Practice Education: Stage 1

20 Academic credits at Postgraduate level

Who is this course for?

Practice Education Stage 1 is designed for 2 year post qualified, “experienced” level social workers who are interested in developing practice education skills and knowledge. This award enables the holder to facilitate the learning and development of a range of learnersincluding  pre-qualifying social work students, and newly qualified social workers in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). 

Module overview

Practice Education Stage 1 is an online academically accredited module, offered at Postgraduate level and designed in close reference to the updated Practice Educator Professional Standards (BASW, 2020).  This robust programme unfolds over the course of 10 carefully designed, theory and research informed sessions, in which Practice Education Stage 1 trainees learn how to

  • set up and maintain an effective, individualised learning environment
  • design, deliver and evaluate learning programmes tailored to the needs of their learners
  • mentor, coach and supervise learners to develop reflective capabilities, knowledge and skills
  • assess learners fairly and holistically, at different stages in their social work careers.

Practice Education Stage 1 trainees from the University of Birmingham will be educated to support, teach and assess in anti-oppressive ways, and demonstrate knowledge and skills in providing quality learning opportunities to support best practice in social work.  Full details on the module will be provided to all successful applicants in our Welcome Pack.  

Module approach

The Practice Education Stage 1 module blends online, independent learning with live, online tutor led seminars.  This approach means that busy trainees can undertake part of their learning at their own pace, at a convenient time and in a convenient location, whilst still benefiting from the support and direction of the course lecturers, who are all trained social workers, practice educators and or trained Higher Education teachers.

All Practice Education Stage 1 trainees are given access to the University’s “Virtual Learning Environment” Canvas, where all necessary materials are arranged in learning units, with clear learning outcomes aligned to the Practice Educator Professional Standards (BASW, 2020). There are discussion boards and forums to enable peer communications and ensure support is available from course lecturers as required.

In this online environment, we encourage peer group connections, collaborations and community by setting up “study circles” for both formal learning activity and informal support. 

Module structure

There are six sessions or ‘blocks’ of study.  Each “block” runs over a 2-week time period and comprises 2 parts.  The first part is designed for independent, online study and includes some combination of pre-recorded lectures, explainer or demonstrator videos, theory to practice tasks, self-evaluation and reflection and research.  The second part of the block brings together all learners in the group for a live, online, tutor led seminar in which the materials are revised and applied in a reflective, supportive exchange. 

Once the 6 core sessions are completed, trainees attend 4 online, group tutorials over the remainder of the academic year, which are designed to help them connect with their peers and revise core materials whilst they undertake their work in the field with social work learners. In addition, support with the module assessment is provided.

Module assessment

The module is academically assessed at 20 credits.  “Credits” indicate how much study time is required to complete the module requirements.  For every 10 credits, 100 hours of study is expected and this is achieved through the online, independent study, seminars, tutorials, additional reading and research and the oversight of a social work learner such as a BA social work student or newly qualified social worker.

In addition, trainees must submit a portfolio of “evidence” to document the practice educator skills achieved. Finally, all trainees must submit an academic assignment in which they use relevant literature and research to critically analyse the way they set up the learning environment, designed and implemented a learning programme, assessed their learner and addressed their own professional standards as a Practice Educator in Stage 1 training. 

Module entry requirements

Practice Education Stage 1 trainees must have at least two years post-qualifying experience and demonstrate their ability to practice at the Professional Capabilities Framework level of “Experienced Social Worker”. 

In addition, trainees should demonstrate their interest and commitment to practice education, by having completed activities such as supporting students and other new staff joining teams and services (perhaps as part of induction activities or contributing to staff development workshops).

Furthermore, PE Stage 1 applicants must demonstrate that they are ready to study at Postgraduate level by outlining any other post-graduate qualifications (e.g. a Masters, Post Graduate Certificate or Post Graduate Diploma) or relevant post-qualifying professional training, which has required the demonstration of critical thinking and writing skills.

Module dates

Our Next Practice Education Stage 1 Module will run in January 2023.

  • Induction:  Tuesday 17th January 2023 from 10.00am to 4.00pm
  • Online Seminar: Tuesday 31st January 2023 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Online Seminar: Tuesday 14th February 2023 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Online Seminar: Tuesday 28th February 2023 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Online Seminar: Tuesday 14th March 2023 from 2.00pm to 4.00pm
  • Close:  Tuesday 28th March from 10.00am to 4.00pm

Group tutorial dates will run at points across the academic year.

Module fees

Our update fee for this module is £888 per applicant OR 

£843.60 per applicant if more than 1 person attends from the same agency (5% discount).


Module Application

Our application portal for this academic year is now CLOSED

The application portal for our next Practice Education Stage 1 Module will open in September 2022.

Please note that most PE Stage 1 applicants are sponsored by employers.  For this reason, applicants will normally need to liaise with the learning and development department or practice education lead prior to any application.  If the applicant is not being sponsored by their employee and is self-funding the module, they will need to ensure that they can secure an opportunity to teach, supervise and assess a social work student or ASYE candidate, secure a PE Stage 2 qualified Mentor to support and assess them in their PE Stage 1 practie (if applicable), and have the necessary time to complete the study and the placement.

Contact Us

The Department of Social Work and Social Care is located within the School of Social Policy, which in turn is embedded within the College of Social Sciences.  Students and other visitors can find the teaching and learning staff, and the student support offices on the 8 Floor of Muirhead Tower.  We recommend you make contact in advance to set up any appointments. We are happy to meet online or in person.