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Social Work×

University of Dundee, Full Time Masters Degrees in Social Work

We have 4 University of Dundee, Full Time Masters Degrees in Social Work

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The MSc in Social Work is intended to provide a programme of postgraduate study in social work leading to registration with the Scottish Social Services Council. Read more
The MSc in Social Work is intended to provide a programme of postgraduate study in social work leading to registration with the Scottish Social Services Council.

In the first two semesters students are orientated towards the programme design and philosophy; introduced to practice learning and core social work skills; given a grounding in the legal framework of social work practice; and given the opportunity to develop and test out their learning skills in preparation for the remainder of the programme. The remaining time on the programme will be structured according to individual student's needs and available learning opportunities. Students will be given full opportunity to learn in and about diverse practice settings and with a range of client groups.

Learning will build around a series of assessment tasks, which will enable students to make direct connections between the various knowledge and skills components of social work practice in real practice contexts.

Why study Social Work at Dundee?

The MSc in Social Work is delivered within the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education. This reflects the multi-disciplinary context in which social work operates as a profession.

The aims of the programme are to equip our graduates to:
Work with individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities
Function as an agent of change
Work for social justice
Act with a strong professional identity
Practise as accountable and autonomous professionals
Operate with confidence within their sphere of competence
Identify the need for and plan on-going professional development for themselves and their colleagues
Function competently in multi-disciplinary teams and settings
Practise in partnership with service users and carers
Demonstrate competence in all key roles of the Standards in Social Work Education

Carers and Users Group

The social work discipline has one of the longest standing and most innovative Carers and Users groups connected to the programme.

This will provide you with crucial perspectives and experiences of service users and carers in the delivery and development of the programme.An example of this is the award winning 'Community Care and the Caring Experience' module which offers you a unique opportunity to develop a relationship with a career in order to examine and reflect upon the experience of caring and being cared for.

What's so good about Social Work at Dundee?

Research-led teaching:
"The strength of your department and teaching really is something very special. I have studied at the University before, but I have never experienced such commitment and passion in one group of people, and I feel truly privileged to have been a part of it."
Rebecca Laing - MSc in Social Work Student 2013

Professional accreditation:
The MSc in Social Work is professionally accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Practice learning opportunities

The programme has links with a broad range of excellent agencies across the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. This provides students with exceptional practice learning opportunities.

Due to the geographical location of the University, you will be able to take advantage of practice learning opportunities across a range of locations including Dundee, Perth, Fife, Angus and Edinburgh. This adds a depth and richness to the opportunities available and broadens the networks that students can establish during their time on the programme.

Who should study this course?

This programme is intended for students who wish to qualify and register as a social worker with the Scottish Social Services Council and who wish to study on an innovative and engaging Master's level programme.

"There isn't a 'typical' undergraduate degree and work experience path that leads to the MSc in Social Work and so students bring a diverse range of knowledge and experience. What this means for me as a tutor is the opportunity to work with a diverse range of students and help them realise their academic and inter-personal potential."
Ann Hodson – Lecturer in Social Work, 2014

How you will be taught

The programme combines periods of campus based learning and practice learning within social work related agencies. The programme is built on adult learning principles and you will be encouraged to make links with the experience, knowledge and skills that you bring to the programme. Students are expected to be able to be self-directed in their learning whilst benefitting from the support and contributions of academic staff, professional partners and service users and carers.

The curriculum is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods including:
Taught inputs for academic staff and practitioners
Problem solving and research tasks individually and in groups
Practice learning opportunities in a diverse range of social work related workplaces.
Tutor and peer support
Skills based role-play
Service user and carer perspectives

"We are able through our partnership with the MSc in Social Work programme, not only to be involved, but importantly, to influence how you will be prepared with the knowledge, and skills, to recognise and deliver the services we all need."
John Dow (Carers and Users Group, 2014)

What you will study

The MSc programme is designed around 7 assessment-based modules:
Professional Decision Making - A (module 1a)
Community Care and the Caring Experience (module 2)
Integrated Social Work Practice – A (module 5a)
Professional Development of Self, Peers & Colleagues (module 4)
Professional Decision Making – B (module 1b)
Evaluating and Contributing to Policy Development (module 3)
Integrated Social Work Practice – B (module 5b)

How you will be assessed

The programme is assessed through essay based tasks. The emphasis is on the links between theory and practice and all assessments locate knowledge within practice contexts.


The MSc in Social Work provides graduates with the professionally required social work qualification and opens up employment opportunities across a broad range of social work roles in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. The qualification is generic and equips graduates to work across the broad range of service user groups and practice contexts.

"Absolutely delighted that *all* of my MSc Social Work tutor group have got jobs!"
Jon Bolton, course tutor, 2012

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This course focuses on the complex issues and challenges of 21st century social work. At Dundee, we have a range of expertise and experience, including interdisciplinarity (a specific and unique strength of the programme), leadership, research, values and social work practice. Read more
This course focuses on the complex issues and challenges of 21st century social work.

At Dundee, we have a range of expertise and experience, including interdisciplinarity (a specific and unique strength of the programme), leadership, research, values and social work practice. We are particularly keen to establish links between theory and practice. Our modules also draw on experienced and knowledgeable guest lecturers both from the field and from academic research.

Why study Advanced Social Work Studies at Dundee?

The MSc in Advanced Social Work Studies will allow you to engage with advanced level social work theory and develop the knowledge base and enquiry skills required to understand and contribute to 21st century social work.

The course curriculum will encompass taught modules which require you to engage with ethical issues and dilemmas relating to social work. You will have the opportunity to critically engage with the challenges and opportunities of inter-professional collaboration and the role that organisational culture and change plays in the way social work is shaped and delivered.

The course will require you to develop and apply research skills and methods to social work issues in order to produce a Master’s level dissertation. This will allow you to explore and examine social work issues and contexts in order to develop new ways of thinking and understanding, and in turn seek to be transformative and impactful.

Who should study this course?

If you do not require a qualification to practise social work, but wish to enhance and develop your social work skills and knowledge at Master's level, this course is for you. Without the requirement for practice placements, the qualification can be achieved within one year.

If you are a postgraduate student wishing to develop a research profile, or to further your career in terms of practice or leadership, this course is also suitable.

How you will be taught

At the University of Dundee, we emphasise the development of autonomous and self-directed learning, with support and guidance through structured personal tutor and module leaders. Our approaches include:

Group based discussions
Enquiry and action learning – collaborative research and problem solving.
Collaborative group inquiry activities (including inter-professional collaboration)
Online materials - discussion boards, academic activities, core materials and signposts to literature.
Independent and autonomous study and research which is supported and guided by module leaders and /or personal tutors.
Option for work based project to situate learning and research.

What you will study

Semester 1

Decision Making (30 credits) - which will provide a critical insight into contemporary social work issues around risk, values, ethics and social work law.

Research Methods for Professional Enquiry (30 credits) - which will provide students with a Master’s level knowledge of research skill.

Additionally students will have the opportunity to select one optional module from the MSc Social Work, MSc Community learning and Development or MSc Leadership and Innovation courses which will provide interdisciplinary learning and collaboration.

Semester 2

Research project (60 credits) relevant to Social Work which will be supported by a dissertation supervisor and ongoing collaboration with peers. This module will run the full length of the semester and the full dissertation will be completed during the summer.

Inter‐Professional Collaboration and Organisational change (30 credits) - joint module with Community Learning and Development and Leadership and Innovation students.

How you will be assessed

Assessment methods will include a combination of:

reflective and critical essays
oral presentations
research visualisations
research reports


The programme will prepare you for your chosen career in social work or a related field and gives you the flexibility and choice about how best to do this. The scope for applying advanced social work skills is vast - social workers are employed in a wide variety of settings, beyond what might traditionally be considered 'social work.'

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The MSc Community Learning and Development offers an exciting and innovative opportunity for advanced study based around community learning practice and inquiry. Read more
The MSc Community Learning and Development offers an exciting and innovative opportunity for advanced study based around community learning practice and inquiry. The programme is offered as a workplace based, blended learning programme of study using online materials and communication media, with study workshops and tutor support.

Why study for the MSc CLD at Dundee?

The programme will have flexible entry and exit points and can be studied either as a CLD qualifying programme, accredited by the CLD Standards Council for Scotland, or as continuing professional development (CPD) with optional modules including Organisational Management, Community Engagement, Interprofessional Collaboration and Action Research. It is expected that the options available will be expanded over time to include modules in Family Learning, Literacies and Arts & Communities.

What are the aims of the programme?

The programme is designed to enable participants to:
- Identify, reflect on, develop and appraise critical community based practice, individually and in collaboration with others;
- Integrate community learning and development practice with theoretical studies and investigative techniques;
- Enhance commitment to community learning and development values, ethical codes of practice and ongoing professional development;
- Engage in processes of active learning involving cyclical processes of action and reflection with participants towards development of empowerment, capacity building and co-production;
- Contribute to ongoing construction of theory and practice by communicating with communities of participation and practice the outcomes of investigations and development projects.

Who should study this course?

Applicants for the qualifying CLD programme require a relevant first degree and current professional practice in a public and voluntary CLD context. This new award offers graduates from a range of disciplines such as education, social work, housing, planning, the arts, health, politics or law an opportunity to undertake a postgraduate qualification in Community Learning and Development.

Practitioners with an existing CLD qualification can choose to study the optional modules through a continuing professional development route. The programme is also suitable for returning students who have a PG Diploma in CE/CLD, who wish to complete the Masters dissertation.

How you will be taught

The Programme can take 2 to 3 years depending on a student's circumstances with modules being delivered by blended and distance learning and are supported by the use of the University's Virtual Learning Environment and other online tools such as Adobe Connect and Google+. This means the Programme is available anywhere and anytime there is access to the internet.

The MSc CLD is characterised by progression through Certificate, Diploma to Masters with exit points at each level. These awards aim to build on professionals' initial training and professionalism which has developed throughout their work experience. Because of the considerable distance learning element in the programme, significant individual support is offered through:

On-line tutorials and workshops
Study guides
Telephone tutorials
Face to face tutorials
Written feedback (electronic)
Virtual learning environments

What you will study

Students on all routes are required to complete the two Certificate level core modules:

Research Methods for Professional Inquiry (30 credits)
Critical Pedagogies (30 credits)
The CLD Standards Council qualifying route requires the completion of two Diploma level modules:

Evidence-Based Practice 1 (30 credits)
Evidence-Based Practice 2 (30 credits)
Those on the CPD route can instead select two optional 30 credit modules from the range available to complete the Diploma level.

All Masters students will then be required to complete the 60 credit Dissertation module.

How you will be assessed

Formative assessment and feedback are a feature of all modules. Formative and summative assessments are designed to arise naturally from study and work. Assessments may be in a range of styles including written assignments, portfolios, presentations all designed to best evidence the learning of any given module.


The programme offers excellent professional qualifications and options for ongoing CPD for those in seeking practitioner and managerial posts in:
Local Authority Services and Projects
Third Sector Organisations
Community Learning and Development Services
Culture and Leisure Services
Community Health
Youth Work
Community Development
Adult Literacies and Numeracies
Family Learning
Community & Adult Learning
Local Economic Regeneration
Social Enterprise Development
Further & Higher Education

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The Master of Public Health (MPH) programme is designed to prepare students for leadership in scientific and management roles in Public Health. Read more
The Master of Public Health (MPH) programme is designed to prepare students for leadership in scientific and management roles in Public Health. It attracts students from clinical and health related disciplines from all over the world.

Why study Public Health at Dundee?

This course provides high quality training in the application of epidemiological, statistical and behavioural techniques used in public health practice and research.

You will have the opportunity to improve generic and transferable skills and will be ideally placed to pursue a career in research or public health practice. The MPH also provides an ideal springboard for further postgraduate study at PhD level.

What's so good about studying Public Health at Dundee?

"My experience with the MPH course was positive in every respect. From the quality of the teaching to the academic support by members of the department, it was a highly rewarding experience. I would strongly recommend the MPH course at the University of Dundee"
Dr Thaofiq Olatunde Ijaiya (MPH, 2007)

"The MPH provides an invaluable experience of being taught by inspiring academics with excellent research experience in the field"
Tony Barr, Programme Manager - Nursing (MPH, 1996)

"The design and execution of the MPH programme was very good. However, I was most fulfilled during the research dissertation stage. It was a wonderful experience and I am prepared for the future research challenges."
Dr Ekwem Divine (MPH, 2010)

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught predominantly by staff from the School of Medicine and guest lecturers from further afield.

The full time MPH course lasts for one year. The taught component takes nine months and is followed by research leading to a dissertation. All students initially enrol on a diploma programme (DipPubH) which includes the taught component only. To progress to the Masters programme and undertake the Masters dissertation students must obtain an overall pass of 60% in the taught component. Both programmes may be undertaken on a part-time basis.

This course has one start date - September

How you will be taught

The course is focussed on the academic needs of its students but also provides emotional and pastoral care as required. The inclusion of optional modules creates flexibility, which allows students to tailor the MPH to their specific requirements.

A variety of teaching and assessment methods are used to give students the best possible learning opportunity
Students are given formative assessment on all assignments

Students have a spacious teaching room with networked computers at their disposal

Lecturers operate an open door policy and students are encouraged to seek advice/help at any time

Students are given the opportunity to choose a dissertation topic which reflects their interest, then advised on the most appropriate supervisor

The rich research environment within the Division gives students the opportunity to work on a range of topics

The Division has weekly research seminars during term time, to which students are invited to attend
What you will study

The programme consists of the following modules

Public Health
Introduction to Clinical Statistics
Research Methods
Behavioural & Social Science
Applied Epidemiology
Statistics for Clinical Trials
Applied Statistics with Routine Health Datasets
Introduction to Systematic Reviews
Data Visualization
Spatial Epidemiology

Students studying for a Master of Public Health then undertake research and write a dissertation.

How you will be assessed

The student's performance is monitored by continuous assessment throughout the programme. Written and oral examinations are held in December, March and May. Examinations are graded passes (A to D) or fail.

Students must obtain grade D or above in all written and oral examinations in order to be awarded the Diploma.

To be eligible to progress from the Diploma onto the Masters, students must pass the examination of each subject and achieve a minimum overall pass at B or above (60%).


The MPH prepares students for research and management careers in public health and also a variety of medical and health related disciplines.

Previous students graduating with the MPH from Dundee have taken up management positions in public health practice, nursing, professions allied to medicine, education, government, WHO and NGOs; and research positions within academic public health, general practice, acute medicine, nursing, professions allied to medicine, veterinary medicine, dentistry and environmental health.

The MPH also provides an ideal springboard for further postgraduate study at PhD and MD level.

"I had a wonderful time during my stay at Dundee. Scotland as a whole and Dundee in particular have very friendly and hospitable people. This course is a well-balanced general MPH course. It will provide the prospective students with a good foundation and skill set to advance their career in research, management or academics.
Syed Asif Shah, MD. MPH. MBA. FACC. FACP, Assistant professor of Cardiology (MPH 1990)

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