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Course content

This programme is designed to build on the links between social work research and practice in a range of settings to develop the skills required by practice-based professionals and postgraduate students interested in carrying out social work and social care research.

You will learn the skills researchers need in order to maximise the impact of their work in addressing real issues of concern with policy makers, managers, practitioners and service users in social work and care.

The programme offers a combination of academic rigour, up-to-date practice content and relevant and transferable research skills development. Core units will draw on theories and research methods from across the social sciences - including economics, law and philosophy - providing you with a strong foundation with which to carry out your own research.

Optional units build on the school's particular research expertise and will focus on the skills you will require as a social work researcher engaged with a variety of disciplines. For example, you may choose to study community development programmes in the context of poverty, interventions to tackle domestic violence, or programmes for young offenders. Other optional units focus on the wellbeing of particular groups such as children with disabilities, people with severe and long-term mental illness, or asylum seekers and migrants.

We recognise that students will be joining with relevant, albeit varied, experience and there will be opportunities for you to draw on your own experiences as researchers, managers and policy advisers and to share these with other participants on the programme. A co-learning environment also allows students an opportunity to interact and share insights with other interest groups across postgraduate programmes.

This programme does not include practical training or lead to a professional qualification in social work. If you want to study for a qualification in social work practice, please see the MSc in Social Work.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered through a combination of intensive block teaching and weekly delivery so that it is as accessible as possible to postgraduate students, busy policy professionals and practitioners. The way units are designed allows students to accumulate credits flexibly and organise their patterns of attendance to suit their needs and circumstances.

The MSc and Postgraduate Diploma consist of four core and two optional units. A dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words is required for the MSc.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Research and our MSc in Social Work Research.

Careers

The programme emphasises the development of social work and social research and analysis methods, as well as substantive knowledge. Graduates from our MSc in Social Work Research can go on to careers as social work and care researchers or analysts, or research commissioners/managers in public or private agencies, both in the UK and internationally.

Potential employers include local or central government departments, voluntary or charitable organisations, national or international non-governmental organisations, or international institutions such as the European Union.


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

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