Social Work (UCAS Course code: L501) (MA)
Duration: 24 months (full-time)|Hope Park|Start month: September
About the Course
UCAS Course code: L501, apply via the UCAS website using the Undergraduate section. Direct applications not accepted.
The main aim of this programme is to produce competent, reflective, analytical and research-minded social workers, who are vocationally qualified, with advanced knowledge and skills to bring about innovations through collaborative practice and continuous learning.
The programme has been accredited since 2010 and is now subject to annual monitoring and validation by Social Work England (SWE). The content and delivery of the programme is subject to continued input from a range of stakeholders, with support from an established service user group; practitioners; and both former and current students. Our teaching methods facilitate participative learning, with students engaging with practice scenarios in our simulation suite.
The School of Social Science has an active research base framed within the spheres of social justice and radical social work and prides itself on a policy oriented approach. The MA is taught within this ethos and students are encouraged to consider questions about inequalities in social work policy and practice and how they might be countered. The social work team are all research active and contribute regularly to relevant social work journals. The team has expertise in children and family social work, theorising childhood, racism and anti-racist social work, mental health and mental health user movements, youth justice, radical social work histories, community engagement and international social work.
The School also organises regular conferences that give students the opportunity to engage with some of the leading social work academics in the country. In recent year’s we have also been facilitating ‘Integration Days’ providing opportunities for social work students to further develop the links between theory, research and practice. We have held Integration days based around ‘race’ and ‘LGBTQ+’ with guest speakers from nationally known writers/campaigners and local community organisations, with small group discussion enabling students to work together to develop key themes.
The programme also offers opportunities for students to take part in field trips to Palestine, Turkey and Michigan, USA. In addition, students can opt to undertake part of their practice placement in India or Gambia.
Why choose this subject?
- Choose this subject if you want to make a difference to people’s lives and feel passionate and committed to social justice.
- Our students say: “The MA in Social Work delivered at Hope gives prospective Social Workers an opportunity to engage with what I have found to be a unique blend of traditional, mainstream and radical ideas on Social Work which is also underpinned by current and critical and cutting edge teaching and research” (Imogen Christie, MA student).
- The student intake each year is limited to 25- 30 students – you will get to know the teaching team well and also have the opportunity to develop excellent peer group support.
- The team has expertise in children and family social work, theorising childhood, racism and anti-racist social work, mental health and mental health user movements, youth justice, radical social work histories, community engagement and international social work.
- The Masters qualification is highly regarded by employers.
Social Work England (SWE)
All students are allocated an academic tutor and integrated seminars will be held throughout the two years to allow for more focussed discussion and an examination of issues in greater depth. The programme is a combination of structured academic learning and 200 days of practice learning (this will consist of 30 skills days plus 170 days in practice placement). The academic teaching is delivered in Year One from September to December and in Year Two from September to February. The practice placements are from January to May in Year One and from March to July/August in Year Two.
- Law and Ethics (20 credits)
- Framing Social Problems (20 credits)
- Methods and Theories of Social Work Interventions (20 credits)
- Practice Learning Opportunity - 70 days in an agency placement.
In Year 2:
- Critical Themes and Issues Influencing Contemporary Practice (20 credits)
- Power, Partnership and Professionalism (20 credits)
- Advanced Research-based seminars
- Practise Learning Opportunity - 100 days (May to September)
- Total of 200 days
- Practise and portfolio graded at pass or fail (must pass in order to be awarded qualification)
- Opportunity for overseas placement, e.g. Gambia (depending on numbers)
- Final placement must be undertaken in a statutory setting or provide the opportunity for statutory work
- Students must be available to work full-time during normal office hours
Professional Research Project
Total of 12,000 words
The Professional Research Project preparation begins in the second half of year 1 and continues throughout year 2 through a combination of lectures, seminars, group and individual tutorials.
Academic assessment is through a combination of methods including: essays, case study work, presentations, book/journal paper reviews and seminar work. The pass mark on all courses is 50% (at Masters Level) and students must pass each and every element of assessment on all courses to proceed and gain their degree and qualification.
Practise capability is assessed by service user feedback, observation, and practice portfolio work. You will be assessed by a practise educator during your placements and your portfolio is examined by a Practise Assessment Panel comprising academic and agency staff. You must pass your practise placement and portfolio.
The degree is full-time for 24 months commencing in the first year in the third week of September with induction and preparation for practise. Teaching is full-time then until Christmas. All academic assignments must be completed before going out on placement. Placements start in January and normally finish by early June. You then return to the University in late June for dissertation preparation. The second year follows a similar pattern except that the year begins in September with further dissertation preparation and the placement starts in May. The dissertation must be submitted by the end of April before commencing placement.
A First Class or Upper Second Class Honours Degree
A Lower Second Class Degree considered under special circumstances.
GCSE Mathematics grade C (Grade 4 or above in the 2017 and onwards grading system), or an equivalent mathematics qualification before application
Appropriate and relevant experience
Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formally the Criminal Records Bureau – CRB). Unfortunately, due to requirements of the placement providers we are unable to consider any applicants with convictions within 5 years of the start of the course.
All candidates subject to interview and satisfactory health check.
*All applicants must apply for this programme via ucas.com
International Entry Requirements
Non-UK applicants should achieve a minimum score of 7.0 overall in the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) assessment (or an equivalent assessment).
Teaching and Research
Practising social care professionals ensure teaching is relevant to the cutting edge of today’s social work agenda and teaching methods facilitate participative learning. The School has an active research base framed within the spheres of social justice and radical social work and prides itself on a policy oriented approach. The MA is taught within this ethos and students are encouraged to consider questions about inequalities in social work policy and practise and how they might be countered.
The Social Work team are all research active and contribute regularly to relevant social work journals. The team has expertise in children and family social work, theorising childhood, racism and anti-racist social work, mental health and mental health user movements, youth justice, radical social work histories, community engagement and international social work.
UK/EU Tuition Fees
Tuition fees for Home/EU students for 2024/25 are £3,180 per year
For students who opt for an International placement or fieldtrip, there will be additional costs for travel and accommodation.
We offer a number of scholarships and loans to help fund your postgraduate studies. Visit our scholarships pages for more details.
Social work is a large and growing sector which provides a wide variety of career opportunities. About half of Social Workers are involved in some way with supporting children, families and young people. However, if you prefer to work mainly with adults there are many specialist areas in which to develop your skills and your career, such as working with people using mental health services or enabling people with a learning disability to live independent lives. For more information see the British Association of Social Workers.