Bachelor of Science on Social Work Honours Degree

Overview

INTRODUCTION

  • These regulations shall be read in conjunction with the General Regulations and Faculty Regulations.
  • The programme operationalises in a meaningful way, the fact that social work is both a practice-based profession and an academic discipline. Consequently, apart from imparting practice skills and enabling students to acquire specific competencies, the programme encourages students to engage in reflective thinking and scholarly pursuits.
  • The programme is informed by the social development paradigm characterised by the pursuit of the ideals of social justice and social inclusion. The adoption of social development as the framework underpinning social work education and practice is based on the understanding that poverty, inequality and social exclusion are the greatest challenges to human security not only in Zimbabwe but globally as well. Consequently, the social work degree programme embraces innovative ways of responding to these challenges. To this end, while the programme is anchored on local realities, it is also benchmarked against regional and international best practices in social work education and practice.
  • The minimum duration of study for students to obtain the degree shall be 8 semesters and students must obtain a minimum of 196 credits in order to graduate with a Bachelor of Social Work Honours degree.

 

OBJECTIVES

  • The Bachelor of Social Work Honours Degree programme offers a generic social work education that prepares students to practice as qualified social workers in a variety of social work settings.
  • The programme also aims at producing social workers with the competencies to practice, not only in Zimbabwe but regionally and internationally as well.
  • The programme helps students to understand the genesis of socio-economic problems and their impact on human well-being. Students are expected to use this as the basis for designing appropriate intervention strategies to restore or enhance human well-being.

 

CAREER PROSPECTS

Social work graduates can work in a variety of settings and roles within civil society, the private and public sector.

  • Within the civil society development arena, social workers can assume roles such as, project manager, programme director, monitoring and evaluation coordinator, manager of welfare organisations, training and development facilitators, community development workers/officers, advocacy officers, disaster management officers and managers among other roles.
  • In the public sector social workers are employed in a range of roles which include among others, social welfare officers, school social workers, probation officers, counsellors, therapists, and social policy development roles.
  • In the private sector social work graduates are sought after to assume roles in occupational social work, human resources, training and development, change management consultants, customer service consultants and managing corporate social responsibility initiatives.

Entry Requirements

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

Normal Entry

Applicants must comply with Section 3.1 of the General Regulations. For entry into the Bachelor of Social Work Honours degree, candidates should have two ‘A’ level passes in arts subjects and a pass in English Language at ‘O’ level.

Special Entry

Candidates who hold a Diploma in Social Work or an equivalent qualification may apply for admission into the Bachelor of Social Work degree programme. The Department will use its discretion in granting exemptions from some of the modules. However, no candidate admitted under Special Entry will be allowed to complete the degree in less than three years.

Mature Entry

Refer to Section 3.3 of the General Regulations.

 GENERAL PROVISIONS

Not all electives shall necessarily be available for selection by students. Their offering shall be dependent on the availability of staff.

Assessment

ASSESSMENT

The assessment of students shall be based on continuous assessment and examination. This shall be structured as follows:

Continuous Assessment            40%

Examination                               60%

 

FAILURE TO SATISFY EXAMINERS

Refer to Section 9 of the General Regulations.

 

WORK- RELATED LEARNING

Refer to Section 10 of the General Regulations

 

PROVISIONS FOR PROGRESSION

Refer to Section 6 of the Faculty Regulations.

GRADING AND DEGREE CLASSIFICATION

Refer to Section 5 of the General Regulations.

 

DEGREE WEIGHTING

Refer to Section 11 of the Faculty Regulations.

 

HONORARY DEGREES

Individuals who have distinguished themselves in the field of social work shall be awarded a Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) in social work.

Programme Structure

PROGRAMME STRUCTURE

Level 1 Semester 1
Code Module Description Credits
SWK101 Introduction to Social Work 4
SWK102 Ethics and Values in Social Work 4
SWK103 Human Behaviour and Social Environment 4
SWK104 Introduction to Social Development 4
SOC101 Introduction to Sociology 4
PSY102 Introduction to Psychology 4
CS101 Basic Communication Skills 4
HCS115 Introduction to Information Systems 4
 Level 1 Semester 2
Code Module Description Credits
SWK105 Social Policy 4
SWK106 Human Rights and the Law in Social Work 4
SWK201 Introduction to Micro Practice> 4
SOC102 Introduction to Social Anthropology 4
PSY103 Social Psychology 4
SOC103 Sociology of Change and Development 4
Level 2 Semester 1
Code Module Description Credits
ENT205 Entrepreneurship 1 4
GS 201 Introduction to Gender Studies 4
SWK202 Introduction to Meso Practice 4
SWK203 Introduction to Macro Practice 4
SWK204 The Criminal Justice System in Zimbabwe 4
SWK205 Advanced and Contemporary Theoretical Perspectives in Social Work 4
Electives (choose any two)
SOC 205 Rural Development 4
SOC 212 Sociology of Violence 4
PSY204 Psychology of Counselling 4
HRM117 Principles of Human Resource Management 4
 Level 2 Semester 2
Code Module Description Credits
SWK206 Advanced Micro Practice 4
SWK207 Advanced Meso Practice 4
SWK208 Advanced Macro Practice 4
SWK209 Occupational Social Work 4
SWK210 Introduction to Research Methods 4

Electives (choose one module)

Code Module Description Credits
SOC 208 Sociology of Organisations 4
SOC 210 Sociology of the Family 4
PSY209 Human Resource Psychology 4
PSY217 Counselling Skills and Processes 4
Level 3 (Semester 1 &2)
Code Module Description Credits
SWK301 Students’ Work Related learning Report 15
SWK302 Employers Assessment Report 10
SWK303 Academic Supervisors’ Assessment Report 15
 Level 4 Semester 1
Code Module Description Credits
SWK401 Advanced Research Methods in Social Work 4
SWK402 Social Policy Analysis 4
SWK403 Social Planning and Social Development 4
SWK404 Child Protection 4
SWK405 Management and Administration 4
SWK406 Social Entrepreneurship 4
Level 4 Semester 2
Code Module Description Credits
SWK407 Dissertation 8
SWK408 Humanitarian Practice in Emergencies 4
SWK409 Fields of Social Work Practice 4
SWK410 Programme design and management 4

MODULE SYNOPSES  

SWK101 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL WORK

This module introduces students to the social work profession by looking at the basic functions and mission of social work. It examines the historical development of the profession of social work. The module explores the International, African and Zimbabwean historical narratives on the history and growth of social work as a profession. Students shall also be introduced to the major intervention methods of social work practice as well as the social service delivery structures as mirrored in the social welfare system. The historical commitment of the social work profession to social justice and to the elimination of poverty shall be a major theme of this module. As such, the module provides a comprehensive grounding for social work students and gives them a fuller appreciation of what the profession entails.

SWK102 ETHICS AND VALUES IN SOCIAL WORK

This module introduces students to the ethics, values and principles that govern the practice of social work. It helps students to acquire the knowledge base required to identify ethical issues, equip them with the necessary skills needed to resolve ethical dilemmas and the capacity to make ethical decisions when confronted with conflicting duties and choices that arise within practice settings. At the end of the module students shall be fully conversant with ethical principles and standards related to clients, colleagues, employers, the profession of social work and society.

SWK103 HUMAN BEHAVIOR AND SOCIAL ENVIRONMENT

The module on human behaviour and the social environment builds on the module on introduction to social work and introduces students to the theoretical perspectives regarding the person-in environment focus which is a key premise upon which social work bases its practice. The module introduces students to the systems theory, ecological perspective and the ecosystems perspective. These theoretical perspectives shall help students to understand individuals as members of social systems such as families, groups, organisations and communities. The strengths perspective, empowerment, and resiliency constructs shall also be examined. Using knowledge of these theories, the module enables students fully integrate the biological, social, psychological, cultural, spiritual, and economic systems in their understanding of human behaviour and in problem solving at micro, meso, and macro levels of social work practice.

SWK104 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

This module introduces students to the social development approach to social welfare and social work. The focus of this module shall be on: the conceptualisation of social development, historical development of social development, the rationale of adopting social development, characteristics of social development, social development in Zimbabwe and a critique of social development.

SWK105 SOCIAL POLICY

Social policy is increasingly being considered as a method of social work practice. This module introduces students to the study of social policy and social services. Specifically, the module enables students to understand how social policies are used as instruments for promoting and safeguarding human well-being. It covers the following: conceptualisation of social policy, objectives of social policy, determinants of social policy, social policy process, including the main actors in the policy process, models of social policy and social services in Zimbabwe.

SWK106 HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE LAW IN SOCIAL WORK

This module introduces social work students to the subject of human rights and the law. Students shall have a fuller appreciation of the various legislations that govern social work practice. In addition, students shall also gain knowledge and understanding of the various psycho-social perspectives on human rights and develop an understanding of challenges in the realisation of socio-economic rights. Using the law, students shall be able to engage in anti-discriminatory practice with a clear understanding of the role that social workers play in the realisation of the human rights of people and communities with whom they work.

CS101 BASIC COMMUNICATION SKILLS

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Communication Skills

HCS 115 INTRODUCTION TO INFORMATION SYSTEMS

Refer to Department of Information Systems.

SOC101 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIOLOGY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology.

PSY102 INTRODUCTION TO PSYCHOLOGY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Psychology.

SOC102 INTRODUCTION TO SOCIAL ANTHROPOLOGY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology.

PSY103 SOCIAL PSYCHOLOGY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Psychology.

SOC103 SOCIOLOGY OF CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology.

SWK201 INTRODUCTION TO MICRO PRACTICE

This module introduces students to micro practice as a major method of social work that is used when working with individual and families. The module equips students with the skills and competences that are necessary for them to intervene and help clients using the case work method and prepares them for generalist social work practice with individuals and families. The modules emphasises on the values, knowledge, processes and skills necessary for effective assessment and intervention on the micro level. In particular, the module aids the preparation of students for professional practice by introducing them to common presenting problems of clients, such as abuse, chemical dependency, and domestic violence among others.

SWK202 INTRODUCTION TO MESO PRACTICE

Meso practice primarily involves working with small groups and organisations. Some common examples include self-help groups, clubs, associations, prisons, schools and hospitals. The purpose of the meso practice module is to provide students with the knowledge and skills necessary to utilise the group work method as a modality in enhancing the well-being of individuals within the group work context. Students shall learn about the group work process, the role of the worker and the various techniques that are necessary for effective facilitation of group work.

SWK203 INTRODUCTION TO MACRO PRACTICE

The introduction to macro practice module introduces students to community work as one of the major methods in social work practice. In many communities there are power dynamics and social relations that govern the relationships between various structures. This affects how resources and opportunities are distributed. Thus in many instances problems affecting people at the individual and family level may have their source in unequal and oppressive community structures. Social workers who practice community work endeavour to address systemic and structural issues that create social problems. As such, they work to achieve social justice through structural change. This module shall enable students to define community work, explore the historical roots of community work, examine the various components of community work, learn about the community work process and learn about one model of community development as a building block to the module on advanced macro practice.

SWK204 THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM IN ZIMBABWE

The module on the criminal justice system in Zimbabwe is designed to give social work students a foundational understanding of the criminal justice system and their role in it. This module examines the contribution of social work in the criminal justice system within the Zimbabwean context. Global best practices are also explored. The module shall equip students with a detailed understanding of the roles and skills that social workers should have and apply when implementing micro, meso and/or macro interventions in this specialised field of service. Students shall be exposed to the different perspectives and approaches in dealing with those involved and affected by crime and to develop competence in applying different models of service delivery to different client systems in an integrated and multidisciplinary team approach. Diversion programmes and restorative justice processes are explored as alternative forms of sentencing, rehabilitation and delivery of justice.

SWK205ADVANCED AND CONTEMPORARY THEORETICAL PERSPECTIVES IN SOCIAL WORK

The module on Advanced and contemporary theoretical perspectives in social work introduces students to major theories in contemporary social work. The module is designed to engender critical thinking in students as well as fostering the ability to examine and understand phenomena and issues using different theoretical lenses. Among other emerging issues and paradigms, students shall be introduced to critical and radical social work perspectives, feminist perspectives, anti-oppressive practice, conflict theory, structuralism and postmodernism. The works of theorists such as Michel Foucault, Saul Alinsky, Paulo Freire and Frantz Fanon shall be interrogated. Students shall also be introduced to the decolonization praxis within social work as well as examining debates about indigenous social work practice.

SWK206 ADVANCED MICRO PRACTICE

Building on the knowledge and generic skills acquired in the introductory module on micro practice, this module is designed to deepen students’ competencies to work with individuals and families. Students shall be exposed to various theoretical approaches that can be used to work with clients. There are many different practice models that influence the way social workers choose to help people meet their goals. Building on the problem solving approach taught in the introduction to micro practice, students shall examine major models such as: Tasked-centred practice; Narrative therapy; Cognitive behavioural therapy; Crisis intervention model and Transactional analysis.

SWK207 ADVANCED MESO PRACTICE

This module builds on the group work knowledge and skills that are taught in the introduction to meso practice. The aim of the module is to deepen students’ understanding of group dynamics and applicable theories when using this method of intervention. The module familiarises students to the principles of selected group work theories and techniques for effective advanced practice. As such, students shall be able to evaluate and apply theories of group dynamics and group structural variables used in social group work practice. The approaches covered include: Cognitive behaviourism; Feminism; Psychoanalysis; Humanism and Empowerment/self-directed approaches. Using the approaches above, this module enables students to; plan, formulate, and implement effective group interventions with diverse populations.

 SWK208 ADVANCED MACRO PRACTICE

The module on advanced macro practice builds on the knowledge that students would have acquired in the introduction to macro practice module. It is designed to enable students to gain a detailed understanding of how communities function, and have an appreciation of the limits and possibilities of creating and sustaining change in communities. The module aims to develop student’s knowledge of the theories and skills they need to effectively engage in community work practice. Using case studies from a range of fields of practice, students shall be able to gain a fuller appreciation of the politics and complexity of community work. Vital and innovative skills in the practice of community work shall be developed. Students shall be equipped to practice from an anti-oppressive approach with an appreciation of how constructs such as race, tribe, class and gender can impact on community processes.

 SWK209 OCCUPATIONAL SOCIAL WORK

Occupational social work (previously known as industrial social work) is an area of specialisation in social work which focuses on interventions at the workplace. It seeks to meet the welfare needs of employees whilst also contributing to the realization of organisational goals. The module covers the following: definition of occupational social work, history of occupational social work, theories underpinning occupational social work, social problems and social issues undermining the social functioning of workers and their families (conflict, HIV and AIDS, substance abuse, sexual orientation etc.), employee assistance programmes. The module also considers corporate social responsibility initiatives. Emphasis shall be on how social workers intervene to address the myriad of problems or issues at the workplace and shall encompass interventions at micro, meso and macro levels.

SWK210 INTRODUCTION TO RESEARCH METHODS

This module introduces students to social research methods. The module covers the following: research paradigms (positivism and anti-positivism), conceptualisation of qualitative and quantitative research methods, characteristics/qualities of qualitative and quantitative research methods, research problem, research questions, aim and objectives of a study, ethical considerations in research and basic statistics.

SOC205 RURAL DEVELOPMENT

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology

SOC212 SOCIOLOGY OF VIOLENCE

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology

ENT205 ENTREPRENEURSHIP 1

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Entrepreneurship

GS201 INTRODUCTION TO GENDER STUDIES

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Gender Studies.

PSY204 PSYCHOLOGY OF COUNSELLING

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Psychology.

HRM117 PRINCIPLES OF HUMAN RESOURCES MANAGEMENT

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Human Resource Management.

SOC208 SOCIOLOGY OF ORGANISATIONS

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology.

SOC210 SOCIOLOGY OF THE FAMILY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Sociology.

PSY209 HUMAN RESOURCES PSYCHOLOGY

Refer to the regulations of the Department of Psychology.

WORK RELATED LEARNING

In the third year of study, students shall go for work related learning for a period ranging from 8 to 12 months. Work related learning is an experience that allows students to gain exposure in social work practice and to acquire the foundational and basic competences required of prospective social workers. In work related learning, students shall have the opportunity to integrate theory taught in class to practice. During the placement period students are expected be in settings that provide them with the opportunity to undertake a range of social work roles which expose them particularly to the three primary methods of social work intervention which are micro, meso and macro practice. It is also expected that students shall be exposed to administration among other learning experiences. At least two visits and two telephonic supervision sessions shall be done by the academic supervisor from the University to ensure that students are monitored and supported in their learning. It is also expected that students shall be placed in agencies where there are social workers who will play the role of agency supervisor. In cases where this is not possible, the university shall appoint a social worker from other nearby organisations to regularly monitor and supervise the student in conjunction with the agency contact person under whom the student shall be placed. There shall be three modules used to assess students’ leaning during this period which are:

  • SWK301 STUDENTS’ WORK RELATED LEARNING REPORT
  • SWK302 EMPLOYERS ASSESSMENT REPORT
  • SWK303 ACADEMIC SUPERVISORS’ ASSESSMENT REPORT

 

SWK401 ADVANCED RESEARCH METHODS IN SOCIAL WORK

This module builds on the Introduction to Social Research Methods and seeks to enhance students’ understanding of the research process. Students are thus equipped with knowledge and skills to undertake empirical research. The module covers the following topics: research design, research instrumentation, data collection in qualitative and quantitative research, data analysis in qualitative and quantitative research, theoretical frameworks in research. Students shall be required to develop a research proposal.

SWK402 SOCIAL POLICY ANALYSIS

Social policy analysis refers to a systematic and scientific evaluation of the extent to which a social policy is able to achieve its intended goals or objectives. Social policy analysis is carried out either before the policy is implemented or after the policy has been implemented. Thus social policy analysis focuses on either the potential of the policy or its actual impact. This module shall therefore equip students with the knowledge and skills needed in undertaking meaningful social policy analysis. Students shall be exposed to the different approaches to social policy analysis. Students shall also be given an opportunity to undertake a policy analysis of a policy of their choice.

 

SWK403 SOCIAL PLANNING AND SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT

This module focuses on how social planning can be used to achieve the goals of social development. The strategies for achieving social development shall be examined. These strategies include investments in human and social capital, employment creation and decent work, asset building, promoting microenterprises and social protection. Focus shall also be on the nature of social planning and the theories underpinning social planning. The module also covers social planning techniques. The African Union Social Policy Framework shall be used to contextualise the drive towards social development.

SWK404 CHILD PROTECTION

This module focuses on laws, policies, services and regulations that protect children from abuse, violence, neglect and exploitation. A holistic approach to the needs of children shall be adopted. Special attention shall be given to risk factors that children and their families are exposed to. Relevant topics covered include: child labour, harmful cultural practices, children in need of alternative care, birth registration, child abuse (sexual, physical, psychological and neglect), child justice, child trafficking and child protection in emergencies and case management. Relevant human rights instruments shall be looked at with a view to understanding how these can be harnessed for effective child protection.

SWK405 MANAGEMENT AND ADMINISTRATION

Through career progression in various fields of practice, most social work graduates become administrators within welfare organisations and other related settings. In some cases entry level social workers are required to provide direct supervision and leadership to junior staff especially paraprofessionals. It is therefore essential that social work graduates should be fully capacitated to handle management, administration and supervision functions as they enter the world of practice. To this end, this module is designed to equip students with skills in management, administration and supervision. Students shall be introduced to various theories and models that are used in management and administration. Components such as leadership finance and budgeting and human capital management shall also be covered in the module.

SWK406 SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Social entrepreneurship is a field and practice that is increasingly gaining prominence as an effective approach to social change. It is a practice that has seen business and non-profit leaders designing, growing, and leading mission-driven enterprises in a way that has led to the blurring of boundaries between the for profit and the non-profit sector.  As the traditional lines blur between non-profit enterprises, government, and the private sector, it is critical that social work students understand both the opportunities and challenges in this new landscape. As such, the module on social entrepreneurship introduces students to this relatively new area of inquiry. Students shall largely engage in case based learning and examine the history, development, major debates and growth of social entrepreneurship as a field of inquiry

SWK407 DISSERTATION

The dissertation provides students with an opportunity to apply their research knowledge and skills. To this end, students shall carry out an empirical study under the guidance of a supervisor appointed by the Department. Students choose a topic relevant to social work which must be approved by the supervisor. Students shall be involved in the entire research process from the conceptualisation of the study to the write-up of the dissertation. The required length of the dissertation must be between 10 000- 15000 words.

SWK408 HUMANITARIAN PRACTICE IN EMERGENCIES

Humanitarian practice in emergencies is an important area of practice in social work. Humanitarian practice seeks to mitigate the impacts of emergencies (such as natural disasters ad armed conflicts) on human well-being. The module covers the following topics: rationale for humanitarian practice, emergency assistance, disaster preparedness and recovery strategies, prevention, early warning systems, vulnerability assessments and resource mobilisation.

SWK409 FIELDS OF SOCIAL WORK PRACTICE

This module exposes students to the scope of practice in social work. Students therefore need to understand the roles of social workers in the different settings or areas of social work practice. The module covers the following: social work with persons with disabilities, social work with refugees and migrant communities, social work with older persons (gerontological social work), medical social work, psychiatric social work, eco-social work and social work in correctional services. Each of the thematic areas shall be explored in detail and students will be taught how to integrate their theoretical and practice skills when working with these diverse population groups.

SWK410 PROGRAMME DESIGN AND MANAGEMENT

Programme design and management has become an integral part of the day to day activities in many human service organizations within the public sector, the private sector and more so in the Non-profit sector context. Given that social policies are realised via social projects and programmes, skills in project and programme design and management have become widely sought after. This module in programme design and management provides a solid educational foundation for students to be able to plan and manage successful development projects and programmes. The module combines knowledge, tools, techniques and methods that are commonly utilised in managing successful programmes and projects in any field whilst providing insight into the complex challenge of managing people oriented development projects.