Assessing social work students on practicum at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU): Challenges and implications

Taghreed M. Abu Sarhan, Prospera Tedam

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


The Social Work program at the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU) is the first and the only program-training students for Masters in Social Work (MSW) in the United Arab Emirates. MSW students are required to undertake 500 hours of practice in the field while Bachelor in Social Work (BSW) students are required to complete 400 hours of practicum. This paper outlines both BSW and MSW practicum courses and examines the assessment tools and methods that contribute to students’ readiness for practice upon qualifying. The authors explore the framework in practicum settings in the UAE and critically reflect on the challenges of the current assessment methods in preparing professional social workers for practice upon graduation. The absence of service user contribution in the assessment process is considered a major disadvantage to the holistic development of social workers in the UAE and will be examined. Significantly, the two authors who are female address the issue of gender within the context of assessment due to gender segregation in field practicum linked to the cultural and religious requirements in the UAE. The paper concludes with recommendations to improve the assessment of social work students at both BSW and MSW levels at the United Arab Emirates University.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-46
Number of pages16
JournalJournal of Practice Teaching and Learning
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Jan 24 2021


  • Assessment methods
  • BSW
  • MSW
  • Practicum
  • Social Work
  • UAEU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Education
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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