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Social Work (MSc)

Course Description

MSc Social Work at Winchester is a generic professional qualification covering the main knowledge, skills and values essential for practising as a newly qualified social worker. Successful completion of this programme leads to eligibility to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Programme Content

Students cover the key knowledge base as applied to social work - social policy, legislation, aspects of psychology and sociology, social work theory, and social work methods and communication.

The course provides an introduction to the development of professional identity and the acquisition of professional values. Students discuss the complexities and importance of interprofessional working; develop an understanding of the importance of sociological and psychological perspectives across the life course; and gain a critical understanding of different types of interventions underpinned by legislation and social policy.

There is a key introductory module which enforces the concept of professional, reflective practice and professional boundaries. Following the core social work modules, students undertake a research module and a dissertation.

Students must also complete two practice learning placements - 70-days in the first year and 100-days in the second year. Each placement is different and matched to the student's needs, aptitude and experiences.

The final year consolidates earlier teaching, developing research and writing skills. On completion of the course, students have a good knowledge of risk and assessment, a clear sense of the opportunities and demands of being a professional social work practitioner, and the skills and knowledge required at a newly qualified level.

See the website http://www.winchester.ac.uk/Studyhere/Pages/msc-social-work.aspx


- Introduction to Professional Social Work
- The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work
- Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions
- Research in Practice
- First Practice Placement
- Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice
- Social Work Risk and Assessment
- Social Work in Contemporary Society
- Writing for Publication
- Second Practice Placement

Learning and Teaching

Lecturers have varied experiences and interests which they draw on to develop insights in the workplace and help students develop employability skills such as report writing and critical analysis.

The cohorts of students are small to enable the teaching team to provide the necessary challenge and appropriate levels of support to develop curiosity, autonomy and creativity in practice and learning.

The integration of subject specialists and outside speakers is a unique feature of the course - Master Classes offer students the chance to learn alongside external practitioners and there are strong links with partner agencies who provide both practice placements and contribute to the teaching and development of the course.


There is an increased emphasis on formative assessment, particularly in the early stages of module delivery. This enables students to practice and develop certain skills, and receive feedback, which helps support and improve their final summative assignments. The range of assignments are designed to meet individual student's varying learning styles and support the development of a range of skills required for practice.

Assessment formats include presentations (individual and group); facilitation of seminars; written assignments (essays, reports and case studies); portfolios; exams (a mixed approach); practical skills assessment; online assessment; and product outputs (academic posters/leaflet).

Practice is assessed through observation and reflection on practice, completion of a portfolio and written assignments. There are also opportunities for practical skills assessment including experiential learning and presentations.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.


Graduates may work with any service user or carer group across the profession, ranging from work in the statutory sector for both children and adults through to roles within the voluntary and independent sector.

Visit the Social Work (MSc) page on the University of Winchester website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a first or higher second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject (such as Childhood and Youth Studies, Social Sciences, Politics, Law, Health and Social Care, Teaching or other professional-based courses associated with working with individuals, groups and families). Applicants with a lower second-class Honours degree, or those seeking to change fields where they can demonstrate an aptitude for the professional role and demonstrate an understanding of the role of social workers may also be considered

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