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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Social and Political Science : Postgrad (School of Social and Political Studies)

Postgraduate Course: International Social Work: Themes and Issues (PGSP11362)

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
SummaryThe social problems and conditions arising out of globalisation create significant areas of international responsibility and demands for expanded knowledge and understanding for the social work profession. Social work is a global, human-rights based profession. Professional social workers are on the frontline addressing some of today┐s most pressing international issues. Across the world, social work has been concerned with the impact of poverty and inequality on human development, and with promoting human rights and social justice for all human beings. International social work aims to promote social work education and practice globally and locally, with the purpose of building an integrated international profession that reflects social work┐s capacity to respond effectively in education and practice to the global challenges that are impinging on the well-being of large sections of the world┐s population. In other words, international social work aims to advance the causes of the vulnerable and marginalised with the aim of promoting social justice, equality, and human rights in a global context.

This course seeks to develop a conceptual and theoretical understanding of global social issues which concern human development, with a particular focus on the role of social work in addressing poverty and inequality and promoting human rights, social justice and development. In particular, the course will aim to prepare students with the knowledge and understanding that will enable them to work in a variety of settings and national and international organisations. The proposed course would seek to examine the emerging Global Agenda on Social Work and Social Development and other key international policies (e.g. Universal Declaration of Human Rights and UN Millennium Development Goals) that underpin humanitarian and development work where a number of social work and social welfare organizations operate.
Course description Week 1 International social work - context and themes

Week 2 Theories and concepts underpinning international social work

Week 3 Globalisation and its impact on individuals, families and communities

Week 4 Social work, poverty and development - A developing country perspective

Week 5 Social work with asylum-seekers and refugees

Week 6 Social work, diseases of poverty and community health

Week 7 Role of social work in disasters and humanitarian aid work

Week 8 Social work and human rights

Week 9 Millennium development goals and global agenda on social work and social development - implications for international social work

Week 10 International social welfare organisations - the UN, governmental and non-governmental organisations

A distinctive feature of the course is that it will use case study material from a variety of social work and social development settings. It will also provide opportunities for analysing systematic practical and strategic responses to explore the complexities, challenges and dilemmas faced by professionals in the international social work context. In addition, reflective inputs from key people involved in international social work (for example: British Association of Social Workers, International Federation of Social Workers, HIV Scotland, Waverly Care) will provide a unique dimension to understanding the global issues impacting on social work practice locally and globally.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course, students will:

1) develop a conceptual and theoretical understanding underpinning international social work;
2) develop a critical appreciation of key themes and issues confronting social work practitioners globally;
3) develop a critical understanding of the global agenda on social work and social development and other key policies underpinning social work and social development globally;
4) be familiar with key international social work bodies and other UN and non governmental organisation working to promote human rights, social justice and development.
Reading List
Indicative reading:

Beristain, C M. (2008). Humanitarian Aid Work: A Critical Approach. Philadelphia, University of Pennsylvania Press.

Briskman, L., and Cemlyn, S. (2005). Reclaiming Humanity for asylum seekers. International Social Work, 48(6): 714-24.

Cox, D., and Pawar, M. (2006). International social work: Issues, strategies and programmes. Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage.

Dominelli, L. (2010) Social Work in a Globalizing World, Polity Press, UK.

Gray, G. and Webb, S. (2010) International Social Work, Thousand Oaks, CA; Sage.

Haug, E. (2005). Critical reflections on the emerging discourse of international social work. International Social Work 48(2), 126-135.

Healy, L. (2008) (2nd Ed) International Social Work, Oxford University Press, USA.

Lyons, K. (2006) Globalisation and Social Work: international and local implications British Journal of Social Work, 36(3)365-380.

Lyons, K. Manion, K and Carlsen, M. (2006) International perspectives on social work: global conditions and local practice, Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Nelson, P. (2007). Human Rights, the Millennium Development Goals, and the Future of Development Cooperation. World Development Vol. 35, No. 12, pp. 2041┐2055.

World Health Organization. (2005). Health and the Millennium Development Goals. Geneva, WHO.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr George Palattiyil
Tel: (0131 6)50 3907
Course secretaryMiss Jodie Fleming
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602
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