Critical social work practice
This module will support you in becoming a confident, analytical and reflective practitioner and independent learner. You will be encouraged to develop independent study and research skills specific to your practice interests. The module has a strong focus on practitioner research, guiding you towards sources of information to critically evaluate, in preparation for your first year as a qualified social worker. As part of this module, you will undertake a practice learning opportunity of 90 days.
Critical social work practice (KZW315) should be either the last module that you complete or should be studied at the same time as one of the OU level 3 option modules in your Open University social work degree.
What you will study
This module is composed of 10 learning guides that are delivered online. Each guide will take you two weeks to work through. They will direct you to the resources that you should be studying, and will include the following topics:
- anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice
- eliciting meaningful service user feedback
- ethical practice
- leadership and management in social work practice
- understanding continuing professional development.
In addition to this academic content, you will be required to meet the regulatory requirements specific to your nation and undertake 90 days of practice learning, assessed by a practice educator.
This is one of a set of modules that together constitute an approved programme leading to a degree in social work in Wales. The degree is approved by Social Care Wales.
KZW315 is a compulsory module of the BA (Hons) Social Work (Wales), successful completion of which, when allied to all other components of the degree, will lead to registration as a qualified social worker as endorsed by the 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
- have passed all your Stage 1 and 2 modules.
Your sponsoring agency or host Local Authority should provide you with an appropriate practice learning opportunity and may undertake to allow you one day a week study time for 120 credits per year. Further information for sponsoring agencies is available from the Wales office.
If you have any doubt about the suitability of the module, please contact us.
You should be in discussion with the Agency Co-ordinator in your sponsoring or host Local Authority (and The Open University in Wales if you are employed in the independent sector or are an independent student) to identify a possible Practice Learning Opportunity prior to the beginning of the module.
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 module materials
- audio and video content
- assignment details and submission section
- online tutorial access.
Electronic versions of most of the printed study materials are provided on the website. Multimedia activities are provided online and you will revisit some of the resources you used on KZW216.
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.