Social Work MA | Middlesex University London
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Social Work MA

Learn about the course below
Code
L500
Start
September 2018
Duration
2 year full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£10,800 (UK/EU)
£13,500 (INT)
Course leader
Dr Helen Hingley-Jones

Please note - this course is no longer accepting applications for 2017 entry.

Social workers can have a significant impact on peoples' lives, from infancy to old age, and offer support to some of society's most vulnerable citizens. We're looking for people who are socially aware and familiar with issues surrounding disempowerment, deprivation and inclusivity. You will bring leadership skills and an ability to deal with complex situations. Your core values and life experience will go a long way to forging a successful career in this challenging but rewarding sector.

Why study MA Social Work at Middlesex University?

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, our cutting-edge degree provides you with the opportunity to develop the powers of enquiry and critical appraisal vital for careers on the frontline of social services. Benefitting from the support of our expert staff, including several holding awards in recognition of their teaching, learning and assessment expertise, and our excellent facilities at Hendon, you will learn to confidently collaborate with multiple service providers in sectors such as education, health and probation services.

You will benefit enormously from the wealth of knowledge and practical experience our staff bring to the courses, through their ongoing research and strong links to practice settings. We provide you with a solid grounding in reflective practice and ensure that you are able to manage organisational demands.

Welcoming suitably qualified and experienced aspiring social workers, with an employment and college-based route available, the course comprises professional placements and campus-based study. Thanks to our established relationships with a number of partner organisations, the placements allow students to gain practical experience in dealing with a variety of real issues and challenging situations. Masters students bring a wealth of life experience to their studies, therefore we promote peer learning through group discussions and innovative workshops.

Course highlights

  • The Complete University Guide 2017 ranks Middlesex number one in London for Social Work, and top-15 nationwide.
  • Excellent relationships with local authorities. Supported by partnerships with organisations such as Jewish Care
  • Outstanding placement opportunities and teaching the most up-to-date policy and practice in social work
  • We believe that you will benefit from high levels of tutor contact time through extended teaching sessions, interactive workshop style seminars and e-learning resources
  • With a growing reputation for innovative research, our Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine is undertaking prominent and pioneering research projects in social work
  • The course is now taught from our Hendon campus, where students enjoy an energetic social environment, outstanding resources and first-rate facilities
  • Upon graduation you will be eligible to apply to the HCPC to register as a qualified social worker
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Modules

  • Year 1

    • Initial practice learning placement and social work skills (30 credits)

      In the first term of study, students will take part in an intensive programme of skills development. This involves work on communication and interviewing skills, social work theory and practice and development of 'use of self'; in collaboration with service users and carers and our agency partners. Once assessed as 'ready for direct practice' students undertake a 70-day placement where they will able to evidence effective use of knowledge, skills and commitment to core values in social work in predominantly less complex situations, with supervision and support. They will have demonstrated their ability to work with people and situations where there may not be simple clear-cut solutions.

    • Research in the social sciences (30 credits)

      The purpose of this module is to familiarise postgraduate students with major approaches to research; to enable them to develop skills in designing a research proposal; enhance their skills in qualitative and quantitative methods; enhance their critical appreciation of research and encourage research literacy; and ensure students are able to apply relevant approaches and methods to their own research project or extended literature review at masters level.

    • Critical approaches for the lifecourse epistemology (30 credits)

      This module promotes a critical and advanced understanding of theories of human growth and development across the lifecourse. Students undertake an observation of a child under 5 years of age, to enable them to learn at first-hand about human development, from bio-psycho-social perspectives. It explores the impact of diversity, differences and structural inequalities on human growth and development. Students identify and apply diverse perspectives on key transitional processes from birth to late adulthood and the different social work skills and interventions required.

    • Law and social policy (30 credits)

      This module provides an advanced understanding of the structure, organisation and processes of the English legal system including comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all four major areas of law for social work practice (children and families, mental health, community care and youth justice) and the policy context for legislative change and implementation. Students learn how to differentiate and begin to work with absolute, qualified and competing rights, and the differing needs and perspectives that arise during social work assessment and interventions alongside their first practice learning placement.

  • Year 2

    • Social work knowledge and application (30 credits)

      This module enables students to enhance their knowledge and skills by introducing them to a range of theories and interventions for practice (including, for example, systems and strengths perspectives) which they will learn about in lectures and experiential workshops. They will be encouraged to critically reflect on theories, developing their ability to apply these to the practice situations they are encountering while on placement, thus enhancing their ability to plan, carry out and evaluate an intervention.

    • Final professional practice placement (30 credits)

      This module enables students to explore the nature of social work knowledge, critically analysing contemporary practice theories and their interrelationships to social work assessment and intervention. It supports students in further developing their practice skills and intervention techniques. It assists students in developing insightful, exploratory and creative practice approaches. It facilitates students' exploration of ethical models of decision making and relate these ideas to the enhancement of their own ethical social work practice.

    • Specialist knowledge for professional practice (Dissertation: Child and family social work) (60 credits)

      This module enables students to develop advanced in-depth knowledge and practice skill through a variety of different theoretical and practice perspectives underpinned by casework examples and research findings. Students develop holistic approaches to working with children and families through examining a wide range of service delivery contexts and addressing transitions that need to be considered when service users and their families/carers receive support from more than one agency, or move from one service to another. Students examine interdisciplinary approaches; scrutinise key policy and specialist practice issues with a strong focus on statutory roles, duties and responsibilities regarding child safeguarding and parenting capacity. Students develop expertise in a child and family practice theme selected by the student as a subject for systematic review, research and evaluation via the research dissertation.

    • Specialist knowledge for professional practice (Dissertation: Social work with adults) (60 credits)

      This module enables students to develop advanced in-depth knowledge and practice skill through a variety of different theoretical and practice perspectives underpinned by casework examples and research findings. Students develop holistic approaches to working with adults through examining a wide range of service delivery contexts and addressing transitions that need to be considered when service users and their families/carers receive support from more than one agency, or move from one service to another. Students examine interdisciplinary approaches across a diverse range of models of service delivery and legislative frameworks, and scrutinise key policy and specialist practice issues with a strong focus on statutory roles, duties and responsibilities around safeguarding. Students develop expertise in a practice theme as a subject for systematic review, research and evaluation via the research dissertation.

    • Assessment methods include essays, responses to case studies and a dissertation

      All modules, and the programme as a whole, are clearly structured to meet the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) standards and requirements and the Professional Capabilities Framework (BASW 2012) for social work training; also preparing students to meet the requirements set, once qualified, by the Knowledge Statements for Child and Family Social Work and for Social Workers in Adult Services . You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies and will be assessed against the HCPC Standards of Proficiency (social work) and the Professional Capability Framework (BASW 2012). The placements usually run concurrently with academic study. You will complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within two approved and contrasting settings. In at least one of your placements, you will gain experience of statutory roles and tasks.

      You will be allocated a tutor at the beginning of your course who you will meet regularly in tutor groups and who will also act as a link to your professional placements.

Recommended reading and resources

For incoming students and interested applicants, please click here to find useful preparatory reading and resources.

How is the MA Social Work degree taught?

You will learn through research, reading and critical reflection, workshops, tutorials and class discussions, and will work on written assignments and reports, presentations and group assignments. You will record your development and progress in a logbook and will also spend time on work placements.

Assessment

You will be assessed through a wide range of assignments, including your portfolios, practical assessments, research and analysis of your findings, presentations, class discussions and case study analyses. You will also submit written assignments, in which we will be looking both at your understanding of theory and your knowledge of its practical application.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Interviews, entrance tests, portfolios and auditions

Employment-based students and graduate trainees

We often receive enquiries from applicants about this route to the social work degree. Please note that this is not an alternative part time route as social work cannot be studied part time. This route has been agreed with our partner agencies in London who sponsor their employees to undertake the social work qualification, studying alongside other students on the BA.

If you are working in a Local Authority or Trust and are interested in training as a social worker then your first point of call should be your workforce development manager or learning and development manager to establish the opportunities available through them, and the process of application. Similarly, some employers recruit graduates into their own local schemes, so you should look out for the advertisements in the press such as Community Care or The Guardian, and apply directly.

If you are working in the voluntary sector and your employer has indicated their willingness to support your training then they should make contact with us in the first instance so that we can establish that they are able to meet the partnership requirements for employment based students. These are very stringent and include for example:

  • The willingness to pay your course fees in full for the duration of the course
  • The ability to release you for a minimum of two days per week to attend the university teaching during term time
  • The ability to release you from your normal place of employment to complete the two practice learning placements (70 days and 100 days)
  • The ability to find you a placement and a practice assessor and to fund this
  • The agreement of a formal contract as part of your overall employment which includes the provision of the above, study leave and support and maintenance of your normal salary, leave and working conditions
  • In addition we would welcome partners attendance at our regular partnership forums and to provide a liaison persons in the organisation for students on the programme.
  1. UK & EU
  2. International

What are your career options with an MA Social Work degree?

This programme is aimed at practitioners who have experience in a social care environment, and who wish to expand on their existing expertise, professional qualifications or work experience to gain a recognised masters qualification. The MA Social Work degree at Middlesex University will enhance career prospects in child protection, mental health, public health, medical, geriatric and forensic social work.

Career prospects are excellent with around 90% of our MA Social Work graduates in employment six months following graduation. The combination of classroom-based teaching and placement ensures you have the right mix of skills and knowledge to excel as a social worker upon graduation. Many of our graduates end up working with our placement partners.

The Social Work programme has been designed to further your career through personal development and self-managed learning, as well as consolidating and expanding your professional network. You will have the opportunity to gain a qualification that is directly relevant to your field of work.

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