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MA Social Work

Course Description

Effective social work demands a strong bond and understanding between professionals of different disciplines so that users of social work services receive the best possible care. This Masters degree combines perspectives from social care, health, education and other relevant disciplines to ensure you can work effectively in the multi-disciplinary environment of today’s social work.

The programme emphasises effective practice and the practical relevance of theory in practice learning placements. You will have the opportunity to benefit from the knowledge and experience of a range of academics, practitioners, employers, policy makers, service users and carers who have backgrounds in social care, social work, health education and other cognate disciplines.

If you are a graduate from a relevant discipline, who is able to recognise the perspective of service users, their families and carers, and who can demonstrate a clear commitment to becoming a social worker, then this Masters degree is for you. Upon successful completion of the course, you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a qualified social worker.


The programme is underpinned by the national requirements for social work education and training as agreed by the Health and Care Professions Council and The College of Social Work. The degree therefore requires you to demonstrate an understanding of, for example:

- Human growth, development, mental health and disability;
- Assessment, planning, intervention and review;
- Communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs;
- Social work law and policy;
- Partnership-working and information-sharing across professional disciplines and agencies.
- Safeguarding;
- Working with conflict.

In Year 1, you will examine the historical and contemporary functions of social work in society and consider the legal and social policy frameworks within social work practice. You will be introduced to a range of sociological and psychological theories and social policies in order to understand some of the social problems and issues faced by individuals, families and communities in contemporary society. The concepts of social inclusion and exclusion will also be considered. Upon the successful completion of an assessment exercise, designed to ensure that you are fully prepared for direct practice, you will undertake a practice placement.

Year 2 is designed to develop your competency to practice in specialist social work contexts. It will also enhance your research skills. You will adopt a global perspective on social work and focus on issues such as race, diversity and equality. A second practice placement will be undertaken and you will complete a period of independent research, culminating in the submission of a dissertation.


Academic-based learning will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops.

You will spend 170 days in practice learning placements supported by 30 days of assessed social work practice skills across the programme. These placements are organised and monitored by the University. You will undertake supervised and assessed work whilst on placement, all of which will contribute to the outcome of your degree.


The programme is assessed through a combination of essays, presentations, text analysis, group work, portfolios, carers’ assessments, video/audio diaries, role plays and examinations. Practice learning will also be assessed, using a range of techniques.


You can expect input from staff with expertise and knowledge of a range of health and social services settings, together with high quality and emergent research profiles. Contributors to the programme also include people who have direct experience of services, expert practitioners, magistrates, politicians, senior managers and policy makers.


A Masters degree in Social Work is your entry to a range of career opportunities in working with children, adults and communities. You will be able to work within the statutory, voluntary, private and charitable sectors.

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

As well as regulating individual social workers and students in England, the Health and Care Professions Council also regulate the performance of social work courses at universities, the reports of which are published on their website at http://www.hcpc-uk.org.

Visit the MA Social Work page on the Edge Hill University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

The normal minimum entry criteria is a 2:1 Honours degree in a relevant subject, such as social sciences, psychology, criminology, or health and social care. You must also have relevant paid or voluntary work experience and be able to relate this to the skills and values of social work. An interview, written exercise and group-based task will form part of the selection process.If you accept an offer from Edge Hill University, you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire and be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Enhanced Disclosure.

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