Applied social work practice
This is a compulsory module of the BA (Hons) Social Work (Wales). You must be registered on the degree and have passed all Stage 1 modules, or have completed the Certificate of Higher Education in Social Work Practice (Wales) to study. You should be working in a practice context (paid or unpaid) and be sponsored by your employing agency. The module helps you to understand the application of social work practice, addressing key roles for social workers and relevant knowledge, values and skills for the social work process. It also includes a 90-day practice learning opportunity under the supervision of a practice educator.
What you will study
This is one of two compulsory modules that make up the second level of the three level degree in Wales. The degree programme has been approved by the Social Care Wales. See Applied social work practice (K216) for information about the version to be studied for the degree in social work for students in England and Scotland.
The study materials provide you with case examples and illustrations of social work practice (using audio and video); original discussion of key social work concepts and theoretical debates; and reprinted articles introducing important theoretical and ethical issues. Activities help you to apply your learning to your current social work practice. The module is structured in three blocks of study:
- Working with needs and risk
- Working with groups and networks
- Working with communities and diversity.
Each block consists of four units, with an introduction and conclusion to the module forming two additional units, so that there are 14 units in all.
The module will enable you to:
- make relevant application of the social work occupational standards and codes of professional practice in Wales
- apply underpinning knowledge, including theories and methods for practice, relevant to the six key roles of social work
- apply the four components of good practice: knowledge; values and ethics; skills; and social work process
- learn from the expectations and needs of individuals, families, carers, groups and communities who use services
- learn from other resource materials in the social work degree programme, so that you can meet the learning requirements appropriate to this level or stage of the degree.
The module also helps you to build on your skills in digital and information literacy, based upon Social Care Wales requirements.
This is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme leading to a degree in social work approved by Social Care Wales.
To study this module you must:
- be registered for the BA (Hons) Social Work (Wales) with the University
- be registered as a social work student with the Social Care Wales
- be sponsored by your employing agency
- be working in a practice context
- have passed both OU level 1 modules of the BA (Hons) Social Work (Wales) or Certificate of Higher Education in Social Care Practice (Wales).
If you are sponsored by a Local Authority, they will provide you with appropriate practice learning opportunities and may provide additional time to study and reflect on your practice according to the modules you are studying. If you are sponsored by an Independent Sector organisation, or if you are an independent student, the OU will arrange for you to be hosted by a Local Authority who will provide you with appropriate practice learning opportunities.
You will need to spend between seven and ten hours a week studying, in addition to the hours spent on the practice learning opportunity.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please speak to an adviser.
You will need to have access to a practice learning opportunity of 90 days, organised by your host Local Authority.
You will receive guidance of how to get started online in your first module mailing.
You’ll have access to a module website, which includes:
- a week-by-week study planner
- course specific study material
- audio and video content
- assessment details
- access to online tutorials and study forums
- access to teaching and library resources
You’ll also be provided with three module workbooks, four CD-ROMs and other printed materials. Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are provided on the website.
You will need
Social work settings almost always require the use of Windows-based computers and Microsoft Office applications. 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.
You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11). Any macOS is unsuitable with this module.
Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.
To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).
Our module websites comply with web standards and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.
Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.
It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop as described above.
Materials to buy
- Davies, M. (ed) The Blackwell Companion to Social Work (4th edn) Wiley-Blackwell £30.25 - ISBN 9781118451724