Practice Education: Stage 2

20 Academic credits at Postgraduate level.

Who is this course for?

Practice Education Stage 2 is designed for “experienced” level social workers with at least THREE years practice experience post-qualifying, who have already successfully completed the Practice Education Stage 1 award (or an equivalent course).

Practice Education Stage 2 applicants will be seeking to:

  • Extend their practice education skills and knowledge to facilitate the learning and development of a range of learners.
  • Take full responsibility for the oversight of pre-qualifying social work students in their final placements.
  • Update and enhance their teaching knowledge and skills.
  • Fine tune diagnostic, formative and summative assessment knowledge and skills.
  • Develop other less experienced practice educators.
  • Mentor and supervise other members of staff.

This award enables the holder to facilitate the learning and development of a range of learners including pre-qualifying social work students in first and final placements, and newly qualified social workers in their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). 

Module overview

Practice Education Stage 2 is an academically accredited module, offered at Postgraduate level and designed in close reference to the updated Practice Education Professional Standards or PEPS (BASW, 2022). 

This robust module unfolds over six carefully designed theory and research informed sessions.  These sessions build on trainees’ prior practice education skills and experience, supporting them to extend their skills in teaching, supporting, supervising and assessing a range of learners. 

In Practice Education Stage 2, trainees learn how to:

  • Work in anti-oppressive ways and manage diverse learner identities.
  • Use theory and research informed practice to transform learners.
  • Manage learning barriers and/or performance issues.
  • Form and sustain active learning communities.
  • Work reflexively and promote reflective practice.

Full details on the module will be provided to all successful applicants in our Welcome Pack.  

Module approach

The Practice Education Stage 2 module is offered as either a fully online module or a blended delivery module which incorporates a mix of online and in-person learning.  Our modules are designed so that busy trainees can undertake part of their learning at their own pace, at a convenient time and in a convenient place, 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 2 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, 2022). In our online learning environment, we encourage peer group connections, collaborations and community by setting up “study circles” for both formal learning activity and informal support.  We also utilise a range of discussion boards and forums to ensure that support is available from course lecturers as required.

Module structure

The Practice Education Stage 2 module comprises of six sessions or ‘blocks’ of study run over a two-week time period. 

Sessions 1 and 6 are full day sessions, delivered either online or in-person depending on which delivery option is selected. 

Sessions 2 to 5 are delivered online and comprise of two 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 six core sessions are completed, trainees can attend our regular online ‘Assignment Q & A Clinics’ which are designed to help them connect with their peers, revise core materials whilst they undertake their work in the field with social work learners, and provide individualised support with completing the module assessment.

Module assessment

The Practice Education Stage 2 module is academically assessed at 20 credits which means that 200 hours of study is expected.  This is achieved through a mix of online independent study, seminars, tutorials, additional reading and research and the oversight of a social work learner on placement.

To complete the module candidates must:

  • Attend all sessions to evidence their engagement.
  • Provide a placement with a social work student or ASYE candidate undertaking a placement opportunity for purposes of professional development.  To be fully qualified as a Stage 2 Practice Educator, candidates MUST have worked with at least ONE pre-qualifying learner in either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of their Practice Education award.
  • Submit a portfolio of “evidence”, which includes two direct observations of the trainee in practice, student or ASYE candidate feedback, and a series of reflections on their teaching, supervision and assessment of the learner.
  • Submit a 2500 word academic assignment which consists of a structured review of an academic paper related to adult learning in professional practice contexts.  Trainees will be asked to examine how the research findings could support the PE to develop effective and inclusive learning environments, teaching and learning programmes and assessment and feedback practices.  Trainees will evaluate their own practice in light of the findings and in reference to the PEPS, identifying ways in which they will seek to develop their skills and the profile of Practice Education within their agency

Note - The assessment requirements are identical irrespective of whether applicants choose the fully online or blended delivery module option*

Module entry requirements

Practice Education Stage 2 trainees must have successfully completed the Practice Education Stage 1 award (or equivalent course), have at least three years post-qualifying experience, and demonstrate their ability to practice at the Professional Capabilities Framework level of “Experienced Social Worker”. 

To be fully qualified as a Stage 2 Practice Educator, candidates MUST have worked with at least ONE pre-qualifying learner in either Stage 1 or Stage 2 of their Practice Education award. Where the applicant has not previously overseen a pre-qualifying social work learner, they will be required to work with a pre-qualifying social work learnerover the course of the Practice Education Stage 2 module to comply with the professional standards. 

In addition, trainees should evidence their continued 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, Practice Education Stage 2 applicants must demonstrate that they are ready to study at Postgraduate level.  Usually, evidence of their Practice Education Stage 1 award is sufficient, but if this was not awarded at Masters level, applicants can outline any other post-graduate qualifications held (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

This academic year we will be running two Practice Education Stage 2 modules – one fully online module and one blended delivery module which incorporates a mix of online and in-person learning.  Both modules will be offered at postgraduate level and have identical assessment requirements, so applicants are free to choose whichever option best suits their learning needs and circumstances.   

The Practice Education Stage 2 modules are scheduled as follows:

  • PE 2 Blended Delivery – Commences Tuesday 23 April 2024
  •  PE 2 Online Delivery – Commences Tuesday 1 October 2024
  • PE 2 Blended Delivery – Commences Tuesday 29 April 2025

Module fees

The module fees for the 23/24 and 24/25 academic year are £1090 per candidate.  If an organisation sends multiple candidates, a discount is applied on a sliding scale dependent on the number of candidates enrolling on the course (please contact us for further details).

Ongoing support

The University of Birmingham’s Practice Education Team offers quarterly CPD days to all current and past Practice Education Trainees.  These two-hour sessions are designed to support attendees to consolidate and refresh their skills, receive peer support and maintain currency in practice. 

Each session is delivered online by the Practice Education Team and respond to national requirements for maintaining professional standards in practice education. 

The CPD sessions for the 23/24 academic year are scheduled as follows:

  • CPD Session #1 – Tuesday 5th December 2023: Diversity & Inclusion in Practice Learning
  • CPD Session #2 – Tuesday 6th February 2024: Supporting Students Struggling on Placement
  • CPD Session #3 – Tuesday 9th April 2024: Developing a Learning Culture Through Peer-Led Group Reflection
  • CPD Session #4 – Tuesday 9th July 2024: Working With Emotions in Social Work Practice

Please contact us to register your interest.

Module Application 

Our application portal for this academic year is now open.  Please apply online using the link below by the following deadlines:

  • PE 2 Blended Delivery Commencing 23rd April 2024 – Application deadline Friday 1st March 2024
  • PE 2 Online Delivery Commencing 1st October 2024 – Application deadline Friday 28th June 2024
  • PE 2 Blended Delivery Commencing 29th April 2025 – Application deadline Friday 7th March 2025


Please note that most Practice Education Stage 2 applicants are sponsored by their organisations as this helps to ensure professional development opportunities are available, supports those candidates interested in learning and development posts (including ASYE supervisor roles), and facilitates placements for social work students.  For this reason, applicants will normally need to liaise with the learning and development department in their organisation prior to any application. 

If an applicant is not being sponsored by their organisation (i.e. they are self-funding), 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 2 practise, 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 are happy to meet online or in person, but please ensure that you make contact in advance to set up an appointment.