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Foundations for social work practice

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Are you interested in social work or social care? Whatever your starting point, this key introductory Level 1 course will develop your knowledge of the key roles of social work, and introduce the social work standards and codes of practice relevant to each UK nation state. You will also build key skills in information and communication technologies (ICT), information literacy and reflective writing. This course includes a minimum 10-day period of verified practice learning in a social care/social work setting, which you will be responsible for organising and attendance at seven workshops.

Registration onto this course doesn't lead to automatic entry to a social work degree. To register for this degree, you must meet a number of criteria, outlined in the sections on the BA (Hons) Social Work (England) or (Scotland).

KYJ113 is not available to students studying in Wales, where students should study KZW113 instead.

Register for the course


Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1310.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1310.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2160.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1310.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1310.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2000.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£1310.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.
Start End Fee Register
31 Jan 2015 Sep 2015
£2632.00
Choose country above

Registration opens on 30/04/14

See below for information about part time tuition fee loans available for study towards a qualification.

This course is expected to start for the last time in February 2017.

*Fees may vary by country.

What you will study

The course concentrates on writing about practice, and learning how to apply theoretical learning to practice contexts. The course is divided into eight blocks of learning. Each block covers a particular aspect of understanding social work and use case study material to illustrate and apply these ideas into practice situations.

Block 1 - provides an overview of some of the ideas about how individual psychology and identity are relevant to all social work settings. This includes what values underpin professional identity in the complex situations social workers deal with.

Block 2 - explores the social context that is important both to understand how services are delivered, but also the wider supports and environments that can support or restrict people’s opportunities and life chances. How social workers are concerned with these inequalities, and issues of social justice are examined.

Block 3 - uses children and family work to consider how and why social workers might come to be engaged with people.

Block 4 - concentrates on using issues facing older people in coming to consider the skills and approaches to formal assessment in social work, and how to establish an understanding someone’s situation.

Block 5 - develops social work approaches of groups and community work to support people with mental health distress. The themes of stigma and discrimination are explored in particular and the models of the constructive ways social workers can address these issues.

Block 6 - provides information about adults with learning disabilties and in particular how their engagement in reviews of services they receive personally, or more general service reviews and evaluations is an important principle for social work with all service users and their carers.

Block 7 - uses models of work with families with children with disabilities to consider partnership working and ideas of early intervention in social work.

Block 8 - concentrates on the issues of professional development and understanding of the personal and regulatory requirements for individuals wishing to develop their professionalism generally or continue with the social work programme.

In addition, to pass the course, you will be required to:

  • complete a minimum period of 10 days verified practice learning in a social care/social work setting. It will be your responsibility to arrange the practice experience including identifying a verifier.
  • shadow a social worker during this 10-day period. To carry out this shadowing experience you may be asked to provide a current Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) or Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) certificate. If you do not have a certificate and one is required, it will be your responsibility to negotiate and fund it.
  • attend seven one-day practice skills workshops (normally held on a Saturday) with your tutor group to provide you with the chance to explore the theoretical themes in relation to the realities of social work practice. Any workshop days missed will have to be added onto the verified practice element.

During this course you will develop your ICT skills and can gain marks for this both in continuous assessment and in the end-of-module assessment. There are also online discussions that take place immediately after each workshop to continue your interactions with your tutor and fellow students and develop your online communication skills.

Entry

This is a key introductory Level 1 course. Level 1 courses provide core subject knowledge and study skills needed for both higher education and distance learning, which help you to progress to courses at Level 2.

You are required to have some experience of work in a social care setting. This could include voluntary work. You are strongly recommended to consider studying An introduction to health and social care (K101), or a social science course e.g. Introducing the social sciences (DD101) before or alongside KYJ113. 

If you have any doubt about the suitability of the course, please contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service.

Preparatory work

You will receive guidance of how to get started online in your first course mailing. This will provide you with information on using your computer for OU study and working with the Computing Guide. For example, it explains how to access and use your website and online discussion forums. If you have time before the course starts, you can work through this and explore all the online services available to you.

Regulations

As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the Module Regulations and the Student Regulations which are available on our Essential documents website.

If you have a disability

Written transcripts of any audio components and Adobe Portable Document Format (PDF) versions of printed material are available. Some Adobe PDF components may not be available or fully accessible using a screen reader. Other alternative formats of the study materials may be available in the future. Our Services for disabled students website has the latest information about availability.

If you have particular study requirements please tell us as soon as possible, as some of our support services may take several weeks to arrange. Visit our Services for disabled students website for more information, including:

  • help to determine your study requirements and how to request the support that you need  
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSAs)
  • using a computer for OU study
  • equipment and other support services that we offer
  • examination arrangements
  • how to contact us for advice and support both before you register and while you are studying.

Study materials

What's included

All study materials are provided.

You will need

Microsoft Office for word processing or spreadsheet activities.

Computing requirements

You will need a computer with internet access to study this course as it includes online activities, which you can access using a web browser.

  • If you have purchased a new desktop or laptop computer since 2007 you should have no problems completing the online activities.
  • If you’ve got a netbook, tablet or other mobile computing device check our Technical requirements section.
  • If you use an Apple Mac you will need OS X 10.6 or later.

You can also visit the Technical requirements section for further computing information including the details of the support we provide.

Materials to buy

Set books

  • Howe, D A Brief Introduction to Social Work Theory, Palgrave £17.99 - ISBN 9780230233126

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You will have a tutor who will help you with the study material and mark and comment on your written work, and whom you can ask for advice and guidance. Part of your tuition is delivered online so some of the contact with your tutor will be through email and online discussion forums, although phone communication may also be used. If you are new to the OU, you will find that your tutor is particularly concerned to help you with your study methods. Your tutor will run eight obligatory workshops (usually held on a Saturday) including two in the first month of study. Requests for excusal from a workshop are dealt with by the tutor running it. In addition to the eight workshops, you will be expected to participate in your online tutor-group discussion forum for workshop-learning consolidation exercises. Questions of a professional, social work nature should be directed to your tutor.

Contact our Student Registration & Enquiry Service if you want to know more about study with The Open University before you register.

Assessment

The assessment details for this course can be found in the facts box above.

You will be expected to submit your tutor-marked assignments (TMAs) online through the eTMA system unless there are some difficulties which prevent you from doing so. In these circumstances, you must negotiate with your tutor to get their agreement to submit your assignment on paper.

You must submit your end-of-module assessment online. The iCMAs are accessed via the website.

Professional recognition

Successful completion of KYJ113 does not lead to automatic entry to the social work degree programme in England and Scotland as you must meet specific requirements. 

To subsequently gain sponsorship and entry onto the Social Work programme you must be working in a social care setting and be sponsored by your employer. You will then be able to count KYJ113, in addition to to any other relevant course studied e.g. An introduction to health and social care (K101), towards your degree. KYJ113 cannot be counted towards the social work degree in Wales. More details about the social work programmes can be found on the Social Work subject page.

Future availability

The details given here are for the course that starts in February 2015. We expect it to be available once a year.

How to register

To register a place on this course return to the top of the page and use the Click to register button.

Student Reviews

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Distance learning

The Open University is the world’s leading provider of flexible, high quality distance learning. Unlike other universities we are not campus based. You will study in a flexible way that works for you whether you’re at home, at work or on the move. As an OU student you’ll be supported throughout your studies – your tutor or study adviser will guide and advise you, offer detailed feedback on your assignments, and help with any study issues. Tuition might be in face-to-face groups, via online tutorials, or by phone.

For more information read Distance learning explained.

Are you already an OU student ? Go to StudentHome for information on choosing your next module.
Course facts
About this course:
Course code KYJ113
Credits 60
OU Level 1
SCQF level 7
FHEQ level 4
Course work includes:
8 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
3 Interactive computer-marked assignments (iCMAs)
End-of-module assessment
No residential school

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