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Masters Degrees in Social Work, United Kingdom

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This Professional Development (Social Work) programme is linked to current trends in the social work profession, and offers qualified social workers the opportunity to consolidate, extend and develop their practice. Read more
This Professional Development (Social Work) programme is linked to current trends in the social work profession, and offers qualified social workers the opportunity to consolidate, extend and develop their practice. Based on the principles of credit accumulation and transfer, you can negotiate your own programme of study and work towards a Professional Development (Social Work) award - from a BA (Hons) to a full Masters.

Course detail

The course is unique in that you can choose learning opportunities from within and outside UWE Bristol to maintain, improve and broaden your knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required for your professional life.

The emphasis is on work-based learning and we encourage you to think critically about your own practice in a wide range of situations. This includes those associated with inter-agency and inter-professional work - in the context of the BASW Professional Capabilities Framework, Knowledge and Skills statements and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Practice. You will also have opportunities to explore service user and carer perspectives in relation to service provision with the service users and carers involved in the programme. We work closely with you to help define and develop the best approaches to achieving your personal goals, through self-directed study and peer learning.

Structure

This programme is very flexible, and you will liaise with the programme leader and the relevant people within your organisation to develop a learning plan that supports your personal and professional goals.

Your learning is supported by a wide range of online learning materials and tutorials. The only compulsory module is the Work Based Learning Project, which will reflect your individual route.

Work-Based Learning Project

This requires evidence of work, research or volunteering. You will have an appointed supervisor to plan and guide your work to evidence how you have developed your social work practice. The extent of work involved in this module depends on the award route you take.

You also select from a range of modules relating to social work and professional practice, and can choose taught modules from a wide range of UWE courses as well as bringing credits obtained from other Higher Education Institutions that we will assess and, if appropriate, accredit to your award.

Format

Teaching and learning methods depend on the modules you choose to study. As well as presentations and lectures from UWE Bristol lecturers, we also work with practitioners, researchers and managers with expertise in specific areas of social work. There are many opportunities for small group work and discussion to facilitate peer learning.

We work closely with social work agencies to design and deliver the course. Practitioners and managers are involved in teaching, assessing and quality assurance of the programme to ensure it reflects current developments and best practice in social work. Members of the social work service user and carer hub group contribute to the programme in a variety of ways.

Assessment

Assessment for the work-based learning elements of the programme is through coursework, which typically comprises reflective essays and work-based projects. Assessment techniques reflect the practical and applied nature of the programme.

Careers / Further study

Students who successfully complete this course will enhance their opportunities for promotion and specialism.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx

Funding

- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

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This programme provides an introduction to the principles and values of social work and an understanding of the organisation and delivery of social welfare and related services in the UK. Read more

This programme provides an introduction to the principles and values of social work and an understanding of the organisation and delivery of social welfare and related services in the UK. It also provides you with a grounding in the social research methods necessary to conduct applied types of research that are a fundamental part of social work practice and evaluation.

Course Structure

You will take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year. Starting from the first term, you will undertake a module on research design which enables students to develop a research proposal for their dissertation. Part-time candidates take an equal balance of credits in each year. 

In previous years, typical modules offered were:

Core Modules

Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)

  • Introduction to social scientific research
  • Establishing cause and interpreting meaning in social sciences
  • Essentials of quantitative and qualitative research in the social sciences.

Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)

  • Spreadsheets and data analysis
  • Populations, sample data and sampling distributions
  • Point estimates and confidence intervals
  • Significance tests, cress-tabulations, and Chi-Square tests
  • Correlation and linear regression.

Research Design and Process (15 credits)

  • Formulating research questions
  • Evaluating and developing a research proposal
  • Reviewing relevant literature
  • Experimental vs. observational studies
  • Sampling and selecting respondents
  • Measurement. 

Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods
  • Ethnography and grounded theory
  • Group discussions
  • Data analysis and management processes.

Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design
  • Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice
  • Methods for representing complex systems.

Social Work Context and Practice (30 credits)

  • Contemporary social work and social welfare in a diverse society
  • Construction of social problems
  • Ethical frameworks for social practice
  • Contemporary social work theories and practice.

Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)

  • Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation
  • Defining and measuring outcomes
  • Case study analysis
  • Poster presentation and participatory evaluation.

Dissertation (60 credits)

  • 15,000 word dissertation based on a supervised research project.

Course Learning and Teaching

These MA Research Methods programmes are full-time, starting in early October and continuing over 12 months following university terms. 

The main teaching methods include lectures, seminars, and computer practical sessions. Lectures introduce the key concepts, theories, current debates and other issues critical for understanding the topics. Seminars are opportunities for you to discuss any questions arising from the readings, to share experience of conducting research, to present your own work for comments. Modules that teach the use of computer software packages have practical sessions in computer rooms so that you can carry out hands-on exercises under supervision and further assistance 

Modules are usually assessed through essays. Statistics modules may require you to complete specific analyses with more structured instructions. Some module conveners may allow you to submit formative assignments in order for you to obtain a sense of how well you understand the subject. Some modules’ assessment may contain a proportion of presentations and group projects. 

Further academic support is available. You will have the opportunity to learn from your dissertation supervisors at individual tutoring meetings, dissertation workshops, and forums. Every member of teaching staff has two hours of office hours each week where you can access additional support for your modules, assignments and so forth. In addition, both the University and the School host seminars for external speakers that are open to all students.

You will have access to a variety of learning resources, including learning spaces in libraries and teaching rooms, readings and textbooks, computers, databases, etc. 



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Our PgDip/MSc in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. Read more
Our PgDip/MSc in Social Science Research Methods aims to provide advanced training in research methods across the full range of the social sciences. 

You will be provided with a thorough theoretical and practical knowledge of how to construct effective research studies, of the variety of data collection methods available to the social scientist and of the principal methods of analysing social scientific data. You will also be introduced to the political and ethical frameworks within which social science research is conducted, and to some of the ways in which the results of social science research are disseminated.

The course pathways have ESRC recognition and they each provide the appropriate training basis for proceeding to a PhD. These programmes provide extensive opportunities for interdisciplinary study, the application of social research expertise for occupational career development, and the pursuit of substantive areas of interest at postgraduate level. 

Structure

• PgDip

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in two years by part-time study.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module.
In all modules, you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

Modules:

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-social-work-pgdip

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-social-work-pgdip-part-time

• MSc

The course can be completed in one year with full-time study or in three years by part-time study.

You will be required to complete six 20-credit modules - five core research modules and one specialist pathway module. In all modules, you will have the opportunity to engage with literature and research relevant to your pathway.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words. The 60-credit dissertation component requires independent study. You will choose your dissertation topic in agreement with your supervisor.

Modules:

For a list of modules for the FULL-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-social-work-msc

For a list of the modules for the PART-TIME route, please see website:

http://www.cardiff.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/taught/courses/course/social-science-research-methods-social-work-msc-part-time

Teaching

Your programme will be made up of scheduled learning activities (including lectures, seminars, tutorials and practical sessions) and guided independent study.

You will be expected to actively engage in all the educational activities on your programme of study, to prepare for and attend all scheduled teaching activities, and continue your development as an independent and self-directed learner.

Assessment

You will have to successfully complete the taught component which comprises of 120 credits.

On successful completion of the taught component, you will prepare a dissertation of a maximum 20,000 words (MSc only).

Career prospects

This programme provides knowledge and expertise suitable for careers in research and development, business, market studies, public agencies at international, national and local levels, education, teaching and other public services work, and voluntary organisations.

It also provides appropriate training for proceeding to a PhD.

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Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Work at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017). Read more

Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Social Work at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).

This master's degree in Social Work aims to:

• prepare students for employment as professionally qualified social workers

• lay the foundation for students’ continuing professional development

• reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales

Key Features of MSc in Social Work

Performance:

- The Times Higher League Tables 2014 ranked the Undergraduate Social Work degree at Swansea joint 1st in the UK, and the Guardian League Table ranked social work in Swansea 1st in the UK in 2015.

- the Social Work programme meets all the Care Council requirements and is now fully approved as a professional social work programme as defined in The Approval and Visiting of Degree Courses in Social Work (Wales) Rules 2012

Teaching and Employability:

- 95% of Social Work students from Swansea University are employed in graduate level jobs within six months of graduating (undergraduate programme). Postgraduate–level students are expected to be in similar demand

- the professional qualification is recognised in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as other countries such as Australia

- the Social Work programme operates in partnership with five local authorities in the South West Wales region: Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion

- teaching from a wide range of practitioners from social work teams and agencies plus guest speakers from Welsh Government

- a minimum of 200 days practice learning are undertaken

- successful completion allows students to register as qualified social workers with the Care Council for Wales

- applicants may be eligible for a student bursary from the Care Council for Wales which includes a contribution towards tuition fee

Social Work is about change and human growth through supporting the social care and welfare needs of individuals, groups and local communities.

Social work has been an established course at Swansea University for many years and combines a commitment to both academic excellence and practical learning. There are strong links between the Department and social services agencies in south and west Wales, and in local authority and voluntary sectors.

The master's degree in Social Work lays the foundation for students’ continuing professional development. It also reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales.

Qualifying Social Work students will be:

- equipped to understand and work within the context of a profession whose nature, scope and purpose can be the subject of contested debate

- able to critically analyse, adapt to, manage and eventually lead the process of required changes in social work, delivery of social services, and social care policy and law

- prepared to promote bilingual service provision in Wales and to be able to critically reflect on the importance of the Welsh context as a cultural, social and historical landscape for social work practice

This qualification in Social Work is also recognised by Care Councils in other UK nations.

First year postgraduate Social Work students have the opportunity to participate in a 3 week global opportunity at the University of Houston, Texas.

Modules

Modules on the MSc in Social Work programme typically include:

Theories and Perspectives for Informing Social Work

Social Work Skills and Knowledge in Practice

Critical Practice in Child Care & Law

Ethics and Values in Social Work

Undertaking & Using Social Work Research for Practice

Social Work Skills and Knowledge and Service Users' Perspectives

Dissertation in Social Work Research and Evidence for Practice

Critical Practice in Adult Care & Law

Social Work Course Structure

The Social Work course is both academic and practice-based and students are required to undertake a minimum of 200 days practice learning across the two years. Half of the Social Work programme is devoted to supervised practice in social service agencies, where students learn through observation, rehearsal and performance. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

Social Work students will undertake academic study based on Singleton campus during Semester 1 and then placement learning in a social care agency during Semester 2.

During Semester 1, Social Work students can expect to be on campus a minimum of four days per week. Placement learning is full-time Monday to Friday, following agency hours. Students will undertake 200 days of practice learning across the 2 years.

In Year One Social Work students undertake a 20-day observational placement followed by an 80-day ‘direct practice’ placement.

In Year Two students undertake a 100-day ‘direct-practice’ placement. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

In Year Two students will be expected to complete a ‘desk-based’ research project and complete a dissertation with supervised support from a member of the teaching team.

Staff Expertise

All teaching staff members on the Social Work course are research active and involved in research activity at both national and international level which spans a number of interest areas including: looked-after children, sexuality and wellbeing, service user and carer involvement in education, asylum seeking children and migration, children’s rights and welfare, and social inclusion and care needs of older people.

Career Prospects

There are many possibilities for career progression in social work and for postgraduate and post qualification study. UK social work qualifications are also recognised in other countries.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience.

In addition, Social Work students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences.



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The MA Social Work enables those with a BA degree to obtain the new professional qualification in Social Work, as well as a Masters degree. Read more

The MA Social Work enables those with a BA degree to obtain the new professional qualification in Social Work, as well as a Masters degree. The University of Birmingham is the oldest running social work education programme in the country and we are proud of our history. The MA Social Work welcomes applications from international students.

You can also find out why our students love living and studying in Birmingham.

Course details

The MA follows an exciting programme. Committed to social justice, anti-oppressive practice and relationship based social work and drawing upon a number of disciplines informing social work practice, it includes the study of social work values, knowledge, law, theories, methods and skills. You undertake two assessed social work placements, the first lasting 70 days and the second 100 days. International students undertake the same placements as UK students and obtain a detailed understanding of the operation of the English social work system. Additional teaching offers students the opportunity to focus on particular areas of interest and exciting new projects, such as the International Exchange Project, and the award-winning Survivor Arts Project, allow students to move beyond the core curriculum and explore different ways of seeing the world and more creative ways of working. Watch the following video diary of our first exchange visit to Rotterdam, and a film of our award-winning Survivor Arts Project.

Learning and teaching

Service user and carer involvement

On the MA Social Work, service users, carers and practitioners work alongside academics to create a dynamic environment, both within the department and during supervised practice. The department values highly the contribution service user and carer colleagues make, and feedback from students confirms just how important the user perspective is in helping them to develop greater insight into the role social work can play in people's lives.

Involving service users and carers in all aspects of admissions and the development and delivery of our social work qualifying programmes is a priority for us. We believe it offers students the opportunity to have a thorough grounding in service users' and carers' experiences and expectations from the very start of their social work training.

More information about service user and carer involvement in social work education

Meet some of our contributors

Practice placements

Due to its location and strong links with partner placement agencies, the University of Birmingham is able to provide a wide range of practice opportunities within statutory, voluntary and independent social care settings. The social work department is also fortunate to have a range of exciting new small student units and innovative practice projects and we regularly receive excellent feedback from students about these. The learning gained from these placements support and build on the learning taking place at the university.

Blended learning approach to teaching and assessment - Combining Facebook and enquiry-based blended learning to teach social media skills

The following short film outlines how Facebook and an enquiry-based blended learning design were used to help students develop professional social media skills, knowledge and approaches. The film also includes student feedback about their experiences of engaging with this learning design. As educators, we are aware that students who connect using Facebook during their studies can maintain these social networks once they leave University. They can also potentially use these social networks to discuss future work related issues. To enable students to learn about the potential and pitfalls of sharing, communicating and collaborating using social networks once in employment, this learning design was developed to equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge required to use these tools professionally. This film provides an illustration of the commitment social work staff at the University of Birmingham have in continually striving to ensure their students are equipped with the relevant skills and knowledge necessary for their future roles.

Employability

This degree leads to an MA in Social Work with the Professional Qualification in Social Work which provides eligibility to apply to register with the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). This is the qualification required to practice as a professional social worker. As well as equipping you with a professional qualification, gaining the MA allows you to progress on to post qualifying courses or to apply to continue with your academic studies at PhD level.



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Prepare for a career in social work with a course that is well connected with social work and social care service providers in the region. Read more

Prepare for a career in social work with a course that is well connected with social work and social care service providers in the region. As a result of these connections, you get the benefit of supervised practical work in a range of social work settings.

Placements and work experience

Practical work experience is at the heart of this course. We have a 100% record of placing students in quality-audited placements. You spend 170 days putting what you’ve learned into practice in real working situations, such as • social work teams • family centres • primary care practices • hospitals • mental health settings • women's refuges and a range of family support services for vulnerable people.

These placements take place with our partners in local authority, private and voluntary agencies across South Yorkshire and the North East Midlands. Previous students have worked in statutory local authority social work teams, NHS mental health units, youth offending teams working with the police, and charities including the NSPCC, Age UK, Barnados, Mind and Women's Aid.

Your placements are supported by 30 specialist skills days. You work with experts, professionals and service users on specific topics such as how to assess risky behaviour, or interventions for safeguarding children. In your final year, we run a workshop with employers on how to apply for jobs in social work.

There are also opportunities to spend time studying abroad. Previous students have attended a summer school in Berlin, gaining new, international perspectives on social work and discovering how it is practised around the world.

Facilities

During the time you spend at university, you are based at our Collegiate Crescent Campus which includes our £13 million purpose-built Robert Winston Building, a newly built Heart of the Campus complex and a learning centre which is open 24 hours and seven days a week. You use specialist facilities including our courtroom, where you learn how to give evidence, and our virtual reality training environment which is used to practise different cases.

Expertise

We are one of the most experienced providers of social work, education in the country, and we have a wide range of expertise. Social work is part of the Faculty of Health and Wellbeing, which enables us to apply specialist knowledge and resources from across a range of health and social care professions.

All our teaching staff are qualified and experienced social workers, or have experience in related professions. You experience a range of different ways of learning, including role play with actors, real-life case studies and virtual reality experiences alongside lectures and seminars,

Many of our lecturers are involved in research in social work and have a well-established reputation in various international projects, including

  • international practice learning opportunities for students
  • EU-funded projects to develop an international curriculum
  • projects developing social work practice and social work education.

Professional recognition

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). After successfully completing the course you are eligible to apply to register with them to practise as a social worker.

We are in a transitional period where the work of the College of Social Work has come to an end and some functions are temporarily hosted by the British Association of Social Work.

Course structure

This is a full time course that can lead to professional registration as a social worker and therefore requires extensive study.

Taught modules take place on average three days a week. but you will be required to engage in study outside of these times. A large proportion of the course is spent on placement within social care organisations – during these times you are required to attend for five days a week. 

Social work programmes provide a combination of practice learning and academic modules, that build together in order to equip you with the range of knowledge and skills you need in order to meet the requirements of this challenging profession. The strategies of teaching, learning and assessment across the 24 months are progressive, so that you gradually develop the abilities to be a self-directed learner. At the beginning of each year there will be an induction period to help you orient yourself to the shape of your studies for that year, and the increasing levels of academic and professional standards expected of you.

Additionally, some of the academic modules contain skills days, which further reinforce that there are strong links between the intellectual abilities you need in order to be a social worker, and the practice skills that are also needed. The programme structure comprises five interrelated elements

  • pre-enrolment and induction
  • the inter professional learning module
  • core professional modules
  • mandatory practice education modules
  • independent learning

Year one modules

  • Introduction to social work
  • Law and policy for social work
  • Psycho-social theories and methods for social work practice
  • Readiness for social work practice
  • Research knowledge, methods and skills for social work
  • Practice learning 1 and 2
  • Social work skills development days

Year two modules

  • Theories and knowledge for social work, applied across the life course
  • The organisational context of social work
  • The enhanced social work practitioner
  • Dissertation

Assessment

  • essays
  • examinations
  • practice-learning portfolios
  • group and individual presentations
  • report writing.

Employability

You will be able to take advantage of a high demand for qualified social workers in the South Yorkshire and East Midlands regions and nationally in areas such as • social services departments • education and other local authority departments • residential care • housing associations • national and local voluntary organisations • private sector care providers.

You can work in careers alongside other professionals including • nurses • police officers • lawyers • teachers • occupational therapists • doctors • housing officers • a range of care and support staff.

You work with a range of people who require professional support such as • children and young people • parents and carers • people with mental health problems, learning difficulties or physical disabilities • older adults • refugees and asylum seekers.



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Our MA Social Work course will help you become a highly effective social worker through a combination of teaching and practice placements. Read more

Our MA Social Work course will help you become a highly effective social worker through a combination of teaching and practice placements.

Our course meets the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for social work practice in England, the Knowledge and Skills Statements for children, adult and mental health social workers, and the regulatory requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

You will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social worker with the HCPC upon completion of the course.

You will benefit from particularly high quality placements and greater input from practising social workers through our membership of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy, a government-sponsored Teaching Partnership that ensures close links between local employers and universities across Greater Manchester.

Both placements and taught elements will help you learn how to work with a variety of user groups in a range of settings.

Aims

The course aims to:

  • qualify you as a registered social worker;
  • prepare you to work safely and effectively with service users and carers;
  • produce social work practitioners who are intellectually inquisitive and motivated to pursue further learning and research and professional development throughout their career.

Special features

Outstanding curriculum

Benefit from a range of innovative teaching and learning  methods that integrate theory and practice, actively involving service users, carers and current social work practitioners.

We encourage students to take an active involvement in shaping the course.

170 days of placements

You will have two high quality statutoryplacements  within a local authority, voluntary or private agency, which will enable you to develop into a confident, resilient and reflective social work practitioner.

Greater employment opportunities

We are a member of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy teaching partnership and have strong links with social work employers across the region.

Student support

You will receive outstanding study, placement and personal support from staff and fellow students.

Addressing the philosophy of Athena SWAN , we look to minimise early starts and late finishes, and ensure Christmas, New Year and Easter are included in your annual leave entitlement.

Research specialisms

You will have access to teaching staff who actively undertake research in health and social care at a university rated number one in the UK under the Research Excellence Framework (Unit of Assessment 3) in this area.

Our staff's specialist research interests include deaf people and children (SORD), adoption and looked after children, safeguarding practice, law for social workers, mental health, LGBT, learning for professional practice and researching social work pedagogy.

Teaching and learning

You will learn from experts in social work through interactive teaching sessions incorporating lectures and workshops at the University. See the teaching and learning page for more information.

You will develop practical skills and experience through placements. See the placements page for more information.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to accommodate different learning styles and learning outcomes.

These include using simulated visits and assessments, essays, case studies and group presentations. We may use other formats.

You will be assessed for your readiness for direct practice (ARDP) prior to commencing your first practice placement, and will be assessed at the end of your first and final practice placements.

Course unit details

Year 1

Learning in the first year provides a solid foundation where students are introduced to key knowledge and skills and prepared for professional practice.

You will learn about what social work is and develop necessary practice skills. You will explore the context social work operates in, including the legal framework and professional safeguarding responsibilities.

You will take:

  • Introduction to Social Work;
  • Social, Political and Organisational Context for Social Work;
  • Law for Social Work Practice;
  • Understanding Life Course Trajectories for Social Work Practice;
  • 20 days of professional skills development;
  • a 70-day placement.

See a typical first year timetable and find out what a day on placement is like by reading Year 1 student Emily's diary .

Year 2

Learning in the second year provides an in-depth understanding of the processes that govern and inform social work processes and interventions with a range of service user groups.

The Foundations of Research course will prepare you for completing a dissertation for your MA award.

Your dissertation provides an opportunity for you to undertake in depth study on a social work-related topic or aspect of practice. 

You will take:

  • Safeguarding Children, Adults and Their Families;
  • Young People and Vulnerable Adults;
  • Foundations of Research;
  • Social Work Interventions with Adults, Families, Children and Young People;
  • 10 days of professional skills development;
  • a 100-day placement;
  • a dissertation.


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Manchester Metropolitan University has a long established programme of providing social work education including both post graduate and undergraduate qualifying courses in social work, doctoral level research, post qualification professional training and post registration training. Read more
Manchester Metropolitan University has a long established programme of providing social work education including both post graduate and undergraduate qualifying courses in social work, doctoral level research, post qualification professional training and post registration training.

The overall purpose of our programmes is to produce professionally capable, analytical and critical reflective social work practitioners, capable of working in any social work service or setting. We seek to develop professionals committed to a value based approach to practice and the promotion of social justice and positive social change.

The Social Work department is home to a wealth of research activities and groups which informs our teaching and helps to inform the way in which Social Work is viewed throughout the country.

At Manchester Met we recognise the value of excellent relations with local and national employers. We are active in working in partnership with local agencies, charities and volunteer agencies in order to develop placement opportunities for our students and innovative in creating post registration and professional development curricula.

The Department of Social Care and Social Work is strongly committed to engagement with the communities where our social care and social work graduates will work. We have an active Service Users and Carers Group, who feed in and evaluate how our programmes are designed and provide essential experience and guidance to our students.

Features and benefits of the course

Our MA in Social Work is specifically designed for postgraduates who wish to become registered professional social work practitioners and successful completion of our programme confers eligibility to apply for professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

The MA programme is aligned against the Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Workers and the Knowledge and Skills Statements for social work with children and families and adults (where appropriate). It offers an exciting opportunity to undertake a professional training programme whilst studying for a Master's degree.

The programme has a strong commitment to:
-Promoting a value based approach to social work practice based on rights and social justice
-Integrating social work practice with the essential skills, knowledge, values and attributes essential to become an effective and humane social work practitioner.
-Preparing our students for the demands, challenges and opportunities to promote positive social change as professional social work practitioners.

Placement options

The programme incorporates two social work practice learning placements. The first placement is of 70 days duration and the second and final placement is of 100 days. The university has an excellent relationship with a range of statutory, non-statutory, voluntary and private agencies providing social work services and social work placements. Students are fully supported throughout their placements by a specialist placement team and network of experienced practice based social work educators.

About the Course

The MA in Social Work is delivered over two years and focuses on:
-Essential values, skills and knowledge in social work
-Critical perspectives on social work
-Law, policy and social work practice
-Research and research mindedness
-Professional development and readiness for practice in social work

All our programmes take a student-centred approach to teaching and learning. Each individual student will receive a named personal tutor throughout their studies and have access to excellent dedicated student learning support services on site. Teaching and learning opportunities include lectures, seminars, student-led projects, presentations, workshops and self-directed study. The university library for social work is located on site and is excellently stocked and has the benefit of highly skilled and supportive specialist library staff.

Please note that the MA in Social Work requires the successful completion of the postgraduate social work academic programme and placements.

This route also includes completion of a Research Methods unit and Research Study (typically a dissertation). If you are invited for interview we will go through the programme in more detail on the day.

Bursaries may be available for this programme subject to specific criteria applied by the University and the NHS Bursaries office. For the latest information visit http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students

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This graduate entry level course is designed to equip social work students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for qualification. Read more

This graduate entry level course is designed to equip social work students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for qualification. Upon successful completion of the course students will have met the required levels of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). They will then be able to register with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and ready to begin their first year in employment as a registered and qualified social worker.

The MA (Social Work) is an academic award dependent upon successful completion of a Masters level dissertation as well as demonstrating capable practice. There is an ‘exit award’ of PGDip, which allows successful students to register with the HCPC as a qualified and registered social worker. Students, who take this route, will be eligible to complete a Masters dissertation in Social Work Studies.

The specific educational aims of the course are to:

  • Develop core social work values as identified by The College of Social Work.
  • Develop a knowledge base to underpin capable and effective practice
  • Develop the necessary intellectual skills of critical thinking, inquiry and problem solving as applied to academic learning and to practice ethical, research minded and critically engaged practice
  • Develop a social work practice committed to social justice, which recognises structural inequality and which seeks to counter-act this

Social Work Skills Assessment Flat

Why Wolverhampton?

The course at the University of Wolverhampton has some excellent features including:

  • Opportunities for inter-disciplinary learning
  • Approved placement opportunities across a range of settings.
  • Opportunities to hear visiting lecturers from Germany, France, Sweden and the Netherlands. It may be possible for students to visit EU countries and gain valuable experience as ‘value added’.
  • There is commitment to International Social Work on the award and staff members have interests and publications in this area.

There is a strong staff and service-user interest in disability and this is embedded into academic modules and workshops.

Ethical and engaged practice is a core element of the award, which is enhanced by skills days relating to values and critical reflection. Several of the staff team have relevant publications in this arena and are also members of the Social Work Action Network, an organisation of social workers committed to equality and social justice.

Core members of staff on the course have a strong record of social work publications and/or conference presentations across a range of areas of interest.

There are also excellent campus facilities (catering, libraries and well equipped social learning spaces) which contribute to an enjoyable learning experience.

The Faculty of Education Health and Wellbeing series of seminars and lectures spans education, sport, care, psychology health and wellbeing, bringing you a variety of engaging speakers and experts from the University of Wolverhampton and many other UK universities, visit http://www.wlv.ac.uk/fehw/lectures

Career path

The course enables successful students to begin practice as a qualified and registered social worker.

The English qualification is accepted throughout the UK, the EU and is recognised Internationally.

Graduates may return to the University of Wolverhampton (or any Higher Education Institute) to undertake courses as part of their continuing professional development, which is a requirement to maintain social work registration with the HCPC. A revised framework for Continuing Professional Development and Post-Qualifying Awards is in development by The College of Social Work.

It is a condition of continuing HCPC registration that qualified and registered Social Workers maintain a record of CPD. There is also the opportunity for candidates to enrol on a programme of doctoral study - either a Professional Doctorate or a more conventional PhD.

What skills will you gain?

At the end of this course students will have acquired the knowledge to underpin practice; a range of intellectual skills of thinking and problem solving in academic learning and practice; enhanced self-awareness and social work specific skills. These will be incorporated into the 5 course learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate capability in social work practice, requirements for Social Work Training and the PCT ensuring that social work's core values are central.
  • Be able to reflect critically on evidence and information, apply and synthesise this knowledge to social work processes and interventions to become an engaged social worker, committed to social justice.
  • Confidently and consistently apply intra-personal and inter-professional skills and knowledge when working with professions, agencies and service users/carers to promote best practice with people who are often vulnerable.
  • Demonstrate a critical commitment to a service user and carer centred approach in practice, focussed upon social work's core values.
  • Be able to engage in and demonstrate a critical analysis of the legal, political and social influences impacting on social work practice in a complex and changing environment, often characterised by ethical dilemmas or conflict of interests.

Who accredits this course?

The MA Social Work programme is regulated by the HCPC in collaboration between the University of Wolverhampton and local Health and Social Care providers. Furthermore, there is service user/carer involvement in the management of the course and in the delivery of the teaching.



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Drawing on current research across the social sciences, government guidance, and legislative frameworks, this degree focuses on the issues that are key in facilitating your professional and academic development as a social worker. . Read more

Drawing on current research across the social sciences, government guidance, and legislative frameworks, this degree focuses on the issues that are key in facilitating your professional and academic development as a social worker. 

Why study MA Social Work at Goldsmiths?

  • This Masters programme is ideal if you are a graduate, with relevant experience, interested in pursuing a professional career in social work
  • The MA Social Work qualification is accredited, enabling you to register and work as a professional social worker
  • Over 95% of MA social work graduates at Goldsmiths go on to full-time graduate-level work. Our social work programmes are highly regarded by potential employers within London and further afield, and our graduates have an excellent record of securing employment; they've gone on to work in local authority children's services departments, adult services departments, and independent sector and voluntary sector agencies such as the NSPCC, Family Action and Mind
  • We're ranked second in London in the University Subject Tables 2017 league table for social work
  • We are involved in a unique Teaching Partnership with three local authorities. This means that you will be taught in the classroom by practising social workers. Depending on your profile, interest and experience, you are also likely to obtain two social work placements in local authority settings. In 2016/17 96% students completed both their first and second placements in a local authority team ( 65% were provided by South East London Teaching Partnership employers).
  • We'll equip you with the knowledge, values and skills you'll need to practise as a reflective and ethical social worker, equipped for the challenges of contemporary social work practice
  • You'll be encouraged to make links between anti-oppressive practice, the social work values, the legal framework, theories, methods and skills of intervention and social work practice throughout the course
  • You will meet service users and hear about their experiences while studying at Goldsmiths
  • The MA is an academic and professional qualification. It provides a gateway to more specialist therapeutic qualifications and research degree programmes

Social work education at Goldsmiths has a long and distinguished record – we house one of the most respected social work units in the UK, and you'll be taught by established social work academics and associate lecturers who have considerable research and/or practice experience in their fields.

You'll cover areas of human growth and development; community; needs and services; law and organisational contexts of social work; and research methods. Specific learning will include mental health and disability, and social work processes of assessment, planning, intervention and review.

The Masters includes practice placements in two settings and with different service user groups, so you'll be able to gain invaluable real world experience. We'll encourage you to think deeply about human rights and social justice, and to embed these values in your practice. You'll develop your skills for reflective and evidence-based practice and will be able to further your research mindedness.

South East London Teaching Partnership

The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies at Goldsmiths has recently entered into a formal Teaching Partnership with the Royal Borough of Greenwich, the London Borough of Southwark and the London Borough of Lewisham for the delivery of social work education at Goldsmiths.

We were one of only four early adopter sites across the country to receive government funding to develop and test new and innovative approaches to social work qualifying education, early career training and continuing professional development programmes. As a result, a significant number of social work practitioners, from all levels within these three local authorities, are involved in the MA Social Work programme, delivering or co-delivering lectures, workshops and seminars. This means that there is a very close relationship with practice to ensure that by the end of the programme students are equipped to deliver authoritative, compassionate, social work practice that makes a positive difference to people’s lives.

You will be encouraged to make links between anti-oppressive practice, social work values, the legal framework, theories, methods and skills of intervention and social work practice throughout the course.

Intake

The programme has an intake of around 20-30 students each year. Goldsmiths is committed in its policy and practice to equal treatment of applicants and students irrespective of their race, culture, religion, gender, disability, health, age or sexual orientation. We particularly welcome applications from members of minority groups.

The teaching includes lectures and workshops with the entire student group and small study groups, reflective practice discussion groups and seminars of between 10 and 14 students. A significant proportion of the course takes the form of small study groups and seminars.

The MA is a full-time course. It is not possible to study the course part-time. It is not possible for students to transfer from a social work course at another university onto the second year of the Goldsmiths MA in Social Work course.

Skills

You'll develop the ability to practise social work in a wide variety of settings with different service user groups.

Careers

The programme will enable you to register and practise as a qualified social worker.



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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.

Careers

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 unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. Read more

This unique programme is aimed at international and UK students with an interest in international social work, community development, and comparative social policy. The programme examines advanced knowledge about the theory and practice of social work and community development in an international context. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of global social issues (such as social exclusion, poverty, environmental degradation, and disasters) and relate this knowledge to developments in their own country. You will be equipped with the skills to engage in research and to apply research findings effectively in practice. The programme includes a two-week field-based learning opportunity in a social work or community work agency. The dissertation provides space for you to carry out research on an aspect of social or community work in the UK. 

Durham University is a world leader in international social work and community development research, theory, and practice. Our social work team has edited the prestigious International Social Work journal and works closely with social work’s key international organisations - , the International Association of Schools of Social Work, .the International Federation of Social Workers (IFSW), and the International Council of Social Welfare (ICSW). Its Programme Director also represents social work at the UNFCCC and other UN bodies.

Course structure 

You will study in a small group of international students, and also alongside UK students on postgraduate social work and research degree programmes. This will give you plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and experience in addition to your learning through lectures, presentations and seminars.

The MA consists of five core modules, designed to give you an understanding of social work as it is practiced in the UK, and a thorough grounding in research methods and their application. You will also choose two specialist modules according to your particular professional interests. Finally, you will undertake a research project and write a dissertation. To achieve the Master's degree, you must accumulate a total of 180 credits, as listed below.

Core Modules

International Social Work (30 credits)

  • International social work: Debates and controversies.
  • The history of international social work.
  • International institutions and social work theories and practices.
  • Legislative underpinnings to international social work
  • Internationalised Social problems 

Social Work: Context and Practice (30 credits)

  • Contemporary social work and social welfare in a diverse society
  • Construction of social problems
  • Ethical frameworks for social practice
  • Contemporary social work theories and practice.

Community Development and Organising (15 credits)

  • Critical analysis of communities
  • Origins, history, and theoretical approaches to community development
  • Contemporary forms of community development practice
  • Community and public policy.

Practitioner Research and Dissertation (60 credits)

  • Uses of research in social welfare policy and practice
  • Approaches to social research
  • Ethical issues in research
  • Literature reviewing, sampling, data collection and analysis methods.

Field Based Learning (15 credits)

  • Social work practice
  • Comparative theory/practice approaches
  • Social and community work organisations
  • Practice based pedagogies

Note students are required to pay for travel costs to and from their fieldwork practice placement.

Optional Modules

These are subject to staff availability. In previous years, typical modules offered were:

Youth Policy and Practice (15 credits)

  • Youth policy in the UK
  • Origins, development, and theoretical underpinnings of youth work
  • Critical overview of contemporary youth work practice Key forms of intervention.

Management in Community Settings (30 credits)

  • Critical analysis of a range of perspectives which have informed the management oforganisations in community settings, including those relating to:
  • Development of understanding in effectively managing and developing these organisations in the current context to increase their effectiveness in achieving their aims in ways that are consistent with professional values
  • Personnel management
  • Physical resource management
  • Financial management
  • Strategic management
  • Change management.

Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)

  • Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation
  • Defining and measuring outcomes
  • Case study analysis
  • Poster presentation and participatory evaluation.

Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)

  • Spreadsheets and data analysis
  • Populations, sample data and sampling distributions
  • Point estimates and confidence intervals
  • Significance tests, cress-tabulations, and Chi-Square tests
  • Correlation and linear regression.

Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design
  • Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice
  • Methods for representing complex systems.

Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)

  • Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods
  • Ethnography and grounded theory
  • Group discussions
  • Data analysis and management processes.

Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)

  • Apply theories of crime and justice to topical issues
  • Theory and practice of criminal justice
  • Analysis of contemporary politics
  • Governance of criminal justice.

Crime, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)



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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. Read more

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.



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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. Read more
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.

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; the course will fully prepare you for a professional career in the statutory or voluntary social care field.

This Masters degree runs in close partnership with local social care agencies and local authorities based in inner and outer London boroughs. The course is a combination of a taught and practice curriculum, where you will undertake two fieldwork placements in addition to the College-based teaching over the two years.

We welcome overseas and self-funding students.

See the website https://www.royalholloway.ac.uk/socialwork/coursefinder/mscsocialwork.aspx

Why choose this course?

Students have said the following about this course:
- “Lectures are delivered by experienced practitioners and leaders in the Health and Social Care field.”

- “The teaching is of a high standard and lectures are interactive with opportunities for small group activity.”

- “Staff are enthusiastic, knowledgeable and professional.”

- "There is excellent support for mature students, especially those with childcare and family commitments.”

- “I am a final year student and proud to be a postgraduate student at Royal Holloway.”

Department research and industry highlights

Since its inception, the department has developed a reputation for delivering high quality research across a range of areas by engaging with matters of public concern. In the Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) 2008 45% of the department’s quality profile was ranked 3-4*.

- A team of researchers in the department recently conducted a major study into leadership in health and social care services.

- Two members of staff are currently completing a small-scale study into decision-making in the field of child and family welfare.

- The department hosted the Centre for Trauma and Abuse studies and continues to maintain strong links with this centre.

- The department runs the most successful Graduate Diploma in Child and Family Studies in partnership with 28 London Boroughs and has been designated a Centre of Excellence.

Course content and structure

The MSc in Social Work is a two-year course that runs over two academic years, and is based at Royal Holloway’s Egham campus. The course is full time and students are expected to attend from 9am - 5pm, both in College and while on placement. The course integrates theory, research, policy and practice in social work, and the academic and practice programmes run concurrently.

- Course structure and organisation
In the first year you'll attend College four days a week during the first term. In the second term you are on placement (70 days) from Monday to Thursday and in College on Fridays. The placement continues in the third term. There are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College.

In year two you'll attend College on Mondays and Tuesdays and are on placement (100 days) the rest of the time. Again there are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College. Please see information about placements for more details regarding the practice element of the course.

- First year courses
Practice Learning 1: preparation for practice. .

Social Policy for Social Workers: gain an understanding of social policy issues related to social work.

Human behaviour in the social environment: gain knowledge about psychology in relation to working with service users.

Child observations: develop observation skills that are relevant to social work with all service user groups.

Theories and knowledge for Social Work practice: gain knowledge of theories and approaches used to understand how to work with service users.

Law for Social Work: learn about law relating to working with services users.

- Second year courses
Critical Social Work: issues relating to working with service users and about different service user groups e.g. adult and child safeguarding, assessments, working with asylum seekers, substance misuse, working with resistant service users.

Choose one of three optional seminars depending on your area of interest: mental health, child and family welfare or vulnerable adults.

Practice Learning 2 - critical reflection: students explore and reflect upon their practice in seminar groups.

Research methods: Students learn about research methods in preparation for their dissertation.

Understanding and working in organisations: learn about the legal obligations, structures and cultures within organisations and how these impact on policy, procedure and practice.

- Support
Students are provided with one to one support from: Academic Tutors, who'll support you throughout the course; Placement tutors and Practice Educators; Dissertation Supervisors in the second year.

Royal Holloway provides range of wider services that support students including the Educational Support Office, Student Financial Advisor, Counselling Services, Students’ Union and Careers Service.

On completion of the course graduates 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 problems presented to social care agencies

- values and ethics relevant to social work practice

- 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 and social service users.

Assessment

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations, presentations and a dissertation. Students are also required to successfully complete one 70-day and one 100-day practice-learning placement.

Employability & career opportunities

The MSc in Social Work qualifies graduates for careers in statutory and voluntary social work. Qualified social workers can continue their professional/academic development through taught post-qualifying programmes or research opportunities within the department. This course also equips you with the subject knowledge and a solid foundation for continued PhD studies.

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The Social Work MA programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-oppressive practice. Read more

About the course

The Social Work MA programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-oppressive practice.
Graduates who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

The professional and academic elements are closely integrated throughout the programme. There are 170 placement days, with the working week divided between time in placement and time in the University.

Aims

This MA Social Work degree programme aims to provide high quality post graduate social work education and training to equip students with comprehensive pre-entry skills to work in any agency employing social workers in the United Kingdom.

Although the statutory sector is the major employer, increasingly social workers are being recruited into voluntary and private sectors in a variety of service provision roles including community-based, residential or day care services in the UK and abroad.

The programme seeks to encourage the personal responsibility of students to function as independent learners and to develop a critical and reflective appreciation of the role of social work in society.

The curriculum provides teaching in both academic and practice elements, which are fully integrated at Brunel University London. It is designed to ensure that learning occurs in an incremental way, with learning outcomes that develop across levels enabling students to demonstrate progression in professional knowledge, skills and values through two years of study.

Specifically, the programme aims to:

- Prepare students for critical and reflective professional practice according to the HCPC’s approval standards of education
- Equip students to practise ethical, innovative and effective social work practice that actively promotes social justice in a diverse society
- Integrate learning in academic and practice elements of the programme so that students have a holistic understanding of social work in variety of professional contexts
- Enable students to identify, understand and critically appraise evidence and research which can inform social work practice
- Enable graduates to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and apply for membership with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

Course Content

Compulsory Modules (year 1)

The Foundations of Social Work Practice
Social Work Theories and Perspectives
Life-span Behaviour and Development
Legal Frameworks for Social Justice
Social Policy and Sociology
Professional Skills Development I
Practice Learning I
Approaches to Research

Compulsory Modules (year 2)

Assessment and the Management of Risk and Complexity
Effective Practice with Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Substance Misuse
What Works in Social Work
Professional Skills Development II
Practice Learning II (100 days)
Dissertation

Year 2 Pathways (choose one)

Social Work with Children and Families
Main topics: working with children in need and child protection; theory, research, law, policy and practice; inter-professional workshops on the impact of parental problems including parental substance misuse and domestic violence; critical review of inter-agency and inter-disciplinary practice through serious case reviews; children looked after and leaving care and service user voices; theory and research specific to social work practice with children and families; risk analysis and risk management; the centrality of relation based practice in direct work and communication with children and young people; the family court system and skills in analysing and presenting case material.

Social Work with Adults
Main topics: the development of community-based care and support and integrated adult health and social care including ideological underpinnings and contemporary issues in policy and adult social work practice; person-centred and care management approaches to community-based adult social work practice; and adult practice specialisms.

Note: As this programme may involve regular access to children and/or vulnerable adults, students will be required to complete a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) application, previously known as a Criminal Records Bureau (CRB) check. The application will cost £51.86 (this amount may be subject to change) and the University will send further instructions as part of the admissions process. For further guidance please email

Work Placements

Brunel University London has an excellent placement team that takes care to match students to appropriate children and families and adult social work placements within the London area. Placement providers have been consistently positive about their experience supervising post-graduate students and have frequently hired students back into permanent posts after they have completed their degree.

Teaching

A wide range of teaching methods are used in the MA Social Work programme including lectures, seminars, workshops, coupled with individual tutorials and group tutorials to ensure large group learning is translated in a more discursive way. Assessments include essays, exams and presentations and students are expected to complete a total of 180 credits of assessed academic work along with a 60 credit dissertation.

Special Features

The programme is transitionally approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.
Students enjoy first-rate facilities in the new Mary Seacole Building.

We are one of the leading providers of university-based social work and social policy research in London and have attracted funding from, amongst other sources, the ESRC, the AHRC, Nuffield Foundation, the Rowntree Trust, the European Union, the Department for Education and Skills and the NHS.

Students benefit from close links with social care providers in local government and in the voluntary sector.

Service users and carers are crucial to our work, and our BEEC (Brunel Experts by Experience Committee) enables them to be involved at all stages of the MA, from interview to assessment.

Recent groundbreaking research into personalisation, service user involvement, Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, young onset dementia and youth and religion, amongst other areas, feed into our taught programmes, making them highly relevant and up-to-date. Our academics include the authors of best selling books on citizenship, community care and child protection.

Anti-oppressive practice has been at the core of our education and training philosophy for some years and this emphasis is evident in the teaching of this programme.

Brunel University has a long history of securing a range of quality placements across London and surrounding areas. We have substantial experience in working across the statutory and independent sector and have strong partnership links.

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