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Working with Difference and Diversity

Who is it for?

Working with Difference and Diversity is designed for social workers and other welfare practitioners who encounter questions about power, difference and identity in their work, particularly around culture, 'race', religion or sexuality.

The course is accessible for people who are studying part-time and for people across the UK who are able to travel to Lancaster for two separate days during the course.


Course details

Social workers and other practitioners are increasingly working in diverse communities.  This brings challenges about how to work inclusively and meet the specific requirements of different social groups.  It also means that practitioners are expected to balance tensions between respecting the cultural norms of diverse groups of people and ensuring equal protection for vulnerable individuals.  While frameworks such as equality legislation offer some clarity about how these tensions should be managed, practitioners still need to exercise a critical and reflexive approach to their own practice in order to work inclusively.
The course explores the following:

  • Practitioners' own experiences of working in the context of difference and diversity
  • Examples from recent practice, such as serious case reviews, where practitioners have had to manage conflicting demands relating to diversity and equality
  • Current debates about the changing nature of social and ethnic diversity, sexual identities and family practices in contemporary British society
  • Ethical frameworks which practitioners can use in resolving dilemmas in practice

The course is delivered through two intensive, day-long workshops and a series of learning activities, virtual seminars and online discussion forums over the course of ten weeks.  Course participants are facilitated to work as a small group of experienced practitioners, engaging in exercises which enable them to share detailed, anonymised accounts of their practice for critical analysis in a supportive environment.  There is an emphasis on engaging with and employing current knowledge in order to develop practice throughout the course. 


This course carries 20 Higher Education credits at level 7.  Successful completion leads to a Lancaster University Postgraduate Certificate of Achievement.  Academic credits can also be used towards a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MA in Advanced Social Work.


The course is assessed via a written assignment of 4000 words, where students use current knowledge to critically analyse practice.  Students have access to face to face and e-tutorials in relation to their assessed work.  There are no exams.

Entry requirements

Applicants should have at least a lower second class honours degree in social work or a social science subject, or a degree level qualification in a related profession, or a Masters degree in Social Work.

Social workers taking this course should have practised for at least one year following qualification.






If you have any questions or require further information on any of our degree programmes please contact Dharman Jeyasingham



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