SW0745 - Professional Social Work Practice

What will I learn on this module?

The module will build on your learning from the first year modules and will support you to move from taking early professional responsibility to developing the confidence and ability to act as an autonomous professional at a level suitable for application to register with Social Work England (SWE) and for entry to the assessed and supported year (ASYE) in employment. There will be an emphasis on moving from understanding to application and collaboration – developing your ability to form and sustain effective working relationships that lead to effective action. You will extend your understanding of the range of professional and organisational settings and multi-agency contexts for social work practice. You will be supported and challenged to become effective, self-confident and accountable practitioners able to deliver high standards of practice in social work alongside service users, carers and colleagues. The module will develop student’s understanding of the social work role and support their transformation to becoming ‘active’ professionals – confident in their sense of professional identity, with the ability to think and act purposefully within a variety of operational contexts, in order to initiate and manage change and demonstrate leadership. You will also explore the broader, systemic context of social work practice, including international social work, Environmental social work and Social Work in disaster areas. This includes exploring the impact of individual and structural issues on the lives of individuals throughout the life course and communities, and loss and grief.
This module includes a 100 day placement that gives you an opportunity to undertake statutory social work tasks. This will focus on learning related to all nine domains of the PCF providing practice learning opportunities that enable you to meet the threshold for qualified practice.

How will I learn on this module?

A combination of seminars, lectures and skills workshops led by module staff and a session led by Educators by Experience (EbEs) will be used. These will be informed by lectures relating to key concepts regarding the social work role and working in organisations, some of which will be delivered by specialist practitioners. Simulation activities and skills days will provide students with opportunities to develop more complex skills in a safe learning environment prior to their second placement.

The learning in practice will be supported and assessed by an appointed Practice Educator in the workplace who will provide regular supervision and feedback in relation to the development of practice competence across the PCF. Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid-placement review of progress. Teaching and learning strategies provided by the Practice Educator as your Practice Assessor will include direct observation, practical experience, individual supervision, discussion, written work, reading, reflection and directed learning. You will have a Personal Tutor to monitor professional development and provide systematic academic support during placement.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be offered formative feedback from your peers and seminar leaders during workshop sessions. In the practice learning opportunity you will receive feedback from your Practice Educators, service users and other social work practitioners and develop skills in self-reflection and evaluation of practice.
The summative assessment for this module will be an assignment which will focus on professional judgment and decision making and a Pass/Fail assessment of the student’s ability to work to the PCF at a qualifying level. During the practice learning opportunity you will be supported in your learning by a Practice Educator and have different opportunities to develop your skills and knowledge in order to practice as a qualifying social work practitioner in a variety of settings. Your Practice Educator will provide you with practice learning support and will be responsible for assessing your practice based learning. Throughout the duration of your practice-based learning you will have regular supervision with your Practice Educator in relation to your development or practice competence in meeting the requirements of the PCF. Supervision with your Practice Educator will support you in discussing professional issues and focus on encouraging your critical reflection on your learning experience. During the period of practice-based learning you will be supported by a Personal Tutor who will monitor your professional development and provide academic support during placement. Your Personal Tutor will attend two placement meetings to ensure you have a range of learning opportunities to meet you developmental needs and to review your progress.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

LO.1 Perform as an ‘active’ and confident social worker able to act autonomously, effectively and constructively and be accountable for their professional behaviour and personal development in accordance with Social Work England’s professional standards and PCF expectations

LO.2 Critically appraise the conditions for undertaking relationship based social work and demonstrate the practical ability to form and sustain effective transformational relationships with service users and other key stakeholders in complex contexts

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:

LO.3 Effectively utilise a broad range of professional skills required for operational practice including making a contribution to the development of others, and critically appraising the requirements for, and demonstrating, professional leadership as a social worker

LO.4 Practice at a level that successfully meets the guidance and standards set out in the Professional Capabilities Framework and Social Work England’s (SWE) Professional Standards so that, on successful completion, of the programme an application to register with SWE can be made

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

LO.5 You will demonstrate a developed sense of professional identity rooted in a sophisticated understanding of social work ethics and values. This will sit alongside an increased critical awareness of the legal, procedural and organisational context impacting on the lives of service users.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment

i. Submission of a complete and well-presented practice learning portfolio including a signed recommendation from the Practice Educator that the student has met the full range of professional capabilities at a qualifying level. Pass/Fail.
ii. This will comprise of a 3,000 word assignment based on an analysis of practice. This will include a focus on the evidence base for practice and research based knowledge, including risk, brokerage and partnership, judgement and decision making. 100% of mark

b. Additional formative

Formative assessment will be offered through a structured induction period by the Practice Educator. You will receive weekly supervision with oral and written feedback with the Practice Educator on their progress towards meeting the professional capabilities.
A mid-way meeting will take place between you, the Practice Educator and the Personal Tutor and this meeting will provide written formative assessment on your progress so far in meeting the professional capabilities.

Formative assessment will be offered by Personal Tutor who will review a plan of the analysis of practice supplied at least 6 weeks before submission date and provide written feedback via email on the proposed plan. You will also present an overview of the analysis to your Practice Educator and where appropriate other team members.


SW0741, SW0742, SW0743

Module abstract

This module will build on learning from the first year of the MA Social Work Programme. You will extend your understanding of the range of professional and organisational settings and multi-agency contexts for social work practice. This module incorporates both preparation for practice learning and 100 days practice learning. You will reflect on your learning, your professional identity and develop an increasing ability to collaborate effectively in the practice setting with those who use social work services and other stakeholders. The emphasis is on moving from understanding to application, collaboration higher level critical analysis and action. You will be supported to become an effective and self-confident practitioner delivering high standards of practice.

This module aims to support your development into a confident professional with the ability to think and act purposefully within a variety of operational contexts, in order to initiate and manage change and demonstrate leadership.

Learning in practice will be supported and assessed by an appointed Practice Educator in the workplace in relation to the development of practice capability to meet the outcomes within the Professional Capability Framework (PCF) and practice within relevant Social Work England’s professional standards. Formative assessment will be provided within regular supervision sessions and via a mid-placement review of progress.

Course info

Credits 30

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 2 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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