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

Postgraduate Course: Working with Risk, trust and Complexity (PG) (SCWR11040)

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 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 This course is only available to MSW Social Work students (PTSOWRK).
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS2) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 35, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 29, Revision Session Hours 2, Other Study Hours 55, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 271 )
Additional Information (Learning and Teaching) Independant study
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Three main SiESWE learning requirements will be principally addressed in this course: units 3,4 and 6

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. critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise complex relationships between risk, trust and need in social work and social care
  2. critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise tensions between competing values, rights, needs and responsibilities in making assessments and delivering interventions to a diverse group of service users
  3. critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise the contested nature of social work within its wider political and global context
  4. critically analyse, evaluate and synthesise the nature, characteristics and boundaries of professional activity and judgement in an uncertain and changing policy and practice arena.
Reading List
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.

Connolly, M. (2017). Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Child Protection: Current Debates and New Directions. London: Palgrave.

Mitchell, W., & Glendinning, C. (2008). Risk and adult social care: Identification, management and new policies. What does UK research evidence tell us? Health, Risk and Society, 10(3), 297-315.

Munro, E. (2005). A systems approach to investigating child abuse deaths. British Journal of Social Work, 35 (4), 531┐546.

Smith, C. (2005). Understanding trust and confidence: Two paradigms and their significance for health and social care. Journal of Applied Philosophy, 22 (3), 299┐316.

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

Stanford, S., Sharland, E., Heller, N. R., Warner, J. (2017). Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Mental Health Policy and Practice. London: Palgrave.

Stevens, I and Cox, P (2008) ┐Complexity Theory: Developing New Understandings of Child Protection in Field Settings and in Residential Child Care┐, British Journal of Social Work 38(7): 1320-1336.

Trotter, C., McIvor, G. and McNeill, F. (Eds) (2016). Beyond the Risk Paradigm in Criminal Justice. London: Palgrave.

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

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
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Steve Kirkwood
Tel: (0131 6)50 6646
Course secretaryMr Joe Burrell
Tel: (0131 6) 51 3892
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