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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 07/04/2022 09:19:12

Title of Module: Masters Dissertation: Social Work

Code: SWPG11003 SCQF Level: 11
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 60 ECTS: 30
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:D  Sidhva

Summary of Module

The dissertation module provides students with the opportunity to consolidate their learning. Students will have an opportunity to further develop their subject specific knowledge by conducting a literature review on a topic agreed with their dissertation supervisor. 
The Dissertation Module builds on this existing knowledge with a series of taught workshops.  In addition to the preparatory workshops, students will be supported in their development as researchers through individual support from a dissertation supervisor.     


Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:
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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1


Term 2


Term 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate the ability to utilise an understanding of research methods to critically review and synthesise an extensive body of literature.

L2. Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of ethical considerations in planning and conducting a literature review.

L3. Exercise autonomy through planning and executing a research project.

L4. Gather and analyse data using appropriate software where necessary to support and enhance the effectiveness of their research findings and skills.

L5. Report independent research project in a dissertation format in line with academic standards and conventions.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 11.

An understanding of critical practice in social work.
An understanding of critical thinking.
A critical understanding of a range of theories and techniques of practice and policy analysis.
A critical understanding of the process of decision making.
A critical understanding of person centred practice.
A critical understanding of processes of organisational change.
A critical understanding of inter-professional practice.
A critical understanding of evidence based practice.
A critical understanding of social work as a political activity.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 11.

The application of critical thinking in their own practice.
The application of theory, research and practice wisdom to critical practice.
The ability to critically apply both general and specialist knowledge to social work practice.
The application of a range of research methods in order to undertake a substantial research project.
Planning and executing a significant project of research, investigation or development.
The application of a range of standard and specialized research or equivalent instruments and techniques of enquiry
The ability to retrieve, interpret, critically analyse and manipulate primary and secondary information from a variety of sources including electronic sources.
The ability to critically analyse current issues in social policy and social work practice and to identify the political ideologies, interests and forces underpinning them.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 11.

The ability to demonstrate critical thinking through logical discussion and reasoned argument.

The ability to conduct analysis, evaluation and synthesis of complex information from a range of sources and understand the implications of these for critical practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 11.

Communicate critically, systematically and effectively verbally and in writing.
Critically Interpret complex primary material including statistical data.
Making effective use of information retrieval systems and making use of information technology to present documents in an appropriate form.
Demonstrate the ability to communicate, using appropriate methods, to a range of audiences with different levels of knowledge/expertise.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 11.

Taking responsibility for own critical learning and academic and professional development as ethical social work practitioners as required by the S.S.S.C. Codes of Practice for Social Services Workers.
Systematically identify and address their own learning needs both in current and in new areas, making use of research in source materials as appropriate.
Demonstrate the ability to practice in ways which draw on critical reflection on own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
Take responsibility for own work and contribute to the collective learning activities of the group in ways which support and develop.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Other:SWPG11001 Applied Law for Social Work Practice; SWPG11005 Social Work Values, Theory and Ethics in Practice; SWPG11006 Learning and Applying Lessons from Service Failures; SWPG10005 Direct Practice Placement A; SWPG11007 Direct Practice Placement B
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
Significant elements of this module will be delivered online, with opportunities for meaningful campus-based engagement. Learners will be required to engage with resources on the university’s Learning Experience Platform (LEP)/Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery6
Asynchronous Class Activity20
Independent Study574
Asynchronous Class Activity0
600 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Hardwick, L., & Worsley, A. (2011). Doing social work research. London: SAGE Publications Ltd.

Kiteley, R. and Stogdon, C. (2014) Literature Reviews in Social Work. London: Sage.

Whittaker, A. (2009) Research Skills for Social Work. Exeter: Learning Matters.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

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. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with: timetabled sessions (whether online or in-person); course-related learning resources including those accessed via the LEP/VLE and if they complete assessments and submit these on time.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardPsychology & Social Work
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelUg/Pg Social Work & CDAS
ModeratorG Graham
External ExaminerS Lucas
Accreditation DetailsScottish Social Services Council
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Dissertation 15,000 words
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark10026
Combined Total For All Components100% 26 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity, the module 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 module 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:
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.
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School.)

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.