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Masters Degrees (Social Welfare Policy)

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Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. Read more
Welfare states everywhere face enormous challenges from population ageing, changes in family life and work-patterns, migration and the economic crisis. In a globalised and interdependent world, these issues can only be understood from an international perspective which accounts for these common pressures and processes, but which also recognises and engages with the diversity of national traditions and institutions for delivering welfare.

The International Social Policy programme takes a policy analytic approach to provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy. You learn about the common features of social policy arrangements internationally and the variety and differences that characterise welfare across the countries and regions of the world. Drawing on the research-based expertise available at SSPSSR which relates to countries ranging from China, South Korea and Singapore in South East Asia to the UK, Germany and Sweden in Western Europe, you are equipped to understand how national and global forces interact to shape trajectories of welfare system development.

The programme enables you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring enduring cross cutting themes in social policy, including the prioritisation of equality and capabilities, as well as to drill down to how and why policy unfolds in key welfare fields. You develop policy analytic skills in relation to such areas as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, and children & family related policy. You acquire expertise in the use of primary and secondary data collection in areas pertaining to all these aspects of social policy, and are thus equipped to think critically about the development of social welfare systems in a global age across the full range of national contexts and policy situations.

Visit the website https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/118/international-social-policy

About the School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

SSPSSR has a long and distinguished history, and is one of the largest and most successful social science research communities in Europe.

Academic staff specialise in research of international, comparative and theoretical significance, and we have collective strengths in the following areas: civil society, NGOs and the third sector; cross-national and European social policy; health, social care and health studies; work, employment and economic life; risk, ‘risk society’ and risk management; race, ethnicity and religion; social and public policy; sociology and the body; crime, culture and control; sociological theory and the culture of modernity.

Course structure

We place considerable emphasis on structured, interactive seminars with a high degree of student participation. You also join the staff/graduate seminars which allow MA and research students to become involved in a professional research culture.

The programme gives you a clear and confident grasp of social policy in developed and developing countries. You gain an advanced understanding of the relevant debates, theories and concepts of international issues alongside skills in research design and data collection.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year. Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. Current compulsory modules for this programme are: Critical Social Research: Truth, Ethics and Power; Design of Social Research; Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy.

You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

SO832 - Using Research-Advanced Critical Skills (20 credits)
SO833 - Design of Social research (20 credits)
SO877 - Key Issues in Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
SO872 - Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
SO876 - Organised Civil Society and the Third Sector (20 credits)
SO884 - Race, Difference and Belonging (20 credits)
SO894 - The Family, Parenting Culture and Parenting Policy (20 credits)
SO938 - Governing Science, Technology and Society in the 21st Century (20 credits)
SO838 - The Idea of Civil Society (20 credits)
SO839 - Fundraising and Philanthropy (20 credits)
SO867 - Foundations of Sociology (20 credits)
SA803 - Politics and Sociology of the Environment (20 credits)
SO813 - Sociology of health, illness and medicine (20 credits)
SO817 - Qualitative Research (20 credits)
SO819 - Quantitative Data Analysis (20 credits)
SO825 - Terrorism and Modern Society (20 credits)
SO998 - Dissertation (60 credits)

Assessment

Modules combine various forms of coursework; a research dissertation also acts as a modular component of the course in its own right.

Programme aims

This programme aims to:

- provide you with an advanced understanding of current debates, theories and concepts relevant to international social policy

- impart country-specific as well as cross-national empirical and theoretical knowledge of current challenges and processes of transformation of welfare systems

- enable you to apply theories and methods of social policy in exploring specific policy fields such as health, migration, pensions, education, social care, poverty and social exclusion, urban development, and family policy

- develop your skills in research design and data collection in areas pertaining to social policy

- familiarise you with using primary and secondary data to develop cutting-edge research in the field of international social policy.

Careers

Building on Kent’s success as the region’s leading institution for student employability, we place considerable emphasis on you gaining specialist knowledge in your chosen subject alongside core transferable skills.

We ensure that you develop the skills and competences that employers are looking for including: research and analysis; policy development and interpretation; independent thought; writing and presentation, as well as time management and leadership skills.

You also become fully involved in the professional research culture of the School. A postgraduate degree in the area of social and public policy is a particularly flexible and valuable qualification that can lead to many exciting opportunities and professions.

SSPSSR consistently ranks highly for student satisfaction and teaching quality, ranking 6th in the UK for our Social Policy students' employment prospects (2015 Complete University Guide).

Recent graduates have pursued careers in academia, journalism, local and central government, charities and NGOs in roles which utilise their wide range of skills and are often found in managerial positions.

Find out how to apply here - https://www.kent.ac.uk/courses/postgraduate/apply/

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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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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 MSc Social Policy is divided into two streams. The first stream, Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) is a broad programme in many aspects of social policy that can be tailored to the interests of students from a wide range of backgrounds. Read more

About the MSc programme

The MSc Social Policy is divided into two streams. The first stream, Social Policy (Social Policy and Planning) is a broad programme in many aspects of social policy that can be tailored to the interests of students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is the oldest master's level programme in social policy in the world but it has evolved to reflect new interests and challenges.

The second stream, Social Policy (European and Comparative Social Policy) is an integrated programme designed for people looking towards careers in international research or as practitioners, planners and administrators of public services and whose interest or work lies at the international and European level. It provides you with the opportunity of examining major current social problems and the range of policies being developed to address them from a cross-national European and international perspective. Through multi-disciplinary and cross-national study, you gain a thorough grounding in the comparative analysis of the institutional arrangements of European welfare states, as well as examining specific social problems shared by individual countries.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from the Social Policy and Planning stream have gone on to a variety of careers in research, the policy arena in think tanks and the political sphere, social service administration, voluntary organisations and many other destinations.

Graduates from the European and Comparative Social Policy stream have found positions within a wide range of institutions, including the European Commission, European Parliament, EU lobbying organisations, consultancies, UNESCO, broadcasting, journalism, international departments of national civil services, as well as employment in teaching and research or further study for a PhD.

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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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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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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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Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international. The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. Read more
Rigorous training in the comparative analysis of institutions, from local to international.

Overview

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy will train you in comparative and international policy analysis, research and design. It is ideal for those working in, or wishing to work in international policy analysis and policy development in governments, charities and NGOs around the world.

It is based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which was ranked equal first in the UK for the impact of its research, with 87% of its research activity rated as world leading or internationally excellent.

This MA is especially suitable for:
-Graduates from degrees in social policy, politics, sociology, international studies or other social sciences
-Graduates from other backgrounds who wish to develop a high quality of graduate level research training in social research methods and policy analysis
-Graduates who wish to develop an understanding of comparative and international welfare institutional arrangements
-Those looking to develop a career in social research and/or policy analysis

Course content

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a solid introduction to comparative social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then explore how social policy is affected by globalisation. You'll finish with a comparative exploration of how emerging governance structures and actors affect the management and delivery of social policy in national and international settings.

This masters degree has a broad international approach, rooted in the analysis of higher income countries in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) and adapting this to a study of a broader sample of countries across the globe.

This particular masters degree attracts an international student body so you'll benefit from a truly comparative experience.

Most people study for full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Comparative and International Social Policy - Research Methods

In the spring term you'll take two more compulsory modules that focus on international and comparative social policy:
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Globalisation and Social Policy

You'll examine how social policy is affected by globalisation in four regions: Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Latin America and Asia.
More details on the MA in Comparative and International Social Policy modules.

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop and present your research interests. You will participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MA in Comparative and International Social Policy develops skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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Understand and link practice and theory across public and social policy. This course is ideal for professionals in organisations that develop or implement social policy and public policy. Read more
Understand and link practice and theory across public and social policy.

Overview

This course is ideal for professionals in organisations that develop or implement social policy and public policy. During your studies you'll develop the skills and knowledge required to influence policy and you'll link public policy theory to concrete examples of social policy.

You'll deepen your understanding of policy-making and explore the interaction between policy-making on local, national and global levels. You'll use evidence to improve social policy practice and develop a range of transferable skills such as critical thinking and designing and conducting research.

By choosing this part-time online course you will be able to combine your study with your career and family. You'll also be studying with one of the top universities in the world, with teaching and support from experienced academics and practitioners. Our Department is ranked 25th in the world, and 4th in the UK (QS World Rankings 2016). All our courses are run directly by us, so you can always count on coherent and strong support from your academic tutors, personal supervisor and our dedicated support team.

You'll study alongside your peers working in similar organisations around the world. You'll be able to actively engage with them and share your ideas, learning and experience as you progress through the course. You'll also be in a position to immediately apply your learning and insight to your work and your organisation.

Course content

This masters course will explore four themes:
-The social policy process: how are social policies made within nation states? What is the role of institutions, interests, ideas and evidence in this governance process?
-Social policy in a globalised world: how do global, international and transnational influences filter through the national policy-making process, and how do they impact on the design and the effectiveness of social policies?
-Social policy, politics and society: why is social policy making a conflicted process? How do social policies shape society and impact on specific social groups?
-Social policy and research: how can social policy be analysed? How can research improve the design and implementation of social policies?
-In your second year you'll start to prepare for your independent dissertation which will allow you to explore an area of particular interest. You'll have support from a dedicated dissertation supervisor.

You can also study for a shorter period of time and graduate with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma.

Modules
To graduate with a masters degree you will need to take 120 credits of taught modules and complete a dissertation worth 60 credits.

You'll study these modules to a schedule. This will allow you to participate online with academics and fellow students from around the world.

Year one: foundation
In your first year you'll study 60 credits with these modules:
-Social Policy Analysis (20 credits)
-Globalisation and Social Policy (20 credits)
-Social Policy: Evidence, Ideas and Institutions (20 credits)

Year two: specialisation and dissertation
In your second year you'll study a combination of taught modules, which will help prepare you for your dissertation:
-Introduction to Research Methods (20 credits)
-Dissertation Workshop Part One (10 credits)
-Dissertation Workshop Part Two (10 credits)

You will also explore an area of particular interest by choosing to study one of these modules:
-Comparative Social Policy (20 credits)
-Housing and Social Justice (20 credits)
-Work, Welfare and Citizenship (20 credits)

Careers

This course is ideal for people working in the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as people working in for-profit organisations that deliver public services. It will allow you to develop the skills required for management in a large and complex organisation. You'll achieve an understanding of public policy so you can analyse and influence policy-making and implementation.

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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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Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. Read more
Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to life-enhancing and sustaining experiences such as education, health care, housing, income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings, and the care associated with the loss of autonomy and independence. UCLan's MA Social Policy postgraduate degree will be of benefit to professionals working in the world of social welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline, and to the interested citizen. There are core modules in poverty and social inequality; comparative social policy and social change; social theory and social policy; the making of social policy; introduction to social research. Newly-introduced modules include a work placement module: social policy in practice, with an alternative choice of a reflecting on policy and practice module for those students already in work who may wish to focus analysis on their current professional role.

LEARNING ENVIRONMENT AND ASSESSMENT

Students will be taught in a combination of lecture, seminar and workshop settings. The research module makes extensive use of eLearn. Full-time students will normally have six hours per week class contact time (3 taught modules per semester), whilst part-time students will normally have between two to four hours per week class contact time (One-two modules per semester, depending on the student's chosen programme of study). Students also receive additional tutorial support in negotiation with their personal tutor.

The course employs a variety of assessment methods including essays, seminar presentations, data analysis and a 15000 word dissertation that is the biggest single component (worth three modules) of the MA target award. There are no examinations. All forms of assessment have been designed to test the extent to which learning outcomes have been achieved.

There is also a dissertation (triple module) on a topic of the student’s choice. The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and supervised self-directed study. It is assessed through coursework and a dissertation. There are no examinations.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Social Policy has been defined as the study of the collective and individual procedures through which people gain access to that range of life enhancing and life sustaining experiences, whose distribution lies at the heart of welfare states. These include education, health care, housing, and income during periods of cessation and interruption of earnings and the care associated with the experience of contingencies which lead to a loss of independence and autonomy. There can be little doubt that social policy issues are now at the centre of political debate in Britain and much of the rest of the industrialised world.

The New Labour government of 1997-2010 made the ‘modernisation’ of these services and the improvement in the quality of users' experiences the test by which it wishes to be judged: in what directions has the new Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition taken social policy since the defeat of New Labour?

The MA Social Policy is a modular course that offers the opportunity to engage in a discussion of some of the most important issues of a world characterised by profound cultural, demographic, economic, political and technological change. It will be of relevance and benefit to professionals who work in one or other sector of the mixed economy of welfare, to graduates in Social Policy or a related discipline such as Economics, Health Studies, History, Philosophy, Politics and Sociology, and to the interested citizen.

The course aims to:
-Provide an intellectually challenging range of modules that focus on a number of the most important theoretical perspectives at the "cutting edge" of the subject
-Apply an advanced critical perspective to social policy issues relevant to your professional and/or academic situation
-Encourage you to develop a framework of knowledge, critical understanding and analytical skills that can be used as a basis for both professional and personal development

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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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The MA in Social Policy equips you with the skills to analyse social policy in a way that will allow you to understand how policies are developed and the role they play in people's lives. Read more
The MA in Social Policy equips you with the skills to analyse social policy in a way that will allow you to understand how policies are developed and the role they play in people's lives. The course offers a combination of taught coursework and supervised independent study. You'll develop the skills required to carry out your own research in an area of social policy that interests you.

This MA is especially suited to you if you are considering a career in social policy analysis, advocacy or research in the public sector or socially-focused NGOs. You'll cover topics such as the welfare state in the UK and other countries, the impact of globalisation on social programmes and why patterns of social inequality persist.

Course content

The MA in Social Policy is based around a combination of social policy analysis and research training. You'll start with a broad introduction to social research methods and social policy analysis. You'll then narrow down your focus, choosing between advanced research training, more detailed analysis of social policy or a mix of the two.

Most people study full-time for 12 months, but part-time study over 24 months is also available.

Modules
In the autumn term you'll take two compulsory modules:
-Social Policy Analysis
-Introduction to Social Research Methods

In the spring term you will chose two of these optional modules:
-Advanced Qualitative Methods
-Advanced Quantitative Methods
-Comparative Social Policy - Governance, Management and Delivery
-Globalisation and Social Policy
-Global Crime and Justice
-Global Social Problems and Global Social Policy

In the summer term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Dissertation Workshop. This will give you the chance to develop your research interests and participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Careers

The MA in Social Policy develops the skills that employers need in a number of areas, especially policy analysis and research. You'll also find you develop transferable skills that will allow you to progress to different career areas or to continue your studies at PhD level.

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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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This programme is recognised by the ESRC as a research training programme designed to provide participants with a sound background on overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods and data collection and analysis. Read more
This programme is recognised by the ESRC as a research training programme designed to provide participants with a sound background on overall research design and the most up-to-date training in methods and data collection and analysis.

The core elements of this programme are delivered by staff from across the College of Social Sciences, many of them engaged in cutting-edge research in their own fields.

The MA programme includes assessed core modules and short courses (120 credits) and the completion of a 14,000 word dissertation (60 credits), while the Postgraduate Diploma includes the assessed courses only (120 credits).

Modules

Introduction to Social Research
This module aims to provide a general introduction to studying and research methods and prepares you for your dissertation, emphasising key skills such as searching literature, finding datasets and presenting and criticising arguments. It also covers ethics of research, the role of theory and philosophical bases for understanding the social world.

Research Design
This module links the introductory module and data collection module through consideration of research design, questions, warranting practices and sampling methods. All the elements of research design are linked into an over-arching theme of the full cycle of research activity.

Social Research Methods I
This module introduces the principles and practices of data collection and explores rationales of the various methods. It will focus on the different stages of data collection, including various methods used to gather textual and numerical data.

Social Research Methods II
This module introduces students to a range of approaches for analysing and handling data. It will include covering statistical methods for quantitative data and methodological approaches for qualitative data. It emphasises that the method of analysis is not determined by the method of collection.

British Social Policy - Beyond Welfare?
This module provides students with an understanding of recent trends in social policy development and of the current social and economic context of policy making in the UK. The question underpinning the module is 'Where is British Social Policy heading?'

Researching Social Policy
This module is concerned with the politics of social research, rather than research methods and methodology. It addresses issues such as: how are certain topics identified as subjects for research, how is research commissioned and funded, and what are the relationships between research and the policy process. It draws on real-life experiences of doing research and being researched to explore these issues.

The modules on Social Research Methods I and Social Research Methods II cover a wide range of approaches, including the 'qualitative' traditions, plus mixed methods.

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