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1) Demonstrate a critical understanding of the emergence and development of a professional/occupational group and its main changes and achievements in terms of policy, professional status, power, education and influence.

Understanding the Human Services


Aims of assessment

Outline the development of a human service profession/occupation from its inception to the current day, providing an analysis of its key moments, i.e. emergence, development and possible changes over time.



Learning outcomes and threshold criteria


Unit learning outcomes and assessment criteria covered by this assessment

1) Demonstrate a critical understanding of the emergence and development of a professional/occupational group and its main changes and achievements in terms of policy, professional status, power, education and influence.





Threshold criteria to achieve a pass in the assessment

  • Critically analyse the emergence and development of a professional/occupational group, by drawing on previous literature and on law and policy. Has this group been professionalised? If yes, how? If not, any prospects?


  • Critically evaluate the extent to which (non)existing policy, regulation and guidelines for the chosen professional/occupational group is meeting the needs of that group and make some recommendations towards the well-maintenance of the profession.


  • Analyse the potential link between changes to society and changes to the professional/occupational group selected. Has the professional group selected remade itself? Has it constructed new boundaries? Has it changed in responsibilities? If yes, why?


  • Present your work in the correct format (double-space, font size 12, with page numbers and title of the assignment), using the standard referencing rules.



Samples of work will be moderated in line with University guidance to ensure fairness of the marking process.


Feedback will be provided 20 working days after submission. Please note: it is working days, so weekends and holidays do not get included in the number of days. It is also University policy to explain to you if these dates cannot be met for any reason. An announcement will be placed on BREO should delays occur.


Generic feedback to group provided, how / when

There will be a guided discussion on the assignment and engaging with feedback in class.


Additional individual feedback to be provided and how/when

Individual feedback will be provided via BREO and the 2 Question feedback process. 


Opportunities for further reflection

If you wish to discuss your feedback in detail you can do so by contacting the tutor that marked your work to arrange a one-to-one meeting.


Key initial* reading and resources

Please see the BREO Talis reading list for suggested sources on different topics related to the assignment.


Key initial* reading and resources

The reading will be provided for this assignment on a week by week basis and will be covered and discussed in class. To get the highest grades available you will also undertake your own further reading. The key minimum resources that will be used and drawn from are:



Specific assessment guidance on presentation, content or structure


Assignment 1 is a 1500-word essay where you demonstrate knowledge, understanding and critical analysis of the foundations, development and changes of a human service profession/occupation, with particular focus on policy and regulation, occupational closure strategies, status and power position in relation to other related professions/occupations, the job market and society. You should also look at the successes and the downfalls of the professional/occupational group chosen. You can choose a human service profession/occupation such as:

  • Health Visitor
  • Social Worker
  • Mental Health Worker
  • Child Abuse worker
  • Police Officer
  • Probation Officer
  • Medical Doctor
  • Psychologist
  • Speech Therapist
  • Nursing
  • Midwifery
  • Teacher/Teaching Assistant
  • And so on (please see at the bottom of the page 


The essay must incorporate the following – also see how to structure your essay below for further details on what needs to be included:

(1)     A description of the main duties, responsibilities and tasks of the chosen professional/occupational group and the types of service it provides.

(2)     A review of the literature – you must look at literature and research on your chosen professional/occupational group. Here you are focusing on the historical emergence and development of your chosen professional/occupational group, bringing together (summarising) what different studies and authors say. You should not describe one study after another e.g. simply have one paragraph saying study X says this, followed by a paragraph saying study Y says that, and so on. Here you should answer: How and why did this professional/occupational group emerge?

(3)     A critical analysis of relevant policy and legislation of your chosen professional/occupational group, assessing whether they are meeting the needs of your chosen professional/occupational group. A place to start your search would be the Department of Health 

(4)     Address changes to society which might be linked to the emergence, development and/or changes to your chosen professional/occupational group over time.

(5)     Address the successes and downfalls of the professional/occupational role selected.

(6)     An evidenced, reasoned and argued overall conclusion, as well as recommendations for the well-maintenance of the professional/occupational group selected. 

(7)     You are expected to draw on both academic texts and academic journals to support your discussion.  The use of a minimum of seven sources is required to pass – of these a minimum of four sources should be academic books or academic journals. Note: the 7 is a minimum – students are encouraged to carry out wider reading.  Additionally, accessing government reports and policies is expected; however, these are not included in the 4 minimum academic sources required to pass.

(8)     Your paper must be in essay format as outlined below and include all sections listed. 

a)     Title page – you can use the assignment title, or you can make up your own title.

b)    Introduction to your chosen professional/occupational group –  in the introduction you introduce the topic and state what the aims and objectives of your essay are. You outline what the paper will discuss in a structured way. You will say this paper will discuss X, Y and Z.

c)     Body – this is where you outline in general what is known about your professional/occupational group, i.e. it gives a background to your paper, introducing the topic. You are giving an overview of what has been said in books, journals, reports, etc. on your chosen professional/occupational group – i.e. How and why did it emerge? What are its main duties/tasks/responsibilities/jurisdiction? What has its status and power position been in relation to other related professional/occupational groups? What is known about the professional/occupational group chosen? Who are the key writers and what do they say? Has the professional/occupational group undergone major changes? If yes, in what way. In this section you should also discuss policy and regulation. You can also use studies from other countries or compare the dynamics of the same professional/occupational group across countries.

d)    Conclusion and recommendations - your recommendations towards the well-maintenance of the professional/occupational group selected are based on any issues highlighted in the studies you included in your paper and in your body section. 

e)     References

(9)     As with ALL your written assignments, you must use the Harvard system of referencing to cite your sources in the body of your paper. Please pay particular attention to the referencing guidelines on secondary referencing.

(10)   In all cases, in-text citations must match up with what appears in your reference list. Every in-text citation should correspond to a reference on the list at the end (and vice versa). An exception is when you cite a secondary source that you read about in a primary one. In that case only the primary source (the source you actually read) should appear in the list of references. Make sure you use the `cited in’ expression in the text if you use secondary referencing.

(11)   Remember good written communication is about structuring your work so that your writing is clearly signposted and developed and you guide the reader logically from one section/subsection to the next.

(12)   No more than 5 –10% of the assignment should be in the form of quotations.

(13)   Proofread and edit your work before handing it in and/or ask a trusted person to read it through for you.                        

(14)   Your work must be word processed, double spaced and page numbered. You must also include a word count. This is part of the assignment guidelines/task so you are expected to follow these instructions.

(15)   Ensure you put your student number on your work but DO NOT put your name on your work.

You are reminded that plagiarism of any type will be penalised and result in a fail.




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