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

Undergraduate Course: Social Work Dissertation (UG) (SCWR10036)

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

The subject of the Dissertation will be an investigation of relevant, social work-related topic

It will include a review of existing research and come to a conclusion about the issues raised in the literature. The Dissertation will then set out the legal, policy and demographic contexts to the topic before going on to draw out lessons for policy and practice.

It should be noted that this dissertation may not be necessarily based on the collection of empirical data by the student, although students are expected to demonstrate a methodological approach to their study.
Course description a) Academic Description

The BSc Social Work dissertation at the University of Edinburgh is a dissertation which students work on through the Honours years of their degree programme, culminating in the submission of a 8,000 word dissertation towards the end of the programme.

b) Outline Content

Input on dissertation preparation is provided to support the process from proposal stage to final submission. Individual supervision is available throughout the process. Dissertation clinics, workshops and group tutorials are also held on a regular basis.

The proposal for a topic will be based upon a combination of the student's own interests, the subjects which staff are able to provide support on and what is feasible in terms of the literature, time and resources available.

The dissertation is as an independent course of study on a relevant social work related topic which is chosen by the student. The majority of the work for the dissertation falls within the Senior Honours year but students will be introduced to the assignment within their Junior Honours year and during that year will identify a topic they wish to explore and submit a dissertation proposal for approval and feedback. In the summer between Junior and Senior honours years, students will undertake an annotated bibliography to be submitted on the first day of the final academic year.

c) Student Learning Experience

Students are expected to be independent learners, to drive their own project. With support from the course organiser, from the dissertation supervisor and where appropriate, from other social work staff members, students will select a relevant social work topic which is of interest to them. Students will source and review the available literature and discuss implications for policy, practice and social work organisations. In many respects, the dissertation is the culmination of the student┐s degree and an opportunity to self-direct and develop their understanding of a specific aspect of the profession. The longer assignment poses specific challenges in relation to working independently and sustaining required effort but ultimately is an opportunity which facilitates a deeper knowledge and understanding of an area of interest to the student.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 3, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Other Study Hours 41, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 340 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment will based on:

Dissertation (8,000 words): 100%
Feedback Dissertation proposal: in year 3, semester 2, week 6, students submit a dissertation proposal outlining their plan for the project and providing an outline of initial literature which has been sourced. Students receive written feedback on the proposal from the dissertation supervisor, indicating whether or not the proposal has been accepted. If the proposal is not accepted, then students are asked to re-submit.

Formative Assessment
Students submit an Annotated Bibliography on the first day of semester 1, year 4.
Written, developmental feedback is provided by the dissertation supervisor.

Summative assessment: 8,000 word dissertation. This is double marked by the dissertation supervisor and a second marker from the subject area
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Ability to define and provide a clear rationale for the topic chosen
  2. Ability to carry out a literature search (through library and internet research)
  3. Ability to present an evaluation of findings
  4. Ability to identify implications for social work policy and practice.
Reading List
Allison, B. (1997) Preparing Dissertations and Theses London, Kogan Page.

Bell, J. (1999) (3rd ed.) Doing Your Research Project Buckingham, Open University Press.

Humphries. B (2000) Research in Social Care and Social Welfare, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Kohler, C. (ed) (1994) Qualitative studies in social work research, Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.

Mark, R. (1996) Research made simple: a handbook for social workers, Thousand Oaks, Calif: Sage.

Mounsey, C. (2002) Essays and Dissertations. Oxford, Oxford University Press.

Robson, C. (2002) Real world research: a resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers, Oxford, UK: 2nd ed. Madden, Mass.: Blackwell.

Watson, F, Burrows H and Player C. (2002) Integrating theory and practice in social work education, London: Jessica Kingsley.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Gary Clapton
Tel: (0131 6)50 3903
Course secretaryMs Siobhan Carroll
Tel: (0131 6)50 3079
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