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    School of Applied Social Science Logo
  • Study Type

    Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    2 years part-time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    15 February 2018

Course content

The Professional Social Work Practice PGCert supports the development of social workers in adult services who have recently qualified and registered, including those who are taking their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

It seeks to consolidate learning in line with the sixth level of the College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). At this stage, you are expected to develop a greater sense of confidence and independence, and to practise effectively in situations of increasing complexity, risk and uncertainty.

As a course of continuing professional development (CPD), the Professional Social Work Practice PGCert is not accredited by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB). However, you must still be registered as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to be accepted on to the programme.

Course structure

The PGCert is always delivered part-time, typically over a period of two years. You learn through intensive periods of lectures, presentations, workshops and group activities, as well as through individual study, directed materials and online resources.

For the first module, Ethics and Values in Assessment, Intervention and Protection, you can expect to come into university for a block of around four days. For the second module, Needs, Protection and Assessment in Adult Services, there are two separate blocks of learning and teaching, each of which also lasts for about four days.

Further details are circulated to partner agencies each year or are available directly on request.

Areas of study

The course is particularly concerned with issues of protection, human rights, equality, diversity, social justice and discrimination. It encourages you to reflect on the values and ethical principles of social work, together with the use of power and authority in the profession.

Ethics and Values in Assessment, Intervention and Protection allows you to focus on one of two areas: adult services or mental health services. It supports newly qualified social workers with their ASYE but also provides opportunities for review, development and reflection for those who are more experienced.

Needs, Protection and Assessment in Adult Services is built around two periods of intensive learning and teaching: the first focuses on the use of law and policy in assessment, interventions and protection within adult social care, while the second looks in more detail at some of the needs and experiences of specific groups of adult service users in the context of their life development.


  • Ethics and Values in Assessment, Intervention and Protection in Adult Services OR in Mental Health Services (20 credits)
  • Needs, Protection and Assessment in Adult Services (40 credits)

Careers and employability

The PGCert will advance you to the level of Social Worker according to the terms of the PCF. It will open up new professional possibilities and improve your status in the field.

If you decide to continue your studies, you will be eligible for entry on to our Professional Work Practice PGDip, which trains you at Advanced Level and further accelerates your career progression.

Visit the Professional Social Work Practice (PGCert) page on the University of Brighton website for more details!




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