You are here

Study Skills for Social Workers

Study Skills for Social Workers

Additional resources:

May 2010 | 288 pages | SAGE Publications Ltd
Study Skills for Social Workers offers an accessible insight into the practical use of skills for study in a professional social work context. Engaging with students on their journey through the undergraduate or postgraduate qualifying course, it uses relevant case material from academic and social work perspectives to demonstrate the connection between study and practice. The book is comprehensive in its coverage of the core study skills, including guidance on:

  • Effective writing
  • Successful communication
  • Reflective study
  • E-learning
  • Learning in the workplace
  • Understanding feedback.

Written in a student-friendly style, Study Skills for Social Workers is interspersed with activities and exercises to enable students to practice and improve their skills as they move through the text. Also included is a glossary, and model answers to sample questions.

What Does This Book Aim to Do?

Will this Book Help me Pass the Course?

Key Features of this Book

Thinking about Learning
Where are You Now as a Learner?

Learning as a Child or as an Adult?

How does Learning Happen?

Learning Styles

Skim the Surface or Dive in at the Deep End?

Common Learning Obstacles

Your Learning Goals


Tackling Boredom and Frustration - Head on!

Further Reading

Self-Management and Organization

Working Independently

Organising Independent Study Space

Avoidance Strategies and Procrastination

Stress and Stress Management

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Learning in the Workplace
Work-based Social Work Courses

Working with Colleagues

Skills for Managing Change

Communication, Confidence and Understanding

Support and Guidance

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Learning Online
What is E-learning?

What Sort of Technologies Might You Be Using?

How Will E-Learning Be Used?

Effective Use of Online Learning Environments

Doing Research Online

Independent Learning Online

Online Collaboration and Group Work


Useful Resources

Further Reading

Researching, Reading and Critiquing
What is Research?

How is Research Relevant to Your Course?

Projects and Dissertations

Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Searching the Literature

The Six-step Search Strategy

The Snowball Technique

Effective Reading and Note-taking

Writing about Research

Foregrounding your 'Writer Voice'

Planning a Research Project

Useful Resources

Writing Effectively
Why is Writing so Important?

Improving your Writing Skills

Support for Students with Specific Learning Difficulties

Your Previous Experience of Writing

Getting used to 'Academic Writing'

Writing at Higher Education Level

Types of Academic Writing

Writing Essays

Other Types of Writing

Further Reading

Referencing Effectively
Referencing is a Learnable Skill

The Key to Successful Referencing

Why Are You Asked to Use Referencing?

Referencing in Practice

Reference Lists

Referencing Exercises

Other Referencing Tips

Further Reading

Communication and Awareness Skills
Service-users, Carers and Communication Skills

Developing Your Confidence in Communicating

Communication and Social Work

Ensuring Accuracy - Information Fit for Purpose


Active Listening

Verbal Communication

Non-verbal Communication - Observing Communication Through Behaviour

Eyes - the Mirrors of the Soul?



Further Reading

Using Feedback Effectively
Personal Development Plan

Why Feed Back?

Feedback on Your Assignments

Feedback from Service-Users and Carers

Feedback from Colleagues

Feedback from Peers

Dealing with Criticism

Further Reading

Reflection in Social Work
They 'Why' and 'What' of Reflection

A Tool for Reflection

The GSCC Codes of Practice (2002)

Reflection and Accountability

Suggested Answers

Useful Resources

Further Reading

Developing Social Work Portfolios


Core Skills Portfolios

The Continuous Professional Development(CPD)Portfolio

Practice Portfolios

Further Reading

Computing Principles and Concepts
Social Work and Computing Skills

The Basic Concepts of IT

Managing Files Effectively

Using Databases to Access Information

Database Fundamentals

Computing and Assistive Technologies

Computing in Social Work Practice Settings

Data Protection Issues

Useful Resources

Computing Skills Workshop
Help Options and Online Resources

Features in Microsoft Office 2007

Word Processing

Presentation Software

Part 1: Authoring Your PowerPoint Presentation

Part 2: Delivering Your Presentation

Using Spreadsheets

Using Basic Formulae in Excel

Creating Charts and Graphs in Excel

Useful Resources

Further Reading



SAGE Study Skills hub
Visit the SAGE Study Skills hub for tips, resources and videos on study success!

Excellent text, demonstrates the basic skills needed for social work. Easy for students to adopt and implement skills throughout their practice.

Miss Ella Malton
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE And FE
April 4, 2017

Gives an excellent guide to students studying Social Work, supports them to develop study skills for their degree programme.

Mr David Childs
Social Work , Birmingham City University
October 28, 2015

This book will give students insight into the field of social work and enhance there study skills. It clearly breaks down complex issues so the student will have a more sound understanding.

Miss Ella Rachael Malton
Department of Health & Social Studies, Grimsby Institute of HE & FE
September 18, 2015

A basic book useful to some who need additional help in studying especially those who have returned to study after a long break

Graham Ixer
Health and Social Care, Winchester University
June 19, 2015

Although the book title states that it is for social workers, it is equally relevant to the community workers and social care practitioners that I work with, which isn't always the case. The coverage of subjects is wide-ranging and thought provoking.

Mrs Jackie M'Cartney
School of Care, Runshaw Adult College
August 4, 2014

Excellent book. The format of activities and reflection points translates very well into seminar content. Extremely student friendly

Ms Cat Meredith
Faculty of Health, Social Work & Educ, Northumbria University
June 18, 2014

Brilliant for tutors and learners alike. All the information needed is included and helps the learner improve.

Miss Fiona Hennah
Dept of Care & Continuing Education, Ystrad Mynach College
November 20, 2013

An excellent text for students embarking on the Social work pathway. Not just for Undergraduate level. Some of the content is relevant to those at Access level. I will be recommending this to both Access and undergraduate students.

Ms Gerri Capper
Access to Higher Education, Warrington Collegiate Institute
April 21, 2012

Excellent book that lays out practical skills for students wading through their Social Work courses, assisting in how to prioritise their workload while building confidence that the task is achievable.

Highlights the range of tasks to be completed in an effective and easy to understand manner.

Gavin Millar
Family and Community Studies, Anglia Ruskin University
April 12, 2012

I have handed this book around to students in practice tutorials, and suggested they may want to take a look at it. It has been especially useful with my first year BSc tutees. I particularly like the study exercises.

Ms Emma Inch
School of Applied Social Science, Brighton University
November 21, 2011

Sample Materials & Chapters


Chapter One

Sage College Publishing

You can purchase or sample this product on our Sage College Publishing site:

Go To College Site

This title is also available on SAGE Knowledge, the ultimate social sciences online library. If your library doesn’t have access, ask your librarian to start a trial.