1st in Scotland for social work in The Complete University Guide 2015. Do you want a career that is stimulating, rewarding and makes a positive contribution to society? If so a postgraduate diploma/MSc in social work could be for you. At Stirling University social work education is committed to progressive social change through teaching, research and an active involvement with practice. We believe in a social work profession defined not only by its function but also by its values and integrity. We promote an understanding of social work which is informed by social justice and human rights, a profession that acknowledges the links between 'public issues' and 'private troubles' and seeks to address both. We value social work practice that has prevention at its heart and recognises the importance of collective approaches, actively engaging with and learning from user movements. On the Postgraduate Diploma/MSc Social Work course at the University of Stirling you will be taught by a team of qualified social workers including world leaders in their research field and academics who continue to work in practice alongside their University role. You will enjoy the benefits of smaller class sizes (23-55) with creative approaches to teaching and assessment as well as detailed feedback on your progress. You will experience contributions to teaching by people who have used social work services and carers and on your practice placements, will be supported and assessed by accredited Practice Teachers and Educators. We will help you qualify as a social worker who is knowledgeable, skilled, analytical and ethical in your approach to working with individuals, families, groups and communities.
Successful completion of this course will mean students are then eligible to be registered, by the Scottish Social Services Council, as a qualified social worker. The MSc is awarded on satisfactory completion of a dissertation undertaken at the end of the Diploma course. Both degrees are recognised throughout the UK.
This course provides you with an integrated academic and professional course which develops the intellectual and practice skills necessary for professional practice as a social worker. Recent dissertation titles are: End of life assistance from a social work perspective; The use of communication tools when working with people with dementia: a practitioner perspective; Foster carers' experiences of support; Does employment have an impact upon the social inclusion of people with learning disabilities?
English language requirements
If English is not your first language you must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of your English language skills: - IELTS: 6.5 with 6.0 minimum in each skill - Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE): Grade C - Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE): Grade B - Pearson Test of English (Academic): 60 with 56 in each component - IBT TOEFL: 90 with no subtest less than 20
In REF2014 Stirling was placed 6th in Scotland and 45th in the UK with almost three quarters of research activity rated either world-leading or internationally excellent.
Careers and employability
- Career opportunities Successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma or the MSc provides the ‘licence to practise’ as a qualified social worker registered with the regulatory council of the country in which they work. The qualification is recognised throughout the UK and for work in community-based teams, hospitals, day and residential centres and voluntary agency projects. In Scotland and Northern Ireland it is also the qualification for social work in prisons and criminal justice teams. The nature of the work is extremely varied and there is the capacity to move between different work settings throughout your career. Currently, over 80 percent of students find social work jobs within six months of graduating. The nature of the work is extremely varied and there is the capacity to move between different work settings throughout your career. Currently, over 80 percent of students find social work jobs within six months of graduating.
- Employability The MSc/PG Dip in Social Work Studies is a professional course which requires students to undertake along with their academic modules, two practice placements. It is in these placements that our students gain experience in direct work with service users and learn essential transferrable skills for their future employment within the social work profession. During the course they also gain experience of presentation skills, research methodology, as well as being taught specific and relevant skills to prepare them for employment in a variety of social work settings.
- Industry connections We are fortunate to have strong connections with our partner agencies within a 60-mile radius of the University, who contribute to the teaching on the course and who also provide a range of placements across both statutory and voluntary social work services. Examples of these are: the local authorities in Forth Valley, Fife, and Perth & Kinross, and voluntary agencies such as Barnardos and Multi-Cultural Family Base.