SPOL18130 Introduction to Social Work

Academic Year 2023/2024

This module would interest students unfamiliar with the social work profession and would like to understand the role. It would be particularly applicable for students interested in pursuing social work as a profession or who envision working alongside social workers in their chosen profession in the future (e.g. medical, nursing, legal, teaching, psychology, etc...).

This module consists of 21 lectures on Mondays and Wednesdays over the semester. The lectures will provide insight and understanding into what makes the social work profession unique and some of the principles associated with social work. Course content will be delivered through lectures from social work academics within the School of Social Policy, Social Work and Social Justice at UCD. These lecturers are all qualified social workers and will bring both academic and practical insights.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

An understanding of the unique role of social workers in humanitarian, older people, refugee populations, the justice system, mental health, adult safeguarding and children and families settings.

The importance of values, ethics and ethical decision-making in social work practice. The critical role that social workers play in the pursuit of social justice

Social workers' unique role in meeting the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals and advocating for equity regarding social determinants of health.

How the media portrayal and public perception of social work can negatively and positively impact service user engagement with the profession.

Indicative Module Content:

Students will be provided with a detailed understanding of the social work profession.

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning






Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Students will be taught via lectures. Lecturers will use different teaching approaches that will reflect the variety of student learning needs. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Essay: 1500 word essay to reflect on what you have learnt during the trimester. Coursework (End of Trimester) n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Autumn No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Not yet recorded.

There are core readings for this module. These core readings are an essential part of the assignment for the module and can be located under the 'My learning' tab on the SPOL 18130 module Brightspace page. Once you have clicked the tab, you will see a list of lectures. Click on 'Lecture 1' to see a folder titled 'Core readings for the SPOL 18130 assignment'. When you click on this folder, you will see the list of core readings.
Name Role
Assoc Professor Sarah Donnelly Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Marie Keenan Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Dr Joseph Mooney Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Assoc Professor Muireann Ní Raghallaigh Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Timetabling information is displayed only for guidance purposes, relates to the current Academic Year only and is subject to change.
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 30, 32, 33 Mon 15:00 - 15:50
Lecture Offering 1 Week(s) - 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 29, 31, 32, 33 Wed 10:00 - 10:50