These modules are for 2024 entry unless stated otherwise.
In Year one you will have the opportunity to develop core academic knowledge and skills and will study five academic modules:
- Social work in practice: context, values and skills
- Journeys through the life course
- Law and social policy for social work
- Critical social work practice with children, families and adults
- Placement One for professional practice
The current social work regulatory body, Social Work England, requires that before our students go out onto placement they have the basic skills needed to work with a wide variety of people and talk to service users with understanding and respect. As part of this skills development you will be required to undertake a Practice Orientation period with a local organisation. During this period you will be oriented to core processes of referral, assessment, multi disciplinary working - including engagement with service users and you will be assessed on your professional behaviour.
You will also carry out an assessed role play interview with a service user or carer and also spend time in a local social care organisation.
The University of Birmingham is a member of one of the regional social work teaching partnerships. The West Midlands Teaching Partnership bring together employers and universities from across the region to work together on enduring that students have access to practice learning in these Local Authorities and to promote employment opportunities. Professional Practice Learning placements are at the heart of the University of Birmingham’s Social Work Programmes. The aims of the programmes are to produce reflective social workers with capacity to work in a changing and diverse society and who are competent, honest and reliable. To this end, the Programmes works with a wide range of statutory and independent organisations, in order to provide good quality placements. We ask all students to specify their first, second and third choice of local authority, so all students will be potentially offered a placement in one of their top three areas.
The placements on offer are challenging and also very rewarding. Some of the areas of social work covered on placement are:
- Family support and prevention
- Domestic violence
- Refugee and asylum
- Special educational needs
- Child Protection
- Substance misuse
- Mental Health
The placement in year one is for 70 days. All students will have a practice tutor and practice educator who is a qualified registered social worker and they might also have a day-to-day supervisor called a practice supervisor.
Students should be aware that placements in particular areas of interest are not guaranteed. However, all placements are quality assured, meet required Social Work England standards and provide a wide range of learning opportunities which are transferable to any setting, and have international relevance.
In Year two you will undertake a further 100 days of professional practice learning which, in line with Social Work England requirements, will be with a different service user group in a different agency setting. All students will have the opportunity during at least one of their practice placements to undertake some statutory duties. As part of this you will also complete an academic assignment analysing a piece of practice based work undertaken on this placement.
In conjunction with this you will have the opportunity to reflect upon your learning in preparation for and within practice. Students will undertake learning in relation to work with both children and families and adults and communities and this will be incorporated within a framework which encourages students to adopt a ‘think family’ approach to social work. Teaching and learning will concentrate on cross-cutting issues for practice around risk and protection, whole-family approaches, collaborative working, and strengths based approaches.
Also in this final year you will develop, conduct and write-up in the form of a dissertation, an individual piece of literature and/or empirical based research in an area of social work you are particularly interested in.
- Research in social work: Dissertation
- Placement Two for professional practice
- Managing staff and leading others in professional social work