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    Faculty of Education and Society Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date

    September

  • Course Duration

    2 years full-time; 4 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    14 August 2019

Make a real difference to some of the most marginalised and at-risk people in society. Help disadvantaged people access essential social services. Begin an extremely rewarding career in social work.

Overview

As a social worker you will be making a real difference to some of the most marginalised and at-risk people in society. You could work in child protection, with young people in care, older people, people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, homeless people, people with drug dependencies, or with any other group of people with specialist needs. As you help people access essential social services, your interventions can literally be the difference between life and death for extremely vulnerable people.

MA Social Work combines classroom learning and practical experience. You will study the context of social work, legal and policy frameworks, social work theory, psychological and sociological theory, power, discrimination and anti-oppressive practice. You will consolidate this theoretical knowledge with two placements, to put your learning into practice.

Course Structure

A typical week for you will include lectures, seminars and workshops, with a strong emphasis on individual participation and discussion. During the first semester you will also develop a Practice Skills Portfolio that helps you to reflect and make the best use of supervision. Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Your progress will be assessed with assignments, written coursework, presentations and workbooks/portfolios. Throughout the course you'll have one-to-one support from staff throughout your degree.

part-time version of this course is also available.

Modules on this course include:

  • The Social Work Context

Explore legal frameworks and policy contexts for social work with adults, children, young people and families.

  • Theories and Models for Social Work Practice

Critically examine relevant theories, including social and psychological theories, and explore models of intervention.

  • Preparing for Practice

Develop practice skills, explore the role and value base of social work, and understand service user and carer perspectives.

  • Practice Placement 1

70-day practice placement, to be arranged by our Practice Learning Coordinator.

  • Critical Perspectives in Social Work Practice

Examine some of the contemporary issues in society, human rights and social justice and consider how these relate to the role of social work. You will also explore new developments in the integration of theory, policy and practice across a broad range of social work areas.

  • Social Work Research and Dissertation

Through researching and writing up a dissertation you will develop specialist knowledge around a specific issue relevant to social work and develop your understanding of research methodologies and methods.

  • Practice Placement 2

100 day practice placement, to be arranged by our Practice Learning Coordinator.

Facilities

You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

Employment & careers

MA Social Work is a highly practical qualification. After successful completion of the MA Social Work course you will be eligible to apply to register as a newly qualified social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Social Work is a very broad discipline. You could work in child protection, with young people in care, older people, people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, homeless people, people with drug dependencies, or with any other group of people with specialist needs.

Many Social Work jobs are with local authorities, but you could also work, for instance, in an NHS trust, a voluntary agency, a charity, the Criminal Justice system or other agencies helping people in need of support.

With a Social Work MA you also have the option to continue in academia, and study for a PhD.

Practice placements

Placements are an essential part of your degree. We will organise two main placements for you, and you will spend a total of 170 days on practice placements. There is in-depth preparation before the placements, and you will be supported and supervised with by an assigned practice educator.

Placements allow you to apply your learning in a real-life context, and get a sense of what type of social work you might want to specialise in. When you’re ready to start searching for a Social Work job, you will already have a wide network of professional contacts who can help you find the right opportunities.


Visit the Social Work - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

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