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Masters Degrees (Social Welfare)

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Do you want a career which can change people’s lives? With the focus on social welfare and social policy issues in the local, national and international context, our course will give you the skills and understanding to really make a difference. Read more
Do you want a career which can change people’s lives? With the focus on social welfare and social policy issues in the local, national and international context, our course will give you the skills and understanding to really make a difference.

See the website http://www.anglia.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/international-social-welfare-and-social-policy

How does globalisation impact on social welfare provision and planning in different countries? Do issues like poverty and social exclusion, street living and migration need to be culturally and locally specific, or could there be global solutions? You’ll explore these and many other issues in our MSc which will prepare you for a career in social welfare and policy. The emphasis is on comparative and global analysis, exploring social welfare and planning responses to issues such as street children, criminal justice and social welfare in areas of political conflict. You’ll have the chance to build and expand on skills relating to policy making, social sciences, leadership and strategies of change. An understanding of comparative and global welfare policies is important for national and international organisations. Therefore, our course is a positive step towards a career in a national and international context, working within the area of social welfare and policy.

Careers

Career possibilities once you’ve graduated are likely to be in the fields of community development social policy, social welfare, youth work, education, higher education, consultancy or policy making in local, regional and international governmental and non-governmental bodies. You’ll also be prepared to carry out further research and study towards a PhD.

- Links with industry and professional recognition
Our Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education works in collaboration with a number of universities from across Europe on the International Doctoral Studies in Social Work (INDOSOW) project. This is the first European Doctoral Programme of its kind and offers the opportunity to take part in an international interdisciplinary study of social work, welfare systems and social policies. For further information about the INDOSOW project visit: http://www.indosow.net.

Core modules

Globalisation, Social Welfare & Social Policy
Comparative Social Policy & Social Welfare
Research Studies
Major Project

Optional modules:
Global Leadership
Collaborative Practice for Integrated Care
Essential Issues in Public Health Policy

You will choose one optional module from the above list. Modules are subject to change.

Assessment

You’ll be assessed in a range of ways to examine the development of your skills throughout our course, leading to the submission of your Major Project bringing together aspects of learning from earlier modules. Assessment strategies include essays, reports, case studies and debates; there are no exams in this course. You’ll have plenty of group workshop and individual supervised support for your Major Project.

Special features

The course leader is a specialist in research and teaching within an international context.

Our students come from across the globe including Bangladesh, Columbia, Ghana, India, Kenya and the UK. Each of our students brings their individual experience in areas as varied as international relations, psychology, social work, social policy, sociology and economics. With lively classroom debates at the top of our agenda, you can be sure that each topic is discussed from multiple perspectives.

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The first of its kind in the UK, this MA builds upon our established reputation as a leading provider of advice related higher education courses. Read more
The first of its kind in the UK, this MA builds upon our established reputation as a leading provider of advice related higher education courses.

Do you work or hope to work in the Advice Sector? Want to take your skills and understanding further with a leading industry-recognised qualification?

Staffordshire University’s Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice MA allows advisers of all kinds to achieve a unique masters degree through our well-established Distance Learning methods.

Expanding on existing advice undergraduate degrees first established in 2003, and our professional accreditation course (Certificate of Credit in Money Advice Practice), this course sets a new standard for the professional educational needs of the advice sector.

Modules

-Advice Work Practice
-Social Welfare Policy and Social Context
-Social Welfare Law and Practice
-Equality, Human Rights and Diversity
-Negotiated Independent Study Module
-Research
-Dissertation or Project

Each module has been designed with the assistance of our partners in the sector, ensuring the course meets the needs of a broad range of advice practitioners in areas such as Welfare rights, Money Advisers, Housing Advisers and Social welfare.

Teaching is delivered by a team with considerable sector experience. It includes current managers and members of trustee boards across, ensuring our staff are well-positioned to support your learning and maximise your potential by building on your existing experience.

Each module is delivered online through Blackboard VLE, using interactive discussions to support your learning around work commitments. All students therefore need reliable access to the internet.

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Drawing on current research across the social sciences, government guidance, and legislative frameworks, this degree focuses on the issues that are key in facilitating your professional and academic development as a social worker- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-work/. Read more
Drawing on current research across the social sciences, government guidance, and legislative frameworks, this degree focuses on the issues that are key in facilitating your professional and academic development as a social worker- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-social-work/

Why study MA Social Work at Goldsmiths?

-This Masters programme is ideal if you are a graduate, with relevant experience, interested in pursuing a professional career in social work

-It prepares you according to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards of Proficiency – Social Workers in England and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), the Quality Assurance Agency subject benchmark for social work, and the Department of Health's requirements for social work training

-Social work education at Goldsmiths has a long and distinguished record – we house one of the most respected social work units in the UK, and you will be taught by established social work academics and associate lecturers who have considerable research and/or practice experience in their fields

-Our social work programmes are highly regarded by potential employers within London and further afield, and our graduates have an excellent record of securing employment; they've gone on to work in local authority children's services departments, adult services departments, and independent sector and voluntary sector agencies such as the NSPCC, Family Action and Mind, and a recent graduate was named Newly Qualified Social Worker of the Year

-We'll equip you with the knowledge, values and skills you'll need to practise as a reflective and ethical social worker, equipped for the challenges of contemporary social work practice

-You will cover areas of human growth and development; community; needs and services; law and organisational contexts of social work; and research methods. Specific learning will include mental health and disability, and social work processes of assessment, planning, intervention and review

-The Masters includes practice placements in two settings and with different service user groups, so you'll be able to gain invaluable real world experience

-We'll encourage you to think deeply about human rights and social justice, and to embed these values in your practice

-You will develop your skills for reflective and evidence-based practice and will be able to further your research mindedness

This programme is approved by the Health & Care Professions Council.

Excellence in practice and teaching

Goldsmiths has a long tradition of social work education, and our programmes are internationally regarded as excellent in both practice learning and critical studies. They also have a strong focus on anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice.

We have a lively programme of research taking place in areas as diverse as:

-the links between child abuse and domestic violence
-multi-family group work with teenage parents
-service user perspectives and transnational adoption
-mental health social workers' use of mental health laws and coercion
-equality and diversity in social work education
-the effects of political conflict on social work practice and education
-reflective professional social work practice
-evaluative approaches to service provision

Our research informs and underpins our teaching and students are invited to share our interests as well as develop their own through undertaking a small scale research project and developing their research mindedness in a final year extended essay.

Find out more about service user and carer involvement in social work education at Goldsmiths.

South East London Teaching Partnership

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies at Goldsmiths has recently entered into a formal Teaching Partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Southwark and the London Borough of Lewisham for the delivery of social work education at Goldsmiths.

We are one of only four sites across the country to have received government funding to develop and test new and innovative approaches to social work qualifying education, early career training and continuing professional development programmes. As a result, a significant number of social work practitioners, from all levels within these three local authorities, are involved in the MA Social Work programme, delivering or co-delivering lectures, workshops and seminars. This means that there is a very close relationship with practice to ensure that by the end of the programme students are equipped to deliver authoritative, compassionate, social work practice that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.

You will be encouraged to make links between anti-oppressive practice, social work values, the legal framework, theories, methods and skills of intervention and social work practice throughout the course.

Intake

The programme has an intake of around 35-40 students each year. Goldsmiths is committed in its policy and practice to equal treatment of applicants and students irrespective of their race, culture, religion, gender, disability, health, age or sexual orientation. We particularly welcome applications from members of minority groups.

The teaching includes lectures and workshops with the entire student group and small study groups, reflective practice discussion groups and seminars of between 10 and 14 students. A significant proportion of the course takes the form of small study groups and seminars.

The MA is a full-time course. It is not possible to study the course part-time. It is not possible for students to transfer from a social work course at another university onto the second year of the Goldsmiths MA in Social Work course.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact the Admissions Tutor.

Modules & Structure

Successful applicants on the MA in Social Work commit to studying on a full-time taught course over two years. On successful completion you will receive a MA in Social Work which is the professional entry qualification to be a social worker and it enables you to apply for registration as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council.

The curriculum aims to provide you with the value, knowledge and skill base for practice and is organised around study units, workshops, lectures/seminar modules, projects and private study. The teaching and learning opportunities centre on the key areas of the social sciences and their application to Social Work practice, as well developing your intellectual capacity, and the skills necessary to get you ready for practice. There is an expectation that you attend at least 85% of all aspects of the programme.

The structured learning includes specific learning in:

human growth and development, mental health and disability
social work theories and methods; assessment, planning, intervention and review
communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs
law, and partnership working across professional disciplines and agencies
social science research methods, including ethical issues
Practice is central to the programme, and there will be practice placements in two settings and with different service user groups (eg child care and mental health). The learning on the programme builds over the two years and prepares you to apply your knowledge to practice situations. We work closely with a range of practice organisations in the Greater London Area. The placements are allocated by our placement tutor and matched with individual profiles. In some instances you may have to travel long distances to your placement organisation. You will need to cover the cost of travel to your placement. You will be expected to work the core hours.

At Goldsmiths we recognise:

the unique contribution that all students bring as individuals to the programme in terms of their personal qualities and life experiences
that professional training builds on the uniqueness of each individual by facilitating the student’s exploration of the values, knowledge base and skills of Social Work practice
that it is the student’s responsibility not only to develop a technical acquaintance with the framework of Social Work practice but also to demonstrate competence through its application in practice
that Social Workers are at the interface of society’s attempts to promote welfare
Social workers have a dual responsibility to act within the state’s welfare framework and also to recognise the pervasive influence of oppression and discrimination at an individual and a structural level in most of the situations in which they work. We will prepare you for this professional responsibility.

Year 1

In year 1 you are introduced to social work as a professional activity and an academic discipline. You consider key concepts such as the nature of need, community, social work services, and the significance of the service user perspective.

You are also provided with an introduction to: life-span development, assessment in social work and a range of social work intervention approaches. Your assessed practice consists of 70 days spent as a social worker; this gives you the chance to develop your communication and social work practice skills with service users, and to work in partnership across professional disciplines and agencies.

Year 2

Year 2 provides you with an overview of the legal and organisational context of social work, and extends your knowledge and skills in one of the two main specialist areas of social work practice: working with children and families, or working with adults in need. You will work in small groups to explore methods of intervention, research and theories which are relevant to a particular area of social work, while another assessed practice element enables you to meet the professional requirements for social work training via 100 days of practice under the guidance of a practice assessor.

You are expected to demonstrate competence across a range of standards and this is formally assessed. The learning on the MA Social Work programme builds over the two years and prepares you to apply that knowledge to practice situations.

Practice placements

You are required to spend 170 days in practice settings.

In Year 1 there is a practice placement lasting 70 days and in Year 2 the practice placement lasts 100 days. These placements are arranged through the allocation system devised by the College. The practice placements will be supported by 30 days for the development of practice skills.

You have an identified Practice Educator for each of the two practice placements. Most of our placements are located in South East London, so if you live elsewhere you will need to travel.

We have partnership agreements with the following organisations for placements in social work:

London Borough of Brent – Childrens Services
London Borough of Brent – Adults Services
Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea – Adults Services
London Borough of Lambeth – Childrens Services
London Borough of Southwark – Childrens Services
London Borough of Southwark – Adults Services
London Borough of Lewisham – Childrens Services
London Borough of Lewisham – Adults Services
London Borough of Croydon – Adults Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich – Childrens Services
Royal Borough of Greenwich – Adults Services
London Borough of Bromley – Childrens Services
London Borough of Bromley – Adults Services
NSPCC (London Region)

We also work with about 20-30 voluntary/private social care agencies each year. Here are some that we've worked with recently:

Equinox Care Mental Health Services
Body and Soul HIV Service
Jamma Umoja Family Assessment Services
Advocacy in Greenwich Learning Disability Service
Lewisham Refugee Network
Turning Point Mental Health Services
Carers Lewisham

Assessment

The programme is assessed by a range of methods including essays, assessed role plays, take home papers, project work, a practice based case study, a final year dissertation, and the production of a practice portfolio for each placement.

Assessment of practice is by reports by your Practice Educator. This includes direct observation of your work with service users as well as your practice portfolio, and a narrative giving an evaluation of your work.

Professional standards

Social work is a regulated profession. From 1 August 2012, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) took on the regulation of social workers and the regulation of the performance of social work courses. This means that social work students will need to adhere to the standards set out in the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Guidance on conduct and ethics for students (HCPC 2009), and work towards meeting the HCPC Standards of Proficiency - Social workers in England (HCPC 2012). These are the standards social work students are expected to demonstrate at the end of their last placement/ qualifying level.

Skills

You'll develop the ability to practise social work in a wide variety of settings with different service user groups.

Careers

The programme will enable you to register and practise as a qualified social worker.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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This set of qualifications will enable you to extend and develop your initial competence in supporting the professional learning of others- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-practice-education/. Read more
This set of qualifications will enable you to extend and develop your initial competence in supporting the professional learning of others- http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/ma-practice-education/

Practice education is the teaching, mentoring, supporting and assessing of Social Work students, social care staff, qualified Social Workers and other allied professionals for the purposes of developing competence and raising the quality of service for users and carers.

Modules include enabling the learning of others, teaching and assessing the adult professional learner, developing and undertaking the evaluation of practice learning, and developing the learning organisation through work with individuals, groups, whole organisations and interagency practice.

Students who are working as associate lecturers for Goldsmiths may be able to undertake the University-run Certificate in the Management of Learning and Teaching as part of the programme.

Courses in all of these programmes may be taken on a modular basis if appropriate. Please note: you may exit the programme with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma – please contact the Programme Convenor listed below for details.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Anna Fairtlough.

Other entry requirements

You should have obtained initial competence in teaching and assessing the practice of professional students and mentoring and supporting students or colleagues, be able to demonstrate that you can meet the academic requirements of a postgraduate programme, and be working or intending to take up employment (usually in a paid, but exceptionally in a voluntary capacity) in a setting that will enable you to demonstrate competence in practice education at the required level.

Funding

Please visit http://www.gold.ac.uk/pg/fees-funding/ for details.

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Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Work at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Read more
Take advantage of one of our 100 Master’s Scholarships to study Social Work at Swansea University, the Times Good University Guide’s Welsh University of the Year 2017. Postgraduate loans are also available to English and Welsh domiciled students. For more information on fees and funding please visit our website.

This master's degree in Social Work aims to:

• prepare students for employment as professionally qualified social workers
• lay the foundation for students’ continuing professional development
• reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales

Key Features of MSc in Social Work

Performance:

- The Times Higher League Tables 2014 ranked the Undergraduate Social Work degree at Swansea joint 1st in the UK, and the Guardian League Table ranked social work in Swansea 1st in the UK in 2015.
- the Social Work programme meets all the Care Council requirements and is now fully approved as a professional social work programme as defined in The Approval and Visiting of Degree Courses in Social Work (Wales) Rules 2012

Teaching and Employability:

- 95% of Social Work students from Swansea University are employed in graduate level jobs within six months of graduating (undergraduate programme). Postgraduate–level students are expected to be in similar demand
- the professional qualification is recognised in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as other countries such as Australia
- the Social Work programme operates in partnership with five local authorities in the South West Wales region: Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion
- teaching from a wide range of practitioners from social work teams and agencies plus guest speakers from Welsh Government
- a minimum of 200 days practice learning are undertaken
- successful completion allows students to register as qualified social workers with the Care Council for Wales
- applicants may be eligible for a student bursary from the Care Council for Wales which includes a contribution towards tuition fee

Social Work is about change and human growth through supporting the social care and welfare needs of individuals, groups and local communities.

Social work has been an established course at Swansea University for many years and combines a commitment to both academic excellence and practical learning. There are strong links between the Department and social services agencies in south and west Wales, and in local authority and voluntary sectors.

The master's degree in Social Work lays the foundation for students’ continuing professional development. It also reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales.

Qualifying Social Work students will be:

- equipped to understand and work within the context of a profession whose nature, scope and purpose can be the subject of contested debate
- able to critically analyse, adapt to, manage and eventually lead the process of required changes in social work, delivery of social services, and social care policy and law
- prepared to promote bilingual service provision in Wales and to be able to critically reflect on the importance of the Welsh context as a cultural, social and historical landscape for social work practice

This qualification in Social Work is also recognised by Care Councils in other UK nations.

First year postgraduate Social Work students have the opportunity to participate in a 3 week global opportunity at the University of Houston, Texas.

Modules

Modules on the MSc in Social Work programme typically include:

Theories and Perspectives for Informing Social Work
Social Work Skills and Knowledge in Practice
Critical Practice in Child Care & Law
Ethics and Values in Social Work
Undertaking & Using Social Work Research for Practice
Social Work Skills and Knowledge and Service Users' Perspectives
Dissertation in Social Work Research and Evidence for Practice
Critical Practice in Adult Care & Law

Social Work Course Structure

The Social Work course is both academic and practice-based and students are required to undertake a minimum of 200 days practice learning across the two years. Half of the Social Work programme is devoted to supervised practice in social service agencies, where students learn through observation, rehearsal and performance. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

Social Work students will undertake academic study based on Singleton campus during Semester 1 and then placement learning in a social care agency during Semester 2.

During Semester 1, Social Work students can expect to be on campus a minimum of four days per week. Placement learning is full-time Monday to Friday, following agency hours. Students will undertake 200 days of practice learning across the 2 years.

In Year One Social Work students undertake a 20-day observational placement followed by an 80-day ‘direct practice’ placement.

In Year Two students undertake a 100-day ‘direct-practice’ placement. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

In Year Two students will be expected to complete a ‘desk-based’ research project and complete a dissertation with supervised support from a member of the teaching team.

Staff Expertise

All teaching staff members on the Social Work course are research active and involved in research activity at both national and international level which spans a number of interest areas including: looked-after children, sexuality and wellbeing, service user and carer involvement in education, asylum seeking children and migration, children’s rights and welfare, and social inclusion and care needs of older people.

Career Prospects

There are many possibilities for career progression in social work and for postgraduate and post qualification study. UK social work qualifications are also recognised in other countries.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.

In addition, Social Work students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.

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This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. Read more
This Masters in Social Policy and Social Research Methods is particularly significant if you are currently working in local authorities or the voluntary sector. The skills you learn will progress your career in social welfare policy development, delivery or research. Or it is also relevant if you are thinking of starting a career related to social policy in the public, voluntary or private sectors.
The focus of this course is on contemporary substantive issues in social policy development and delivery, and social policy research methods. You'll develop your theoretical, policy and technical understanding of key issues related to policy-making, social welfare delivery, equality and social justice, and research methods.

You'll gain an advanced understanding of national and international factors influencing policy development and implementation. The changing relationship between the State, voluntary sector and private sector in terms of social welfare delivery. You'll also explore how ideas of equality, diversity, justice and human rights shape institutions and the programmes they offer.

You'll engage with recent research linked to changing family forms and how family policy impacts on children and families. You'll be equipped to design and implement social scientific research using a broad range of methodologies, consider research ethics then analyse and present the material such research generates.

The course fosters a critical awareness of the relationship between theory, policy and practice and enables you to utilise your research knowledge and research skills and translate these into research practice in the field of social policy and broader social science research professions.

Flexible modes of study

You can choose between three modes lasting one, two or three years allowing you to study whilst maintaining other life commitments.

Modules

Social policy analysis
The voluntary sector and the state: protagonist or partner
Methods for social research and evaluation: philosophy, design and data collection
Approaches to social change: equality, social justice and human rights
Family policy
Data analytic techniques for social scientists
Dissertation

Teaching and learning

Modules are assessed by coursework. There are different kinds of writing required which include: a critical reading log, a self-reflective essay, a methodological critique of a research article, a research proposal, extended essays, an evaluation of social change and a dissertation.

Modules are supported by Moodle, the LSBU virtual learning environment where most course reading will be made available. The classroom is envisaged as a core learning environment where you can discuss new ideas but also to think how they can be applied to previous or current work or voluntary experiences. Attendance is crucial for building your knowledge and skills. You'll be making use of computer laboratories in order to develop your use of a range of programmes that can be used to analyse quantitative and qualitative methods.

Timetable

Full-time:
Eight or nine hours of scheduled teaching per week with an additional 25 hours of independent study.

Part-time:
Three hours of scheduled teaching per week with an additional six hours of independent study per module.

Placements

If you are not already working in an environment which is linked to social welfare you'll be encouraged to undertake voluntary work which will give you useful experience alongside the degree. In addition it may become used as a location where you can undertake primary research for your master's dissertation. The Employability team at LSBU can help students find voluntary placements.

Employability

This MSc will enable you to pursue a range of professional careers in areas linked to social policy and social welfare. You'll be able to access work in the statutory, commercial or voluntary sectors and operating at central, and local government levels, for example, local government; MORI, NSPCC and DEMOS. The acquisition of specific social policy and research methods knowledge will also enhance your career opportunities if you are currently working in the field in social policy development and delivery or in undertaking social policy related research. The specialist focus on research methods also offers an excellent foundation for those interested in undertaking subsequent doctoral research in the field.

LSBU Employability Services

LSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:

• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.

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Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

For students following the MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare) route, ‘Social Impacts on Population’ is a core module, and ‘Qualitative Methods in Social Research’ is an option module.

Students enrolled on the MSc programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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The Department of Social Work has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice. Read more
The Department of Social Work has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice.

The MSc Social Work is an accelerated programme for applicants who already have a first degree and want to embark on a career in social work; the course will fully prepare you for a professional career in the statutory or voluntary social care field.

This Masters degree runs in close partnership with local social care agencies and local authorities based in inner and outer London boroughs. The course is a combination of a taught and practice curriculum, where you will undertake two fieldwork placements in addition to the College-based teaching over the two years.

We welcome overseas and self-funding students.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/socialwork/coursefinder/mscsocialwork.aspx

Why choose this course?

Students have said the following about this course:
- “Lectures are delivered by experienced practitioners and leaders in the Health and Social Care field.”

- “The teaching is of a high standard and lectures are interactive with opportunities for small group activity.”

- “Staff are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional.”

- "There is excellent support for mature students, especially those with childcare and family commitments.”

- “I am a final year student and proud to be a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway.”

Department research and industry highlights

Since its inception, the department has developed a reputation for delivering high quality research across a range of areas by engaging with matters of public concern. In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 45% of the department’s quality profile was ranked 3-4*.

- A team of researchers in the department recently conducted a major study into leadership in health and social care services.

- Two members of staff are currently completing a small-scale study into decision-making in the field of child and family welfare.

- The department hosted the Centre for Trauma and Abuse studies and continues to maintain strong links with this centre.

- The department runs the most successful Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Studies in partnership with 28 London Boroughs and has been designated a Centre of Excellence.

Course content and structure

The MSc in Social Work is a two-year course that runs over two academic years, and is based at Royal Holloway’s Egham campus. The course is full time and students are expected to attend from 9am - 5pm, both in College and while on placement. The course integrates theory, research, policy and practice in social work, and the academic and practice programmes run concurrently.

- Course structure and organisation
In the first year you'll attend College four days a week during the first term. In the second term you are on placement (70 days) from Monday to Thursday and in College on Fridays. The placement continues in the third term. There are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College.

In year two you'll attend College on Mondays and Tuesdays and are on placement (100 days) the rest of the time. Again there are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College. Please see information about placements for more details regarding the practice element of the course.

- First year courses
Practice Learning 1: preparation for practice. .

Social Policy for Social Workers: gain an understanding of social policy issues related to social work.

Human behaviour in the social environment: gain knowledge about psychology in relation to working with service users.

Child observations: develop observation skills that are relevant to social work with all service user groups.

Theories and knowledge for Social Work practice: gain knowledge of theories and approaches used to understand how to work with service users.

Law for Social Work: learn about law relating to working with services users.

- Second year courses
Critical Social Work: issues relating to working with service users and about different service user groups e.g. adult and child safeguarding, assessments, working with asylum seekers, substance misuse, working with resistant service users.

Choose one of three optional seminars depending on your area of interest: mental health, child and family welfare or vulnerable adults.

Practice Learning 2 - critical reflection: students explore and reflect upon their practice in seminar groups.

Research methods: Students learn about research methods in preparation for their dissertation.

Understanding and working in organisations: learn about the legal obligations, structures and cultures within organisations and how these impact on policy, procedure and practice.

- Support
Students are provided with one to one support from: Academic Tutors, who'll support you throughout the course; Placement tutors and Practice Educators; Dissertation Supervisors in the second year.

Royal Holloway provides range of wider services that support students including the Educational Support Office, Student Financial Advisor, Counselling Services, Students’ Union and Careers Service.

On completion of the course graduates will have advanced knowledge of:
- sociology, psychology, social policy and law and their application to social work practice

- the contribution and application of social research to social work theories and practice

- the range of statutory, voluntary and private welfare organisations within social work agencies and in health, housing and educational environments

- the range of theories and methods needed for effective social work practice

- the social and individual origins of a typical range of problems presented to social care agencies

- values and ethics relevant to social work practice

- the significance of inequalities and difference in working with organisations and social service users

- the significance of cultural diversity and anti discriminatory practice in working with organisations and social service users.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations, presentations and a dissertation. Students are also required to successfully complete one 70-day and one 100-day practice-learning placement.

Employability & career opportunities

The MSc in Social Work qualifies graduates for careers in statutory and voluntary social work. Qualified social workers can continue their professional/academic development through taught post-qualifying programmes or research opportunities within the department. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

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Compulsory modules. The Research Process. This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Read more
Compulsory modules:

The Research Process: This module introduces the main varieties of both quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences. Principles of research design and issues of data collection and analysis are studied. Data collection and analysis will include:

How to construct, use and critique questionnaires and interviews
Interpret measurement error and missing data
Engage in various kinds of observational research
Analyse observational data
Record, transcribe and analyse conversational, textual and visual data
Conduct archival, documentary and historical research
Key Issues in Social Policy: This module extends and deepens knowledge and understanding of key issues in contemporary social policy. Links between theoretical analysis in welfare and empirical enquiry in social policy are made, and key issues, debates and concepts in social policy analysis and evaluation are explored. Contemporary forms of welfare delivery including issues of participation, user involvement and control in the provision of welfare are critically evaluated. Core debates relating to social change, equality and inequalities, discrimination, risk and dependency, citizenship and rights will be examined. The impact of devolution and local government change on social policy in Wales is reviewed together with national and international comparisons of welfare systems.

Health Policies: This module adopts a comparative approach to the study of health policies in Britain and internationally. Students will consider the politics of health and will develop an understanding of the dynamics of power between professionals, administrators and patients. The role of social policy analysis in evaluating the impact of change, factors associated with good and bad practice, and barriers to implementing new health policies are explored through examples and case studies. The case of the British NHS will be considered in detail examining evidence of attempts to improve the quality of care through funding and organisational change. The module will also examine the implications of devolution for the NHS.

Optional Modules:

Researching Community: This module examines the developments in the field of community research and related theoretical and policy debates surrounding the application of ideas of ‘community’ to current economic and social changes. The module focuses on four main themes:

Conceptual issues: the meaning of ‘community’ and its use as a concept in social scientific and popular discourse. This will be considered in relation to different theoretical approaches such as social constructionism, realism, and post-structuralism.
Empirical applications: an examination of classic and contemporary examples of community research and relevant case studies dealing with different forms of ‘community’.
Policy issues: relating to contemporary forms of intervention in relation to community development, regeneration, mobilisation, participation, leadership and power. This will be considered in the context of frameworks such as communitarianism, social capital, and the ‘third way’.
Community methodology: examines how ‘community’ has been researched and the tools and methods available for empirical investigation. These include ethnographic studies, large-scale surveys, ‘community profiling’ and auditing, and action research.
Nationalism and Minorities: This module will examine key issues and debates concerning the growing claims by ethnic and national minorities and indigenous peoples for distinct language, territorial and other minority rights and recognition within nation-states and beyond. The relationships between nationalism, citizenship and minority rights will be considered with reference to empirical examples. Debates and policies concerned with the management of cultural and ethnic diversity by the state will also be considered. The approach is interdisciplinary drawing on sociology, political theory, anthropology, law and education, with case study examples provided from Europe, North America, Asia and Oceania. It aims to provide students with a global and comparative understanding of individual cases, of their historical antecedents, and of the key similarities and differences between them.

Policy Research and Evaluation: Monitoring and evaluation of policy initiatives has become increasingly important. This module aims to develop full complement of skills required to successfully undertake specialist research and robust evaluation that will inform future policy. Evidence-based policy and practice are imperatives of the public, independent and voluntary sector organisations nationally and internationally. Evaluation research is one of the cornerstones of evidence-based practice both locally and nationally and is important right across local government and public and independent sector organisations. The module will provide key skills to enable individuals to understand, conduct or commission evaluative work at a time when it is increasingly important for organisations to consider the effectiveness, efficiency and equity of the services they provide.

Key Issues in International Social Work: The purpose of the International Social Work module is to widen students’ understanding of the differing models, traditions and welfare contexts of social work. On completing the module, students are expected to be able to:

Critically evaluate social work within the international context
Critically evaluate and contrast social work in the UK with European and other countries
Analyse the strengths and weaknesses in the different ways of doing social work within the countries studied
Discuss in depth the philosophical, historical and theoretical differences between the contexts of social work practice within the welfare frameworks of the different countries
Develop a sound and broad understanding of the contrasting differences with social work based in African and Asian countries
Applied Social Research: This module delivers specialist training in social policy research. It draws upon generic social science research skills and k knowledge and applies them to a joint group project. In the group project, students will select the social policy-related topic in which they will develop their skills as empirical researchers. It is a ‘hands on’ module and students will engage in hypothesis development, research design, data gathering, data analysis and interpretation of the results.

MA Dissertation:

The dissertation is normally around 20,000 words in length for MA degrees. Students will receive full support from lecturing staff throughout the process, from the planning stage through to the final stages of writing up the final version. Every student is allocated a supervisor who will oversee and provide advice and guidance on research design, methodology, results, drafting and final dissertation submission. Recent MA dissertation topics have included:

Mental health policy in Japan
Whose welfare benefits?
Violence against women in Pakistan

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The MSW in Social Work is a 2-year, full-time, postgraduate degree course. The qualification is recognised throughout the UK and it’s expected that in due course it will meet the criteria for recognition in the EU and elsewhere overseas. Read more

Why this course?

The MSW in Social Work is a 2-year, full-time, postgraduate degree course.

The qualification is recognised throughout the UK and it’s expected that in due course it will meet the criteria for recognition in the EU and elsewhere overseas. The course is based on the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE) and is to be validated by social work's professional body in Scotland, the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

The course provides a stimulating blend of university-based teaching and agency-based learning opportunities across both years.

See the website https://www.strath.ac.uk/courses/postgraduatetaught/socialwork/

You’ll study

You'll undertake a range of taught modules, a dissertation and assessed placements in a range of social work service settings.

Work towards the Masters dissertation is mostly scheduled for the period beyond Year 2 of the programme. You’ll be told of the arrangements during year 1.

Teaching staff

The School of Social Policy and Social Work has a long and rich tradition of education, research and consultancy in social work. It brings together a staff group with extensive experience in the varied areas of social work practice i.e. children and families, criminal justice social work and community care.

Facilities

The Centre for Excellence for Looked After Children in Scotland (a multi-million pound development funded by the Scottish Government to support research and training in residential child care), the Centre for the Child and Society, and Community Care Works are all based within the School and contribute to teaching in the course as well as to research and consultancy.

Relevant work experience

We normally expect you to have had at least six months full-time work experience, or its equivalent in part-time work, at the point of the application.

We’re more concerned with the quality of experience than whether or not it’s paid. It’s useful to think about experience in three dimensions - duration, range and depth. While longer and more diverse experience is of great value, depth (or quality) is perhaps more important since this is what allows learning and professional development. Often experience is "deeper" in contexts where supervision is offered regularly, allowing for in-depth discussion in practice issues and dilemmas. Undertaking relevant reading and training while working often helps people to "deepen" the quality of their work experience.

- Criteria for work experience
The following indicate the kinds of criteria we look at in considering the relevance and suitability of your work experience:
- does it involve direct contact with people either as service users e.g. individuals, families or groups where the focus is on helping them live with or manage major difficulties in their lives, or in stimulating collaborative ventures to seek social change?

- does it develop critical awareness of the range, depth and complexity of social and personal problems and the variety of individual and agency responses which can address these?

- does it develop basic knowledge of the functions of social work, social care and/or community development agencies?

- does it develop skills in helping other people in difficulty e.g. skills in identifying and assessing problems, jointly planning and supporting a response to them or coping with stress?

- does it provide opportunities to reflect on, and take action to combat, discrimination and oppression in people's lives?

- does it generate an awareness, and an ability to act in the light of the value dilemmas involved in both helping activities and social change activities e.g. reflecting on the tensions between individual rights and freedoms and collective social obligations?

- Relevant work settings:
- work may be undertaken in a wide variety of settings e.g. community-based offices, residential provision, day care services, community organisations.
- work may be carried out with a range of client groups. These will commonly be people who experience various forms of disadvantage.
- it should be supervised by a member of staff of the status and experience to provide a reference indicating suitability for entry to social work education.

Personal qualities

The kinds of personal qualities which we look for in an applicant include:
- the ability to convey genuine warmth and interest in people
- an ability to see strengths and potential in even the most difficult circumstances and people
- a genuine interest in difference and diversity and an obvious ability to adapt and change
- a willingness to question conformity and risk discomfort in challenging attitudes which encourage discrimination and complacency
- the ability to support people who live with difficult, sometimes worsening circumstances
- an ability to help people set and follow their own agendas while being capable of asserting your authority where their welfare requires it
- being level-headed and helpful in the face of people's distress, pain and anger, even when it's turned on you
- a quiet confidence in your own ability and the capacity to argue and defend your views in a constructive way
- satisfaction in helping manage and, where possible, resolve conflict, but never at the expense of sacrificing the interests of vulnerable people
- taking enjoyment from both using your own initiatives as well as working accountably as part of team
- the ability to accept constructive criticism and learn from your mistakes
- a passion to fight for the rights of disadvantaged people

Communication skills

The communication skills which we would expect all applicants to demonstrate would include the capacity to:
- engage appropriately with a wide range of people
- communicate expressively, fluently and convincingly in verbal and written form
- understand, calculate and present accurately, basic numerical and financial information
- possess at least a basic understanding of information and communication technology and be able to acquire sufficient competence by the end of year 1/level 1 of the course

Age

There are no specific age restrictions for undertaking the course although funding bodies may impose an upper limit. Employability on course completion is a factor in selection.

Professional suitability

All entrants must register with the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) and meet suitability criteria regarding offending history, employment record etc.

Overseas students

As with home students, overseas applicants should be able to demonstrate their motivation, aptitude and preparedness for social work training. You must have substantial relevant paid or voluntary work experience. In addition, you must have a recognised degree or an equivalent qualification.

Application for entry to the course must be made through UCAS. The subsequent selection process is broadly the same as for UK and EC applicants. However, in order to ensure that applications from out-with the UK are given full consideration it is advisable that in addition to applying to UCAS you should send additional information directly to us. This should include:
- detailed information about degrees held and the awarding institution(s)
- where English is a second language please provide information about your levels of proficiency in English
- details of work experience, with particular reference to the aspects referred to in the guidelines on work experience
- a statement about reasons for wanting to study in the UK
- financial arrangements for meeting the cost of tuition fees and living expenses during the two year course
- an indication that you would be available to come to the UK for interview. Applicants who are not able to come for interview may be asked to supply additional written material and/or references.

Learning & teaching

The teaching and learning approach is student-centred and aims to promote reflective learning. Our key approach is problem-based learning which is universally recognised as an effective way of developing the critical thinking and problem-solving skills needed by busy professionals.

The course is taught through lectures, seminar groups, simulations and individual skills rehearsal with a commitment to use interactive e-learning wherever relevant. At the heart of the course is practice learning in social work service agencies with formally assessed placements being undertaken in both years.

Assessment

Our assessment methods consist of regular feedback on specific tasks related to teaching and learning as you work through a module.

Modules are formally assessed in a range of different ways, including essay, report, presentations and peer group assessments.

Careers

Qualified social workers are increasingly valued. Promotion and career development opportunities are excellent. Social workers can be found in:
- Local authorities - from main-grade workers to directorate level. Social workers will be providing, managing, purchasing and organising services to people with very diverse needs across the life span in different settings

- Voluntary organisations - at all levels, usually working in relatively specialist ways with children and young people with particularly challenging needs, as well as vulnerable adults, especially those with learning disabilities and those affected by mental health issues. Settings and contexts vary as widely as in local authorities.

- Private sector - often at senior practitioner and management level with services focusing on home-based support to vulnerable adults and residential services to older people as well as foster care support and services to people with offending histories.

- Central government - experienced social work managers advise and support ministers in monitoring and developing social work services.

- Social work regulation - a range of independent bodies, like the Care Inspectorate and Scottish Social Services Council employ social workers at a senior level to lead and manage registration and inspection of social work services to ensure they meet appropriate standards.

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.strath.ac.uk/search/scholarships/index.jsp

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Every country’s approach to social work and social development is different, and this course will help you acquire the skills and knowledge you will need to give your career a global perspective. Read more
Every country’s approach to social work and social development is different, and this course will help you acquire the skills and knowledge you will need to give your career a global perspective.

Your studies will provide a broad level of understanding by exposing you to the variety of ways in which our subjects are approached in diverse contexts, and there will be a particular focus on the global south, and on recognising how responses to social issues have developed.

There will also be an emphasis on issues which have an international dimension, such as human rights and social justice, trafficking and other forms of exploitation.

[Why choose this course?]]

• Study, compare and evaluate different welfare regimes and indigenous responses to human need within a framework of equality and social justice
• Explore the ethical aspects of your subject including attention to power and anti-discriminatory practice
• Develop a comprehensive and critical understanding of the knowledge, theoretical and ethical underpinnings and approaches to international social work and social development in diverse global contexts
• Gain an in-depth knowledge and critical appreciation of research models and methods, and acquire a high level of skill in evaluating and undertaking research while working within a robust ethical framework
• Benefit from a programme that will give you the core skills, initiative and professionalism necessary to carry out direct work with clients in a range of settings, for example working for NGOs, governments or voluntary organisations.

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/international-social-work-and-social-development#about

Course detail

This course offers global perspectives, theoretical foundations, ethics and practice skills equipping social work and social development professionals to respond effectively in diverse country contexts and make global-local connections. It aims to enable students to develop cultural competence and the ability to work effectively in different global contexts.

You will develop critical thinking, enquiry and evaluation in response to human need encouraging reflectiveness, increasing self-awareness and questioning of models of practice. You will also develop team working skills as be exposed to multi-disciplinary and culturally diverse working, both through collaboration with other students and observing practice in community-based projects.

The course aims to equip students with the skills to carry out research and to understand the implications of research for practice. It also provides the opportunity to acquire in-depth knowledge of a specialist subject of your own choosing.

The practice skills element of the course enables students to apply theory to practice and to develop the core skills, initiative and professionalism necessary to carry out direct work with clients in a range of settings; for example working for NGOs, government or voluntary organisations.

Modules

• International Social Work and Social Development
• Comparative Social Work and Cultural Competence - Approaches, Policy and Practice
• Models and Methods of Social Investigation
• Human Rights, Advocacy and Social Justice
• Complexities of Forced Migration: Human Displacement, Trafficking and Refuge
• Humanitarian Aid, Non-governmental Organisations and Social Work in Disasters
• Gender in International Social Work and Social Development
• International Relations - Globalization
• Practice Skills Workshops – Project Management, Training and Development, Evaluation and Communication Skills
• Dissertation

Assessment

The assessment methods include:
• Case studies
• Reflective accounts of student experience
• Individual and group presentations
• Design of a training package
• Analysis of qualitative and/or quantitative data
• The dissertation allows you to undertake a research project and communicate knowledge, findings and recommendations

Careers

There is growing demand in both developed and developing countries for the skills of social work and social development professionals. A wide range of job opportunities is available in both the statutory and non-statutory sectors, these include specialist roles in NGOs and various humanitarian organisations.

Job titles for typical successful Masters students include: Social Development Worker, Child Protection Worker, Community Worker, Animateur, Project Worker, Women’s Worker, Gender based Violence Specialist, Advocacy Worker. Roles in policy and research in the public, private and NGO sector are also open to graduates.

Further study options include PhD or the Professional Doctorate for Home/EU Students.

Funding

For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

For information on how to apply, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/course/applicationform

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Social work, both in the UK and internationally, has been defined as a profession that ‘promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance social justice.’ Accordingly, social work takes a variety of forms and engages with a broad range of individuals, groups and communities. Read more
Social work, both in the UK and internationally, has been defined as a profession that ‘promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance social justice.’ Accordingly, social work takes a variety of forms and engages with a broad range of individuals, groups and communities. The scope of social work research is equally broad and requires researchers to be aware of, and able to engage with a variety of disciplines in a range of settings, often working alongside those with different ideas of what social work and social work research are and what each is intended to achieve.

Social work research, in other words, does not simply concern the work of social workers. It may also be concerned, for example, with programmes of community development in the context of poverty or interventions to tackle domestic violence and programmes for young offenders. It may focus on the needs of a particular group, for example children with disabilities or people with severe and long term mental illness, whether or not they receive social work services. It may draw on theories and research methods from any of the social sciences, including economics, law and philosophy.

This programme is designed to build on the links between research and practice in a range of settings in developing the particular skills and capacities needed by practice-based professionals and postgraduate students interested in carrying out social work and social care research.

This programme does not include practical training in social work and does not lead to a professional qualification in social work. If you want to study for a qualification in social work practice, please see the MSc in Social Work: http://www.bris.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/ssl/msc-social-work/

Programme structure

The programme is delivered through a combination of intensive block teaching and weekly delivery so as to be most accessible to postgraduate students, busy policy professionals and practitioners. The delivery of units on the programme is designed to allow students to accumulate credits flexibly and organise the patterns of attendance to suit their own needs and circumstances.

The structure for the MSc and Postgraduate Diploma consists of four core and two optional units. A dissertation of 10-15,000 words is required for the MSc. The Postgraduate Certificate is awarded for the successful completion of three units (two of which must be core units).

Core units
-Introduction to Qualitative Research Methods in the Social Sciences
-Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences
-Further Qualitative Methods

Optional units - You then choose two of the following units which allow you to develop specialist knowledge of the application of research methods to key areas of social work and social policy.
-Further Quantitative Methods
-Domestic Violence: Research, Policy and Activism*
-Researching Poverty, Inequality and Social Exclusion*
-Health and Social Care Research*
-Researching Child and Family Welfare*
-Economics of Public Policy
-Global Contexts of Rights and Disability
-Disabled Childhoods

*These units are offered in alternate years. To see the full programme and unit description, please check the programme catalogue: http://www.bris.ac.uk/unit-programme-catalogue/RouteStructure.jsa?byCohort=N&ayrCode=17%2F18&programmeCode=9SPOL001T

Careers

The programme stresses the development of social work and social research and analysis methods, as well as substantive knowledge. In addition to careers in academia, this programme prepares students for careers as social work and care researchers and analysts, research commissioners and managers in public or private agencies or organisations, both in the UK and internationally.

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Engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships. Contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice. Read more
Engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships. Contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice.

The MA Social Policy is one of a number of new and exciting programmes developed by the Department of Social Sciences. This Social Policy programme will be of particular interest to you if you are:
-An experienced practitioner looking for advanced Continuous Professional Development opportunities
-An international student wanting to study and practice in the UK
-An undergraduate student looking to move directly onto postgraduate education incorporating work based experiences and strengthening your employability prospects.

If you are interested in making a difference with opportunities to theorise social policy in practice this challenging programme will engage you in a high quality, transformative educational experience. The programme will provide opportunities to actively engage in professional networks across a range of vibrant partnerships as well as contribute to socially just and sustainable academic research with impact in practice. A key feature of the programme is the emphasis on both breadth and depth of understanding of social policy analysis in its broader economic, social, environmental and political contexts.

The Programme aims to:
-Introduce students to the study of social policy both from British and international perspectives. It explores the subject in the context of personal perspectives and position within broader political, social, cultural, economic and environmental developments.
-Develop opportunities for global, employer and digital engagement through which to create a greater capacity for social policy practice and knowledge exchange.
-Develop confidence, capabilities and creativity to flourish in the worlds of study and employment.

If you are currently working in social policy or interested in building on your undergraduate degree in order to pursue a related occupation in health, housing, social services or social security, then the MA Social Policy could be for you. You’ll gain a wide range of knowledge and transferable skills throughout the programme, including sophisticated skills in research, communication and analysis that will be useful in a variety of jobs.

Modules

*denotes a compulsory module and you will study a total of six modules:
-Contemporary issues in social science research
-International social policy analysis
-Social policy analysis
-Research in social policy contexts
-Independent social policy learning project*
-Applied social policy*
-Dissertation*

These modules will be focused towards developing both breadth and depth of understanding of social policy analysis in its broader economic, social, environmental and political contexts. The independent social policy module enables students to undertake a small research project linked to their own research interests. The applied module provides opportunities for students to undertake work based experience in a social policy setting of their choice and gain first hand experience of impact of social policy in practice. Through the dissertation module students will have an opportunity to develop an extended piece of social policy research.

Career Opportunities

Our graduates will be able to pursue a diverse range of career routes including progress to further PG Study via a doctoral route leading to a career as a researcher; managing and leading across a range of welfare contexts nationally, regionally and locally. The University also has partnerships with a range of organisations that are welfare orientated and that seeks to influence social policy. "Social Policy graduates could expect to find work in a wide range of posts across the third-sector public services, government and business. These could include roles in central and local government departments, community bodies, charities, housing and health organisations, research consultancies and advocacy or campaigning body." Jo Lake, Head of Employability at the University.

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Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons. Read more
Social research methods are a means of providing evidence to examine ideas about society - they are a way of 'knowing'. This course seeks to introduce you to a portfolio of research skills that will help you not only to become a competent researcher but also to expand your employment horizons.

Why study Social Research Methods at Dundee?

Social research methods are important not just to social scientists wishing to study a particular problem or to test a theory in a way that is be considered rigorous. They are also fundamental tools of value to government, service providers and to business. There are of course a diverse range of research methods available to social scientists.

The aims of the MSc/Diploma programme in Social Research Methods are:
To advance your knowledge and understanding of the nature of research in social science.
To enhance your skills in areas that will equip you as a social scientist for employment in a government, business or a public policy environment as well as in an academic context.

"I undertook the Social Research Methods MSc in 2009/2010. This was a really interesting course which not only helped me develop a range of research skills which have been extremely relevant and useful in my PhD, but also helped me to critically engage with broader issues of social justice. This sparked an interest in my current research field, and ultimately, has been invaluable in giving me a solid foundation for continuing onto an academic career. Beyond the academic knowledge however, this MSc also provides a useful set of practical and applicable skills which many employers value, such as in GIS and statistics"
Andrew Wooff, studied full-time 2009-10

Researcher, Centre for Criminological Research, University of Sheffield

Specialism in population and welfare

The MSc in Social Research Methods offers a specialism in population and welfare issues under the title MSc Social Research Methods (Population and Welfare). This option is an accredited course for the ESRC Population Investigation Council funding. This specialism is particularly relevant for students interested in demographic and welfare issues.

What's so good about Social Research Methods at Dundee?

The staff teaching the MSc in Social Research Methods course have wide experience of both quantitative and qualitative research methods, and have deployed these skills not only to pursue frontline research in social science, but also as expert advisers to governments and as consultants to international organisations.

This course emphasises that it is important not only to understand how to use a particular research tool, but also to consider the wider meanings of how knowledge can be constructed in different ways and for diverse range of purposes. One particular feature of the course is the comprehensive and in-depth coverage of a variety of research methods including ethnographic and participatory tools; the analysis of large datasets plus GIS skills. The course seeks to encourage students to think critically not only about the methods they use, but also to reflect on the limitations of what is knowable from the evidence presented by others.

"As a part time student on the MSc Social Research Methods course, my experience was exceptionally inspiring. Coming from an arts background it was a real challenge, but one that allowed me to broaden my horizons and bring back to my day job teaching design in an art college an understanding of human geography and how it informs us of local and global social issues. My experience was invaluable in so many ways and staff were always very supportive"

Jackie Malcolm, studied part-time 2010-12
Lecturer in Design, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee

The start date is September each year, and lasts for 12 months.

How you will be taught

Modules start at the beginning of the academic session in September and are taught by lectures and tutorials.
What you will study

There are core modules in:

Research Training
Social Theory
Quantitative Methods in Social Research
Qualitative Methods in Social Research
Plus students choose one from:

Research in Practice (work placement)
Applied GIS and Geospatial Data Analysis
Population Vulnerability and Resilience

Students enrolled on the Masters programme also complete a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The course is assessed by coursework (essays, practical classes, projects), examination and dissertation (for Masters students).

Careers

The course seeks to offer students a wide range of skills suitable for entry into careers as information officers and analysts, research assistants and geographical system experts working in a business or government environment.

Research by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) shows that the demand for Social Science Masters students with quantitative research skills far outstrips supply. This degree programme course has strong emphasis in this area, but the optional modules allow you to tailor the course to your personal career ambitions.

Previous students from our other MSc programmes have gone on to work for local authority planning departments, the General Registrars Office Scotland (census office), GIS analysts for Tayside Police, ONS social analysis unit, and also as research assistants within the University sector.

"The course allowed me to develop on an academic and personal level through its range of critical thinking and skill based modules. I appreciated the broad themes set out by lecturers as it provided an opportunity to integrate my own research interests into class assignments and discussions, enhancing the individual relevancy it had for my classmates and I. Since completing the course in September 2012, I have started working towards a PhD in the Geography department at Dundee, incorporating many of the attributes that I learned at MSc level. The training, support and enthusiasm offered on the course gave me the confidence to undertake fieldwork overseas and inspired me to pursue a future career in academia"

Jade Catterson, studied full-time 2011-12
ESRC-funded PhD student, University of Dundee

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Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Read more
Our Masters degree in Social Policy is designed to develop students’ critical knowledge and understanding of social policy. Together with active researchers you will be led through the key contemporary debates in social policy as well as learning how to develop and carry out your own social policy-focused research projects.

Our Master’s has a strong focus on critical and radical approaches to the study of social policy both here in the UK and from a global perspective. In particular the course is concerned with how social policies can reinforce and reproduce marginalisation and oppression in society for groups such as women, deprived communities, ethnic minorities, migrants, disabled people and older people. Concurrently, nevertheless, the program will also analyse how various social policies have been the result of resistance to dominant economic structures and should therefore also be conceptualised as key institutions formalising the rights of the same groups which social policies often oppress. Social policy is also a deeply political subject and as consequence our program explores the theoretical links between the economy and transformations in welfare systems.

With our strong focus on research methods, however, our course also enables students to develop the central skills required to analyse, understand and critically evaluate any social policy issue. Not only do we encourage students to understand policies comparatively, we also provide a significant amount of research training which covers the key philosophical issues and traditions in social science complimented by significant instruction on the uses and strengths of the range of methods and methodological approaches (i.e. quantitative and qualitative data analysis, focus groups, ethnography and so on).

Drawing on our vibrant and developing research culture we offer contemporary and relevant degree programme, drawing expertise from our interest in current social policy trends in Britain, Europe and globally. Studying for a Master’s in Social Policy is guaranteed to be an intellectually engaging experience which will allow students to develop the skills required for many relevant career pathways.

Curriculum

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation (final research project) totalling 180 credits. Assessment methods will vary and may include academic essays, reports, presentations and examinations, research proposals and a research dissertation.

Advanced Social Theory (30 credits) – You will engage with, evaluate and critically analyse a range of social theory ranging in scope from classical social theory to post-modern approaches.

Advanced Studies in Social Research (30 credits)-You will understand the methodological principles and practices that underpin independent research at Master’s level. You will examine the research process, including design, data collection and analysis, interpretation and presentation.

Transformations in the UK welfare state (30 credits) – This part of the course explores the key issues in social policy in the UK in a contemporary perspective. Notably we will explore the relationship between social policies and the wider political economy, unpicking and critically analysing recent changes in social policy such as privatisation, marketization and austerity. The course will analyse these changes in the welfare state in relation to poverty, class, ‘race’, gender, ageing, sexuality and disability.

Comparative Social Policy and Globalisation (30 credits) – This part of the course will concentrate on developing an international perspective on social policy. The module has two main aims. Firstly, to comparatively analyse different welfare states across the world and, secondly, to explore social policy in relation to globalisation and global capitalism.

Dissertation/Research Project (60 credits) – The focus of the research project will be on an issue of relevance to the study of social policy. The study can involve the collection of primary data or a literature-based dissertation.

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