Social workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society at times of greatest stress. By the end of this programme you will have been assessed against the Standards of Proficiency for Social Work and the Professional Capabilities Framework. Once qualified, you will be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration. Competent practice is essential for the award and you will undertake 200 days of practice learning (placement and skills for practice) during the programme. Practice learning through placement experience is undertaken in blocks of the course and skills for practice, 30 days experiential skills for practice during Year one (in the university), 70 days (in placement) during Year 1 and 100 days (in placement) during Year two.
For students enrolled on the programme, you will be expected to travel to placements with employer providers and be able to travel to service users. Being a holder of a current UK driving licence is therefore desirable.
During this initial year your knowledge and skills for social work practice is developed and assessed. The value base of social work is emphasised and you will engage in teaching designed to support your learning and understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practice in a model that promotes social justice and relationship based practice. The Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice module is designed to develop students’ skills, knowledge and understanding about social work. The course is delivered by a range of qualified social work academics, service users and social work practitioners, which includes 30 days experiential skills. You will have an opportunity to undertake a five-day shadow placement with an employer provider in a social work setting. The first year is designed to prepare and assess students’ ‘readiness for direct practice’ prior to the 70 day placement
You will develop your understanding of different service user groups and service provision in social work settings building on the teaching and learning during Year one. The teaching will provide opportunities for you to work in small learning sets developing your reflective critical thinking skills. A module on diversity develops your understanding of the correlations between oppression, discrimination and inequality and how gender shapes organisations and service delivery. A 100-day assessed placement learning opportunity will be completed in a social work setting. During this final year you will also undertake research which is either empirical or literature based which is presented in a final dissertation.
Masters in Social Work students will have the opportunity to enrol onto the Developing Housing Practice module. This is a 10 credit level 7 module which, on completion, gives students partial accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) which is equivalent to 10 credits towards postgraduate housing related training. This would be offered to the Masters students as an elective online module. There are a number of overlaps between housing and social work which include: vulnerable adults, people seeking asylum, safeguarding children, domestic abuse, hate crime, community safety and anti-social behaviours. This optional module would support the employability of the Masters students and offer a unique partial accreditation in housing-related training which complements social work.
-Life Span 1: Human Growth and Development
-Social Work Law and Policy
-Dissertation and Research Skills for Effective Social Work Practice
-Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice
-Life Span 2: Assessing and Managing Risk in Child and Adult Protection
-Developing Housing Practice, Knowledge and Provision
-Gender and Sexuality Studies in Social Work
-Prepares you for professional social work practice
-Enables you to develop their practice skills
-Develops your skills and knowledge in working with other professions
-Raises political awareness and encourages you to be a creative, critical and reflective thinker
-The Social Work subject team sign up to and hold the International Federation of Social Work definition of social work
-Students will have the opportunity to develop a range of communication skills in the first year through experiential teaching and learning facilitated by Service Users, Social Work Practitioners and Practice Educators.
You will undertake 170 days of practice learning (placement). You will complete a student profile during the first year of study and through strong partnerships between the University and employer providers, you will be matched to a specific service placement. You will be expected to be able to travel effectively to and from the placement and be able to carry out community based duties (where required) during the placement which may involve independent travel. It is therefore desirable that you hold a current UK driving licence. Placement learning opportunities can be outside of Northampton. All placement providers are quality assured by the University.
English Language & Mathematics: Social work entrants must hold at least a GCSE grade C in English Language and Mathematics (O level grade C or CSE grade 1 are the equivalent). Key Skills Level Two qualifications are also acceptable. For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 7 is required.
You will be required to declare that you have these qualifications.
-Ability to write thoughtfully, insightfully and coherently about your motivation in applying for the course and understanding and commitment to the social work profession.
-Relevant work experience. Students must demonstrate (100 days or equivalent) relevant previous experience in social care or a related area. This could be paid or voluntary work.
-Students yet to graduate should provide an academic reference on the application, indicating their predicted degree classification. Students who have already graduated can also provide a professional reference.
-All applicants must confirm prior to interview/offer decision making that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities, including word processing, internet browsing and the use of email, and may be asked to specify how these skills have been obtained.
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.
Leading to a professional qualification in social work, UCLan’s MA Social Work course has been developed in close co-operation with social work agencies in the voluntary, independent and statutory sectors and in conjunction with service users and carers. It incorporates 170 days placement experience as well as structured academic learning, including input from service users. A work based (part-time) route taking a minimum of three years, is available for employees who are sponsored by our partner agencies. The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and has been developed in line with the HCPC Standards of Proficiency, the College of Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework, and the QAA benchmarking statements. A key principle of the programme is the promotion of student self-directed and enquiry based learning, with the model of action learning sets embedded within the teaching and learning strategy of the programme. The aim is to enable students to develop advanced knowledge, skills and values for social work.
This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.
This course has been approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as meeting the Standards of Education & Training required for social work programmes. Students who successfully complete all social work elements of the course are eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as qualified social workers.
Teaching and learning opportunities include lectures, workshops, use of action learning sets and facilitated tutorials, student-led projects, presentations, e-learning, discussion groups, workshops and self-directed study. Social work practitioners and service users and carers contribute to programme delivery.
The modules, plus practice learning opportunities, enable students to meet the academic and practice outcomes as specified by external regulators.
Academic assessments include; essays, exams, presentations, case studies, oral interviews, practice placements, portfolios and a 10,000 word dissertation.
Social workers work with a wide cross section of society, which includes a significant proportion of some of the most disadvantaged and excluded people in our society. Social work students therefore need to develop the knowledge, skills and appropriate values to work positively with service users and carers. This course will offer you opportunities to develop and integrate knowledge, skills and values for and in practice, which will allow you to demonstrate that you meet The College of Social Work Professional Capabilities at the Qualifying Level for Social Work in England as well as the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency in practice by the end of the course.
The MA Social Work course will consist of 1800 hours structured academic learning and 170 days of learning in practice settings.
As part of the taught element of the course which is University- based students will experience a minimum of thirty skills development activity days. In Year 1 the focus is on generic skills which form the basis of an assessment of the student’s Readiness for Direct Practice and the development of capabilities at ‘end of first placement’ level. These include: communications skills; interviewing skills; skills of observation; understanding social work contexts; and direct communication with and learning from service users and carers. In Year 2 students will have the opportunity to develop more ‘advanced skills’ such as working with ‘hard to engage’ service users and direct work with children.
Key aspects of the programme include:
-Professionalism: developing awareness in students of how to behave as a professional social worker
-Values and ethics: understanding and applying to practice the ethical values and principles of social work
-Diversity: recognising diversity and applying anti-oppressive principles in practice
-The advancement of human rights, social justice and economic well-being
-Applying knowledge for social work: knowledge of human growth and development, psychology, social policy, sociology, law and theory for social work
-Critical reflection and analysis in respect to professional decision making
-Skills to intervene to promote independence provide support and prevent harm and abuse
-Working in organisations including collaborative working between agencies
-Taking responsibility for the professional learning and development of others through leadership
Recent graduates have successfully gained employment in social work teams in a variety of settings such as child protection, parenting and family support teams, youth justice, community drug teams, community mental health teams, adult social care services. Some graduates have returned to the School to undertake post qualifying courses for experienced practitioners and continue their academic study.
Students can access the ERASMUS scheme, which provides students with opportunities to travel to UCLan partner universities in Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Portugal. In addition, there may be a range of opportunities for international study visits – students recently have visited Istanbul, Copenhagen, Cyprus & Ireland.
This intensive programme is for graduates from any discipline wishing to train and qualify as social workers.
Through a combination of academic and professional modules, you will focus on both the social science knowledge base of social work, and on developing your practice-relevant knowledge, skills and values through 200 days of practical learning.
Taught by qualified social workers with a range of practice specialisms and research interests, this course offers exciting opportunities to learn alongside students from related professional disciplines including occupational therapy, teaching, nursing and medicine, mirroring the interprofessional nature of social work practice.
Users of social work services, carers and experienced practitioners are also actively involved in the course and the delivery of teaching sessions.
The postgraduate diploma (PGDip) can be taken as an alternative and shorter route to obtaining a postgraduate social work qualification with students learning alongside MSc students in all except the dissertation module. It is also available as an early exit award to those registered on the MSc who opt not to take the dissertation module but meet all other requirements of the PGDip.
The MSc and PGDip are both approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulatory body for social workers and other health professionals. All students will address the HCPC Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers throughout the course, alongside the former College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
In line with the guidance of the College of Social Work, students undertake 200 days of practical learning across the course. This involves 30 days of developing practice skills within the university, a 70-day placement in year 1 and a 100-day placement in year 2.
Learning in practice is supported by periods of study at the university, directed study (with a range of learning materials) and small-group practice tutorials. The course reflects the interprofessional nature of social work, with opportunities for shared learning experiences with education, nursing, medical and occupational therapy students.
Year 1 introduces core skills, theories and approaches for social work practice in its interprofessional context and fosters a critical understanding of key law, policy and human growth across the lifespan.
Year 2 focuses on more complex and accountable practice together with the development of more specialised skills and knowledge. There is also a focus on research in social work and the critical use of evidence to underpin own practice.
It is possible to take the PGDip as a standalone qualification in 15–18 months, or as an early exit award for those registred on the MSc who choose not to take the dissertation module but who meet all other PGDip requirements.
MSc and PGDip
Social work is a rewarding career for those committed to improving the life opportunities and wellbeing of others, whilst promoting rights and social justice.
Registered social workers generally have little trouble finding employment. There are many relevant vacancies advertised locally and nationally, and there continues to be a demand for social workers both in established posts and with agencies who provide temporary staff to statutory organisations.
Social workers can specialise in many different areas, including working with children, youth offending, family centres, older people, disabled people, mental health services, homeless people, asylum seekers and refugees, and substance misuse.
This masters programme in Advanced Child Protection Studies is designed to develop students’ specialist knowledge within the field of child protection and safeguarding. It will interest those who are currently employed, involved, or interested in the field, whether in a leadership, practice, or support role.
It is taught by experienced practitioners and experts in the field and provides students with the opportunity to focus on specific areas of interest. There are four 30-credit modules over two years (two each year) and a dissertation in year three to achieve the MSc.
This child protection masters course is an online and distance learning programme, which combines innovative learning and teaching techniques with interaction with the tutor and fellow students. Students are provided with the same level of teaching as received by those on campus with the additional benefit of having the flexibility to study anywhere at any time.
No specialist knowledge in technology is required, students just need to have access to the internet and know how to use it. Learning activities are structured to provide simplicity and students are supported throughout the programme.
The course will start in September and candidates will be invited to a one day event at the University to meet the tutors and other candidates as well as to be briefed on the programme.
This programme aims to equip students with advanced knowledge that will enable them to work effectively in the field of child protection, whether this is in the area of practice, management, research, or service development. The programme aims to facilitate the development of higher-level critical analysis skills, and to develop students’ capacity for knowledge-informed practice and more original thinking in relation to the complex issues that arise in the contested field of child protection.
The programme is designed to appeal to the more experienced professional already engaged in this area of activity – for example in social work, policing, law, education, nursing and health. However, those with an academic interest in the area (for example social policy, law or criminology graduates) are also encouraged to apply, subject to being able to satisfy the requirements of the various modules. If you would like further information about these requirements please contact Mark Chesterman or Matthew Gibson.
More specifically, the programme aims to help students develop:
The programme emphasises the relevance of systems thinking and emotional processes, and includes attention to international perspectives and extra-familial as well as intra-familial child protection issues. Additionally, the programme gives the opportunity to look at some of the critical debates in this area of work (for example, the tensions between medical and social models of child protection, the relationship between non-consensual adoption and child protection, and family preservation orientations in the context of child protection).
Our modules are structured to provide easily accessible learning resources, tasks, and assessments that engage you in flexible and streamlined learning. Support is provided throughout the programme directly by the tutor in group and individual sessions. Furthermore, some activities are organised to encourage peer support and develop peer learning within the cohort to enhance the learning experience. A variety of learning and teaching methods are used throughout, including:
The course particularly offers successful candidates the potential to:
Please note that the programme does not lead to a professional qualification.
The Master of European Social Security is a one-year advanced master's programme organised by KU Leuven's Faculty of Law dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense, including cash benefit schemes, pensions and health care systems.
The programme provides an in-depth study of social security and social protection from a legal, economical, sociological, administrative and philosophical perspective. In addition to being multidisciplinary, the curriculum contains a strong comparative and multinational component focusing on the provision of social protection rights across Europe. This gives you the opportunity to understand the many different approaches to social security that co-exist within our old continent. At the same time, you will gain a better understanding of your own national system. The programme also includes careful study of the role of international bodies such as the European Union.
As a student in the programme, you become part of an international network of experts in the field of social security. Students come from various European countries and beyond and have different academic backgrounds. The teaching staff consists of renowned professors from KU Leuven and other European universities specialising in various disciplines related to social security.
The programme comprises 60ECTS and starts with the summer school in August. The programme concludes the following academic year (July of next year).
The Master's programme is offered in two options:
The two tracks share 30 ECTS in common coursework and 30 ECTS in specialised, track-specific coursework.
Admission to the research-oriented track is based on your end results of the examinations organised at the end of the Executive Summer School and is subject to the decision of an Academic Selection Committee. Only a maximum of six students are admitted to this track every year.
The classes and workshops organised in Leuven (Belgium) are grouped into a limited number of weeks. Remaining coursework is completed via digital learning platform. The platform connects you to Europe's best lecturers who guide you through their specially designed course materials remotely.
This unique teaching platform offers the best of both worlds: an authentic university experience at one of Europe's foremost universities during your two stays on campus and the flexibility to complete the majority of the programme from home. Throughout the programme, you will be connected to a unique international network of universities and be in contact with teaching staff and fellow participants from all over Europe.
The ideal prospective student should:
While all prospective students should have knowledge of social security acquired by study, those with practical experience, e.g. experience working in a social security administration, are particularly valued. Some previous exposure to European social affairs and/or foreign social security systems is also helpful.
The programme is a specialised, research-based education, dealing with the area of social security in its broadest sense. It provides the students with an in-depth study of social protection from a legal, economic, sociological and administrative perspective, confronting the students with the most recent research and several national backgrounds, thus stimulating individual reflection.
At the end of the programme the participants should be able to :
Graduates are professionally active in areas related to social security (social or private insurance institutions, social administrations, social and economic policy-makers).
Our Master of Social Work (MSW) programme is a professional postgraduate qualification for those looking to practise as qualified social workers.
The MSW qualification is recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council and The Health and Care Professions Council, and those who successfully complete the programme are eligible for registration as a social worker.
You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the theory and practice that underpins all work in the field, splitting your time between theoretical learning on campus and practical work in various learning environments.
The programme is approved by the Scottish Social Services Council, complies with the Scottish Requirements for Social Work Training and enables you to meet the Standards in Social Work Education and the Key Capabilities in Child Care and Protection. It is also recognised as a professional qualification in social work across the world, including the United States and Canada.
You will study over two years, with periods of practice learning in both years. You will complete six courses in your first year and three in your second year, at the end of which you will present your dissertation.
First year courses:
Second year courses:
You have periods of practice learning in both first year and second year.
Successful completion of our MSW programme qualifies you to practise as a social worker.
For full details please see the MSW Accreditation information on School of Social and Political Science web site.
Many of our MSW graduates go on to work across a range of diverse settings in social work practice, training, research, government and in the public, private and voluntary sectors.
You will also develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.
The Professional Social Work Practice PGCert supports the development of social workers in adult services who have recently qualified and registered, including those who are taking their Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).
It seeks to consolidate learning in line with the sixth level of the College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). At this stage, you are expected to develop a greater sense of confidence and independence, and to practise effectively in situations of increasing complexity, risk and uncertainty.
As a course of continuing professional development (CPD), the Professional Social Work Practice PGCert is not accredited by a Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB). However, you must still be registered as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) to be accepted on to the programme.
The PGCert is always delivered part-time, typically over a period of two years. You learn through intensive periods of lectures, presentations, workshops and group activities, as well as through individual study, directed materials and online resources.
For the first module, Ethics and Values in Assessment, Intervention and Protection, you can expect to come into university for a block of around four days. For the second module, Needs, Protection and Assessment in Adult Services, there are two separate blocks of learning and teaching, each of which also lasts for about four days.
Further details are circulated to partner agencies each year or are available directly on request.
The course is particularly concerned with issues of protection, human rights, equality, diversity, social justice and discrimination. It encourages you to reflect on the values and ethical principles of social work, together with the use of power and authority in the profession.
Ethics and Values in Assessment, Intervention and Protection allows you to focus on one of two areas: adult services or mental health services. It supports newly qualified social workers with their ASYE but also provides opportunities for review, development and reflection for those who are more experienced.
Needs, Protection and Assessment in Adult Services is built around two periods of intensive learning and teaching: the first focuses on the use of law and policy in assessment, interventions and protection within adult social care, while the second looks in more detail at some of the needs and experiences of specific groups of adult service users in the context of their life development.
The PGCert will advance you to the level of Social Worker according to the terms of the PCF. It will open up new professional possibilities and improve your status in the field.
If you decide to continue your studies, you will be eligible for entry on to our Professional Work Practice PGDip, which trains you at Advanced Level and further accelerates your career progression.
We welcome students of all backgrounds who seek an MA in Social Work that develops critical analysis, open debate, questioning and dismantling of conceptual frameworks. If you want professional social work training founded on principles of empowerment and social justice look no further.
This qualification opens up a challenging and rewarding career in social work, social justice and political activism within the diverse field of social care. This nationally and internationally recognised qualification equips graduates to work in the voluntary, statutory and private sector within fields such as policy, therapeutic intervention, research and management.
This course comprises 50% academic study and 50% practice learning in a social work/care workplace setting.
The University makes every effort to assist students in finding a placement but is unable to guarantee that a placement opportunity will be available or that students will have access to the placement of their choice. There is a nationally recognised shortage of placements and availability is dependent upon external providers who are able to offer a limited number of placements opportunities. If you are unable to take up a placement opportunity you will need to return any funding that you receive from the Student Loan Company if you are not actively attending the programme.
The course is delivered using an action learning approach which places the emphasis on group work and individual responsibility for researching and collaborating.
This course provides the professional social work qualification which enables graduates to work in any area of social work practice, including the statutory, voluntary and private sectors.
When you qualify you would enter social work which then offers you the opportunity to undertake post-qualifying training to enable you to progress in an area of social work which interests you – such as mental health or child protection. One of the joys of having a social work qualification is that there is no typical trajectory. It allows you the scope and freedom to mould your own career path in-line with your personal motivation.
Our course is operated and developed in close conjunction with local social work agencies and local authorities.
Social work research at Salford is a vibrant activity and you may choose to return to complete a research degree.