Working in this sector is very rewarding. Social workers help some of the most vulnerable people in society. The role provides support and assistance to a host of individuals, families and groups, from the homeless to people with learning and physical disabilities. Social workers often spend their time with people – be it at hospitals, care homes or at people's homes, assessing their circumstances and building relationships.
This is both an academic and a professional qualification with all successful graduates are eligible for registration as professional social workers with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). The aim of the programme is to develop practitioners who can meet the needs of the service users, carers and communities in the context of a complex and changing welfare environment. Founded on holistic, service user-centred model of care, the course produces creative, innovative and reflective social work professionals committed to working in partnership to promote well-being and make a real difference.
On MA Social Work practice-based learning complements university-based lectures, seminars and workshops, drawing on established, contemporary and innovative approaches to work with a diverse range of service users. The course is underpinned by a commitment to inter-professionalism, service-user and carer empowerment and involvement, anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory values and evidence based practice. The course adopts a systematic approach to the development and assessment of your social work skills and includes a specific programme of social work development.
There are five core areas of knowledge and understanding relevant to social work:
• Social work services and the needs of service users
• The service delivery context
• Values and ethics
• Social work theory
• The nature of social work practice.
These areas are systematically explored throughout the course in relation to the key roles of social work, which include:
• Managing risk
• Managing your own practice
• Demonstrating professional competence.
Employment based routeIt is also possible to study the MA Social Care on an employment based route (EBR). Candidates need to be sponsored and supported by their employing agency to undertake this. It is taught alongside the existing MA Social Work and the structure is the same, but students have the option of doing the dissertation in a third year and completing their qualification over a three year period.
Readiness for direct practice
Human growth and development
Practice placement 1
Social work Law
Methods and theories for practice
Society and ethics
Professional capabilities in social work practice settings
Communication and collaborative working
Practice learning placement 2
Limited systematic review dissertation On the full-time course you will attend the University generally one day per week and the remainder will be on placement.
You will undertake a 70 day placement in year one and a 100 day placement in year 2.
Professional linksThis course has been developed in partnership with local authority and voluntary sector partners, with input from a wide range of service users and carers. We work in partnership with a number of London local authorities, and other organisations on both the public and private sector, who contribute to planning the programme, to learning and teaching, and to the provision of practice learning opportunities. The MA Social Work is both an academic and professional qualification and is approved by The Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) is the regulator of health, Psychological and Social professionals.
Social work as a careerYou will normally specialise in a certain group of society, such as children. Much of the work is around helping decide the level of support or protection required, responding to requests for help and working with other agencies and professionals for the best outcomes. Most opportunities are with local authorities, where salaries can vary substantially between regions - you are likely to earn more working in London. However there are also opportunities available at private care homes, charities and NHS Trusts.
A patient, non-judgemental mind-set is needed, with the ability to communicate effectively with a host of different people and gain their trust. The work demands a level of resilience and a genuine desire to help people, as some cases may be disturbing, and some people won't want your help.
LSBU Employability ServicesLSBU is committed to supporting you develop your employability and succeed in getting a job after you have graduated. Your qualification will certainly help, but in a competitive market you also need to work on your employability, and on your career search. Our Employability Service will support you in developing your skills, finding a job, interview techniques, work experience or an internship, and will help you assess what you need to do to get the job you want at the end of your course. LSBU offers a comprehensive Employability Service, with a range of initiatives to complement your studies, including:
• Direct engagement from employers who come in to interview and talk to students
• Job Shop and on-campus recruitment agencies to help your job search
• Mentoring and work shadowing schemes.