Social Work Theories, Interventions and Skills - SOCI9230

Looking for a different module?

Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Sarah Brown checkmark-circle


This module will explore and critically reflect on the role of theory in social work and its intersection with the development of interventions and social work skills. Threaded throughout the module will be a focus on the importance of developing a critical understanding of social work processes, including models and methods of assessment, the application of theory in complex social work cases and recognition of social work intervention as a theoretically informed activity. Specific approaches and perspectives will be explored e.g. systemic and therapeutic approaches, and critically reviewed in assessment and intervention with individuals, families, groups and communities. The role and nature of social work models and interventions will be explored, e.g. social constructionist approaches, task centred practice, and students will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of the importance of groups - including families - in social work practice. The module will facilitate the students' capacity to critically evaluate theories and methods including an appreciation of practice paradigms and practice related theories within wider social sciences perspectives.


Contact hours

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


Social Work MA (compulsory module)

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
Coursework - Case Analysis assignment (3000 words) - 80% *
Coursework – seminar presentation (20 minutes) – 20% *
* These components are 'Pass compulsory' – students must pass the individual assessments in order to pass the module overall.

Reassessment methods

Indicative reading

Benson J. (2010) Working more Creatively with Groups, 3rd Edition, Abingdon: Routledge.
Healey, K (2005) Social Work Theories in Context: Creating Frameworks for Practice. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Howe D. (2009) A Brief Introductory to Social Work Theory, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Lishman, J (2007) Handbook for Practice Learning in Social Work and Social Care: Knowledge & Theory. London: Jessica Kingsley
Milner & O'Byrne (2009) Assessment in Social Work, 3rd edition, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan
Payne, M (2005) Modern Social Work Theory, 3rd edition, 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 Understand, critically analyse and evaluate underpinning theories, methods and models of, and for, practice with individuals, couples, families, groups and communities;
8.2 Demonstrate a confident knowledge and critical understanding of the social work processes of engagement, assessment, planning, intervention, evaluation and termination and an understanding of this in relation to different theoretical perspectives;
8.3 Use research critically to inform and effectively to sustain and develop effective practice;
8.4 Apply critical reflection and analysis to sustain and develop effective practice;
8.5 Examine and evaluate how respective theoretical approaches can be applied in ethical and anti-oppressive practice with all service users, taking account of differences such as culture, race age, gender, and sexuality;
8.6 Understand and apply a range of theories and interventions to, and in, complex practice situations.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
9.1 Demonstrate skills commensurate with postgraduate study in relation to linking theory, practice, empirical evidence and argument to social work, drawing on current models of best practice;
9.2 Demonstrate skills relating to the organisation and communication of complex ideas in a clear and effective manner, both verbally and in writing;
9.3 Systematically gather, collate, critically analyse and synthesise material from a wide range of sources;
9.4 Gather library and web-based resources appropriate for postgraduate study; make critical judgements about their merits and use the available evidence to construct a developed argument to be presented orally in seminars and in writing;
9.5 Demonstrate skills in working effectively with others


  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.
Back to top

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.