Getting ready for K113

We are really pleased you have decided to study K113. The resources on this page are designed to help you get prepared for the start of your studies at the end of January. They will give you some ideas of what is involved and help you in succeeding on the module.

Advice from the module team

The module team has a few pointers to help you succeed on K113:

  • Make sure you are prepared for your workshops, as they are mandatory on this module. It is a good idea to make a note of your workshop dates when they are released so you do not miss any.
  • Do try to arrange your practice experience as soon as you can. Time studying the module will go past quickly, and it can take time to get placements organised (especially if you need an Access NI check). Your practice experience will also help you to make links between ideas in the module and practice.
  • Use the feedback you get from your tutors. Your tutor wants you to succeed and their feedback on your assignments is there to support you to do the best you can.
  • Make sure you read the guidance for assignments – it is there to help you!

Finding 10 practice experience days

While you are studying K113, you need to undertake at least 10 days experience of working alongside people in a health and social care setting. This can be at your present workplace or as a volunteer. While sponsored students will have their practice experience arranged by their sponsor, if you are studying the module as a non-sponsored, independent student, you will need to arrange your practice experience and find a verifier yourself. If you haven't secured a placement yet, it is a good idea to start organising this now, as it can take longer to get started than you think!

Advice about what the 10 days practice experience might include

If you need some help in finding a setting in which to undertake your practice experience, you may find the Do-IT website helpful. Do-IT is a website that aims to put volunteers in touch with organisations who are looking for volunteers. In their ‘Discover’ area, you can enter your postcode or town to start searching for volunteering opportunities near you.


Top tips from a previous student

Here are some tips from a previous student who studied K113 as a non-sponsored, independent student:

  • Try and do volunteering work in a social care setting if can, as this will give you practical experience as well as a feel for the subject area. It can also help with the practice placement requirement if you’re not currently working in a social work/social care setting.
  • The module materials give you the knowledge about what the social work processes are. This can then feed into your current work or give you the confidence to get work in the social work/social care sector in the future.
  • When studying, there will be times when your personal life doesn’t fit in with your studying, as you’re studying in your own time alongside working. There will be times when you may feel overwhelmed by it all, particularly around TMA submission times. Make full use of the study planner on the website so you’re aware of key dates (like TMA submission dates etc) and talk to your tutor if you need support.
  • The workshops are a great opportunity to meet everyone, ask questions and get advice or help with something you might be struggling with. Knowing that you’re not alone with your challenges is very comforting. You can get into some great discussions and debates at the workshops and talk about the content that you’re studying.
  • Plan, plan and plan again! Make sure you’re prepared. If you do fall behind and have to catch up, that’s okay because there is flexibility in the method of studying. But it doesn’t replace being prepared and on top of things in the first place. Go at your own pace and use the forums to talk about things.
  • Use the Aids to Practice (located in Resources on the module website) as they’re really helpful when you’re studying the module independently.
  • Make sure you communicate with your tutor, as they’re really helpful and understanding.
  • Studying the module independently can really impress future employers, as it shows you can commit to your own education and that you’ve done it in your own time.
  • Be prepared to feel good about yourself and satisfied with your work – it’s a great feeling!

Taster resources

  • An introduction to social work (K113) – this free taster introduces key ideas, values, the social work process and the skills needed for social work practice (15 hours study, Level 1: Introductory)
  • Introduction to child psychology – a brief introduction to the discipline of child psychology and some of the key questions that guide the understanding of childhood (8 hours study at Level 1: Introductory).
  • Introducing ageing – an introduction to some key ideas in studying later life (11 hours study at Level 1: Introductory)
  • Perspectives on Social Work: Individual Stories - a series of four interviews with a service user, a carer, a social worker and a social care manager discussing their experiences (2 hours study; Level 1: Introductory)
  • Caring for adults – a badged course (receive a badge you can display on your OU profile if you complete the course) that looks at the role of caring for adults, either formally or informally (15 hours study; Level 1: Introductory)
  • Introduction to adolescent mental health – an OU badged course that looks at recent research in the area of adolescent mental health, and helps you to reflect on ways in which you might notice that an adolescent is struggling with their mental health (24 hours study; Level 1: Introductory)