Posted by: Nici | 23 June, 2012

Essential books for the Social Work degree

So I have just finished a very stressful, busy 2nd year at uni. I am now starting my 10,000 word Major Undergraduate Project, with the hope of getting the research and some of the writing done over the summer break. Whilst going through the enormous amount of books that I have accumulated during my two years at uni, I realised that I use the same ones again and again, and therefore thought I would share these books with other current or future students.

The Social Work Companion by Neil Thompson and Sue Thompson (Palgrave) has been with me since the begining of my first year. Covers everything social work in a clear, easy to read way. During my second year 100 day placement I found the references to what National Occupational Standards key roles were reflected throughout the book extremely useful when completing my portfolio. I consider this book to be an essential starting point.

Theory and Practice by Siobhan Maclean and Rob Harrison (Kirwin Maclean Associates) was recommended to me my social work friends on Twitter when I was stressing about relating theories to practice. This book has guided me through all of my second year assignments and my placement portfolio and I have recommended it to my fellow students who all agree what a great book it is. Written very simply and clearly in a manner which makes it very easy to find what you’re looking for, it has been the first place I look when needed help with theories.

Sociology and Social Work by Jo Cunningham and Steve Cunningham (Learning Matters) is again, an easy book to read and points you in the right direction for all things sociology.

Blackstone’s Guide to the Mental Health Act 2007 by Paul Bowen (Oxford University Press) doesn’t come cheap, but if you are interested in Mental Health law then this book is great. It explains the history and rationale behind the act in a way which is easy to read and understand. It includes the Mental Health Act 1983 and the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in full, so covers all bases.

Social Work Law by Alison Brammer (Pearson Education Ltd) was on our reading list in year one for our Legal Context of Social Work module. I still use this book for reference and clarification in all law based assignments as once again, it is easy to read and understand.

Modern Social Work Theory by Malcolm Payne (Palgrave) is a classic. More complicated to read than the ‘Theory and Practice’ book mentioned earlier, but great for more in-depth analysis of theories and their relation to practice.

Surviving your social work placement by Robert Lomax, Karen Jones, Sarah Leigh and Chris Gay (Palgrave) is a useful little pocket sized book which I read through and completed the exercises prior to my second year 100 day placement. It put my mind at ease, as the prospect of my placement was a little daunting and gave me things to consider and ask whilst on placement. Cracking little book to stick in your bag and dip in and out off.

Hope this helps! x



  1. […] From @Sunnynici […]

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