MA Advanced Practice in Social Work

Course details

Online application

September - Carlisle, Fusehill Street

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Continuing Professional Development (CPD) is becoming increasingly important to the profession of social worker. Our course is built on an understanding of practitioners' CPD needs, ensuring you learn the right skills and knowledge to take your current experience to an advanced level. We provide a great range of modules that can be taken one at a time or on a specific short-course basis, using online learning resources to help you learn at a pace that suits you. Please contact the programme lead for further details to ensure we can meet you and your organisation's needs.

This is a level 7 programme in 3 sections. The first consists of 3 modules focused on managing practice, decision-making and assessing potential and risk, looking at examples from your own experience. The second stage allows you to focus on specific modules that are more in line with your own professional interests. Finally, there is the research section that allows you to focus on a piece of practice-based research applicable to your practice domain, and offers the opportunity to influence practice, as well as giving added value to your own organisation.

Year one

Compulsory modules

  • Managing Change and Risk as an Employee and Practitioner
  • Demonstrating Evidence and Analysis in Practice
  • Qualificatory Practice Unit 2
  • Research methods
  • Dissertation

Optional modules (Subject to availability and demand)

  • Practice Education in Social Work
  • Contemporary Issues in Assessment and Planning in Advanced Social Work Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Effective Intervention in Advanced Social Work Practice
  • Contemporary Issues in Evaluation and Review in Advanced Social Work Practice
  • Work-based Learning
  • Negotiated Learning
  • The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards and the Role of the Best Interest Assessor (BIA)

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

1st or 2nd class honours degree.

Students with other qualifications may be admitted to the course via Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) procedures.

Selection criteria

To be registered on the programme you must be:

  • currently registered as a social worker
  • employed in an associated social work role
  • have support from your employer to complete the programme
  • have at least 18 months - 2 years social work experience since registering as a social worker

Making your application

Applications should be made online directly to the university using the apply button above. If you need more details or guidance, please contact There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following websites for further details:

Depending on your own personal needs, this course can lead into a great variety of fields. After completing the first stage of 3 modules, you can choose to take the Postgraduate Certificate in Advanced Practice in Social Work. The second stage will give you 60 credits suited to your learning needs, and qualify you for a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Practice in Social Work. Completion of the full course will lead to the Masters of Arts degree. The higher your qualification, the wider the employment options available to you.

Our ever-increasing portfolio of IT resources allows for flexible, distributed learning opportunities, including online seminars, podcasts and interactive learning materials, in addition to traditional classroom sessions. You'll be able to agree times for online or in-person meet-ups and pre-determine the time needed for independent study, based on your personal situation.