University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Work

Undergraduate Course: Working with Risk, trust and Complexity (UG) (SCWR10032)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis course is taught using a variety of teaching and learning approaches including lectures and small groups. The course builds on previous teaching on the theory, skills and values of social work in its different contexts and takes it into the more complex areas of social work, in Scotland and beyond. This will be done through teaching and learning on subjects which will include risk, risk assessment and management, trust and need, boundaries and responsibilities, abuse and protection, ethics and values, support and empowerment of service users across a range of service user groups.
Course description Lectures, groupwork and tutorials.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must have passed all Year 3 courses.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 35, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 29, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Other Study Hours 55, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 271 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) The course will be assessed by different means:

4,000 word essay (80%)
Group Presentation (20%)- In which participation in planning and presentation will form the basis of assessment.

Students are required to pass both components to pass the course.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Complex relationships between risk, trust and need in social work and social care
  2. Tensions between competing values, rights, needs and responsibilities in making assessments and delivering interventions to a diverse group of service users
  3. The contested nature of social work within its wider political and global context
  4. The nature, characteristics and boundaries of professional activity and judgement in an uncertain and changing policy and practice arena
Reading List
Cree, V.E. (ed) (2010) Social Work A Reader, London: Routledge ¿ a major source book of reading for this course and worth buying your own copy!

British Journal of Social Work (2010) Issue number 40 - special issue on Risk ¿ available through the library e-journals online ¿ a collection of articles of interest here.

Glendinning, C. (2006) Risk and Adult Social Care: what does the research evidence tell us? York: University of York. Available at

Stalker, K. (2003) Managing risk and uncertainty in social work: A literature review. Journal of Social Work, 3 (2):211-233 ¿ available online.

Other reading

Adams, R. (2009) ¿Encountering complexity and uncertainty¿, in Adams, R., Dominelli, L. and Payne, M. (eds) (2009) Practising Social Work in a Complex World, 2nd edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan: 15-33.

Auchie, D. (2008) Evidence. Law Basics. 3rd edition. Edinburgh: W.Green.

Banks, S. and Gallagher, A. (2009) Ethics in Professional Life, Virtues for Health and Social Care, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Beckett, C. and Maynard, A. (2005) Values and Ethics in Social Work. An Introduction, London: Sage.

Bigby, C., Fyffe, C. and Ozanne, E. (2007) Planning and Support for People with Intellectual Disabilities, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers (esp ch 3)

Braye, S. and Preston-Shoot, M. (2006) ¿The Role of the Law in Welfare Reform, International Journal of Social Welfare (2006), 15: 19-26.

Cambridge, P and Carnaby , S (2005) Person-Centred Planning and Care Management with People with Learning Disabilities. London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers. (esp ch 13)

Clark, C.L. (2000) Social Work Ethics: Politics, Principles and Practice, Basingstoke: Palgrave.

Cleland, A. (2008) Child Abuse, Child Protection and the Law, Edinburgh: Thomson/W.Green.

Cleland, A. & Sutherland, E. (2001) Children's Rights in Scotland. 2nd edition. Edinburgh: W. Green/Sweet & Maxwell.

Cohen, S. (1972) Folk Devils & Moral Panics: The Creation of the Mods and Rockers, London: MacGibbon and Kee.

Craig, G., Burchardt, T. and Gordon, D. (eds) (2008) Social Justice and Public Policy: Seeking Fairness in Diverse Societies, Bristol: The Policy Press.

Cree, V.E. and Davis, A. (2007) Social Work: Voices from the Inside, London: Routledge.

Cree, V.E. (ed) (2003) Becoming a Social Worker, London: Routledge.

Doel, M. and Best, L. (2008) Experiencing Social Work. Learning from Service Users, London: Sage.

Ferguson, I. (2007) Reclaiming Social Work: Challenging Neo-liberalism and Promoting Social Justice, London: Sage.

Ferguson, I. and Woodward, R. (2009) Radical Social Work in Practice. Making a Difference, Bristol, Policy Press.

Fook, J. (2007) ¿Uncertainty. The Defining Characteristic of Social Work?¿ in Lymbery, M. and Postle, K. (eds) Social Work: A Companion to Learning, London: Sage: 31-39.

Furness, S. and Gilligan, P. (2010) Religion, Belief and Social Work. Making a Difference, Bristol, Policy Press.

Galilee, J. (2005) Literature Review on media representations of social work and social workers (21st Century Social Work, Social Work Scotland), Edinburgh: Scottish Executive. Available at

Gray, B. and Jackson, R. (eds) (2002) Advocacy and Learning Disability, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Harris, J and White, V. (2009) Modernising Social Work: Critical Considerations, Bristol: Policy Press

Hawkins, P and Shohet, R (2007) Supervision in the Helping Professions, 3rd edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press.

Harrison, K. and Ruch, G. (2007) ¿Social work and the use of self. On becoming and being a social worker¿, Social Work: A Companion to Learning, London: Sage.

Humphries, B. (2004) ¿Taking sides: social work research as a moral and political activity¿, in Lovelock, R., Lyons, K. and Powell, J. (eds) Reflecting on Social Work ¿ Discipline and Profession, Aldershot: Ashgate: 113-129.

James, A.L. (2004) ¿The McDonaldization of social work ¿ or come back Florence Hollis, all is (or should be) forgiven¿, in Lovelock, R., Lyons, K. and Powell, J. (eds) Reflecting on Social Work ¿ Discipline and Profession, Aldershot: Ashgate: 37-54.

Jordan, B. and Parton, N. (2004) ¿Social work, the public sphere and civil society¿, in Lovelock, R., Lyons, K. and Powell, J. (eds) Reflecting on Social Work ¿ Discipline and Profession, Aldershot: Ashgate: 20-36.

Kemshall, H. (2002) Risk, Social Policy and Welfare, Buckingham, Open University Press.

Lonne, B., Parton, N., Thomson, J., and Harries, M. (2009). Reforming Child Protection, London: Routledge.

Midgley, J. (2001) ¿Issues in international social work: Resolving critical debates in the profession¿, Journal of Social Work 1 (1): 21-35.

Morris, K. (ed.) (2008) Social Work and Multi-Agency Working. Making a Difference, Bristol, Policy Press.

Plumtree, A. (2005) Getting It Right: Social Work Court Reports in Child Care Cases in Scotland. London, BAAF.

Race, D. (2002) Learning Disability: A Social Approach, London: Routledge.

Richards, P., Morris, S. and Richards, E. (2008) Turning Up the Volume: The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004. Edinburgh: Scottish Government Social Research web document at

Sashidharan, S. P. (2003) Inside Outside: Improving Mental Health Services for Black and Minority Ethnic Communities in England, Leeds: Department of Health. (available online at

Sayce, L. (2009) ¿Risk, rights and anti-discrimination work in mental health¿, in Adams, R., Dominelli, L. and Payne, M. (eds) Practising Social Work in a Complex World, 2nd edition, Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan: 99-113.

Scottish Executive (2000) The Same As You? Review of Learning Disability Services in Scotland, Edinburgh: The Stationery Office, Available at

Sharp, L. and Ross, M. (2008) The Vulnerable Witnesses (Scotland) Act 2004, Text and Commentary, Dundee: Dundee University Press.

Sheppard, M. (2002) ¿Mental health and social justice: gender, race and psychological consequences of unfairness¿, British Journal of Social Work 32(6): 779¿797.

Smith, M. (2009) Rethinking Residential Child Care, Bristol: Policy Press

Stevens I., Hassett P (2007) ¿Applying complexity theory to risk in child protection practice¿, Childhood, 14(1):129¿46.

Steyaert, J. and Gould, N. (2009) ¿Social Work and the Changing Face of the Digital Divide¿ British Journal of Social Work, 39 (4): 740-53.

Swain, J., French, S., Barnes, C., and Thomas, C. (2004). Disabling Barriers, Enabling Environment, London, Sage.

Titterton, M. (2005) Risk and Risk Taking in Health and Social Welfare, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Vincent, S. (2009) Child Death and Serious Case Review Processes in the UK, Briefing 5, Edinburgh: CLCP, The University of Edinburgh, Available at 5 - Child Death SV.pdf/

Waterson, J. (1999) Redefining community care social work: needs or risk led? Health and Social Care in the Community, 7 (4):276-279

Webb, S.A. (2006) Social Work in a Risk Society. Social and Political Perspectives, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures and Groups
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMr Bill Whyte
Tel: (0131 6)51 1462
Course secretaryMiss Emma Thomson
Tel: (0131 6)50 3060
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:51 am