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Doctor of Social Work


Course Description

The Doctor of Social Work is designed for social workers and for those wanting to undertake a professional doctorate in the field of Social Policy and Social Work. Its purpose is to enable those working in professional contexts to make a difference by carrying out applied or action orientated research in a variety of areas. It also facilitates organisational input on agreed research areas and can enhance organisational research capacity.

It is a professional doctorate for both UK based as well as International (EU and wider Overseas) students.

Over 4,500 students from 150 countries worldwide choose to study here at Birmingham, and we now boast one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK.

The Doctor of Social Work is designed for those who are involved in aspects of social work, social policy and practice in a wide range of settings, including government, voluntary organisations, community-based projects, management, education, social care, health care, probation and user groups, as paid workers or volunteers.

It is of interest to all those operating in social work and related arenas. It aims to develop critical reflection within participants' policy, practice and organisational contexts, enhance applied social research skills, and develop ability to carry out and apply original research.

The programme comprises research training, work orientated assignments and a 50,000-word thesis demonstrating original work.

About the School of Social Policy

The mission of the School of Social Policy is to ‘understand the world – but also to change it’. This means doing high quality and relevant research, but using this as a starting point for making a practical difference in the real world (through our teaching, through professional training and CPD for managers and practitioners, through policy advice and work in front-line services, through raising public and media awareness and through working directly alongside local people and communities).
In turning this mission into practice, we are proud of our many achievements, including running the UK's oldest social work training programme (dating back to 1908, our multiple award-winning NHS Management Training Scheme, the relationships we have with local partners in the public and voluntary sectors, and our leading role in the largest senior leadership development programmes in the history of the health service.
More than three quarters of our research is rated as 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' in terms of its rigour, significance and originality, and we have extensive international links with like-minded partners at Harvard, Melbourne, Peking, Vancouver, Seoul and beyond.

Funding and Scholarships

There are many ways to finance your postgraduate study at the University of Birmingham. To see what funding and scholarships are available, please visit: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgfunding

Open Days

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at our on-campus open days.
Register to attend at: http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/pgopendays

Virtual Open Days

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year. For more information, please visit: http://www.pg.bham.ac.uk

Visit the Doctor of Social Work page on the University of Birmingham website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a first-class or upper second-class Honours degree in social work or a relevant social science, or the successful completion of an appropriate postgraduate programme is required.Doctor of Social Work applicants would usually also have a relevant professional qualification and experience.Potential for research generally also needs to be indicated.

Course Fees

Please contact the School directly for fee information


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