University of the West of Scotland

Undergraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 19/07/2022 10:29:56

Named Award Title:BA (Hons) Social Work Single

Award Title for Each Award: BA (Hons)  Social Work
BA  Social Studies
Dip HE  Social Studies
Cert HE  Social Studies

Awarding Institution/Body: University of the West of Scotland
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:Scottish Social Services Council
Maximum Period of Registration:Maximum Period of Registration: Because of the need to complete the degree within six years, students are only allowed one repeat attempt for assessed practice learning modules at levels 9 and 10. These criteria may only be varied in exceptional circumstances.
Mode of Study:Full Time
Campus:Dumfries
Paisley

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Simon Gittins

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

SQA National Qualifications

ENTRY: Year 1

SQA Highers:
BBBB plus English Standard Grade 2 or credit equivalent at SQCF level 5, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or above and Mathematics at Standard Grade 2, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or equivalent*.

SQA HNC:
(Graded Unit must be achieved at a minimum grade of B). Social Sciences, Social Care or Social Studies or other relevant discipline plus English Literature and English Language at GCSE, Standard Grade 2 or credit equivalent at SQCF level 5, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or above and Mathematics at Standard Grade 2, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or equivalent*.

SWAP Students
Will be considered with other applicants and should obtain an overall grade of B or above.


or GCE

A-Levels:
CCC, plus GCSE English Language, English Literature and Mathematics at grade C or above.

Irish Leaving Certificate:
BBBB plus English and Mathematics at least at Ordinary Level with Grade C or above.


or SQA National Qualifications/Edexcel Foundation

SQA HNC:
(Graded Unit must be achieved at a minimum grade of B). Social Sciences, Social Care or Social Studies or other relevant discipline plus: English Literature and English Language at GCSE, Standard Grade 2 or credit equivalent at SQCF level 5, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or above and Mathematics at Standard Grade 3, Intermediate 2 or National 5 at grade C or equivalent. Please note this is a requirement specified by the Scottish government.

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma:
24 points (to include 2 Higher subjects at 4 points plus Mathematics and English at Standard Level Grade 5 or above).

International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma:
28 points for consideration to second-year entry (to include 2 Higher subjects at 4 points plus Mathematics and English at Standard Level Grade 5 or above).


Other Required Qualifications/Experience

Additional requirements
It is a requirement of the SSSC, that all social work students are registered with the SSSC and that registration is maintained throughout the duration of studies. It is accepted that initially there can be a delay in some students obtaining registration; therefore, a period of grace may be granted on a case-by-case basis. In no case however will a student be permitted to progress to level 8, without having successfully completed their registration with the Scottish Social Services Council. In the event that for any reason the Scottish Social Services Council declines to offer registration to any student, or subsequently withdraws registration from any student, then that student will be suspended and subsequently withdrawn from the social work programme.

Transfer between programmes
Students cannot currently transfer into this programme.
Applicants who receive an offer to study Social Work on the Dumfries Campus should note that this offer is not transferrable to Paisley. Similarly, students may not transfer from Dumfries to Paisley once enrolled on the programme.

English language proficiency is a requirement, with candidates expected to achieve IELTs average standard of 7.0. It is essential for students to demonstrate skills in literacy and criticality over the course of the degree programmes to fully meet the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE).


Further desirable skills pre-application

Applicants should include in their personal statement evidence of knowledge and skills they have developed through engagement in any Social Work-relevant work-related activity they have engaged in, whether on a paid or voluntary basis.


General Overview

Social work is located within the School of Education & Social Sciences at UWS, where we currently offer Scottish Social Services Council-accredited undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.  The undergraduate programme is focused predominantly on developing the Scottish Social Work workforce, and benefits from strong links with placement providers across the West and South of Scotland. Students in Paisley and Dumfries complete a common programme of study, leading to Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) registration following successful completion of the Honours year.

Student Learning Journey 

Year 1: Foundations of Social Work 

Year one of the BA (Hons) Social Work programme introduces students to knowledge underpinning Social Work practice and the the diversity of the field of Social Work. Understanding inequality is key to social worker training, as reflected in the updates to the SSSC Standards for Social Work training and students will draw upon a range of Social Science disciplines including Sociology, Social Policy and Psychology and will be engaged in inquiry and research-based learning from the outset of the programme.

UWS students also have the opportunity to engage in a range of learning opportunities, supported by their  Academic Advisor, to enable them to make the most effective use of their time at university. 

Year 2: Developing professional identity, advanced knowledge and skills

Year Two of the  BA (Hons) Social Work programme builds on knowedge and skills developed in Year One and introduces students to more sophisticated understandings of social work theory, the relationship between, theory evidence and practice and specialist knowledge necessary for professional practice. In Year Two, students will develop a range of specialist knowledge and skills with an explicit focus on the development of professionalism to underpin the transition to practice.     

Year 3: Making the transition to professional practice

Year Three of the BA (Hons) Social Work programme focuses on students' transition to practice placement learning. The transition is scaffolded by engagement in an innovative simulated practice module in Term 1 in which students have the opportunity to work collaboratively to apply their knowledge to a range of practice scenarios. In Term 2, students normally attend their first practice placement.

Year 4: Becoming a professional Social Work practitioner

Year Four of the BA (Hons) Social Work programme normally begins with students' final practice placement. In Year Four students also engage with a 'capstone' inquiry/research-based assessment that links their knowledge with their practice experience. Students also engage in activities designed to prepare them for employment as professional Social Workers.  

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

From the outset, students engage with Social Work-specific knowledge and develop their knowledge and skills through individual, small group and full-cohort learning activities supported by an academic staff team with practice and research expertise in a wide range of areas (typically including working with vulnerable youth, children and families, older adults and dementia, mental health, criminal justice, supporting resilience among social work practitioners and social work intervention processes and clinical practice). There is an expectation that students will be ready to learn using a range of online platforms and the programme is delivered in hybrid mode (a blend of online and in-person learning). 

Given the professionally-accredited nature of the programme, there is significant emphasis on applied learning. Students engage in assessed placements (at Levels 9 and 10) typically within Social Work and/or Social Care agencies in the West and South of Scotland.

Students are assessed in a range of ways that may include essays, reports, exams/class tests, e-portfolios, individual and group presentations, reflective written and/or video diaries, role playing.

The programme learning, teaching and assessment strategy is designed to allow students to develop professional knowledge and skills incrementally across four years of full-time study.  During the final year of study students must demonstrate that they are able to meet all Standards in Social Work Education at the qualifying level. 


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The BA (Hons) Social Work programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate progression and development, stimulating reflection, self-regulation and constructive engagement with employability. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools. Additionally, students work closely with the Personal Academic Advisor to explore and develop key graduate attributes.  A graduate attributes map has been developed at programme level in order to illustrate how students achieve key graduate attributes over the course of their degree programme and wider engagement with life at UWS. 

The BA (Hons) Social Work provides a coterminous award combining academic and professional features in one qualification. The social work academic staff team maintains close links with a range of organisations such that students receive input from current practitioners and managers, service users and carers.

As noted above, student personal development planning (PDP) is supported through an embedded curriculum model of reflective self-learning across the four years of the BA (Hons) Social Work programme, as per the University of the West of Scotland Personal Development Planning (PDP) Policy (see http://www.uws.ac.uk/about-uws/services-for-staff/learning-innovation/strategies-and-policies/). 

Student support and individualised learning have been prominent and distinctive features of the predecessor programmes of the BA (Hons) Social Work over four decades and staff maintain a strong commitment to this tradition. These features continue at the heart of the current programme. Social Work is a challenging profession, that requires professionals  working in the sector to be able to seek support and guidance appropriately and to self-care. For these reasons, student support and personal development planning remain an integral part of progarmme delievry.

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The University of the West of Scotland is part of The Learning Network West and practice learning experiences for students at levels 9 and 10 are mainly provided through this organisation. At levels 9 and 10, students spend the equivalent of 160 days in directly assessed practice. Students are supervised in the field by qualified practice teachers, or a person currently undergoing training to become a practice teacher. Link workers, where appropriate, may also be a part of the learning team which supports students on assessed placements. The learning team is comprised of practice teachers, link workers (as appropriate) and the student’s asigned programme tutor.

Please note that any modifications to placement arrangements as a result of Covid-19, or any other unforseen circumstances, will be communicated to students as soon as it is possible to do so.

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Where a programme has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:

Students are required to attend all scheduled learning events and participate in all delivered elements of the programme and to submit assessment on time. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/current-students/rights-and-regulations/regulatory-framework

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

Equality and Diversity

Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the modules supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The programme complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/equality/

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of foundational theories, concepts and principles relevant to Social Work
A2Demonstrate a broad understanding of anti-racism and wider inequalities and their significance for Social Work practice
A3Demonstrate an appreciation of core Social Work values
A4Demonstrate an appreciation of how Social Workers learn from service failures
A5Demonstrate broad knowledge and understanding of the key foundational elements of sociology, social policy, psychology and research practice.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply knowledge of the foundational theories, concepts and principles relevant to Social Work to specific contexts and debates
B2Apply a range of routine skills and practices appropriate to Social Work practice
B3Deploy the conventions of appropriate academic discourse and communication
B4Apply key concepts from sociology, social policy and psychology within disciplinary contexts
B5Apply foundational methodological principles when working with data

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Present complex ideas using appropriate academic forms
C2Participate in group work activities
C3Demonstrate an appreciation of the range of appropriate registers and communication formats required in social work and academic practice.
C4Demonstrate an ability to use basic numerical and graphical skills to interpret quantitative information
C5Demonstrate core digital literacies appropriate to academic and social work practice

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Evaluate foundational concepts within social work
D2Evaluate foundational concepts within sociology, social policy and psychology
D3Analyse and respond to social work-related problems
D4Consider contemporary social problems from a social work perspectives
D5Construct analytical arguments based on evidence

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Show awareness of the roles of self and others in academic contexts
E2Recognise key professional accountabilities of social workers and social work students
E3Devise own areas of focus for exercises of inquiry and implement them under supervision
E4Identify and recognise the importance of self-directed learning
E5Engage in reflective practice

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
7APPD07001ASPIRE20check markcheck mark 
7SWRK07005Foundations of Social Work Practice20check mark  
7SWRK07002Investigating Poverty, Inequality & Discrimin20check markcheck mark 
7PSYC07001Introduction to Psychology (A)20check mark  
7SOCY07001Development of Social Policy20 check mark 
7SWRK07003Understanding & Learning from Svc Failures20 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award


Award of Cert HE Social Studies: at least 120 credits at SCQF Level 7 or above, including all cores for the level (UWS Regulation 3.15).

Students will be awarded distinction in line with University Regulation 3.25

Progression: In line with Regulation 3.13, students may progress to Level 8 provided they have undertaken all modules identified for Level 7 and achieved at least 80 programme credits from Level 7. Students must undertake the re-assessment for any modules that have not been passed, or retake the module(s) the following year.


B. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate insight into contemporary debates, issues and themes in Social Work
A2Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the legal, ethical, statutory and regulatory context of Social Work
A3Demonstrate a discerning understanding of the different ways that Social Workers work in partnership with people receiving services, in the context of inter-professional and integrated services
A4Demonstrate a discerning understanding of the contemporary Social Worker's professional and developmental requirements including in work with diverse communities
A5Demonstrate comprehensive knowledge and understanding of human lifespan development and the responsibilities of Social Workers that flow from that

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Show some discrimination in the application of key theories, concepts and principles from Social Work
B2Apply a range of Social Work communications practices, some of which are advanced
B3Apply relevant legal, ethical, regulatory and statutory requirements to Social Work contexts
B4Apply a range of concepts from human lifespan development theory to Social Work contexts
B5Identify and deploy appropriate academic practices

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate critical and evaluative conclusions in appropriate forms
C2Communicate effectively in group contexts
C3Demonstrate competence in inter-professional communication within a learning context

C4Understand and interpret quantitative and qualitative data relating to Social Work issues
C5Deploy digital literacies to present information effectively

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critically analyse contemporary debates, issues and themes in Social Work.
D2Critically analyse issues in human lifespan development.
D3Analyse and explain the evolution of key Social Work practices.
D4Evaluate and explain the inter-relationships between Social Workers and other professionals
D5Analyse and evaluate the relationship between data and social explanation.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Take some responsibility for own and others’ practice in collaborative settings.
E2Respond constructively to guidance and critique from senior colleagues and peers.
E3Devise own areas of focus for exercises of inquiry and manage them under guidance.
E4Demonstrate commitment to ethical, responsible and reflective academic practice
E5Demonstrate insight into issues of professional social work identity.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
8SWRK08007Assessing Need & Risk20check mark  
8PSYC08009Lifespan Development A20check mark  
8SWRK08006Professional Communication (Social Work)20check mark  
8PSYC08010Lifespan Development B20 check mark 
8SWRK08002Social Work Law20 check mark 
8SWRK08005Reflective Practice (Social Work)20 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

Award of Dip HE Social Studies: at least 240 programme credits of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF Level 8 or above, including all cores for the level (UWS Regulation 3.15).

Students will be awarded distinction in line with University Regulation 3.25

Progression: As an exception to Regulation 3.13, students may progress to Level 9 provided they have undertaken and passed all modules identified for Levels 7 and 8. Progression with credit deficit is not possible due to professional body requirements. Students must also meet any modular ‘must pass’ criteria.


C. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of a range of issues relevant to contemporary Social Work practice
A2Demonstrate critical and practice-informed understanding of how social workers recognise and challenge racism and inequalities
A3Demonstrate critical and practice-informed knowledge and understanding of how Social Workers work in partnership with other organisations and professional to help achieve positive outcomes for service users
A4Demonstrate critical understanding of at least one area of specialist social work practice

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Apply theoretical and conceptual frameworks critically in social work contexts
B2Practice in line with the Standards for Social Work Education by applying a range of social work techniques, approaches and skills, some of which are specialist, in the context of placement learning
B3Proactively identify legal and ethical considerations in social work contexts
B4Reflect a sophisticated understanding of key social problems and challenges in placement practice
B5Apply academic and research techniques with discrimination

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate complex ideas in appropriate formats
C2Communicate effectively with people using services in practice contexts
C3Communicate effectively with a range of professionals in practice contexts
C4Deploy ICT and digital skills, some of which will be advanced

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Critically analyse and evaluate the principal theories and concepts that underpin Social Work
D2Reflect critically on the relationship between social work theory and practice
D3Draw on a range of appropriate data sources to inform evaluative conclusions

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate sensitivity and professionalism in interactions with people using services and other relevant stakeholders
E2Exercise delegated responsibility in practice placement settings
E3Reflect on and improve own practice in placement contexts
E4Take responsibility for ensuring academic and research practice complies with ethical requirements

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
9SWRK09007Advanced Skills: Practice Simulation60check mark  
9SWRK09005Directly Assessed Practice60 check mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award


Award of BA Social Studies: at least 360 programme credits of which a minimum of 90 are at SCQF level 9.

Students will be awarded distinction in line with University Regulation 3.25

Progression: Students will not progress to SCQF level 10 carrying credit deficit (Reg 3.14). Students must also pass the practice element of their placement in full. Where a student fails the written element, they will be offered a T3 resit which they must pass in order to progress to level 10.


D. Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Outcomes should incorporate those applicable in the relevant QAA Benchmark statements

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate critical knowledge and understanding of Social Work practice and values, including anti-oppressive practice
A2Demonstrate critical insight into a specialist area of social work policy and/ or practice.
A3Demonstrate sophisticated understanding of research and inquiry techniques and methods.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Conduct professional Social Work practice in line with the SSSC Standards of Social Work Education at Level 10.
B2Apply appropriate specialist methods of inquiry in a social work context, including ethical research practices and effective project planning and implementation strategies.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Communicate the outcomes of professionally-situated research and inquiry in ways that demonstrate insight into the expectations of different academic and professional audiences.
C2Demonstrate professional communication skills in line with SSSC Standards of Social Work Education expectations.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Utilise advanced analytical and evaluative skills while conducting a complex inquiry exercise
D2Generate insights into a specialist area of Social Work policy and/ or practice

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Demonstrate critical reflexivity and self-awareness within your professional practice at Level 10
E2Demonstrate awareness and embodiment of anti-oppressive Social Work practice

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
10SWRK10008Professional Practice and Inquiry120check markcheck mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award

Award of BA (Hons) Social Work: 480 programme credits, which includes all cores at each level.

Honours Classification will be awarded in line with the University Regulations 3.20 to 3.24


Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of CertHE / DipHE or BA / BSc in Combined Studies.

For students studying BA, BAcc, or BD awards the award will be BA Combined Studies.

For students studying BEng or BSc awards, the award will be BSc Combined Studies.



Version Number: 1.11