Partnership work with service users and carers in social work education is a policy requirement, and it is also central to the anti-oppressive and rights-based values of social work. This paper reports research findings which are drawn from an educational context, but are also relevant to the wider field of health and social care. The research team undertook a systematic knowledge review using the Evidence for Policy and Practice Information and Coordinating Centre system, which had been used in health and education, but which had not previously been used in social care and social work. This involved an extensive search of electronic databases and rigorous screening to identify studies which had sufficient relevance to be subjected to detailed analysis. The research team also undertook a practice survey of the teaching, learning and assessment of partnership in prequalifying programmes in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This involved three stages: a document search; telephone interviews; and focus groups held with students, academic staff, and service users and carers. Throughout the research process, the interdisciplinary team was advised and supported by a stakeholder group which consisted of service users and carers, students, and employer representatives. In the second part of the paper, subsequent discussion explores key findings from the research, including the disputed nature of the concept of partnership, models of partnership work within social work education and the dearth of research on partnership outcomes. Five related questions are identified as a means of interrogating the robustness of the research process and findings. The paper concludes by arguing for work to be done to theorise partnership, and to develop effective strategies for improving the quality of partnership working in education, and health and social care practice.