Ethics of Social Work

Type: lectures and seminars (28 hours), reading literature.

Level: advanced.

Credits: 5 ECTS.

Tutor: Lidia Kriulya, PhD, lecturer.

Aims of the course:

Studies provide a student with the knowledge about:

  • different ethical theories in the development of social work and social work values;
  • ethical principles and professional codes of ethics in different countries;
  • the importance of character in the professional role;
  • basic social worker’s responsibilities and their dependence on political meaning of ethical approaches in social work;
  • values of radical, professional and bureaucratic models of social work practice;
  • ethical principles of research in social work.

Learning outcomes:

After the studies a student must know and understand:

  • the purposes and outcomes of implementing different ethical theories to the practice of social work;
  • the ethical principles in different countries;
  • the significance of involvement and participation of service users in decision-making;

A student must be able to critically reflect on:

  • applying a definite set of ethical principles in different cultural and political contexts;
  • advantages and disadvantages of principle-based approaches and character-and relationship-based approaches to ethics of social work;
  • blame and guilt in social work.

Content description:

During the course the student learns:

  • to explain the interconnectedness of ethical with professional and political;
  • to interpret and compare professional codes of ethics accepted in different countries;
  • about the skills that help to develop into a reflective and reflexive practitioner;
  • to critically reflect on ethical judgments in context, conflicting responsibilities, growth of managerialism and authoritarianism;
  • about the causes of non-ethical behavior, ethical problems and dilemmas;
  • to be a responsible researcher.

Teaching methods :

Lectures, seminars, group discussions, reading the literature.

Work requirements:

Participation in lectures, seminars and group discussions, reading the literature.

Assessment methods:

Essay, 5 ECTS.


1-5 / Fail

Recommended reading : Will be delivered by the tutor