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Social Work (Top-up) MA

Learn about the course below

Social Work (Top-up) MA

March 2024
7 months part-time
£3780 (£63 credit)
Course leader
Diane Apeah-Kubi

This Social Work (Top-up) masters course is an academic qualification where you will experience an integration of practice and research. Social workers have a key role in working with other professionals to offer support to some of society's most vulnerable citizens.

Why study MA Social Work (Top-up) at Middlesex University?

This programme has been designed for Social Work England registered social workers who have a PGDip in Social Work and who wish to achieve a masters level award. We are looking for people who are committed to social inclusion and who are familiar with issues surrounding disempowerment, deprivation and inclusivity. You will bring leadership skills, the ability to empathise and an ability to deal with complex situations working in partnership with others. You will have a strong commitment to developing the social work profession and to developing evidence based practice.

Course highlights

  • You will benefit from live on-campus teaching sessions alongside our pre-qualifying MA/PGDip Social Work students in interactive workshop-style seminars. Students wishing to join virtually may also be considered.
  • You will be supported every step of the way via 1:1 sessions with your allocated dissertation supervisor
  • You will be taught by staff from within our Department of Mental Health and Social Work where prominent and pioneering research projects in the disciplines are undertaken
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for the module, free printing and copying, 24 hour library services and access to a range of other valued resources

Find out more

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

What will you study on the MA Social Work (Top-up)?

You will be undertaking independent, guided research in your chosen area which will be directly relevant to social work practice. The curriculum is mapped against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), Professional standards and the Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) for both children and adults.

What will you gain?

Successful completion of the module will allow you to upgrade your PGDip in Social Work to an MA in Social Work. As well as an in-depth knowledge and understanding of the subject, you will also gain and develop research skills, critical thinking and an ability to develop and apply evidence based  practice.


  • Modules

    • MA Social Work Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      You will undertake a dissertation relevant to Social Work practice. You will be supported by an academic supervisor who will help you to navigate your research and the writing of your dissertation.

More information about this course

See the course specification for more information:

Course specification

We are regularly reviewing and updating 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.

We aim to model a wide range of teaching strategies and approaches on the course which you can adapt to your own setting.

How is the MA Social Work (Top-up) taught?

This programme involves undertaking a small scale research project. You will have the opportunity for individual supervision from an academic adviser and the module leader will run a series of dissertation workshops which comprise the module.

Please email Rahaman Mohammed for further information.


You will be expected to produce a 10,000 word dissertation.

Teaching and learning from 2023

We are regularly reviewing and updating 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.

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 pre-pandemic 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.

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.

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

Learning structure: typical hourly breakdown in 2023/24

Live learning

Contact time per week, per level:

Total for the single module:

6 hours workshops

7 hours individual supervision

Self-paced learning time

Average hours per week, per level:

5 hours

On demand resources

Average hours per week, per level:


This information is likely to change slightly for 2024/25 entry as our plans evolve. You'll 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.
  • 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 of with your course mates depending on your course and assignments. Outside of these hours, you’ll also be expected to do further independent study where you’ll 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. UK
  2. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. Additional costs

How can the MA Social Work (Top-up) support your career?

Our graduates have been successful in obtaining employment in advanced social worker roles across a wide range of social work settings. Having a masters-level qualification in social work is advantageous if you would like to:

  • Progress your social work career with an internationally recognised qualification
  • Work as a social worker overseas
  • Work in academia
  • Complete further study at PhD level

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.

  • Top-up student

    Jan 2021

    I appreciated the sessions and found them helpful. Each session was designed to support each aspect of the dissertation. It was a positive experience.

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.

Other courses

Social Work MA

Start: September 2024

Duration: 17-months full-time

Code: L500

Social Work PGDip

Start: September 2024

Duration: 14 months full-time

Code: L50P

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