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    Department of Social Work Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    2 years full time

  • Course Type

    MSc

  • Last Updated

    11 September 2019

The MSc Social Work is an accelerated programme for applicants who already have a first degree and want to embark on a career in social work. This two year course will fully prepare you for a professional career in the statutory or voluntary social work field.

This course runs in close partnership with social work and social care agencies and local authorities based in inner and outer London boroughs as well as neighbouring counties where you will benefit from two practice learning placements – experiencing the world of social work first hand, learning from direct practice with qualified practitioners, service users, carers and other professionals. Practice based learning is integrated with college-based teaching and learning throughout the programme.

The combination of a taught and practice curriculum breaks down barriers between practice, policy and research, meaning you will emerge from the course as a critically reflective practitioner who can work for the most vulnerable in society within an anti-oppressive framework.

The Department of Social Work has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice.

On completion of the MSc, you will have advanced knowledge of:

  • sociology, psychology, social policy and law and their application to social work practice
  • the contribution and application of social research to social work theories and practice
  • the range of statutory, voluntary and private welfare organisations within social work agencies and in health, housing and educational environments
  • the range of theories and methods needed for effective social work practice
  • the social and individual origins of a typical range of needs presented to social work agencies
  • values and ethics relevant to social work practice based on social justice
  • the significance of inequalities and difference in working with organisations and social service users
  • the significance of cultural diversity and anti-discriminatory practice in working with organisations, service users and carers.

Course structure

  • Practice Learning 1 (this module has no credits, but is an essential requirement for social work qualification)
  • Human Behaviour in the Social Environment
  • Social Policy for Social Workers
  • Theories and Knowledge for Social Work Practice
  • Law for Social Workers
  • Practice Learning 2 (this module has no credits, but is an essential requirement for social work qualification)
  • Critical Social Work
  • Research Methods and Dissertation
  • Understanding and Working in Organisations

Teaching & assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations, presentations and a dissertation.

30 days on social work skills are integrated across the two-year programme.

Students are also required to successfully complete one 70-day and one 100-day practice-learning placement and attend all the mandatory skills sessions.

Your future career

We will prepare you for a career in a range of social work settings. Once you are qualified as a social worker, you will be able to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professionals Council. You will also have the option of continuing your academic development through a range of taught post-qualifying programmes and research opportunities within the department. The MSc course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

MSc Social Work graduates from Royal Holloway are actively sought after and recruited by our partner agencies and a wide range of social work employers in diverse and challenging settings.


Visit the Social Work - MSc page on the Royal Holloway, University of London website for more details!

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