SHE Level 3
SCQF Credit Points 40.00
ECTS Credit Points 20.00
Module Code M3L524901
Module Leader Brian Coyle
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)
  • B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

-108 Level 2 of the BA (Hons) Social Work - Social Work Skills Module is mandatory.

Summary of Content

The first Direct Practice module is intended to enable students to apply practice skills and to develop their ability to critically analyse and evaluate their practice and that of others. Students need to develop skills in making informed judgements and difficult decisions based on a strong ethical social work value base. It is expected that student practice will demonstrate an awareness and understanding of oppression and discrimination, and responds reflexively to diverse service user need. Students will be expected to transfer academic learning, life skills and previous learning from work/voluntary experience into their new practice learning situations. They will be required to act in accordance with the Scottish Social Services Council's Code of Practice for Social Workers (2005) and the School of Health and Life Science's Fitness to Practise Policy and Procedures. These include a commitment to safeguarding the confidentiality of all users and staff members encountered within the practice learning placement.


The module consists of 80 days in total of which 70 days will be spent in practice learning agencies. These agencies deliver social work or social care services and students are placed there to learn the relevant knowledge and skills to function as effective and ethical practitioners. The purpose of the Direct Practice modules is to facilitate students' integration of knowledge gained in the university and from previous experience into their practice. This will be done by the allocation of particular tasks and workload in the agencies to which each student is assigned. Links will be made with previous and on-going teaching and learning.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate the relevant learning foci of the key roles for SDP1.2. Develop the ability to analyse and reflect on their practice.3. Demonstrate an underpinning social work value base.4. Develop a critical awareness of ethical principles and ethical dilemmas.5. Demonstrate the acquisition and application of appropriate knowledge in practice.

Teaching / Learning Strategy

Practice learning opportunities will be provided via the Learning Network West and are selected from a broad and varied range of agencies, including: statutory, private and voluntary; field, residential and community, all of which will provide opportunities for multi-professional practice. An accredited practice teacher will guide the student's practice to enable the module learning outcomes to be addressed and s/he will work in conjunction with the student's practice learning tutor and, where relevant, link worker to identify appropriate learning opportunities and assess the student's practice. Full use will be made of GCU Learn to provide exemplars, good practice models and to share learning among students. Direct placement experience will be complimented by a practice learning curriculum, comprising 10 days of wrap-around workshops based at the University. These consists of 5 days pre-placement preparation for practice workshops (including, managing self and well-being, report writing, time management and organisational skills, interviewing techniques and presentations), 2 days mid-point workshops and 3 days at the end, which will link DP1 learning to the final DP2 placement.

Indicative Reading

Allen, G & Langford D (2008) Effective Interviewing in Social Work & Social Care , Palgrave. Beckett C & Maynard A (2005) Values & Ethics in Social Work , Sage Publishing. Brown, R. (2000). Group processes: dynamics within and between groups. (2 nd Edition) Oxford. Blackwell. Dalrymple, J. and Burke, B. (2006)2 nd Edition. Anti-Oppressive Practice: Social Care and the Law . Milton Keynes: Open University Press. Doel M (2010), Social Work Placements - A Travellers Guide, Routledge, Oxon Douglas, T. (2000). Basic Groupwork. (2 nd Edition). London. Tavistock Publications. Egan, G. (2001). The Skilled Helper . Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole. Ferguson, I & Woodward, R (2009). Radical Social Work Practice, Policy Press. Gray M, & Webb S, (2013) Social Work Theories and Methods, 2 nd Edition, Sage Publications , London. Howe, D. (2009). A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory: Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan. Kadushin, A. (1997). Supervision in Social Work . New York: Columbia University Press. McLean S, Harrison R., (2012) Theory & Practice: A Straightforward Guide for Social Work Students, 2 nd Edition, Kirwan & McLean Associates Ltd. Redmond B (2006) Reflection In Action , Ashgate. Stepney, P & Ford, D (2000) Social Work Models, Methods & Theories , Russell House Publishing. Thompson, N. (2000). Understanding Social Work: Preparing for Practice . Basingstoke. Macmillan. Trevithick, P. (2000). Social Work Skills: A Practice Handbook . Buckingham. Open University Press.

Transferrable Skills

-284 1. Use strategies to critically analyse and challenge the impact of discrimination and disadvantage in practice. 2. Deal with complex ethical dilemmas and conflicts and make informed judgements in practice. 3. Utilise self-management skills. 4. Use group and team working skills. 5. Collect, collate, assess and present information. 6. Empower service users and carers to participate in deciding their own service delivery. 7. Make assessments. 8. Plan service delivery. 9. Intervene and provide services to a range of service users and carers. 10. Reflect on and critically analyse their own and others' practice.

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Placement 520.00
Independent Learning (FT) 20.00
Assessment (FT) 40.00
Practicals (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
RAS n/a 50.00 40% Reflective Analytical study 3000 wordsThreshold of 40 as per regulatory body
Portfolio n/a 50.00 40% Portfolio of evidence from direct practice 6000-7000 wordsThreshold of 40 as per regulatory body