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Course content

Develop yourself with a qualification that allows you to register as a social worker. Discover a career where you can make a real difference to the quality of people's lives.

This course offers you both a masters degree and a professional qualification. Our course lasts two years and will equip you with the skills and knowledge you'll need for effective professional practice as a social worker. It is suitable for graduates from a wide range of disciplines who are committed to a career helping people.

You'll focus on professional practice and take part in two placements in different areas of social work.

On successful completion of the course you'll be able to apply for registration as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will also have gained skills and specialist knowledge that would be suitable for a wide range of careers.

Course content

The course will introduce you to core areas of Social Work before you choose a specialist option to study in more detail. You'll focus on the practice of social work and undertake two placements in different types of social work. The placements allow you to experience contemporary social work with the guidance of a qualified social worker. Your final year will give you the chance to explore an area of social work that's particularly important to you.

You'll study a range of modules that will introduce you to three core strands of social work:
-Knowledge for Social Work
-Contexts for Social Work
-Social Work Practice

You may study some modules alongside students on the BA Social Work, but your assessment and engagement with lecturers will be at postgraduate level.

Compulsory modules:
-Ethics and Values
-Social Work Law
-Social Policy
-Exploring Knowledge
-Theories and Modules for Understanding
-Assessment and Intervention
-Human Development
-International Context
-Communication Skills
-Preparation for Practice
-Reflective Practice
-Social Work Research
-Current Debates

You'll also have an opportunity to study one area of social work in great detail by choosing from one of our optional modules.

Optional modules:
-Health and Disability Social Work
-Social Work with Children and Families
-Social Work and Mental Health
-Youth Social Work

You'll also undertake two placements. The first placement runs from February to June in your first year and will take 70 days. You'll return to the University occasionally for advanced work on the practice and context of social work. The second placement starts at the beginning of your second year, running from late August to March. You'll spend 100 days on this placement. You'll occasionally return to the University to study your specialist module and for teaching that will prepare you for your dissertation.

You'll also complete an 16,000 word dissertation on a subject of your choice. Your dissertation can be literature based or may involve a combination of research and data collection methods.

The dissertation will allow you to demonstrate your skills in research as well as applying insights from the taught modules and your placement experience.


Postgraduate social workers from York are in high demand and you will be well placed in terms of employment prospects. After graduating you'll be able to apply to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council.

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





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