Course Content (including module information)
The main areas of study will be social work theory and practice skills, sociology, social policy, psychology and the law relating to social work.
Levels 1 and 2
Levels 1 and 2 of the degree will concentrate on giving students a foundation in these areas. There will be an emphasis on helping students develop practice skills in preparation for their practice placements, including knowledge of different methods of intervention.
At Level 3, students will explore the needs of different users of social services across child, family and adult services. This teaching is supported by practice placements that will allow further development of knowledge and practice experience.
Throughout the degree, there will be an emphasis on the application of knowledge, theory and values to the practice contexts of social work. Much of the teaching, particularly of social work practice skills, will be in small groups and will feature the use of role-play.
Assessment & Feedback
Assessment (general): The way in which you are assessed will vary according to the Learning objectives of each module. Some modules are assessed solely through project work or written assignments. Others are assessed through a combination of coursework and end of semester examinations. Details of how each module is assessed are shown in the Student Handbook which is provided to all students during their first year induction.
Feedback (general): As you progress through your course you will receive general and specific feedback about your work from a variety of sources including lecturers, module co-ordinators, placement supervisors, personal tutors, advisers of study and your peers. As a university student, you will be expected to take a greater role in reflecting on this and taking the initiative in continuously improving the quality of your work. Feedback may be provided to you in a variety of forms including:
- Feedback provided via formal written comments and marks relating to work that you, as an individual or as part of a group, have submitted.
- Face to face comment. This may include occasions when you make use of the lecturers’ advertised “office hours” to help you to address a specific query.
- Placement employer comments or references.
- Online or emailed comment.
- General comments or question and answer opportunities at the end of a lecture, seminar or tutorial.
- Pre-submission advice regarding the standards you should aim for and common pitfalls to avoid. In some instances, this may be provided in the form of model answers or exemplars which you can review in your own time.
- Feedback and outcomes from practical classes.
- Comment and guidance provided by staff from specialist support services such as, Careers, Employability and Skills or the Learning Development Service.
Once you have reviewed your feedback, you are encouraged to identify and implement further improvements to the quality of your work.
Learning and Teaching
At Queen’s, we aim to deliver a high quality learning environment that embeds intellectual curiosity, innovation and best practice in learning, teaching and student support to enable student to achieve their full academic potential.
On the Bachelor of Social Work degree we do this by providing a range of learning experiences which enable our students to engage with subject experts, develop attributes and perspectives that will equip them for life and work in a global society and make use of innovative technologies and a world class library that enhances their development as independent, lifelong learners. Examples of the opportunities provided for learning on this course are:
•Lectures: introduce basic information about new topics as a starting point for further self-directed private study/reading. Lectures also provide opportunities to ask questions, gain some feedback and advice on assessments (normally delivered in large groups to all year group peers).
•Workshops: where you will have opportunities to develop skills and apply theoretical principles to real-life or practical contexts.
•E-Learning technologies: Information associated with lectures and assignments is often communicated via a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) called Queen’s Online. A range of e-learning experiences are also embedded in the degree through, for example: interactive group workshops in a flexible learning space; podcasts and interactive web-based learning activities
•Seminars/tutorials: Significant amounts of teaching are carried out in small groups (typically 10-20 students). These provide an opportunity for students to engage with academic staff who have specialist knowledge of the topic, to ask questions of them and to assess their own progress and understanding with the support of peers. You should also expect to make presentations and other contributions to these groups.
•Self-directed study: This is an essential part of life as a Queen’s student when important private reading, engagement with e-learning resources, reflection on feedback to date and assignment research and preparation work is carried out.
•Personal Tutor: Undergraduates are allocated a Personal Tutor throughout their social work degree course who meets with them on several occasions during the year to support their academic development and is the key link to the University during their practice learning opportunities.
The main areas of study on the course are social work theory and practice skills, ethics and values, sociology, social policy, psychology and the law relating to social work. At Level 2 students are supported to develop their practice skills in preparation for their practice learning opportunities (placements). In addition there is an emphasis on strengthening students’ knowledge of the theories and methods of social work, social structural problems and the law as it relates to social work practice. Level 3 focuses on the development of extensive knowledge and skills in relation to social work with adults, families and children as well as criminal justice and the courts.
At Level 2 and Level 3 an extended semester is devoted to practice placements that allow a broad development of knowledge and experience. Practice learning opportunities are provided in a variety of social work agencies located throughout Northern Ireland, including social services offices, day centres, children's homes, family resource centres and voluntary organisations. Students are taught, supported and assessed on placement by an agency practice teacher. Their university tutor also provides support and linkage with the University-based programme.
In these placements students have to work full agency hours and will be seen as trainee professional social workers. Demand for placements is high, and students must be prepared to accept any placement that meets their learning needs. At Level 2 the placement is for 85 days from January through to May and at Level 3 it is for 100 days from January to June.
Much of the teaching will be in small groups and will feature the use of role-play, video and web technology. We have a committed group of service users and carers who contribute to the course planning, development and to teaching.