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Social Work Across the Lifecourse - SPY00063H

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Polly Sykes
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This module will introduce you to theories and models used in social work and how this knowledge is applied in assessment, planning and interventions in social work across the lifecourse (covering work with children, adults and older people in various settings).  The module takes a case study approach to learning which integrates the learning of theories/ knowledge with practice .

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23 to Spring Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module will introduce you to theories and models for social work and how this knowledge is used in assessment, planning and interventions across social work with children and adults. The module will use case studies (covering adults social work and children & families social work)  as well as lectures and seminars to allow you the opportunity to apply theory to practice and understand the knowledge and skills required to undertake complex and dynamic cases in a variety of social work contexts. 

You will also be introduced to ethics and values  in social work  practice by using challenging and ethically complex case study scenarios. This learning is supported by a 2  'Skills Days' on ethics and values at the beginning of the term. 

Module learning outcomes

 Having completed the module, students should:


LO1:  Demonstrate  insight into how social workers, in various settings, evaluate and apply social work knowledge and theory.

LO2:  Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of  approaches and models for assessment and intervention in social work practice.

LO3:  Demonstrate the ability to negotiate practice dilemmas with a view to sound and ethical decision making and with an understanding of the importance of multi-agency working. 

Module content

This module will cover key theories for social work (Theories of Human Development, Life Course theories, sociological theories) as well as developing the skills needed to apply these theories in practice (Assessment Skills, Risk assessment, multi-agency working and decision making). 

There are number of  skills days throughout the module which focus key topics relevant to applying theory  to practice in social work across the whole life course. The Skills Days integrated into this module are: 

Ethics & Values x2

Understanding Dementia

Understanding Autistic Spectrum Disorder

Trauma-Informed Practice

Substance Misuse

Domestic Abuse

Gender & Sexuality

Race & Ethnicity

Theory Into Practice

Reflective Practice Skills

Assessment & Intervention Skills

Multi agency, Partnership & Integrated Working


Students will also be required to undertake a shadowing day during the module in order to develop their understanding of the everyday work of social workers in statutory settings. 






Task Length % of module mark
Case Study Analysis
N/A 70
Intervention Plan
N/A 30

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Case Study Analysis
N/A 70
Intervention Plan
N/A 30

Module feedback

Students will receive feedback on summative assessments within 4 weeks of submission. Students receive formative supports throughout the module during weekly facilitated case study workshops. 

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.