Preparation (Students Must Read)

Preparation (Students Must Read)

In preparing for placement learning, students must read all the information on this page

Practical work experience is at the heart of all SHU courses and is delivered through placements in relevant workplaces. We work in partnership with statutory sector - Local Authorities and NHS Trusts - and many private, independent and voluntary sector providers to provide the required experience for our students.

Your placement attendance, learning and practice will be an assessed part of your course. On placement, you work with experts, professionals and service users gaining experience, and developing your knowledge and skills for people with a wide range of social needs.

You will develop your confidence in using your core skills in traditional and emerging areas of practice; enhancing your employability on completion of the course. During your time on placement, your experience will reflect the working times of the team you work with on placement.

This page provides students and placement providers with key information needed to prepare for and get the most out of practical work experience. Follow the link below to find shared information to help any student approach preparation for placement from a learning perspective. Within the profession specific pages on this site, you will find more focused support and guidance for your subject group.

Professional Requirements

Preparation for Practice Learning - Mandatory Requirements

You must complete the mandatory requirements successfully before commencing placement.

Student Guidance

Important - you must familiarise yourself with the following policies and guidance, held in the Policy Library/Student Guidance Policies section of this website (Link to Sheffield Hallam University webpage).

  • Reporting Incidents, Accidents or Concerns
  • Health and Safety
  • Data Protection
  • Inclusivity
  • Staying Safe 
  • Working Hours
  • Travel
  • Dress code

Induction to your Allocated Placement

As soon as you have received confirmation of your allocated placement, you must check communications including emails from your placement provider or the university's Professional Placement Team informing you of the date, time and location of your placement induction event. 

Students must attend the placement provider's induction event in order to continue on their allocated placement.  If you are unable to attend for any reason you must inform your placement provider and the university's Professional Placement Team using your university email address before the scheduled event.

Assessment of Practice Documentation

As a student it is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with your assessment of practice documentation and practice learning outcomes for the placements you attend.  This will help you to plan for and document your placement learning opportunities and support your practice educators and work based supervisors to provide you with feedback using the assessment of practice documentation appropriately.

You must document all days you attend on your placement and have these verified by your placement provider.

Student Placement Learning Evaluation

The university will invite you to complete a placement learning evaluation questionnaire which you must submit when you complete each of your placement learning experiences.  Further information is provided on the Evaluation page on this website.

Course Overview: BA Social Work

This is a three year, full time course that meets the current requirements to enable graduates to register as a Social Worker:

The first year of the course contains the foundations to prepare students for practice placement. This includes  studies in psychology, sociology, social work related law, values and anti-oppressive practice, the fundamentals of practice with different service user groups, interprofessional collaboration, the experience of shadowing a social worker, and a test that meets Dept of Health requirements that the readiness of each student to begin practice has been assessed as satisfactory.

The second year commences with the first 70 day placement. The second half of that academic year is full time academic study, for modules on Social work practice both in UK and internationally, and two more interprofessional modules on evidence based practice and developing interprofessional collaboration.

In the final year of the programme, the first semester is spent on further academic studies in law and ethics, collaborative practice and on generating and using evidence for the evaluation of practice. The second placement is 100 days and starts in Semester Two.

BA Social Work Course Overview (PDF, 34.9KB)

Course Overview: Masters in Social Work (MSW)

The MSW is a postgraduate pre-registration programme leading to qualification as a social worker. The course aims to enable students to become effective social work practitioners, capable of working within a range of statutory and non-statutory organisations. Commencing in January each year, the course is full time. Practice teaching is over 170 days. There are 4 taught modules in Year 1 of the course and 3 in Year 2, together with a dissertation for students wishing to attain the Master's award in addition to the professional qualification. Service users and carers are closely involved in all aspects of the course, from selection through teaching and learning to assessment. Ethics and values are integrated throughout the teaching, along with all other elements conforming to the benchmark requirements of the subject.

The Masters in Social Work award has the potential to produce enhanced social work practitioners, as a consequence of their higher-level qualifications. Graduates from the programme will be able to offer a range of skills: in applied research and evidence based practice, combined with personal leadership and enhanced analytical skills.

Masters in Social Work Course Overview (PDF, 766.6KB)

Professionalism and Safety

Skills Days

Students attend 30 Social Work Skills Days during the programme. These are under continual review in order to ensure that the content of the Skills Days reflects contemporary Social Work practice priorities. In each of the three academic years 10 skills days are interwoven with the students' Practice Learning Experiences.