Social Work, Care and
Our Department covers professional education and training in Social Work at both BA and MA level, Criminology at both BA and MA level and a pathway in Social Policy. The Department consists of 11 academic members of staff involved in research and teaching, a social work practice liaison officer, a PSS link worker (PSS is the largest voluntary sector organisation on Merseyside and a partner for our social work degree programmes) and an administrative support worker.
Our Department has a very strong focus on issues of social justice. We study and research issues that look at the impact of state policy and economic changes on the lives of the poorest and most marginalised communities in our society.
In terms of Social Work this means focusing on the 'public causes' of so much 'private pain'. But it also means looking at the impact that changes in social work provision has on service users, carers and practitioners on the front-line.
In Criminology it means thinking about what we mean by crime and deviance, why some activities and social groups are criminalised or seen as deviant and others are not and why the crimes of the powerful are often unpunished whilst the minor misdemeanours of the poor are treated harshly.
In Social Policy it means exploring what we mean by 'social problems' (such as teenage pregnancy, drug misuse, anti-social behaviour, obesity etc) and what the causes of such problems are. It also involves looking at the impact of changes to health, education, housing and social security policy - all with a focus on poverty and inequality.
The academic members of staff all combine teaching with research in the field and pride themselves on being able to take complex issues and explain them in accessible ways that engage and enlighten student learning. Students all have regular lectures and seminars, a personal tutor to give appropriate academic support and additional research days when the entire Department comes together to listen to invited speakers discuss relevant policy and academic questions about key issues and problems facing society.
The Department also runs a number of field trips - a relevant and compulsory addition to each degree programme. These are a mix of trips around Liverpool and Merseyside - and occasionally further afield - which highlight key themes within the course programme (these field trip costs are already covered within student fees). In addition students also have the opportunity to go on trips further afield to look at criminal justice issues, welfare provision or social work in Palestine, India, Cyprus or Greece.
Our aim is to make your time within our Department both exciting and challenging - providing you with the necessary education, knowledge, skills and training to enter the labour market as a rounded, thinking graduate. The Department's employability statistics are excellent and the Department's graduates are recognised for the high standards they bring with them to their first jobs post-graduation.
Tel: 0151 291 3145
Location: HCA East Wing 045
All members of the Department are actively involved in research and this informs teaching on all our courses.
Our research activity can be grouped into four broad areas. 'International social work', the theory and practice of radical social work, key aspects of work with children, young people and children’s rights, and crime, deviance and the media.
Staff are at the forefront of debates taking place within the University and policy sectors over key issues and questions that affect our daily lives – both as academics (students and staff) and as members of society.
We believe it is important for our students to engage in research and for us all to establish a culture of exploration and critical understanding of the modern world and its problems.
We have regular research seminars and research days where staff and students both actively engage with important research questions, where outside speakers bring different views and perspectives to bear and where students benefit from high quality presentations from leading academics in the field.
The Department also has a Visiting Professor, Charlotte Williams, Professor of Social Justice at Keele University, who takes part in teaching and research days at the University and an Adjunct Professor, Chris Jones, former Head of School of Social Work at Liverpool University. Chris supervises PhD students, takes occasional classes and engages with the research activity of the Department.
The Department has an active partnership with PSS Liverpool. PSS is the largest voluntary sector organisation on Merseyside. PSS provides student placements for the Social Work programme and placement opportunities for Criminology and Social Policy students who choose to undertake a work-based course in their third year.
A member of PSS staff is seconded to work in the Department on a 0.5 basis. This link is valued by the Department and provides a key link between the academic world and the world of social work and social welfare practice.