SHE Level 5
SCQF Credit Points 15.00
ECTS Credit Points 7.50
Module Code MML522782
Module Leader Naomi Cochrane
School School of Health and Life Sciences
Subject Social Work
  • A (September start)-B (January start)

Pre-Requisite Knowledge

Succesful completion of Level 1

Summary of Content

This module will, using the experience of students on SDP2, seek to consolidate the learning over the programme and focus upon the development of professional identity and authority. In particular, there will a focus on the safeguarding and personalisation agendas and relationship based- approaches to social work. Previous teaching, including in relation to law and social work skills, will be drawn upon in the context of SDP2. There will be two underpinning themes running though all of the sessions on the module: -360b7 The impact of services on the people that use them. -360b7 The developing role of the social worker, in particular the use of self and of professional authority -340 Theory in the mid-range will be utilised and directly applied to practice, for example around accountability and professional boundaries.


-360b7 Professional identity b7 The professional self b7 Power and empowerment b7 The exercising of professional authority b7 Accountability and professional boundaries b7 A critical approach to the social work relationship b7 Exercising authority ethically b7 Working with emotions b7 Partnership working b7 Applying theories and methods of intervention b7 Working with risk and complexity b7 Safeguarding vulnerable adults and children b7 Professional development b7 Personalisation

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the module the student should be able to:1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development of their own professional identity2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the development and use of power and authority within social work3. Reflect critically on the acquisition of professional knowledge, skills and attitudes4. Critically evaluate the application of strategies to identify, assess and manage risk5. Critically analyse the implications of exercising authority and working in partnership with service users 6. Critically appraise inter- agency approaches to work with vulnerable groups and individuals

Teaching / Learning Strategy

The core themes of the module will be covered in lectures, supplemented by directed reading, with significant use made of GCU Learn and other on-line resources relevant to research. A variety of strategies will be used in seminars to explore issues around responding to risk, including case simulations, layered cases studies and a variety of group exercises. In particular, students will be required to bring 'live' issues from placement to explore in the context of seminar discussions, and there will be a strong emphasis on exploration of ethical dilemmas and the emotional impact of social work practice. As well as academic staff, there will be a range of external speakers, including service users, bringing a range of perspectives to bear on the development of the professional self. Reference back will be made to teaching in Tri A of Year 1, in particular around skills and theory to deepen and broaden learning.

Indicative Reading

Books Duschinsky, R., Lampitt, S and Bell, S., (2016). Sustaining Social Work , London, Palgrave. Featherstone, B. et al., (2014). Re-imagining Child Protection: Towards Humane Social Work with Families , Bristol, Policy Press. Featherstone, B. et al. ((2018). Protecting children: A social model, Bristol, Policy Press. Fenton, J., (2016). Values in Social Work (Reshaping Social Work , London, Palgrave. Fenton, J., (2019) Social Work for Lazy Radicals , London, Red Globe Press. Grant, L and Kinman, G., (2014) Developing Resilience for Social Work Practice , London Palgrave. Ingram, R., (2015) Understanding Emotions in Social Work: Theory, Practice and Reflection, Milton Keynes, Open University Press. Jones, K., Cooper, B. & Ferguson, H., eds. (2007)., Best practice in social work: Critical perspectives, Palgrave McIntyre, G. et al, 2018, Safeguarding Adults: Key Themes and Issues , Palgrave, McNeill, F. (2018) Pervasive Punishment: Making Sense of Mass Supervision, Bingley, Emerald Publishing. Ruch, G., Turney, D., and Ward, A. (2018), Relationship-based social work: Getting to the heart of practice (2 nd edition ), London, Jessica Kingsley. Smith, R. (2008). Social Work and Power , London, Palgrave Macmillan. Taylor, B. (2017). Decision Making, Assessment and Risk in Social Work , 3 rd Edition Exeter, Learning Matters. Trotter, C. (2014). Working with involuntary clients: A guide to practice , 3 nd edn., London, Sage. Webb, S (ed) (2017), Professional Identity and Social Work , London, Routledge. Indicative reading will be supplemented by a range of web- based materials and journal articles connected to each of the topics that are covered over the course of the module. Journal Articles Banks, S., 2010, Integrity in professional life: Issues of conduct, commitment and capacity, British Journal of Social Work , 40, 2, 2168- 2184. Donovan, J., Rose, D. Connolly, M., (2017), A crisis of identity: social work theorising at a time of change, British Journal of Social Work , 0, 1-17 Grant, S. (2016) Constructing the durable penal agent: tracing the development of habitus within English probation officers and Scottish criminal justice social workers, British Journal of Criminology , 56, pp750-768. Grant, S. (2017) Learning on the job? Exploring first-year experiences of newly qualified criminal justice social workers in Scotland, Probation Journal, 64:1, pp 33-49. Kettle, M, Jackson, S, (2017), Revisiting the rule of optimism, British Journal of Social Work , 47, 6, 1624-40. Leigh, J., Beddoe, L.., Keddell, E., (2019). Disguised compliance or undisguised nonsense? A critical discourse analysis of compliance and resistance in social work practice., Families Relationships and Societies Reder, P. and Duncan, S.,(2003), Understanding communication in child protection networks. Child Abuse Review , 12, 2, 82-100.

Transferrable Skills

-360b7 Critical analysis b7 Critical reflection b7 Communication skills b7 Team work b7 Autonomy and responsibility

Module Structure

Activity Total Hours
Independent Learning (FT) 100.00
Independent Learning (FT) 10.00
Seminars (FT) 10.00
Lectures (FT) 10.00
Assessment (FT) 20.00

Assessment Methods

Component Duration Weighting Threshold Description
Reflective Account n/a 100.00 50% Reflective account 4000 words