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Comparative social work: Concepts & contexts for research & practice - SPY00115M

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  • Department: Social Policy and Social Work
  • Module co-ordinator: Ms. Jennifer Threlfall
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2019-20

Module aims

  • To introduce students to different approaches to culture in social work research and practice.
  • To explore how cultural context informs key concepts for the social work field.
  • To examine localised approaches to social problems.
  • To facilitate cross-cultural analysis of social work research, theory, policy and practice in different social work domains, such as child protection, mental health and disability.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate an awareness of culturally relevant approaches to knowing and helping in the social work field.
  • Critically reflect on their cultural context and how it informs their understanding of social work research and practice.
  • Evaluate how culture shapes key underpinning concepts for social work, including how debates on cultural relativism relate to formulations for ethical practice.
  • Comparatively analyse localised approaches to social work research, theory, policy and practice across different domains
  • Demonstrate an understanding to the cross-cultural adaptation of social interventions.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay (5000 Words)
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay (5000 Words)
N/A 100

Module feedback

In teaching sessions, via email and in supervision.

Indicative reading

Gray, M., Coates, J. and Yellow Bird, M. (Eds) (2008). Indigenous social work around the world: towards culturally relevant education and practice. Aldershot: Ashgate.

Bryant, L (Ed) (2015). Critical and creative research methodologies in social work. Aldershot: Ashgate

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.