Critical Reflection on Professional Learning and Development (SW4703) Short Course

Critical Reflection on Professional Learning and Development (SW4703) Short Course

UCLan has a long tradition of providing professional social work education and CPD opportunities for those in social work or social care practice.

A range of modules are available to enhance your knowledge, develop skills and further your CPD. Credits can be gained on a standalone modular basis or used to achieve one of the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s CPD target awards.

Entry and Admissions

Award Type:

Short Course

Ancillary Award:



Short Course / CPD

Study Mode:

Part time

Delivery Method:

Mixed Mode

Course Length:

1 or 2 semesters (route determines)


School of Social Work, Care and Community

Partner Colleges:

No Partner College



Start Date:

June or Anytime (route determines)

Entry Requirements:

All candidates need to ensure that they have a relevant undergraduate degree at 2:2 or above, or evidence of their ability to study at postgraduate level.

Course Content

Course Outline:
This module is available to complete via two routes:
  • Route A - for those who wish to update their social work knowledge and wishing to apply to join or rejoin the social work register.
  • Route B - for those who wish to reflect on their professional practice, learning and development.

Route A is designed for those who wish to update their knowledge in relation to social work law, theory and practice and is therefore particularly relevant to qualified social workers wishing to apply to join or rejoin the social work register.

Duration: within one semester, consisting of one week of workshops in June plus an assessment. Guidance and academic assistance provided throughout.

Description: During the teaching week learners will explore current legislative, policy, theory, methods and consideration of the contemporary nature of social work practice. A range of specialist areas of social work practice will be focused on during this week including children and families social work, working with adults, social pedagogy, mental health and disability. There will also be support with job applications, interview skills, applying to join the social work register and requirements for continuing professional development (CPD).

Route B is designed for those working in social work or social care to reflect on their recent practice, learning and development.

Duration: Tutorial led module with assessment. You may commence this module at any time during the academic year and the duration of the learning period will be negotiated through a learning plan, but it is not expected to extend beyond two semesters.

Description: Through tutorial support and blended learning activities, learners are encouraged to extend knowledge and analytical skills to reflect on their capability for practice. In doing so this enables individuals to reflect upon their CPD activities in line with professional body requirements.

20 Credit Module at Level 7

Learning Environment & Assessment:

The assessment can be completed by writing an essay or submission of a portfolio.

Academic Expertise

Dr Clare Stone, Module Leader
Clare is a registered social worker who worked within statutory services before moving into academia at the University of Central Lancashire. Clare’s doctoral thesis considers competence for social work practice, she is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy and an Assessor for Continued Professional Development with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Learning outcome & aims

On successful completion of this module a student will be able to:

  • Critically reflect upon the contribution of CPD to effective and safe practice
  • Critically appraise the ethical & legal dimensions of their advancing practice
  • Critically reflect on the impact of their learning and development within their specialist area of practice.

Industry links & professional accreditation

This module considers the requirements for professionals to manage and maintain their continued professional development.

Work experience and international opportunities

At UCLan we work with a range of businesses and organisations, many of which provide work experience opportunities and project briefs to enable to you gain real work experience whilst you undertake your postgraduate programme. Your course tutor will advise on opportunities available within your course and the UCLan Careers Team can provide help, advice and guidance on how to apply for them and how to make the most of these opportunities.

Graduate Careers

The UCLan Careers Team offer ongoing supportive careers advice and guidance throughout your course and after graduation, along with a range of modules, work experience opportunities and events to help you acquire the skills to make you stand out to potential employers in today’s competitive market.


'I have to also say how truly grateful I am for having done SW4703!! It has given me a huge confidence boost in applying for my job and truly made the world of difference; definitely taken me out of the panic zone into the learning zone, so much so that I can actually enjoy my learning and not just be stressed by it!'

'My application for readmission to the HCPC register has been successful on the basis of the return to social work event and the additional module. I was surprised that I received notification less than three weeks after sending in the forms. This might be optimistic news for other people who may, like myself, expect readmission to be a very long process! As I've said before, I found the return to social work event, and the people I met there, a confidence-boosting experience. Straight after the event, I revamped my CV using the advice we received about job applications, and began applying for jobs. I have just accepted a job in a new service for recovering drug addicts, which is a new field for me, but I felt I was ready for a new challenge. On reflection whilst writing my assignment I decided that the third sector may allow more opportunities for using my skills in a more creative way than in statutory services. Thanks again for your support.'

Progression Routes

Under the School of Social Work, Care and Community’s Centre for CPD portfolio, this module can be completed as standalone or towards one of the following courses:
Posgraduate Certificate in Professional Development and Practice
Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice and Mental Health Law

For full details of the Centre for CPD's offering and progression routes please

Fees & Funding

You can contact the Student Fees and Funding Team via phone, email, or post. If you are on the campus you can call into The 'i', for advice.
Tel: +44 (0)1772 892440
Student Fees and Funding Team, Foster Building 117, UCLan, Preston, PR1 2HE

How to Apply

Please contact the CPD team for specific guidance to support you in completing an application and to ensure it is directed appropriately once submitted. You will be advised to apply through the University Online Application System.

Individuals should initially discuss their application with their employer as arrangements may be in place for financial and study leave support.

Should you have any further questions about the application or enrolment process please contact the CPD team on:
Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361/3408

About UCLan

Centre for CPD

School of Social Work, Care & Community

University of Central Lancashire,
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 894361