Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module SOCI30220: PRACTICE EDUCATION (stage 1)

Department: Sociology


Type Open Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2020/21


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module enables students to demonstrate their role in supporting and enabling the learning of others by developing their knowledge and skills in the processes of mentoring, practice assessment but not including the final assessment prior to qualification.
  • The module meets the requirements of the Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work (PEPS) for stage 1.
  • The module will develop the skills of those supporting and assessing newly qualified social workers, experienced social workers undertaking formal or informal continuing professional development or others engaging in learning and development activities.
  • This module will enable students to supervise, teach and assess social work students up to but not including the final assessment prior to qualification. Students who successfully complete this module will be able to contribute to the final placement but may not take full responsibility for assessment or act as the practice educator on a day to day basis.
  • The module will develop students’ skills and competencies within the following domains identified within the Professional Capabilities Framework:
  • Domain A – Organise opportunities for the demonstration of assessed competence in practice;
  • Domain B – Enable learning and development in practice;
  • Domain C – Manage the assessment of learners in practice.


  • Lectures:
  • An overview of practice learning and assessment of adult learners;
  • Values and ethics and professional codes of conduct in relation to enabling the learning of others;
  • Supervision of student social workers including working with diversity and failing students;
  • Producing the practice report;
  • Direct observations of practice and involving service users and carers in assessment of social work students;
  • How practice educators can enable students to link theory to practice.
  • In conjunction with the delivery of the module, students will be required to act as practice educator for a student at the appropriate stage.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Subject-specific Knowledge and Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will be expected to be able to demonstrate:
  • Critical understanding of their own contribution to the learning of others, including teaching, mentoring and supporting social work or other students and/or colleagues;
  • An appreciation of the complexities and challenges to be addressed in delivering work that effectively promotes the rights of service users and carers, and embeds service user-focused values in policy and practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate:
  • An ability to plan, organise and evaluate appropriate opportunities for the demonstration of assessed competence in practice;
  • An ability to enable critically informed and reflective learning and professional development in practice;
  • An ability to take the lead in planning and managing appropriate forms of assessment for professional learners in practice.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of this module students will be expected to be able to demonstrate:
  • Acceptance of personal responsibility in relation to professional codes of conduct, including the ability to address any ethical issues in relation to professional practice and research.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • During periods of online teaching, for asynchronous lectures in particular, planned lecture hours may include activities that would normally have taken place within the lecture itself had it been taught face-to-face in a lecture room, and/or those necessary to adapt the teaching and learning materials effectively to online learning.
  • Lectures/Small group work/plenary sessions: Enable students to be provided with information about facilitating, supporting and assessing the learning of others in a systematic manner, identifying key aspects of knowledge and information, and providing opportunities for shared learning and work on practice examples. This includes information about all of the professional capabilities.
  • Directed reading/Independent study tasks: Offer students the opportunity to undertake focused, critical reading about particular aspects of enabling the learning of others, as well as deepening their knowledge through wider reading around subjects that have either been introduced in lectures or are of particular interest/relevance in relation to their employment setting.
  • Work-based practice: Throughout the module, all students will undertake work to enable the learning of others as part of their duties within their normal employment setting. They will inlcude conducting direct observations of practice, writing practice report and associated meetings. They will be supervised in this element of their work by their line manager, and supported by a practice mentor who holds a recognised practice teaching qualification or its equivalent. This mode of teaching and learning facilitates a progressive approach to meeting the module learning outcomes, with students being required to have demonstrated most of the competencies associated with the learning outcomes in the first 3 reflective commentary. Additionally, learners will provide a personal profile in stage 1, which will consider the influences on their own teaching style, 1 direct observation of their supervisory practice in stage 1 and a further direct observation.
  • Tutorials: Individual tutorials are available with the module convenor, providing individual support and guidance in relation to their role in enabling the learning of others.
  • Learning support meetings: These provide regular and structured opportunities for students to support each other and share their experiences in relation to their role in enabling the learning of others, including the provision of formative feedback in relation to the module’s learning outcomes.
  • Portfolio: The portfolio, which consists of commentaries on the student’s learning in relation to their practice education role, as well as a personal profile, a direct observation report, a sample of the practice report and feedback from student social workers and other colleagues whose learning has been enabled, allows achievement against all of the module learning outcomes to be assessed in a staged manner.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 5 Daily over 5 days 6 30
Seminars (learning support meetings) 6 Monthly 1.5 9
Work based Practice 50
Preparation and Reading 111
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Portfolio Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Personal Profile and three reflective commentaries 800-1,000 words each 100%
Component: Direct Observation Component Weighting: 0%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
A report on direct observation of supervision by appointed practice mentor including student feedback, consideration of a completed practice report and a 'pass/fail' recommendation from the practice mentor. N/A 0%

Formative Assessment:

Through regular planned supervision, the suitably qualified practice mentor will provide ongoing feedback to the learner.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University