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Social Work (MRes)

Course Description

The emphasis is on research training and on equipping students with theoretical, generic and specialist skills to carry out their own research and to come to judgements about the research of others in the social work field. A range of quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection, analysis and interpretation are covered to an advanced level through a combination of taught courses and supervised dissertation work. The dissertation gives students the opportunity to examine by research aspects of social work in which they have a particular interest. The degree does not give a professional qualification in social work (see MA Social Work).

Who is the programme for?

The course is designed for those who want to pursue a career in social work research or who are potential Social Work PhD students or who wish to explore research methods in relation to Social Work. Most students already have a first degree, usually, but not necessarily, in social work, social policy or a related subject such as sociology, health sciences, or other social science. However, the course is also suitable for students from other backgrounds who want to obtain a highly respected specialist qualification.

International students are particularly welcomed to the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. Our current international students bring new perspectives to the study of social work since many have a wealth of experience in their own countries which enables others to see the subject in a context which goes beyond national boundaries. In addition, academic staff are internationally active, attending and presenting at conferences and events world-wide.

The programme equips students for employment in a wide range of professions and occupations. These include:

* Teaching on social work programmes in the UK or internationally
* University research posts in the UK or internationally
* Research strategy posts in children’s, adult and health services.
* Senior practitioner posts
* Policy posts in central government

Themes and Content

For the most part, the MRes in Social Work is based around research training modules with a broad introduction to social research methods and an overview of research within a social work context, before moving into more advanced training in both qualitative and quantitative methods in the Spring Term. Following completion of these modules, you will embark on your own individual research project, producing a 15-20,000 word dissertation under the guidance of your own individual supervisor. You will also have the opportunity to present your research in progress to a wider audience during a programme of dissertation workshops. In addition to this research training focused content, you will complete the social work research domains module that both provides an overview of issues in key social work fields and grounds you in key theories.


The MRes Social Work programme comprises of modules which have been specially developed for the postgraduate programmes in the Department. We do not co-teach these modules with undergraduate students, and this allows you to study the themes and issues at a more advanced level. The relatively small number of modules on offer is a demonstration of our commitment to developing a high-quality, advanced programme of study which is focused in its aims.

Modules are taught through a combination of workshops, lectures and seminars. You will find that small group working and establishing your own perspective on social issues will become a core part of your studying process.

Read more about the modules here: http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/postgraduate/postgraduate-modules/social-policy-ma-mres/

Research environment

* One-to-one supervision whilst undertaking an extended social work research project on a topic of your choosing
* The chance to study in one of the biggest social policy and social work departments in the world that has a reputation for research excellence http://www.york.ac.uk/spsw/research/
* A friendly, supportive and intellectually stimulating environment in which to study
* Small group teaching with classes typically no larger than 20 people and some with fewer than 10 people
* Research students in SPSW are part of the new Research Centre for the Social Sciences (ReCSS) . ReCSS hosts events and training for social sciences research students as well as weekly coffee mornings where you can gather for a chat and support. http://www.york.ac.uk/social-science/

In the latest national research evaluation exercise (REF 2014) our overall research performance was ranked third in the UK, with 54% of research activity rated as world leading. We were also ranked joint first in the UK for research impact.

The QS World University Rankings included a separate subject league table for Social Policy & Administration for the first time this year and our department was ranked 25th in the world.

The QS World University Rankings also ranked us 4th in the UK for social policy.

Talk to us

Our Virtual Open Days are the ideal way to find out more about postgraduate study at York. At the live event you can chat online with academic staff and current York postgraduate students as well as watch talks on finance and student life. Go to https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate/open-days/virtual-open-day/ to find out more. In the meantime please contact us with any questions and we will respond within two working days.

Visit the Social Work (MRes) page on the University of York website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Upper second-class honours degree or equivalent qualification. However, if you have relevant work experience with good academic potential you may also be considered. If English is not your first language you should also read the language requirements for postgraduate study View Website

Course Fees

Full-time: £6,760; part-time: £3,380 (year 1 fee). International: £16,290; Part-time: £8,145 (year 1 fee)

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