Logo close icon
Studying with us during coronavirus in 2021
Section navigation
Main Baner Image

Social Work (Top-up) MA

Learn about the course below

Social Work (Top-up) MA

5 months part-time
£37 per credit (UK)*
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 are 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 teaching sessions alongside our pre-qualifying MA/PGDip Social Work students in interactive workshop-style seminars and e-learning resources
  • Middlesex University has a track record of supporting excellence in social research
  • 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 is 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) Standards of Proficiency (SoPs)  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:

Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

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

Teaching and learning for 2020

Teaching and learning will be done with the use of interactive, online platforms.

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 12,000 to 15,000 word dissertation.

Teaching and learning – changes for students in 2020

If you’re starting university in 2020, we’ll be teaching you in different ways to make sure you get the best learning experience possible. You’ll learn through live sessions with teaching staff and have the chance to study independently too, with access to all the online resources you need through our globally available student portal.

We’re planning different scenarios for teaching so we can be flexible. While we’re social distancing, we currently plan to teach your course fully online through a mixture of live interactive sessions and independent learning. This will ensure you’re equipped with the same skills as on campus study, and offer you an engaging learning experience where you can meet and network with your lecturers and fellow students through online platforms. We are also exploring opportunities for face-to-face interactive sessions with smaller groups of students and staff where possible and we can make the appropriate arrangements. You will still be able to access bookable study spaces on campus, and any of the facilities and support services which are open, as well as our extensive online support.

The table below shows current plans for your learning across a typical week, including scheduled live online teaching and an indication of what we hope to teach face to face, where you can make it to campus. While some weeks might look different to this, due to how we schedule classes, the table gives you an idea of what to expect based on the overall number of teaching hours on your course.

You’ll receive final arrangements for your teaching and a full course timetable before you start.

Course delivered fully online while current social distancing measures are in place

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:



Read more about our scenarios for returning to campus and what they might mean for your teaching and learning experience, and how you’ll be able to access student support.

Future plans for teaching

We’re developing our timetable for face to face teaching  with current government advice on social distancing to keep you safe. If social distancing requirements are lifted, we’ll start to safely move back towards our usual teaching arrangements with more opportunities for face to face learning. Some learning and support might stay online in this scenario. If more restrictions are put in place, or there is another lockdown, we’ll be prepared to deliver your learning and support fully online, with alternative arrangements made for any required placements. We’ll always give you notice of any changes that we make.

Definitions of terms

  • Live learning – Live learning will cover everything you’ll do with teaching staff like lectures, seminars, workshops and other classes, and we’ll schedule all of this for you. This might include some study outside your regular timetable, like taking part in discussion forums or online blogs where you’re supported by academic staff.
  • Independent learning – Independent learning is all the studying you’ll do outside your live learning sessions with teaching staff. This self-paced study will give you the chance to learn, prepare, revise and reflect in your own time as you need to, and you’ll have access to on-demand resources and materials to help you do your best.
    • Self-paced study – Self-paced study will give you the chance to learn wherever and whenever you want to and at your own pace, outside your live learning sessions. This independent learning could include reading and reflection, preparation for classes, revision or homework along with access to other online activities such as quizzes.
    • On-demand resources – You'll have access to on-demand resources like pre-recorded video lectures and workshops as part of your independent study. You’ll be able to review and revisit whenever you need to at your own pace.


You’ll 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 mainly be delivered online and you’ll 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’ll 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.

More on teaching for your subject in 2020/21

Read our guide to what’s been happening in your subject area recently and more about what to expect this autumn.

  1. UK
  2. How to apply
  1. UK
  2. EU fees from October 2021
  3. Additional costs

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

Our graduates have been successful in obtaining employment across a wide range of Social Work settings.

The combination of classroom-based teaching and practice learning on placement ensures you have the right mix of skills and knowledge to excel as a social worker upon graduation. Many of our graduates find employment with our placement partners, with neighbouring London boroughs and beyond.

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.

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 2022

Duration: 14-months full-time

Code: L500

Social Work PGDip

Start: September 2022

Duration: 14 months full-time

Code: L50P

Back to top