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Course content

This two-year programme is designed for people who want to qualify and practice as a professional social worker.

Social work is a demanding but highly rewarding profession, which is often in the public spotlight. As a qualified social worker you will be able to work with both children and adults, helping them to be safe so that they can cope and take control of their lives again. You will work with them to assess their needs, find what will help them, build their self-confidence and link them to other services. This requires an ability to appraise complex and difficult situations, drawing on social science research, social work theories and methods of intervention. You will need a thorough understanding of social policies and a firm grasp of the legal powers and duties that underpin your practice.

The MSc in Social Work combines university-based learning with two extended periods of supervised practice as a student social worker in a social work agency. Completion of the degree will make you eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and practise as a qualified professional social worker in a range of areas including statutory, voluntary, private and independent sectors.

You will develop an understanding of the structural and personal factors that lead to disadvantage, oppression and discrimination and learn to apply this understanding to your practice. You will develop skills as a reflective practitioner, appraising relevant evidence, including research, to evaluate your own and others' work, and to contribute to the development of policy and practice.

Programme structure

First Year
Social Work Studies
-Social Work with Children and Young People
-Social Work with Adults
-Mental Health Social Work
-Housing and Homelessness
-Substance Misuse
-Domestic Violence

Applied Social Science and Law
-Human Growth and Development
-History and Contemporary Context of Social Work
-Organisations and the Professional Task

Foundations of Social Work: The Professional Role
-Critical Thinking Skills
-Professional Values and Ethics
-Social Work Theory and Methods
-Integrative Groups
-Skills based workshops

Practice Learning 1
-Preparation for Practice
-Communication and Interviewing Skills
-Practice Development Groups
-70-day Practice Placement

Second Year
-Social Work Studies 2
-Social Work with Children and Families OR Social Work with Adults
-Mental Health Social Work with Adults
-Child and Adolescent Mental Health
-Community Social Work Practice

Research in Social Work
-Research Methods in Social Work

Practice Learning 2
-Preparation for Practice
-Practice Development Groups
-100-day practice placement
-ASYE Workshops


Completion of the degree will make you eligible to register with the Health and Care Professions Council and practise as a qualified professional social worker.

Visit the Social Work MSc/PGDip page on the University of Bristol website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Bristol

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