SW0419 - Community and Social Work

What will I learn on this module?

This first year module will introduce you to the topic of community and social work. You will learn about what we (and others) mean when we talk about ‘community’. During the module you will learn about key concepts such as participation, empowerment and citizenship. You will explore the way professionals, volunteers and others work in and with communities to inspire social change. You will learn about the methods and community approaches they employ. The module will introduce you to the role of voluntary and community sector organisations and you will learn about concepts such as civil society and the third sector. You will learn about the policy context for these organisations and the contemporary issues they face.

As a social work student this module will develop your knowledge about the range of organisations social workers work with and in and the range of approaches employed to support and empower people in communities.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn in a variety of ways in this module. You will learn through a programme of lectures delivered to a large group of students and seminars with small and large group discussions. Attendance at lectures and seminars will help you meet the learning outcomes for the module. Lectures will provide you with a range of perspectives relating to the topics outlined above and including community, community development, the third sector, volunteering, citizenship, participation, empowerment. Taught sessions will give you the opportunity to discuss ideas with peers and tutor in a supportive environment. A range of electronic resources will be available via the electronic learning portal, including lecture materials, tutor's audio and video explanations as well as the use of discussions boards, wikis and links to external websites.

You will participate in skills workshops which will introduce you to ways of working with communities and develop your community and social work skills. You will work with your peers to develop a community profile and present a third sector organisation.When possible external agencies, practitioners and service users will be invited into taught sessions to provide further opportunity to link theory to practice.

There are opportunities for formative learning and assessment throughout the module to support your learning and to help you work towards the summative assessment. As part of the learning approach students will be involved in peer and self-assessment which will develop your critical evaluation skills and capacity for autonomous learning. Your self-directed reading and engagement with the module materials also form an important part of your learning.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Tutors will support your learning in a variety of ways. They will provide a programme of lectures which relate to the learning outcomes for the module. Lectures will introduce you to key issues, concepts, perspective and theories in relation to community and social work. Seminars and workshops will provide a supportive environment in which you can discuss and share your ideas as well as develop your formative and summative assessments.. The module leader will also endeavour to invite external guests from a range of relevant organisations to develop your understanding of practice and theory. The module leader will provide reading materials, examples and activities for seminars to support the development of your understanding about community and social work. You will be provided with an electronic reading list which will include essential and recommended reading for the module and its assessment. You will also be supported to explore and engage in your own search for literature to support your curiosity and enquiry into particular organisations and service user groups.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• Identify, define and justify approaches, models and theories relating to the concept of community and community work
• Evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of voluntary and community organisations.
• Gather and present robust evidence relating to communities and organisations

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• Demonstrate effective communication and presentation skills

Personal Values
Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• Critically reflect on practice in voluntary and community organisations.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment

The summative assignment is a 2,000 word report related to your module topic.This will be based on a voluntary or community sector organisation of your choice, This assignment accounts for 100% % of your final grade. It will be submitted via Turnitin.
. You will be expected to meet the module learning outcomes 1-5. Guidance will be given during the module and in the module handbook regarding the structure of the report

Feedback: Tutors will formally assess your summative assessment providing written feedback and marks based on the assessment criteria contained in the module guidance

Formative assessment

The formative assessment task is a 10 minute group present based on a community profile.This will be either a face ro face campus presentation or delivered via Blackboard Collaborate.

This will meet learning outcomes 1-5.

Feedback:. Verbal feedback will be provided by your module tutor and peers during the seminar sessions.


Not applicable


SW0417, SW0418, SW0420, SW0421, SW0422

Module abstract

This module introduces you to community and social work. It explores the way professionals, volunteers and others work in and with communities to inspire social change locally, nationally and globally. You will learn about the methods and community approaches they employ. This module provides an insight into alternative and complementary contexts for social work practice. Social workers do not just work in local authorities they also work in charities, voluntary-based organisations, community organisations and social enterprises. Likewise professionals in these types of organisations often undertake work which can be compared with social work. Through teaching and learning on campus this module will help you to understand the main characteristics of these organisations and their roles in society and social work. It will also help you understand the complexity of working with and in communities, introduce you to the theories, models and approaches relating to working with communities and develop the skills required for social work practice.

Course info

UCAS Code L502

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time

Department Social Work, Education & Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2021 or September 2022

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Courses starting in 2021 are offered as a mix of online and face to face teaching due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic.

We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Students will be required to attend campus as far as restrictions allow. Contact time will increase as restrictions ease, or decrease, potentially to a full online offer, should restrictions increase.

Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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