Values, Ethics and Diversity - SOCI8980

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2022 to 2023
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) checkmark-circle


The module will cover the nature, history and development of social work values, their links with codes of practice and the regulation of professional conduct. It will also address sociological perspectives around social difference, diversity and inequality and the conceptual and philosophical context of human rights, responsibility, justice, care, authority and power in social work. Challenges inherent in balancing these dimensions, including potential conflicts between personal, organisational and professional values of the social work role in practice – incorporating statutory duties - will also be addressed. The role of legislation and policy in supporting ethical decision making in social work will be explored as will utilising models promoting ethical decision making and the impact of social work practice on, and in, the lives of service users and carers. The importance of recognising key dimensions of social difference and sources of inequality – class, gender, ethnicity, sexuality, age, disability and sexuality – in delivering ethical social work will be an underpinning theme.


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 22
Private study hours: 128
Total study hours: 150


MA in Social Work – compulsory module

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

Coursework - essay (4000 words) – 100%

Reassessment methods


Indicative reading

Adams, R., Dominelli, L. and Payne, M. (2008) Social work. Themes, Issues and Critical Debates. 3rd ed. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Banks, S. (2012) Ethics and Values in Social Work 4th edn. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Dominelli, L. (2008) Anti-Racist Social Work (3rd edn) BASW Practical Social Work.
Graham, M (2002) Social work and African-centred worldviews. London: Venture Press
Parrott, L. (2010) Values and Ethics in Social Work Practice (2nd ed) Exeter: Learning Matters
Thompson N. (2011) Promoting Equality Working with Diversity and Difference 93rd ed). Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan

See the library reading list for this module (Medway)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

8.1 Have a clear understanding of the professional regulator's and relevant professional bodies' codes and guidance on conduct and ethics for
students and social work professionals;
8.2 Understand the complexities of social work as a moral activity that is situated in a social, legal, economic, political and cultural context;
8.3 Acquire, critically evaluate and integrate knowledge and understanding of values, social ethics and diversity;
8.4 Critically consider the meaning and importance of injustice, social inequality, and oppression on the lives of service users and their
8.5 Recognise the impact of individual and structural discrimination - on the basis of class, race, culture, gender, sexuality, age and disability -
on the well-being and needs of service users and carers;
8.6 Develop coherent understanding of empowerment, human rights, risk taking and justice for service users and their families;
8.7 Develop systematic underpinning knowledge of ethical problem solving and practice.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

9.1 Show Ability to synthesise and integrate complex knowledge, theoretical perspectives and evidence from different schools and disciplines
of enquiry in order to construct an organised and coherent argument in writing;
9.2 Demonstrate skills commensurate with postgraduate study in presentation and debate, both verbal and written, and in the use of research and empirical data;
9.3 Possess the capacity to gather and evaluate library and web-based resources (e-journals and other on-line resources) appropriate to postgraduate study, make critical judgments about their merits, and use materials to construct a developed argument;
9.4 Demonstrate the ability to interact with others in a group context and articulate and defend opinions based on critical reasoning, logic and evidence.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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