The MA Social Work enables those with a BA degree to obtain the new professional qualification in Social Work, as well as a Masters degree. The University of Birmingham is the oldest running social work education programme in the country and we are proud of our history. The MA Social Work welcomes applications from international students.
You can also find out why our students love living and studying in Birmingham.
The MA follows an exciting programme. Committed to social justice, anti-oppressive practice and relationship based social work and drawing upon a number of disciplines informing social work practice, it includes the study of social work values, knowledge, law, theories, methods and skills. You undertake two assessed social work placements, the first lasting 70 days and the second 100 days. International students undertake the same placements as UK students and obtain a detailed understanding of the operation of the English social work system. Additional teaching offers students the opportunity to focus on particular areas of interest and exciting new projects, such as the International Exchange Project, and the award-winning Survivor Arts Project, allow students to move beyond the core curriculum and explore different ways of seeing the world and more creative ways of working. Watch the following video diary of our first exchange visit to Rotterdam, and a film of our award-winning Survivor Arts Project.
Service user and carer involvement
On the MA Social Work, service users, carers and practitioners work alongside academics to create a dynamic environment, both within the department and during supervised practice. The department values highly the contribution service user and carer colleagues make, and feedback from students confirms just how important the user perspective is in helping them to develop greater insight into the role social work can play in people's lives.
Involving service users and carers in all aspects of admissions and the development and delivery of our social work qualifying programmes is a priority for us. We believe it offers students the opportunity to have a thorough grounding in service users' and carers' experiences and expectations from the very start of their social work training.
More information about service user and carer involvement in social work education
Due to its location and strong links with partner placement agencies, the University of Birmingham is able to provide a wide range of practice opportunities within statutory, voluntary and independent social care settings. The social work department is also fortunate to have a range of exciting new small student units and innovative practice projects and we regularly receive excellent feedback from students about these. The learning gained from these placements support and build on the learning taking place at the university.
Blended learning approach to teaching and assessment - Combining Facebook and enquiry-based blended learning to teach social media skills
The following short film outlines how Facebook and an enquiry-based blended learning design were used to help students develop professional social media skills, knowledge and approaches. The film also includes student feedback about their experiences of engaging with this learning design. As educators, we are aware that students who connect using Facebook during their studies can maintain these social networks once they leave University. They can also potentially use these social networks to discuss future work related issues. To enable students to learn about the potential and pitfalls of sharing, communicating and collaborating using social networks once in employment, this learning design was developed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to use these tools professionally. This film provides an illustration of the commitment social work staff at the University of Birmingham have in continually striving to ensure their students are equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge necessary for their future roles.
This degree leads to an MA in Social Work with the Professional Qualification in Social Work which provides eligibility to apply to register with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is the qualification required to practice as a professional social worker. As well as equipping you with a professional qualification, gaining the MA allows you to progress on to post qualifying courses or to apply to continue with your academic studies at PhD level.
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.
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'll be taught by established social work academics and associate lecturers who have considerable research and/or practice experience in their fields.
You'll 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'll develop your skills for reflective and evidence-based practice and will be able to further your research mindedness.
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 were one of only four early adopter sites across the country to receive 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.
The programme has an intake of around 20-30 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.
You'll develop the ability to practise social work in a wide variety of settings with different service user groups.
The programme will enable you to register and practise as a qualified social worker.
The MA programme at Leeds offers a “fast track” programme to professional registration as a social worker. It’s an exciting opportunity for graduates with some experience and knowledge of social care to enter a challenging and rewarding profession that contributes to the well-being of society.
This respected programme has strong partnership links to the statutory, private, voluntary and independent sectors, and our graduates are highly sought after in the employment market. During the programme, you'll have excellent placement opportunities across a range of providers.
You’ll benefit from the small student number we recruit and will enjoy a high level of support from tutors. Practice and theory have equal value on the programme, and they inform and develop each other.
The Social Work MA involves service users and carers in all aspects of our programme and supports an inter-professional perspective in both the theory and practice of social work, studied at a world-leading university.
Graduates of this HCPC-approved programme are eligible to apply for registration as a social worker on the HCPC Register.
You’ll study the law and social work with children, families and adults. You’ll learn about research methods and complete a dissertation. You’ll also be required to undertake 200 days of placement in a social work setting, supported by practice teachers and assessors.
This programme accepts a small number of students in each year group and the social work team is committed to providing a stimulating, supportive and challenging environment for study.
Year 1 Compulsory modules
Year 2 Compulsory modules
The social work programme is designed to allow you to study as an adult learner. The programme’s methods of study and training are highly participative, with a combination of tutor-led input and support, learning through group work and discussion, and individual exercises and practice. There is a strong emphasis on developing a critically reflective practitioner. Service users and carers along with experienced current practitioners take a full part in the teaching and learning on the programme. You’ll have access to modern University and School of Healthcare facilities.
The course is assessed through a combination of essay, exam, practice portfolio and dissertation. The workload of assessment is carefully spread throughout the programme.
Our MA Social Work course will help you become a highly effective social worker through a combination of teaching and practice placements.
Our course meets the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for social work practice in England, the Knowledge and Skills Statements for children, adult and mental health social workers, and the regulatory requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
You will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social worker with the HCPC upon completion of the course.
You will benefit from particularly high quality placements and greater input from practising social workers through our membership of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy, a government-sponsored Teaching Partnership that ensures close links between local employers and universities across Greater Manchester.
Both placements and taught elements will help you learn how to work with a variety of user groups in a range of settings.
The course aims to:
Benefit from a range of innovative teaching and learning methods that integrate theory and practice, actively involving service users, carers and current social work practitioners.
We encourage students to take an active involvement in shaping the course.
170 days of placements
You will have two high quality statutoryplacements within a local authority, voluntary or private agency, which will enable you to develop into a confident, resilient and reflective social work practitioner.
Greater employment opportunities
We are a member of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy teaching partnership and have strong links with social work employers across the region.
You will receive outstanding study, placement and personal support from staff and fellow students.
Addressing the philosophy of Athena SWAN , we look to minimise early starts and late finishes, and ensure Christmas, New Year and Easter are included in your annual leave entitlement.
You will have access to teaching staff who actively undertake research in health and social care at a university rated number one in the UK under the Research Excellence Framework (Unit of Assessment 3) in this area.
Our staff's specialist research interests include deaf people and children (SORD), adoption and looked after children, safeguarding practice, law for social workers, mental health, LGBT, learning for professional practice and researching social work pedagogy.
You will learn from experts in social work through interactive teaching sessions incorporating lectures and workshops at the University. See the teaching and learning page for more information.
You will develop practical skills and experience through placements. See the placements page for more information.
We use a range of assessment methods to accommodate different learning styles and learning outcomes.
These include using simulated visits and assessments, essays, case studies and group presentations. We may use other formats.
You will be assessed for your readiness for direct practice (ARDP) prior to commencing your first practice placement, and will be assessed at the end of your first and final practice placements.
Learning in the first year provides a solid foundation where students are introduced to key knowledge and skills and prepared for professional practice.
You will learn about what social work is and develop necessary practice skills. You will explore the context social work operates in, including the legal framework and professional safeguarding responsibilities.
You will take:
Learning in the second year provides an in-depth understanding of the processes that govern and inform social work processes and interventions with a range of service user groups.
The Foundations of Research course will prepare you for completing a dissertation for your MA award.
Your dissertation provides an opportunity for you to undertake in depth study on a social work-related topic or aspect of practice.
You will take:
This unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. The programme examines advanced knowledge about the theory and practice of social work and community development in an international context. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of global social issues (such as social exclusion, poverty, environmental degradation, and disasters) and relate this knowledge to developments in their own country. You will be equipped with the skills to engage in research and to apply research findings effectively in practice. The programme includes a two-week field-based learning opportunity in a social work or community work agency. The dissertation provides space for you to carry out research on an aspect of social or community work in the UK.
Durham University is a world leader in international social work and community development research, theory, and practice. Our social work team has edited the prestigious International Social Work journal and works closely with social work’s key international organisations - , the International Association of Schools of Social Work, .the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), and the International Council of Social Welfare (ICSW). Its Programme Director also represents social work at the UNFCCC and other UN bodies.
You will study in a small group of international students, and also alongside UK students on postgraduate social work and research degree programmes. This will give you plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and experience in addition to your learning through lectures, presentations and seminars.
The MA consists of five core modules, designed to give you an understanding of social work as it is practiced in the UK, and a thorough grounding in research methods and their application. You will also choose two specialist modules according to your particular professional interests. Finally, you will undertake a research project and write a dissertation. To achieve the Master's degree, you must accumulate a total of 180 credits, as listed below.
International Social Work (30 credits)
Social Work: Context and Practice (30 credits)
Community Development and Organising (15 credits)
Practitioner Research and Dissertation (60 credits)
Field Based Learning (15 credits)
Note students are required to pay for travel costs to and from their fieldwork practice placement.
These are subject to staff availability. In previous years, typical modules offered were:
Youth Policy and Practice (15 credits)
Management in Community Settings (30 credits)
Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
Crime, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)
This graduate entry level course is designed to equip social work students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for qualification. Upon successful completion of the course students will have met the required levels of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). They will then be able to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and ready to begin their first year in employment as a registered and qualified social worker.
The MA (Social Work) is an academic award dependent upon successful completion of a Masters level dissertation as well as demonstrating capable practice. There is an ‘exit award’ of PGDip, which allows successful students to register with the HCPC as a qualified and registered social worker. Students, who take this route, will be eligible to complete a Masters dissertation in Social Work Studies.
The specific educational aims of the course are to:
Social Work Skills Assessment Flat
The course at the University of Wolverhampton has some excellent features including:
There is a strong staff and service-user interest in disability and this is embedded into academic modules and workshops.
Ethical and engaged practice is a core element of the award, which is enhanced by skills days relating to values and critical reflection. Several of the staff team have relevant publications in this arena and are also members of the Social Work Action Network, an organisation of social workers committed to equality and social justice.
Core members of staff on the course have a strong record of social work publications and/or conference presentations across a range of areas of interest.
There are also excellent campus facilities (catering, libraries and well equipped social learning spaces) which contribute to an enjoyable learning experience.
The Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing series of seminars and lectures spans education, sport, care, psychology health and wellbeing, bringing you a variety of engaging speakers and experts from the University of Wolverhampton and many other UK universities, visit http://www.wlv.ac.uk/fehw/lectures
The course enables successful students to begin practice as a qualified and registered social worker.
The English qualification is accepted throughout the UK, the EU and is recognised Internationally.
Graduates may return to the University of Wolverhampton (or any Higher Education Institute) to undertake courses as part of their continuing professional development, which is a requirement to maintain social work registration with the HCPC. A revised framework for Continuing Professional Development and Post-Qualifying Awards is in development by The College of Social Work.
It is a condition of continuing HCPC registration that qualified and registered Social Workers maintain a record of CPD. There is also the opportunity for candidates to enrol on a programme of doctoral study - either a Professional Doctorate or a more conventional PhD.
At the end of this course students will have acquired the knowledge to underpin practice; a range of intellectual skills of thinking and problem solving in academic learning and practice; enhanced self-awareness and social work specific skills. These will be incorporated into the 5 course learning outcomes:
The MA Social Work programme is regulated by the HCPC in collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton and local Health and Social Care providers. Furthermore, there is service user/carer involvement in the management of the course and in the delivery of the teaching.
Leading to a professional qualification in social work, UCLan’s MA Social Work course has been developed in close co-operation with social work agencies in the voluntary, independent and statutory sectors and in conjunction with service users and carers. It incorporates 170 days placement experience as well as structured academic learning, including input from service users. A work based (part-time) route taking a minimum of three years, is available for employees who are sponsored by our partner agencies. The course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and has been developed in line with the HCPC Standards of Proficiency, the College of Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework, and the QAA benchmarking statements. A key principle of the programme is the promotion of student self-directed and enquiry based learning, with the model of action learning sets embedded within the teaching and learning strategy of the programme. The aim is to enable students to develop advanced knowledge, skills and values for social work.
This course will involve access to children and/or vulnerable adults. You will be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB) and we will guide you through this process.
This course has been approved by the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) as meeting the Standards of Education & Training required for social work programmes. Students who successfully complete all social work elements of the course are eligible to apply to the HCPC for registration as qualified social workers.
Teaching and learning opportunities include lectures, workshops, use of action learning sets and facilitated tutorials, student-led projects, presentations, e-learning, discussion groups, workshops and self-directed study. Social work practitioners and service users and carers contribute to programme delivery.
The modules, plus practice learning opportunities, enable students to meet the academic and practice outcomes as specified by external regulators.
Academic assessments include; essays, exams, presentations, case studies, oral interviews, practice placements, portfolios and a 10,000 word dissertation.
Social workers work with a wide cross section of society, which includes a significant proportion of some of the most disadvantaged and excluded people in our society. Social work students therefore need to develop the knowledge, skills and appropriate values to work positively with service users and carers. This course will offer you opportunities to develop and integrate knowledge, skills and values for and in practice, which will allow you to demonstrate that you meet The College of Social Work Professional Capabilities at the Qualifying Level for Social Work in England as well as the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency in practice by the end of the course.
The MA Social Work course will consist of 1800 hours structured academic learning and 170 days of learning in practice settings.
As part of the taught element of the course which is University- based students will experience a minimum of thirty skills development activity days. In Year 1 the focus is on generic skills which form the basis of an assessment of the student’s Readiness for Direct Practice and the development of capabilities at ‘end of first placement’ level. These include: communications skills; interviewing skills; skills of observation; understanding social work contexts; and direct communication with and learning from service users and carers. In Year 2 students will have the opportunity to develop more ‘advanced skills’ such as working with ‘hard to engage’ service users and direct work with children.
Key aspects of the programme include:
-Professionalism: developing awareness in students of how to behave as a professional social worker
-Values and ethics: understanding and applying to practice the ethical values and principles of social work
-Diversity: recognising diversity and applying anti-oppressive principles in practice
-The advancement of human rights, social justice and economic well-being
-Applying knowledge for social work: knowledge of human growth and development, psychology, social policy, sociology, law and theory for social work
-Critical reflection and analysis in respect to professional decision making
-Skills to intervene to promote independence provide support and prevent harm and abuse
-Working in organisations including collaborative working between agencies
-Taking responsibility for the professional learning and development of others through leadership
Recent graduates have successfully gained employment in social work teams in a variety of settings such as child protection, parenting and family support teams, youth justice, community drug teams, community mental health teams, adult social care services. Some graduates have returned to the School to undertake post qualifying courses for experienced practitioners and continue their academic study.
Students can access the ERASMUS scheme, which provides students with opportunities to travel to UCLan partner universities in Poland, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Finland and Portugal. In addition, there may be a range of opportunities for international study visits – students recently have visited Istanbul, Copenhagen, Cyprus & Ireland.