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Professional development INT15971/11004/2223/1/88
Study guide

Professional development INT

Academic year 2022-23
Is found in:
  • Bachelor in Social Work
  • Programmes Incoming Students
This is a single course unit.
Study load: 3 credits

Course sequence (VT)

There are no prerequisites for this course.
Total study time: 84,00 hours
Possible deadlines for learning account: 01.12.2022 ()
This course unit is marked out of 20 (rounded to an integer).
Re-sit exam: is possible.
Compensated fail: You have to pass this course unit (will never be compensated).
It is not possible to enrol in this course unit under
  • exam contract (to obtain a credit).
  • exam contract (to obtain a degree).
Co-ordinator: Boterbergh David
Language course: No
Languages: English
Scheduled for: Semester 5

Final competences (list)

SOW/0600The PBA SOW makes her/his professional identity explicit. This professional identity consists of a view on the professional practice situated in the social context. This implies the integration of the frameworks of values that come with the profession of social worker as described in the global definition of social work, the Global Social Work Statement of Ethical Principles and the Global Agenda for Social Work and Social Development. The student develops her/his professional identity by reflecting on referential frameworks, her/his conduct, the social work practice and society, and by engaging in a dialogue with fellow students, lecturers, stakeholders and social workers. Throughout this process she/he adopts an inquisitive, (self-)critical attitude. The graduating Bachelor of Social Work acts in accordance with her/his professional identity, she/he makes professional decisions and justifies those a.o. from her/his Professional identity. The bachelor guards her/his professional integrity and recognises professional boundaries. The Professional Bachelor in Social Work/Personnel Work derives his or her professional identity from the work context. In this respect, he or she refers to the HRM competence profile, based on major international research (Ulrich, 2017).learning outcomeBS
SOW/0604The student articulates personal talents, skills and strengths with regards to the social work practice and applies self-awareness and self-regulation to manage the influence of his own frames of reference, values and norms as part of a developing professional identity.learning goal elementaryBS
SOW/0605The student situates himself within every component of the model of professional identity and detects and seizes opportunities to further develop his own knowledge, skills and attitudes by these means and actively reflects on his personal and professional growth and identity as a social worker in an international context.learning goal broadening/deepeningBS
SOW/0606The student demonstrates an understating of the global social, cultural and environmental issues which influence the social work practice and relates this to the framework of 21st century skills and his own professional development.learning goal broadening/deepeningBS
SOW/0607The student integrates knowledge about different current issues in social work and formulates a broad vision on the social work practice and its role in contemporary society, characterized by technological innovation, increasing human interconnection and globalization.learning goal autonomous/complexBS


The focus of this course unit is primarily on the student’s personal development towards a social work professional, using the Model of Professional Identity as conceptualized by Manon C.P. Ruijters and the framework of 21st Century Skills. Throughout the course unit, several current affairs topics will be introduced that serve as a means to develop a personal vision on the social work practice in today’s society.
The student is the architect of a self-driven learning process, in which he assesses his own learning needs and goals, plans his own actions and evaluates whether these goals are met. To acquire this, the student will interact with fellow students and actively consult with the teacher about the different aspects of their personal and professional development.
To accommodate the articulation of this process and stimulate active reflection, the student will be challenged to creatively express himself in relation to the content of the course unit.

The model of professional identity

This model, developed by Manon C.P. Ruijters, serves as the main framework to think and talk about professional development and identity. The different components of the model provide us with a means to examine the aspects of professional identity in relation to personal vision, values, skills, experience and aspirations.

Personal talents, frames of reference and the core competencies of social work

To be a professional social worker means you can present yourself as you are, based on your background, talents and competencies. Many people are reluctant to talk about themselves in this way, as it is often labelled as “bragging”. Still, developing a language to describe who you are professionally, is easier than you might think and is essential in the development process to being a professional social worker.

21th Century skills: social and cultural competence, critical thinking and creativity

The world we live in has never been more complex. Or has it? Developing a well-founded personal vision on the role of social work in contemporary society defines you as a professional and sets you apart from others. Social workers don’t jump onto bandwagons (or do they?) and that takes awareness, critical thinking and creativity. How will we face the challenges of the 21st century?

Current affairs and social issues: sustainability, diversity and media literacy

How to save the planet? How to battle racism? Is the world really as bad as the media would have us believe? There are no simple answers to these questions, but we as social workers are definitely in some way part of the solution, so we delve into these topics with an open mind and try to determine how we can make a difference as professionals.

Educational organisation (list)

Face-to-face instruction
Lectures24,00 hours
  • Start time: 14/09/2020
Self-study - tasks
Assignments in study hours48,00 hours
Study hours10,00 hours
Tests and exams
Assessment time2,00 hours

Educational organisation (text)

Education and assessment will be organised as described on these ECTS sheets, except when measures must be taken due to a pandemic, and other education and assessment methods are used accordingly.

Assessment (list)

Evaluation(s) for first exam chance
First term out of exam periodOral50,00Presentation on Professional Identity
First term out of exam periodOral50,00Creative assignment on Professional Development
Evaluation(s) for re-sit exam
Third term within exam periodOral50,00Presentation on Professional Identity
Third term within exam periodOral50,00Creative assignment on Professional Development

Assessment (text)

The student will receive an assignment to develop a personal and creative presentation portfolio, which can take any shape or form the student proposes (photography, poster, short film, multimedia, vlog, sculpture, … ). The decision on the shape or form of the assignment will be made in consultation with the teacher, who will also coach the creative process. The assignment will not be evaluated as such, as the evaluation will happen during the individual oral exam.

The assignment:
- must be inspired by a work of art chosen by the student during the visit to a local museum.
- serves as a creative reflection on the personal and professional growth and identity of the student.
- serves as a starting point for the presentation the student will give during the oral exam.
During the oral exam, the student will give a presentation on his assignment. This presentation is approximately 10 minutes long and should reflect how the student has integrated the topics presented throughout the course unit into their personal assignment. After the presentation, the teacher will further inquire into the student’s vision on the topics discussed in the course unit and his own personal and professional development.

For incoming international student the retaking of exams is in the week immediately after the exam commission in January.

The study guide mentions the practicalities and specific arrangements of the re- sit of the exam.