SW0414 - Values and Social Justice

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This module focuses on enabling the students to explore and understand social work values and their own values and how these might impact on social work practice. This module will include 6 days of skills development.
Students will be supported to understand the profession’s ethical base and to recognise the importance of valuing diversity within the context of current social work practice. They will also explore the relationship between social policy and social work values. A rights based approach will be adopted for the module and service users and carers will make a key contribution. Learning will be supported by direct teaching, directed learning and contact with service users and carers.
Assessment strategies will explore the student’s understanding of service user and carer perspectives through a formative assessment of a presentation to a seminar group with feedback from peers and tutor and a summative assignment on this topic


Books and Reports

Adams, R. Dominelli, L. & Payne, M. (2009) Practising social work in a complex world. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Banks, S. (2012) Ethics and values in social work. 4th Edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Beckett, C. & Maynard, A. (2013) Values and ethics in social work. 2nd edn. London: Sage Publications.
Brayne, H. & Carr, H. (2013) Law for social workers (12th ed.) Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Cree, V. & Davis, A. (2007) Social work: Voices from the inside. London: Routledge.
Cunningham, J. and Cunningham, S. (2012) Social work and social policy an introduction. Exeter: Learning Matters Ltd.
Dalrymple, J. & Burke, B. (2006) Anti oppressive practice: Social care and the law. Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Dickens, J. (2009) Social work and social policy. London: Routledge.
Doel, M. & Best, L. (2008) Experiencing social work: Learning from service users. London: Sage.
Hugman, R. (2013) Culture, values and ethics in social work: Embracing diversity. Abingdon: Routledge.
Simmons, G. & Connor, S. (2011) Social policy for social welfare professionals. Bristol: Policy Press.
Thompson, N. (2012) Anti-discriminatory practice. 5th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave MacMillan.
Warren, J. (2007) Service user and carer participation in social work. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Journal articles

Barnes, V. (2012) ‘Social work and advocacy with young people: Rights and care in practice.’ British journal of social work, 42 (7) pp. 1275 – 1292.
Chaffer, W., Manby, M. & Race, T. (2012) ‘Exploring the experiences of parents and carers whose children have been subject to child protection plans’ British journal of social work, 42 (5), pp. 887 – 905.
Gupta, A. & Blewett, J. (2008) ‘Involving service users in social work training on the reality of family poverty: A case study of a collaborative project.’ Social work education, 27 (5) pp. 459 – 473.
Harrison, G. & Turner, R. (2011) ‘Being a “culturally competent social worker”: Making sense of a murky concept in practice.’ British journal of social work, 41 (2) pp. 333 – 350.
Reisch, M & Jayshree, S. J. (2012) ‘The new politics of social work practice: understanding context to promote change.’ British journal of social work, 42 (6) pp. 1132 – 1150.
Strier, R. & Binyamin, S. (2010) ‘Developing anti oppressive services for the poor: A theoretical and organisational rationale’. British journal of social work, 40, pp. 1908 – 1926.
Van Ewijk, H. (2009) ‘Citizenship-based social work’, International social work, 52 (2) pp. 167 – 179.
British Journal of Social Work
Disability and Society
Journal of Multicultural Social Work
Journal of Social Work
Social Policy and Administration

Electronic Resources


The syllabus will include:
- An introduction to the values and ethics of social work
- Opportunities for students to explore their own values and the importance of recognising and celebrating diversity and anti oppressive practice
- The historical development of social work and legislation in this area –for example the Human Rights Act (1998) and Equality Act (2010)
- An introduction to social policy including political ideology and the issues of poverty and class
- Service users and carer perspectives
- The current social, economic and political context of social work


This module aims to support learners to move from entry level to an awareness of their own value base, the value base of social work and social work in its current context, and of the perspectives of service users and carers.
The module will aim to enable students to explore and consider their own value base and reflect on this in considering their impact on their future social work practice. This also aims to provide the students with knowledge of the economic, social and political context in which to understand current social work practice; examine the impact of social policy on disadvantaged people in the light of social work values; explore issues of diversity and legislation on rights and equality.
This module is the first part of the thread which scaffolds learning in relation to values, diversity law and social justice within the Professional Capabilities Framework. This supports learning about law and social justice at level 5.


On successful completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. To reflect on their own value base in relation to social work practice
2. To demonstrate an understanding of the perspectives and views of service users and carers
3. To demonstrate an understanding of the social, political and economic context of current social work practice and start to evaluate the impact of policy on the needs and rights of service users and carers
4. To develop an understanding of the importance of diversity, equality and inequality, and anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice
5. To demonstrate knowledge of relevant legislation in the area of human rights and diversity and how this applies to social work practice
6. To understand ethical principles underpinning social work practice and their relevance to practice



SW0411, SW0412, SW0413, SW0415, SW0416


Lead lectures will provide the knowledge base and will be linked to seminars and interactive workshops, which will focus on identified themes. Seminar discussions will be facilitated by the use of small group and individual exercises, including case studies which require the students to reflect on their values. Teaching will be informed by a rights based approach and the perspectives of service users and carers.


a. Summative assessment and rationale for tasks
A 2000 word assignment exploring the student’s understanding of social work values and the perspective of service users and carers.
b. Additional formative assessment – detail of process and rationale
Students will interview a service user or carer exploring their previous experiences using social care services and give a short presentation about their interview and their learning in a seminar. This is designed to link the student’s understanding of the perspectives of service users and carers and the value base of social work.
c. Indication of how students will get feedback and how this will support their learning
Feedback will be given by seminar tutor and fellow students (and where possible a service user or carer) and will support the student in planning and writing their summative assessment.

Course info

UCAS Code L502

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020 or September 2021

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