. Janet, W., 2008. Service User and Carer Participation in Social Work. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Horner, N., 2019. What is Social Work?: Contexts and Perspectives. London, Sage. Howe, D., Kohli, R., Smith, M., Parkinson, C., McMahon, L., Solomon, R., Simmonds, J., Cooper, A., Dutton, J., Fairclough, A. and Walsh, J., 2018. Relationship-Based Social Work: Getting to the Heart of Practice. London, Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Flyvbjerg, B., 1998. Habermas and Foucault: Thinkers for Civil Society?, Britsh Journal of Sociology. 49(2), pp. 210-233. Foucault, M., 1995. Discipline and Punish: The Birth of the Prison. London, Penguin. Lavalette, M. and Penkith, L., 2014. Race, Racism and Social Work: Contemporary Issues and Debates. Cambridge, The Polity Press. Leadwith, M. and Springet, J., 2010. Participatory Practice: Community-Based Action for Transformative Change. Bristol, Polity Press. Lindsay, T. and Alton, S., 2008. Group Work Practice in Social Work. London: Learning Matters, Sage. Lukes, S., 2004. Power: A Radical View. Basingstoke, MacMillan. Oded, M., 2000. Ripples: Groupwork in Different Settings. London,Whiting and Birch. Oko, J., 2011. Understanding and Using Theory in Social Work. London, Learning Matters, Sage. Payne, M., 2014. Modern Social Work Theory. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan. Power, M., 2011. Foucault and Sociology. Annual Review of Sociology. 37, pp. 35-56. Thompson, N., 2012. Anti-Discriminatory Practice: Equality, Diversity and Social Justice. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Trevithick, P. 2012. Social Work Skills and Knowledge: A Practice Handbook. Open University Press Wilson, K., Ruch, G., Lymbery, M and Cooper, A., 2011. Social Work: An Introduction to Contemporary Practice. Harlow, Longman Rogers, M. and Allen, D., 2019. Applying Critical Thinking and Analysis in Social Work. London, Sage. Rubin, H. and Rubin, I., 2008. Community Organizing and Development. Boston, MA, Allyn & Bacon. Trotter, C ., 2006. Working with Involuntary Clients: A Guide to Practice. London, Sage. Smith, S., 2008. Social Work and Power. London, Palgrave MacMillan. Williams, C. and Graham, M.J. eds., 2016. Social Work in a Diverse Society: Transformative Practice with Black and Minority Ethnic Individuals and Communities. Cambridge, Polity Press.

Transferrable Skills

-426 1. Problem solving. 2. Teamwork. 3. Communication. 4. Presentation. 5. Reflexivity. 6. Reflection. 7. Planning. 8. Organizing. 9. Negotiating. 10. Decision-making. 11. Data management.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 18.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00
Seminars (FT) 18.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Course Work 01 n/a 70.00 35% Ethnographic Report 2500 words
Course Work 02 10.00 30.00 35% Group Presentation (10 Minutes)