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Advanced Social Work Practice MA/PGDip/PGCert

Learn about the course below
PGCert: PGL50D
September 2023
January 2024
2- 4 years
See individual modules
Course leader
Diane Apeah-Kubi

Enhance your professional social work skills and develop your capacities in critical reflection, supervision and professional leadership, so that you can practice at a specialist level and improve outcomes for users of services. Please note this programme is only open to those who already hold a professional social work qualification and are wishing to pursue further study.

Why study MA/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Social Work Practice at Middlesex University?

Our academic staff and practitioners bring a wealth of experience and knowledge, and our long-standing and strong ties with local authorities, charities and independent agencies ensure our courses provide the most current policy and practice in social work. Teaching staff are very supportive and do their best to ensure you succeed.

Upon graduation, you will have developed the knowledge and skills to be able to apply for specialist practitioner roles and/or more advanced social work positions such as those within management.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

What will you study on MA/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Social Work Practice?

Upon completion of this programme you will have knowledge and understanding of advanced application of theories, models and methods of social work interventions and related research in social work practice as well as understanding the lives and experiences of people who need social work services. You will be able to work in accordance with the relevant Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS) and the social work regulatory body’s policies and guidance, and have the knowledge required to meet the requirements of PCF for social work at an advanced level.

What will you gain?

You will enhance and deepen your research practice skills and critical thinking so that you can evaluate research and scholarship in the field and apply it sensitively and systematically. You will develop your clinical and professional leadership, and demonstrate mastery of social work skills within your specialist area.


  • Modules

    • Practice Education (Stage 1) (30 credits) - Optional

      This module facilitate your transition of a qualified social worker from being enabled by others, to becoming enablers of others, and meeting the Stage 1 practice education requirements within a particular specialism such as adult, child and family, or mental health social work as set out in the Practice Education Professional standards (PEPS).

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Practice Education (Stage 2) (30 credits) - Optional

      This module will promote good practice in your assessment of and is supported by practice-based teaching. You will also be enabled to meet Stage 2 practice education requirements within a particular specialism of adult, children or mental health as set out in the Practice Education Professional Standards (PEPS).

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Best Interest Assesor (30 credits) - Optional

      This is an interprofessional module which aims to equip experienced practitioners in health and social care with the skills and knowledge required to enable you to undertake a Best Interest Assessment (BIA).

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Strengthening Mental Health Practice (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will enable you, as a qualified social worker, to demonstrate that since qualifying you have built on and extended both your practice and academic competence and capabilities in your practice within a mental health setting.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Leadership in the Public and Community Services (15 credits) - Optional

      This module will critically develop your knowledge and skills to enable you to work effectively within the context of leadership and service development in the workplace.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Service Delivery and Quality Improvement (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to provide managers and practitioners with the opportunity to explore legislation and policy directions in public and community services. There will be a focus on the impact of the practitioner’s role in leading the development of services in a way that gives high importance to quality enhancing.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes

    • Relationship Based Practice: Advanced Intervention Skills (30 credits) - Optional

      This module draws on a range of theories and principles to offer an interdisciplinary and in-depth understanding of relationship based practice for more effective social work interventions in child and family and adult social work.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (30 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you, as a newly qualified social workers (NQSWs) during your assessed and supported year in employment (ASYE), to consolidate your social work knowledge, skills and values in your specialist area of practice.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Developing Research Capability (60 credits) - Compulsory

      This module focuses on developing your research capability as part of your professional practice within a health and social care context. You are given the opportunity to select a topic, or a concern which may be relevant to your professional practice and / or work context.

      Have a look at this module in more detail, including fees and learning outcomes.

    • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (15 credits) - Optional

      Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (5 days)

      Taught by experienced practitioners who specialise in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), this course will develop your knowledge and skills in treating mental health sufferers with particular focus on how you apply CBT theory and practice to your own work with individuals and families.

      Contact P.Shanahan@mdx.ac.uk or read the course page for more information

    • Risk Assessment and Management in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional

      This module has been developed to assist mental health practitioners enhance their skills in risk assessment and risk management. You will focus on risk assessment and management related to a variety of service user issues, mental health problems, multi-professional and multi-disciplinary working. It will be underpinned by theoretical evidence from a range of sources including psychiatry, nursing, social work, research evidence and service user experience.

      Contact R.Mulhern@mdx.ac.uk or visit the course page for more information

    • Social Inclusion and Recovery in Mental Health (15 credits) - Optional

      This module is ideal for health care professionals, particularly those working in mental health settings (inpatient wards, community). It has been developed to assist mental health practitioners to enhance their skills in social inclusion practice, promoting recovery through effective care planning and management of patient care needs for individuals under mental health services.

      Contact K.Jung@mdx.ac.uk or view the module page for more information

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

We are regularly review and update our programmes to ensure you have the best learning experience. We are taking what we have learnt during the pandemic and enhancing our teaching methods with new and innovative ways of learning. Please regularly check this section of the course page for updates.

How is the MA/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Social Work Practice taught?

You will learn through research, reading and critical reflection, workshops, tutorials and class discussions. Teaching will predominantly if not fully, be delivered online.


You will be assessed via a combination of formative and summative written assignments, group work, assessed role plays and reflective writing based on practice experience. There are currently no examination assessments on the programme.

Teaching and learning from 2022

We have developed new approaches to teaching and learning for the 2023/24 academic year.

We are currently reviewing our approach to teaching and learning for 2023 entry and beyond. We've learned a lot about how to give you a quality education - we aim to combine the best of our in-person teaching and learning with access to online learning and digital resources which put you more in charge of when and how you study. We will keep you updated on this throughout the application process.

Your timetable will be built around on campus sessions using our professional facilities, with online sessions for some activities where we know being virtual will add value. We’ll use technology to enhance all of your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time. We’ll use technology to enhance your learning and give you access to online resources to use in your own time.

The table below gives you an idea of what learning looks like across a typical week. Some weeks are different due to how we schedule classes and arrange on campus sessions.

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2021/22

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

10 hours

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

8 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:

12 hours

This information is likely to change slightly for 2023 entry as our plans evolve. You will receive full information on your teaching before you start your course.

Definitions of terms

  • Live in-person on campus learning – This will focus on active and experiential sessions that are both:
    • Led by your tutors including seminars, lab sessions and demonstrations. We’ll schedule all of this for you
    • Student-led by you and other students, like small group work and presentations.
  • Live online learning – This will include lectures, tutorials and supervision sessions led by your tutor and timetabled by us. It also includes student-led group work that takes place online.
  • Tutor set learning activities – This covers activities which will be set for you by your tutor, but which you will undertake in your own time. Examples of this include watching online materials, participating in an online discussion forum, completing a virtual laboratory, or reading specific texts. You may be doing this by yourself or with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you will also be expected to do further independent study where you will be expected to learn, prepare, revise, and reflect in your own time.


You have a strong support network available to you to make sure you develop all the necessary academic skills you need to do well on your course.

Our support services will be delivered online and on campus and you have access to a range of different resources so you can get the help you need, whether you're studying at home or have the opportunity to come to campus.

You have access to one to one and group sessions for personal learning and academic support from our library and IT teams, and our network of learning experts. Our teams will also be here to offer financial advice, and personal wellbeing, mental health, and disability support.

  1. Standard entry requirements
  2. International (inc. EU)
  3. How to apply

How can the MA/PGDip/PGCert Advanced Social Work Practice support your career?

Having an advanced masters-level qualification in social work is advantageous if you would like to:

  • Progress your social work career to a more senior role
  • Work as a social worker overseas
  • Work in academia
  • Complete further study at PhD level

Diane Apeah-Kubi
Senior Lecturer

Diane continues to keep her links to practice by acting as a Practice Educator to Social Work students and she has assisted the Metropolitan Police Training School (Hendon) with their Vulnerable Suspect and Witness Interviewing Course for trainee detectives.

Rahaman Mohammed
Senior lecturer

Prior to joining Middlesex, Rahman worked as a freelance trainer delivering workshops on safeguarding and Deprivation of Liberty. He also worked as an Approved Mental Health Professional and is a qualified Practice Educator.

Edd Carter
Senior lecturer

Edd leads the Law and Advanced Social Work Practice module. He has extensive social work practice experience of working in both Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services.

Niall Daly
Lecturer (Practice) in Social Work

Prior to joining Middlesex on a permanent basis in 2019, Niall worked as an emergency duty social worker for a London borough. He is also a qualified AMHP

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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