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Social Work - MA


Course Description

A professional training course and academic award equipping students with essential knowledge and skills to enter a competitive jobs market.

Course overview

This is an approved two-year postgraduate qualification that leads towards professional registration as a social worker.

To register as a social worker, you will need a qualification that is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). This Masters has been approved by the HCPC and endorsed by the College of Social Work so you can be sure that successful completion of the course will mean that you meet professional standards of proficiency.

Our course combines both practice and theory. We organise two main placements for you, the first of 70 days and the second of 100 days. There is in-depth preparation before the placements and you will be assigned a practice educator on placement who will provide on-going supervision as you work with people with a range of needs including those who are experiencing crisis or social exclusion.

We have an excellent partnership with employers across public/voluntary and private sectors to provide high quality placements – as endorsed by The College of Social Work.

Theory-based taught modules include ‘The Social Work Context’, ‘Theories and Models for Social Work Practice’ and ‘Critical Perspectives in Social Work Practice’. The Masters dissertation is an excellent opportunity to explore a specific issue in social work.
The University of Sunderland has been offering professional qualifications in social work since 1997 and we have built up strong relationships with employers, service users and carers. These relationships are an essential foundation for our rigorous training in how to make a difference to people’s lives through professional social work.

Practitioners provide a wide range of teaching input and support in both years of the programme, which enables students to gain a good understanding of how theory relates to practice.

Upon successful completion of the programme you will be eligible to apply to register with the HCPC as a newly qualified social worker.

Course content

The course mixes taught elements with placements and research. You can negotiate the topic of the dissertation to fit your personal interests and our supervisory expertise.
-The Social Work Context
-Theories and Models for Social Work Practice
-Preparing for Practice
-Practice Placement 1
-Critical Perspectives in Social Work Practice
-Social Work Research and Dissertation
-Practice Placement 2

Teaching and assessment

We use a wide variety of teaching and learning methods which include lectures, seminars and workshops with a strong emphasis on individual participation and discussion. During the first semester you will develop a Practice Skills Portfolio that helps you to reflect and make the best use of supervision.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters requires a higher level of independent working.
Assessment methods include assignments, written coursework, presentations and workbooks/portfolios.

Facilities & location

Sunderland has excellent facilities that have been boosted by multi-million pound redevelopments.

Course location
The course is based at the Priestman Building on City Campus, just a few minutes from the main Murray Library and close to Sunderland city centre. Thanks to a major renovation programme, the Priestman Building provides state-of-the-art teaching space and resources as part of a vibrant and outward-looking learning environment. Some of your skills learning will take place in the communication skills labs which have full recording and playback facilities. We also have a ‘mock’ courtroom which offers the opportunity to develop skills in this setting.

University Library Services
We have thousands of books and e-books on social science topics, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

Some of the most important sources for your course include:
-JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
-Project Muse, which provides over 180 full-text humanities and social sciences journals
-SocINDEX with full-text articles, which is probably the world's most comprehensive and highest-quality sociology research database
-Archival Sound Recordings with over 12,000 hours of recordings
-Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles

IT Provision
When it comes to IT provision you can take your pick from hundreds of PCs as well as Apple Macs in The David Goldman Informatics Centre and St Peter’s Library. There are also free WiFi zones throughout the campus. If you have any problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

Employment & careers

92.5% of our 2013/14 graduates were in work or further study six months after graduating (source: Destination of Higher Education Leavers Survey 2014).

The social work profession can be very emotionally rewarding since you will be in a position to make a difference to people’s lives, providing them with support and enabling them to lead the fullest lives possible.

The programme comes from a foundation of over 30 years established experience in social work education and training and has an excellent relationship with local employers.

Opportunities are available in the statutory, independent and voluntary sectors. During the course of your career it will be possible to move between sectors as well as to transfer from one specialism (such as working with children) to another (such as working with people with mental health issues). Promotion can lead to roles such as team leader, as well as very senior roles within the social services departments of local authorities.

Your Masters degree will also enhance opportunities in academic roles or further study towards a PhD.

Visit the Social Work - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

Entry Requirements

2:1 undergraduate honours degree. Applicants with a 2:2 may be considered if they also have a relevant postgraduate qualification. We also require Mathematics and English Language Grade C or above or equivalent. Applicants whose first language is not English may also be required to achieve a minimum IELTS score of 7 in all four areas. You will also need relevant work experience (voluntary or paid) in a setting that is related to social care. It is important that you describe your experience and reflect on this and how you feel it relates to a future career in social work.

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Recipient: University of Sunderland

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