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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
- 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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Prepare for a career in social work with a course that is well connected with social work and social care service providers in the region. As a result of these connections, you get the benefit of supervised practical work in a range of social work settings.
Placements and work experience
Practical work experience is at the heart of this course. We have a 100% record of placing students in quality-audited placements. You spend 170 days putting what you’ve learned into practice in real working situations, such as • social work teams • family centres • primary care practices • hospitals • mental health settings • women's refuges and a range of family support services for vulnerable people.
These placements take place with our partners in local authority, private and voluntary agencies across South Yorkshire and the North East Midlands. Previous students have worked in statutory local authority social work teams, NHS mental health units, youth offending teams working with the police, and charities including the NSPCC, Age UK, Barnados, Mind and Women's Aid.
Your placements are supported by 30 specialist skills days. You work with experts, professionals and service users on specific topics such as how to assess risky behaviour, or interventions for safeguarding children. In your final year, we run a workshop with employers on how to apply for jobs in social work.
There are also opportunities to spend time studying abroad. Previous students have attended a summer school in Berlin, gaining new, international perspectives on social work and discovering how it is practised around the world.
During the time you spend at university, you are based at our Collegiate Crescent Campus which includes our £13 million purpose-built Robert Winston Building, a newly built Heart of the Campus complex and a learning centre which is open 24 hours and seven days a week. You use specialist facilities including our courtroom, where you learn how to give evidence, and our virtual reality training environment which is used to practise different cases.
We are one of the most experienced providers of social work, education in the country, and we have a wide range of expertise. Social work is part of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, which enables us to apply specialist knowledge and resources from across a range of health and social care professions.
All our teaching staff are qualified and experienced social workers, or have experience in related professions. You experience a range of different ways of learning, including role play with actors, real-life case studies and virtual reality experiences alongside lectures and seminars,
Many of our lecturers are involved in research in social work and have a well-established reputation in various international projects, including
This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). After successfully completing the course you are eligible to apply to register with them to practise as a social worker.
We are in a transitional period where the work of the College of Social Work has come to an end and some functions are temporarily hosted by the British Association of Social Work.
This is a full time course that can lead to professional registration as a social worker and therefore requires extensive study.
Taught modules take place on average three days a week. but you will be required to engage in study outside of these times. A large proportion of the course is spent on placement within social care organisations – during these times you are required to attend for five days a week.
Social work programmes provide a combination of practice learning and academic modules, that build together in order to equip you with the range of knowledge and skills you need in order to meet the requirements of this challenging profession. The strategies of teaching, learning and assessment across the 24 months are progressive, so that you gradually develop the abilities to be a self-directed learner. At the beginning of each year there will be an induction period to help you orient yourself to the shape of your studies for that year, and the increasing levels of academic and professional standards expected of you.
Additionally, some of the academic modules contain skills days, which further reinforce that there are strong links between the intellectual abilities you need in order to be a social worker, and the practice skills that are also needed. The programme structure comprises five interrelated elements
Year one modules
Year two modules
You will be able to take advantage of a high demand for qualified social workers in the South Yorkshire and East Midlands regions and nationally in areas such as • social services departments • education and other local authority departments • residential care • housing associations • national and local voluntary organisations • private sector care providers.
You can work in careers alongside other professionals including • nurses • police officers • lawyers • teachers • occupational therapists • doctors • housing officers • a range of care and support staff.
You work with a range of people who require professional support such as • children and young people • parents and carers • people with mental health problems, learning difficulties or physical disabilities • older adults • refugees and asylum seekers.
Social workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society at times of greatest stress. By the end of this programme you will have been assessed against the Standards of Proficiency for Social Work and the Professional Capabilities Framework. Once qualified, you will be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration. Competent practice is essential for the award and you will undertake 200 days of practice learning (placement and skills for practice) during the programme. Practice learning through placement experience is undertaken in blocks of the course and skills for practice, 30 days experiential skills for practice during Year one (in the university), 70 days (in placement) during Year 1 and 100 days (in placement) during Year two.
For students enrolled on the programme, you will be expected to travel to placements with employer providers and be able to travel to service users. Being a holder of a current UK driving licence is therefore desirable.
During this initial year your knowledge and skills for social work practice is developed and assessed. The value base of social work is emphasised and you will engage in teaching designed to support your learning and understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practice in a model that promotes social justice and relationship based practice. The Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice module is designed to develop students’ skills, knowledge and understanding about social work. The course is delivered by a range of qualified social work academics, service users and social work practitioners, which includes 30 days experiential skills. You will have an opportunity to undertake a five-day shadow placement with an employer provider in a social work setting. The first year is designed to prepare and assess students’ ‘readiness for direct practice’ prior to the 70 day placement
You will develop your understanding of different service user groups and service provision in social work settings building on the teaching and learning during Year one. The teaching will provide opportunities for you to work in small learning sets developing your reflective critical thinking skills. A module on diversity develops your understanding of the correlations between oppression, discrimination and inequality and how gender shapes organisations and service delivery. A 100-day assessed placement learning opportunity will be completed in a social work setting. During this final year you will also undertake research which is either empirical or literature based which is presented in a final dissertation.
Masters in Social Work students will have the opportunity to enrol onto the Developing Housing Practice module. This is a 10 credit level 7 module which, on completion, gives students partial accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) which is equivalent to 10 credits towards postgraduate housing related training. This would be offered to the Masters students as an elective online module. There are a number of overlaps between housing and social work which include: vulnerable adults, people seeking asylum, safeguarding children, domestic abuse, hate crime, community safety and anti-social behaviours. This optional module would support the employability of the Masters students and offer a unique partial accreditation in housing-related training which complements social work.
-Life Span 1: Human Growth and Development
-Social Work Law and Policy
-Dissertation and Research Skills for Effective Social Work Practice
-Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice
-Life Span 2: Assessing and Managing Risk in Child and Adult Protection
-Developing Housing Practice, Knowledge and Provision
-Gender and Sexuality Studies in Social Work
-Prepares you for professional social work practice
-Enables you to develop their practice skills
-Develops your skills and knowledge in working with other professions
-Raises political awareness and encourages you to be a creative, critical and reflective thinker
-The Social Work subject team sign up to and hold the International Federation of Social Work definition of social work
-Students will have the opportunity to develop a range of communication skills in the first year through experiential teaching and learning facilitated by Service Users, Social Work Practitioners and Practice Educators.
You will undertake 170 days of practice learning (placement). You will complete a student profile during the first year of study and through strong partnerships between the University and employer providers, you will be matched to a specific service placement. You will be expected to be able to travel effectively to and from the placement and be able to carry out community based duties (where required) during the placement which may involve independent travel. It is therefore desirable that you hold a current UK driving licence. Placement learning opportunities can be outside of Northampton. All placement providers are quality assured by the University.
English Language & Mathematics: Social work entrants must hold at least a GCSE grade C in English Language and Mathematics (O level grade C or CSE grade 1 are the equivalent). Key Skills Level Two qualifications are also acceptable. For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 7 is required.
You will be required to declare that you have these qualifications.
-Ability to write thoughtfully, insightfully and coherently about your motivation in applying for the course and understanding and commitment to the social work profession.
-Relevant work experience. Students must demonstrate (100 days or equivalent) relevant previous experience in social care or a related area. This could be paid or voluntary work.
-Students yet to graduate should provide an academic reference on the application, indicating their predicted degree classification. Students who have already graduated can also provide a professional reference.
-All applicants must confirm prior to interview/offer decision making that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities, including word processing, internet browsing and the use of email, and may be asked to specify how these skills have been obtained.
This course offers students knowledge, skills, understanding and reflective practice in the field of community youth work and an opportunity to gain a professional qualification in community youth work. The programme has three main aims: 1. The development of effective professional practitioners in community youth work. 2. The delivery of a postgraduate programme that will challenge, develop and engage critically in issues that relate to the field of community youth work through informed and innovative methods of teaching and learning. 3. To enhance the professional skills and employability of community youth workers.
The programme will initially be studied in part-time mode. This is the second revalidation of this programme offering potential students a unique opportunity to gain a professional qualification, validated by the North South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) and an academic award of the University of Ulster. Students will follow six modules for the postgraduate diploma in community youth work for the professional endorsement by the NSETS leading, if desired, to the award by dissertation of a MSc in Community Youth Work. Students will be required to have the postgraduate diploma before embarking on to the Masters level. The modules are arranged to meet the criteria set out by NSETS and to meet the needs of students training to become professional workers. All students will follow a placement module which is supervised by a University tutor and a practice teacher. The placement is an opportunity for CYW staff to assess at first hand the development of professional practice based on the monitoring student skills through reflective practice. The course maintains both academic and professional coherence through the use of modules that underpin fundamental concepts of community youth work, i.e. the context of youth. The module has been specifically designed to facilitate the needs of a postgraduate programme and will be taught exclusively for this cohort. Past experience suggests that it is important to build a strong collegial group early on in the programme. While it is envisaged that other modules will be taught alongside the undergraduate course the first module is explicitly designed to create a sense of belonging for the new intake.. This is followed by more applied modules, i.e. principles and practice of youth work; communities in focus and the in-situ/exigency placements at the beginning of year. After the placement students will follow the principles and practice of youth work: leadership, management and supervision module preparing them for management roles in youth work and the critical thinking and professional development module to consolidate their learning and to focus on areas that they may wish to research or develop further including inter-professional collaboration. The modules have been designed to facilitate the underpinning knowledge, skills and understanding needed to become a professional community youth worker. The modules are: (i) THE CONTEXT OF YOUTH WORK; (ii) PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF YOUTH WORK; (iii) COMMUNITIES IN FOCUS; (iv) IN-SITU AND EX-AGENCY REFLECTIVE PLACEMENTS; (v) PRINCIPLES AND PRACTICE OF YOUTH WORK; SUPERVISION, LEARDERSHIP AND MANAGEMENT; (vi) CRITICAL THINKING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT. Award of postgraduate diploma in community youth work with professional endorsement; (i) DISSERTATION Award of MSc in Community Youth Work.
This assessed practice period placement(s) focuses on youth and community work in the context of an agency. Students will build on learning from the taught modules and their own experience. They will use the placement to reflect and evaluate their practice in four disparate but inter-related areas: 1. The development of self; 2. Understanding individuals; 3. The role and function of the group; 4. The agency context within a given community. The students will therefore be offered opportunities to experience; a. Informal education work with young people and adults, individually and in groups, b. Youth service and community agencies, c. Different types of youth and community work provision. d. A reflective and evaluatory experience with supervisory support by a professionally qualified in-situ practice teacher.
Students are expected to: develop appropriate programmes of social education within the constraints of the agency. - develop their 'helping' and 'enabling' skills. - gain experience in terms of the management of practice. - gain an understanding of a specialist agency which focuses on a particular target group (ex-agency placement). - link the practice experiences with theoretical concepts. - record and evaluate their work.
Endorsed by the North/South Education and Training Standards Committee for Youth Work (NSETS) (JNC Recognised) for the purpose of professional qualification.
Due to the nature of this postgraduate programme being initially about professional endorsement the career opportunities for students is already set, i.e. they are in employment. The development of a new module, ‘Critical thinking and professional development’ is an indication of the staff teams belief in enhancing the understanding of continuing professional development through evidence- based practice and the development of critical thinking. The students on the programme will benefit from reflecting on their profession and indeed looking at how it is viewed in relation to other professions. One can assume, if past history about the course is anything to go on, that those who gain the PGD in CYW will be highly skilled, knowledgeable and highly employable. For others the course itself if part of their professional development as many students have been working the in the field without professional training.