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Foundations for social work practice

Are you interested in social work or social care? Whatever your starting point, this key introductory OU level 1 module will develop your knowledge of the key roles of social work, and introduce the social work standards and codes of practice relevant to each UK nation state. You will also build key skills in information and communication technologies (ICT), information literacy and reflective writing. This module includes a minimum 10-day period of verified practice learning in a social care/social work setting, which you will be responsible for organising and attendance at seven workshops.

Registration onto this module doesn't lead to automatic entry to a social work degree. To register for this degree, you must meet a number of criteria, outlined in the sections on the BA (Hons) Social Work (England) or (Scotland).

KYJ113 is not available to students studying in Wales, where students should study KZW113 instead.

Modules count towards OU qualifications

OU qualifications are modular in structure; the credits from this undergraduate-level module could count towards a certificate of higher education, diploma of higher education, foundation degree or honours degree.

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Module

Module code
KYJ113
Credits
60
Study level
OU SCQF FHEQ
1 7 4
Study method
Distance Learning
Module cost
See Module registration
Entry requirements
See Am I ready?

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Really enjoyed this module,the tutor was very helpful however I found it difficult somehow with the reflective writing, also with...
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I enjoyed this course but as not being sponsored by an employer I had to find my own placement which...
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What you will study

The module concentrates on writing about practice, and learning how to apply theoretical learning to practice contexts. The module is divided into eight blocks of learning. Each block covers a particular aspect of understanding social work and use case study material to illustrate and apply these ideas into practice situations.

Block 1 - provides an overview of some of the ideas about how individual psychology and identity are relevant to all social work settings. This includes what values underpin professional identity in the complex situations social workers deal with.

Block 2 - explores the social context that is important both to understand how services are delivered, but also the wider supports and environments that can support or restrict people’s opportunities and life chances. How social workers are concerned with these inequalities, and issues of social justice are examined.

Block 3 - uses children and family work to consider how and why social workers might come to be engaged with people.

Block 4 - concentrates on using issues facing older people in coming to consider the skills and approaches to formal assessment in social work, and how to establish an understanding someone’s situation.

Block 5 - develops social work approaches of groups and community work to support people with mental health distress. The themes of stigma and discrimination are explored in particular and the models of the constructive ways social workers can address these issues.

Block 6 - provides information about adults with learning disabilities and in particular how their engagement in reviews of services they receive personally, or more general service reviews and evaluations is an important principle for social work with all service users and their carers.

Block 7 - uses models of work with families with children with disabilities to consider partnership working and ideas of early intervention in social work.

Block 8 - concentrates on the issues of professional development and understanding of the personal and regulatory requirements for individuals wishing to develop their professionalism generally or continue with the social work programme.

In addition, to pass the module, you will be required to:

  • complete a minimum period of 10 days verified practice learning in a social care/social work setting. It will be your responsibility to arrange the practice experience including identifying a verifier.
  • shadow a social worker during this 10-day period. To carry out this shadowing experience you may be asked to provide a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) certificate. If you do not have a certificate and one is required, it will be your responsibility to negotiate and fund it.
  • attend seven one-day practice skills workshops (normally held on a Saturday) with your tutor group to provide you with the chance to explore the theoretical themes in relation to the realities of social work practice. Any workshop days missed will have to be added onto the verified practice element.

During this module you will develop your ICT skills and can gain marks for this both in continuous assessment and in the end-of-module assessment. There are also online discussions that take place immediately after each workshop to continue your interactions with your tutor and fellow students and develop your online communication skills.

Professional recognition

Successful completion of KYJ113 does not lead to automatic entry to the social work degree programme in England and Scotland as you must meet specific requirements. 

To subsequently gain sponsorship and entry onto the Social Work programme you must be working in a social care setting and be sponsored by your employer. You will then be able to count KYJ113, in addition to to any other relevant module studied e.g. An introduction to health and social care (K101), towards your degree. KYJ113 cannot be counted towards the social work degree in Wales. More details about the social work programmes can be found on the Social Work subject page.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Part of your tuition is delivered online so some of the contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion forums, although phone communication may also be used. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. Your tutor will run eight obligatory workshops (usually held on a Saturday) including two in the first month of study. Requests for excusal from a workshop are dealt with by the tutor running it. In addition to the eight workshops, you will be expected to participate in your online tutor-group discussion forum for workshop-learning consolidation exercises. Questions of a professional, social work nature should be directed to your tutor.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

You must submit your end-of-module assessment (EMA) online. The interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs) are accessed via the website.

Future availability

The details given here are for the module that starts in February 2015. We expect it to be available once a year.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

Course work includes:

8 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school


Entry

This is a key introductory OU level 1 module. OU level 1 modules provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, which help you to progress to modules at OU level 2.

You are strongly recommended to have some experience in a social care setting. This could include voluntary work. You are strongly recommended to consider studying An introduction to health and social care (K101), or a social science module e.g. Introducing the social sciences (DD101) before or alongside KYJ113. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

You will receive guidance of how to get started online in your first module mailing. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the module starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

Register

Start End England fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015 £2632.00

Registration closes 08/01/15 (places subject to availability)

Register

You may need to apply for some payment or funding options earlier. Please check the Fees and Funding information or contact us for information.

30 Jan 2016 Sep 2016 Not yet available

Registration opens on 12/03/15

This module is expected to start for the last time in February 2022.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your annual fees and spreads them out over up to a year, enabling you to pay your fees monthly and walk away with a qualification without any further debt. APR 5.1% representative.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).  

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU qualifications are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to achieve one. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in 10 OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the qualification you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your modules.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Maestro (UK only), Mastercard, Visa/Delta and Visa Electron. 

Gift vouchers

You can pay for part or all of your tuition fees with OU gift vouchers. Vouchers are currently available in the following denominations, £10, £20, £50 and £100. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. You may, for example wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

For more information about combining payment options, speak to an adviser or request a call back.


Note: Your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and therefore the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fees and funding information provided here is based upon current details for  year 1 August 2014 to 31 July 2015.
This information was provided on 31/10/2014.

What's included

All study materials are provided.

You will need

Microsoft Office (Microsoft Word and Excel).

Social work settings almost always require the use of Windows-based computers and Microsoft Office applications. Many digital literacy activities within the Social Work Programme are therefore based on the Windows operating system and on Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

Students should ensure that they have access to the above software for the duration of the programme, and we strongly recommend that they are run on a Microsoft Windows-based computer.

For more details refer to Digital literacy and use of computing on the Social Work degree.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this module as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2008 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.7 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information (including details of the support we provide).

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Howe, D A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory Palgrave £17.99 - ISBN 9780230233126

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Find out more about our services for disabled students.