SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 20.00
ECTS Credit Points 10.00
Module Code MML522777
Module Leader n/a
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)

Summary of Content

This module explores the diversity and complexity of social work practice and locates social work within the wider contexts of welfare ideology and policy. The role and scope of social work as a professional occupation is explored from historical and comparative perspectives, taking account of the development of social work in the UK and Scotland; whilst contrasting this with global perspectives and exploring the role of social work as an agent of change. The role of social work in challenging discrimination and oppression is further explored in relation to the overarching aim of achieving social justice. From this vantage point, current policy directions in social welfare and social work will be analysed, leading to a critical understanding of the major features and boundaries of contemporary social work.


-360b7 A brief history of social work b7 Ideology and social work - a necessary connection b7 Social work and the process of change b7 The politics of social work b7 Social justice and social work b7 Overview of key areas of social work practice b7 Policy directions in social work and social welfare

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this module, students should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the role of social work in relation to social welfare2. Demonstrate a critical knowledge of the connection between ideology, politics and social work3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the relationship between social work and social justice4. Demonstrate a critical awareness of current issues and developments in social work5. Demonstrate a critically understanding of the relationship between policy and practice in social work6. Apply knowledge and understanding of policy and practice in investigating an area of social work

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The teaching and learning strategy employed in this module is based upon theories of adult learning which recognize the increasing responsibility and autonomy that is associated with study at Masters level. The range of approaches used in the module include interdisciplinary small group learning, lectures on key themes, seminars, on-line activities, student presentations, guided reading and individual learning. Principles of constructive alignment underpin the relationship between the teaching activities and assessed work. Teaching sessions will involve twelve, weekly three-hour blocks integrating student-led work with teaching facilitation. Material relevant to each session will be available on GCU Learn prior to the session allowing for preparation and independent learning.

Indicative Reading

Deacon, B. (2013) Global social policy in the making: The foundations of the social protection floor, Bristol, Policy Press Ferguson, I and Woodward, R. (2009) Radical social work in practice: Making a difference , Bristol, Policy Press Garrett. P. M., (2013) Social work and social theory: Making connections, Bristol, Policy Press Gray, M., Midgley, J., Webb, S. (eds) (2012) The Sage Handbook of Social Work, London, Sage Gray, M. and Webb, S. (eds) (2013) Social Work Theories and Methods , London, Sage Gray, M. and Webb, S. (eds) (2013) The New Politics of Social Work , Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Lavalette, M. (ed) (2011) Radical social work today, Social work at the crossroads , Bristol, Policy Press Lavalette, M, and Penketh, L. (eds) (2013) Race, Racism and Social Work: Contemporary issues and debates , Bristol, Policy Press McDonald, C. (2006) Challenging Social Work: the context of practice , Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan Mooney, G. and Scott, G. (2012) Social justice and social policy in Scotland, Bristol, Policy Press Pierson, J. (2011) Understanding Social Work, History and Context , Maidenhead , Open University Press Pullen-Sansfacon, A. and Cowden, B. (2012) The Ethical Foundations of Social Work , Harlow, Pearson Price, V. and Simpson, G. (2007) Transforming Society? Social Work and Sociology , Bristol, Policy Press

Transferrable Skills

-360 1. Develop critical evaluation of skills relating to policy and practice data 2. Develop communication skills in group and individual presentation 3. Communicate and work effectively in peer relationships 4. Exercise substantial autonomy in learning and professional development 5. Develop skills in carrying out research into specialist areas of practice 6. Develop written skills in presentation of complex information

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Lectures (FT) 36.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00
Independent Learning (FT) 144.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Coursework 1 n/a 100.00 50% Written Assignment 4000 words