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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Social Work

Postgraduate Course: Working with Self & Others: Skills Theories & Methods (SCWR11037)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Social and Political Science CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryWorking with vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals and groups is demanding for the social work professional who is often working in complex, chaotic situations and with service users who are not always receptive to such intervention. To operate at a satisfactory professional level and to ensure safety for self and service users, it is essential that professionals develop a heightened self awareness of their motivation for undertaking social work and an understanding of their own personal history and its impact upon their values, vulnerabilities and skills. Such awareness in turn informs the development of professional skills and the acquisition and application of theoretical methods of practice.
The focus on communication skills takes account of the cultural and situational context and addresses relevant issues with regard to power inequalities.
This course provides an experiential vehicle for the enhancement of self awareness; the learning and development of core communication skills and the opportunity to learn and apply key social work methods of practice. Essential understanding of group work processes is acquired via membership and participation in the group and the exploration of relevant theory. The course focus on self awareness and communication would be attractive to students from other programmes who wished to develop their personal and professional skills. The attention in semester 2 to theoretical practice perspectives would be of interest to students wishing to develop methods for engagement with people in a variety of complex contexts. The course will take account of international and cultural influences on communication, sense of self and engagement with others.
Course description Communication skills, group work theory and practice. Experiential self awareness and social work practice methods and simulation.

The method of teaching facilitates active student engagement, creates an experiential environment and provides the opportunity for application and practise of communication skills and theoretical models. The attention to group process and group work theory supports the activity undertaken elsewhere in the programme in relation to the Enquiry Action Groups (EAL). Students are also provided with the opportunity to practise skills of reflection and presentation; essential aspects of professional practice.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students must attend all groupwork sessions.
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Blocks 1-3 (Sem 1-2)
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 2, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Online Activities 38, Other Study Hours 5, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 131 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students are required to attend and participate in each group session (10% of overall mark). The essay component must be passed in order to pass the course.

Stage 1 Formative assessment: throughout semester 1, students will be required to keep a reflective journal of their learning in relation to self awareness and skills acquisition. A journal extract will be submitted mid course.

Stage 2 Summative assessment: At the end of semester 2, students will write a 2,000 word reflective analysis of their overall learning throughout the course in relation to self awareness, skills acquisition, knowledge and application of group work and social work practice theories. (90% of overall mark)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop and critically reflect upon their self awareness of their motivation for professional practice.
  2. Develop and critacally reflect upon their personal and professional communication skills, values and attributes.
  3. Demonstrate and analyse their understanding of the underpinning theory of communication skills, group work theory and social work practice methods.
  4. Apply and practise communication skills and theory acquisition via simulations of social work practice situations.
Reading List
Indicative reading.

Coulshed, V. and Orme, J. (2012) Social Work Practice. An Introduction.( 5th Edition) Basingstoke. Palgrave.

Dominelli, L. and Payne, M (eds) (2002) Social Work Themes, Issues and Critical Debates.( 2nd edition) Basingstoke. Palgrave.

Healy, K. (2012) Social Work Methods and Skills. Basingstoke. Palgrave.

Koprowska, J (2005) Communication and interpersonal skills in Social Work. Exeter; Learning Matters.

Lishman, J. (ed) (2007) Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care. Knowledge and Theory. (2nd edition) London. Jessica Kingsley

Lishman, J. (2009) Communication in Social Work. Basingstoke; Palgrave Macmillan
Milner, J. and OżByrne, P. (1998) Assessment in Social Work. London. MacMillan Press.

Payne, M. (2005) Modern Social Work Theory. Basingstoke. Palgrave. MacMillan

Ruch, G. Turney, D. and Ward, A. (2010) Relationship-Based Social Work: Getting to the Heart of Practice, London: Jessica Kingsley
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Lectures and groupworks
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Ruth Forbes
Tel: (0131 6)51 1485
Course secretaryMrs Shazia Leonard
Tel: (0131 6)50 4457
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