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Master Social Work

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  • Objectives
    The MA Social Work programme is a qualifying award for social work, recognised by the General Social Care Council (GSCC). This programme of study will equip students, in a welcoming, supportive and inclusive environment, with the necessary knowledge and skills to practise as qualified social workers in a range of settings which cater for all service users. Underpinning all aspects of the training offered is a commitment to ethical and anti-oppressive values. The staff responsible for delivering the social work training programme are actively involved in research and publishing in their areas of expertise.They also take an innovative approach to training and draw on a wide variety of methods of teaching and assessment that facilitate student learning.
  • Entry requirements
    Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career. We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate: - A social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind. - Are concerned about issues such as child and elder abuse, social exclusion, crime, poverty, physical and mental health and the desire to do something about them. - A desire to enter a profession that works to support problem solving in human relationships and to promote social change. - An ability to reflect on their personal life experiences and how this has led them to social work as an area of study and possible career. We welcome applications from people who are considering a career in social work or other allied professional areas. Applicants should: - Hold a relevant degree in social sciences or related subject area. - Have some prior experience either paid or voluntary in the social welfare field. - Have achieved English and Mathematics Key skills/GCSE Grade C or equivalent The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge of the social sciences. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview which will assess comprehension and communication skills, commitment to personal and professional values and the potential to develop professional knowledge and skills.
  • Academic Title
    MA Social Work
  • Course description
    Course delivery

    The postgraduate programme runs over two years. The university
    operates all aspects of its taught courses on a modular basis. Modules
    are delivered over two semesters, the first running from September to
    December and the second from late January to June.

    Course content

    The course is designed in a way that achieves a balance between
    academic learning and the development of social work skills. There is a
    strong emphasis on integrating practice and theory, with the purpose of
    producing highly competent practitioners.

    The content of the course is consistent with three sets of guidelines, the
    Department of Health Requirements, the Benchmark Statements for
    Social Work provided by the Quality Assurance Agency and the National
    Occupational Standards.

    Over the two years of the degree there will be a minimum of 200 days of
    structured academic learning. This will include the key areas of human
    growth and development, mental health and disability; assessment,
    planning intervention and review; communication skills with children and
    adults and those with particular communication needs; law; and
    partnership working and information sharing across professional
    disciplines and agencies.

    Students will develop a knowledge of social work services and service
    users; the context of service delivery; values and ethics; social work
    theory; and the nature of social work practice.


    Students will develop a knowledge of key roles and the skills associated
    with these roles; preparing for and working with people to assess needs
    and circumstances; planning, carrying out reviews and evaluations of
    social work practice; supporting people to represent their needs, views
    and circumstances; managing risk including risk to oneself and
    colleagues; managing and being accountable for one's own social work
    practice within an organisation; and demonstrating professional
    competence in social work practice.


    In your first year you will be introduced to social work theory and its
    application to working with people. This will be supported by the study of
    other disciplines including, law, social policy, ethics and organisations.You
    will be given the opportunity to develop skills in communication,
    assessment, intervention, planning and review, and demonstrate your
    ability to work directly with service users, especially in the areas of mental
    health and disability.

    In the first year of the programme students are required to complete a
    placement which will be an introduction to the various aspects of the
    knowledge and skills required in social work. In addition to the placement
    there are six modules.

    Law for Social Work Practice is designed to enable students to
    demonstrate their ability to research and apply relevant legal skills and
    knowledge to those areas of the law for which social work practice has a
    statutory duty and which are likely to be significant for many service
    users. Students will also be expected to use legal research skills and be
    capable of presenting a reasoned legal argument.

    Social Work Practice: Skills Theory and Methods will enable students to
    develop their values, knowledge, and skills in relation to social work. The
    module is assessed by three interconnected forms of assessments
    which provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their
    knowledge and understanding of the practice of social work and the
    research that underpins it. They will also develop their ability to practice
    as effective anti-oppressive practitioners.

    Working With People analyses working with people by the evaluation of
    theories, skills, values and issues of practice. It provides relevant links to
    the research methods and the disciplines of sociology and psychology.

    Ethics, Values and Anti-Oppressive Practice in Social Work aims to
    develop and assess both knowledge of ethical principles, and ethical
    theories and the skills to apply ethical concepts and values to social work
    case situations, including social work research. It also assesses a
    student's skills in reflecting on their own values and how these impact
    upon case intervention.

    Social Policy for Social Workers encourages students to independently
    research literature and research methodology on current social policies
    and to evaluate their impact upon social service users.

    Organisations is designed to provide students with a knowledge and
    understanding of organisations in order to inform their critical and
    research-based analysis of personal social services and to prepare them
    for effective practice.

    The First Placement is of one hundred days duration. It is designed to
    enable students to develop their social work practice skills. It also
    provides an opportunity for the student to meet the requirements of the
    National Occupational Standards.

    In the second year in addition to the placement, there are three modules.
    Critical Professional Practice develops further the Working With People
    module of the previous year with further analysis of theories, skills,
    research, values and issues of practice. International and Comparative
    SocialWork requires students to access and evaluate comparative social
    studies and associated research,enabling them to identify commonalities
    and differences in theory and practice, and to understand their relevance
    to professional social work.

    The Dissertation aims to develop and assess knowledge, understanding
    and skills in the investigation, research, and evaluation of issues related
    to effective and ethical social work practice and policy.

    The Second Placement, like that of the first year is of one hundred days
    duration. Also as with the first year placement it is designed to help
    students to develop their social work practice skills and to meet the
    requirements of the National Occupational Standards. In addition
    however it is concerned with enabling students to integrate a critical
    analysis of their experience within the agency and to use the Code of
    Practice for Social CareWorkers as a significant reference point.

    Course delivery
    The course is taught via lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervision in
    practice placements and individual investigative work. Group and
    individual assignments are completed at various stages of the course. In
    the Dissertation the student will work individually, supervised by a tutor.

    Transferable skills
    The programme is designed to develop skills that will make it possible for
    students to operate effectively in the increasingly complex world of social
    work. However these skills will be of value for a wide range of work
    settings. Skills include the ability to deal with people in a caring and
    professional manner; the ability to assess situations for change; the
    ability to write concise and coherent reports; computer literacy; the ability
    to make convincing presentations (both spoken and written) of ideas; the
    ability to summarise and present data; and the ability to work individually,
    or as part of a team, in producing solutions to problems.

    Progress is assessed mainly by continuous assessment and, in one
    module, by exam.

    Career prospects
    Currently there is a national shortage of qualified social workers and this
    is likely to continue for a number of years.

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