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.
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.
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The MA Social Work course at Middlesex University is full-time over two years.
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, child observation, 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. 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.
Social work knowledge and application (30 credits)
This module introduces students to the knowledge base for social work practice; including its history, the different contexts of practice and the range of processes involved in the social work task and social work theories. It enables students to draw upon a number of theory perspectives and to develop a range of skills to apply these theories to practice scenarios in order 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) and The College of Social Work (TCSW) standards and requirements for social work training. You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies and will be assessed against the HCPC Standards of Proficiency (social work) and TCSW's Professional Capability Framework. 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 preparatory reading and resources
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.
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.
Applicants for the MA Social Work programme are required to have six months full-time (or equivalent) direct work experience within a social care setting at the time of applying. Voluntary experience may be credited at an equivalent level (e.g. two years of one day per week voluntary service) as well as other relevant life experiences (e.g. informal care-giving) which may also be counted towards this entry requirement.
Relevant social care experience may be undertaken with a wide range of people that have support needs and who may have need of social care services. These groups may include disadvantaged children and adolescents, people with disabilities or mental health issues, older people and people from diverse and minority communities.
You will be expected to be able to describe how these experiences have prepared you for the profession of social work. This may include increased awareness of social issues and challenges faced by service users, self-awareness of strengths and learning needs, communication skills and the ability to respond with empathy and sensitivity. The expectation is that prospective students will have tested out their aptitude and motivation for social work along with basic skills of engagement and communication.
Therefore you should make this very explicit in your application form including the exact dates in which you have worked in each setting and the total period of experience gained.
We are unable to accept applications for deferred entry or defer existing offers for this programme to the next possible start date.
UK/EU and international students are eligible to apply for this course.
If you have relevant qualifications or work experience, academic credit may be awarded towards your Middlesex University programme of study. For further information please visit our Accreditation of Prior Learning page.
We accept the equivalent of the above qualifications from a recognised overseas qualification. To find out more about the qualifications we accept from your country please visit the relevant Support in your country page.
If you are unsure about the suitability of your qualifications or would like help with your application, please contact your nearest Regional office for support.
You will not need a visa to study in the UK if you are a citizen of the European Union, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland. If you are a national of any other country you may need a visa to study in the UK. Please see our Visas and immigration page for further information.
You must have competence in English language to study with us. The most commonly accepted evidence of English language ability is IELTS 6.5 (with minimum 6.0 in all components). We also normally require Grade C GCSE or an equivalent qualification. Visit our English language requirements page for a full list of accepted tests and qualifications.
If you don't meet our minimum English language requirements, we offer an intensive Pre-sessional English course.
Social work education is nationally currently a very popular choice and at Middlesex University we have attracted more than 1,700 applicants in recent years. Our process aims to select those who are most likely to become confident, effective and safe practitioners, eligible to apply for registration with HCPC as a social worker and who are able to uphold a positive image of the social work profession. This includes recognising the importance of building a diverse group of professionals who are reflective of the communities and localities they will be serving.
The process takes a holistic approach in which we examine your intellectual capability and readiness for studying an academic and professional qualification and your personal attributes, attitudes, values and abilities needed to demonstrate readiness to enter qualifying social work courses.
Our criteria for selection is assessed against agreed national criteria and is designed to also meet the HCPC Standards of Education and Training. We use a range of methods to enable candidates to demonstrate their capability in different contexts and to provide the University and the applicant with as much information as is needed for informed decisions to be made.
Selection methods usually include the following:
We recognise that our selection process involves multiple stages and assessment activities. This allows us to consider evidence from a range of sources and to make clear and confident decisions. This is especially important given the professional nature of this course. All offers are conditional upon a satisfactory enhanced DBS check no matter how well you have done during the process. The team involved in recruitment and selection also includes service users, carers and social work practitioners. Offers may also be conditional upon the completion of certain qualifications in order to meet the entry requirements. Any such conditions must be met within the same application cycle.
All applicants must perform well in an individual interview (and a group exercise) to test their communication skills, motivation and commitment, understanding of social work and evaluation of their life and work experience. In exceptional circumstances were able to offer interviews of international applicants using equivalent interviewing methods, such as web cams or other video link facilities. The interview takes approximately 30 minutes. The group exercise takes approximately 40 minutes in total and there are opportunities on interview days to look around the campus and usually to meet a current social work student.
If you are successful at interview, the final stage involves obtaining from you:
Please note that we do not normally accommodate transfers from another social work programme, nor can we usually transfer credit from other studies into this programme, as completion of all modules on our degree is progression requirement.
You can do some research on the roles of social work and some background reading about current issues faced by the social work and the social care workforce. You will be asked to reflect on the relevance of your own professional or personal experiences and their relevance to becoming a social work professional. You can find out more about social work and social care issues from the British Association of Social Workers.
We strongly advise applicants to be familiar with the different contexts in which social work can occur as it is a very versatile and fluid profession responding to changing needs and priorities. You can also reflect upon any relevant work, educational or personal experiences and your learning from these.
Recommended preparatory reading and resources
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:
Applications for postgraduate study should be made directly to the university. Please visit our Postgraduate application page for further information and to apply.
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.
"This course has certainly been one of the most challenging things I have had to do, not least because it was a Masters degree, but because it was emotionally and physically demanding. Social Work itself is not easy, especially when you are combining theoretical learning with writing essays, undertaking research and working full time on placement. However, the support I received from my family, the friends I made on the course, colleagues on placement and the staff at the University enabled me to tackle the course and prepare for a career in Social Work."
"I would recommend Middlesex University to prospective students as it has great links with a variety of different placement organisations. Both of my placements gave me fantastic experience and have helped me to secure my first Social Work job."
A postgraduate degree in social work can lead to many different employment opportunities. Speaking to The Guardian, Middlesex Graduate Joseph Krohn talks about his route in to employment and the benefits of taking part in a local authority training scheme.
Find out about our wide range of postgraduate scholarships worth up to 50% of the tuition fee.
MA/PG Dip Social Work
This course is offered full-time. You can choose to study the full Masters or a PG Diploma.
MA Full-time students: £7,500
Part-time per taught credit: £50
Part-time per dissertation credit: £25
PG Dip Full-time students: £6,000
Part-time per taught credit: £50
MA full-time students: £12,500
Part-time per taught credit: £84
Part-time per dissertation credit: £42
PG Dip Full-time students: £10,000
Part-time per taught credit: £ 84
Find out about our flexible payment plans for UK/EU students, and how they can help you spread the cost of your course