The Durham MSW is a 21 month programme engaging students with the knowledge, skills and values that underpin social work practice with individuals, groups and communities. Academic study is complemented by two practice placements with different service user groups. Practice experience of statutory interventions with children and families or ‘vulnerable adults’ is complemented by opportunities for innovative practice in the voluntary and independent sectors in areas such as family justice, homelessness, substance use, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, community interventions and self-advocacy. With strong involvement of service users, carers and practice partners throughout the programme, the MSW provides strong foundations for practice in any field of social work.
Local and global perspectives
Our approach to social work education reflects the connections between individuals, their families and communities. We offer you a broad foundation for social work practice underpinned by the global definition of social work and emphasise the connections between local and global issues in social work. Shared learning alongside postgraduate students studying International Social Work and Community Development, and Community and Youth Work, provides valuable opportunities for the exchange of ideas and experiences.
Excellent employment prospects
There is very strong demand for Durham MSW graduates by employers in local authorities and non-government organisations regionally, nationally and internationally. Durham MSW graduates have been able to transfer their registration to other countries including Australia, Canada, Scotland and the USA.
The MSW is structured around seven modules designed to meet the academic and practice learning requirements for a degree in social work.
The MSW is full-time, starting in early October and continuing over 21 months. The programme does NOT run to university terms. There are approximately 12 weeks of vacation, including public holidays, during the course of the whole programme. In Year 1 the first four months are spent developing the necessary knowledge and skills to prepare you for your first practice placement of 70 days. In Year 2 you undertake a 100 day placement with a different service user group and in a contrasting setting where you will gain experience of statutory interventions in social work. Practice placements provide the opportunity to develop a range of skills set out in the Professional Capabilities Framework. You also extend your skills in linking theory, policy and practice, and undertake a research dissertation.
A range of assessment methods is used including essays, observation studies, project reports, case studies, group and individual presentations. Knowledge and understanding of social work law and policy is assessed in a take away exercise. Before embarking on the first placement, you will undergo a practical assessment of your communication skills in readiness for direct practice. Practice placements are assessed by critically reflective accounts of work with individuals, groups or communities and by your practice educator who provides regular supervision and observes your practice. You are also expected to seek, and reflect on, feedback from service users and professional colleagues. Research in Social Work is assessed through a 10,000 word dissertation.
Placements normally take place in the north east region and students are required to travel independently to these.
Sociology at Manchester is one of the UK's largest and most prestigious centres for the subject, with over 30 academic staff and 60 postgraduate students forming a diverse and rigorous academic community.
The MA programme aims to provide students who have an interest in sociology, the opportunity to extend and deepen their knowledge of the discipline. Our teaching includes all areas of contemporary sociology but we have particular expertise in the fields of socio-cultural change, gender and sexuality, and consumption and sustainability.
We are consistently highly ranked for research, coming first in the UK for the percentage of our research outputs that are judged as `world-leading', and second nationally based on our research power in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework (REF). Our research feeds into all of our postgraduate teaching.
The Sociology MA is the perfect course to develop your analytical and investigative skills, training you in methods of social investigation in order to equip you with the ability for independent thinking, research and analysis, setting you up perfectly for the world of employment.
Course Director: Dr Nick Thoburn
Email: [email protected]
Tel: +44 (0)161 275 2496
Part-time students complete the full-time programme over two years. There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme.
You must first check the schedule of the compulsory modules and then select your optional modules to suit your requirements.
Updated timetable information will be available from mid-August and you will have the opportunity to discuss your module choices during induction week with your Course Director
Assessment is normally by a 3,000 word assessed essay for each unit and, for the MA students, a dissertation of between 12,000 and 15,000 words.
You take four core compulsory course units: Social Theory and Cultural Identity; Culture, Modernity and Media; Research Design I and II, together with four options chosen from a wide range of specialist units. Examples of optional course units include: Politics and Culture; Protest and Progress: Understanding Movements for Social and Political Change; Cultures of Digital Play; New Developments in Theories of Gender and Sexuality; Qualitative Research Methods; Introduction to Quantitative Methods; Methodological Issues in Social Research. Students may also negotiate an Independent Studies course unit, linked to their particular research interests, subject to a suitable academic supervisor being available. Students registered for the MA (or who upgrade from the PG Diploma) complete a 12,000 word dissertation, on a research topic of their choice, in addition to the eight taught course units.
Many MA students go on to take research degrees (PhD), but the skills gained on this programme can be put to use in a variety of career paths. Careers which are most closely related include education, social and community work (related to a range of areas such as welfare advice, working with families or dealing with issues such as homelessness and mental health problems), human resources and working in the media.