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MA - Social Work

If you have a clear desire and motivation to work with and support the most vulnerable people in society, a MA in Social Work is for you.

Extend your knowledge, engage in research production and dissemination, and undertake 170 days of practical placement to improve your skills in a real world setting. Become a registered Social Worker and work with your local community to support people who need it.


Approved by:

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Social Work England

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Course Overview

This course is designed to be sector-specific. It integrates values, knowledge and skills you need to fulfil the professional requirements of registration. You will learn about the knowledge and skills required for practice from our expert lecturers, while exploring contemporary issues impacting social work and social justice, spurring you on to get actively involved in the development of future practice.

Our excellent relationships with local employers, particularly practice placement providers and educators in practice settings will support your professional development. We work closely with a range of key partner and stakeholder agencies including a number of Experts by Experience. You'll complete two placements, 70 days in the first year and 100 days in the second, to gain real-world experience in social work and bolster your CV and future job prospects.

On this course you will...

  • Study a range of academic modules to enhance your knowledge on the role and remit of a social worker working in different settings.
  • Complete 30 skills days and a further 170 days in placement. The successful completion of which will enable you to register with Social Work England as a registered social worker.
  • Develop your academic skills with the assistance and support of a personal tutor who will be assigned to you on entry to the programme for the duration of your studies.
  • Benefit from working closely alongside fellow students and academics to build up meaningful, engaging and productive professional relationships to enhance your personal and professional journey.
  • Gain hands-on practice experience with our modern facilities, including our mock house to simulate home visits and hospital wards for practising hospital discharge meetings.

Course Structure

What you will learn

Throughout the programme, you will be challenged academically and professionally. Building on the skills attained in your previous studies you will develop the ability to apply knowledge and skills creatively to unpredictable and complex situations. You will have the opportunity to focus on your own area of professional interest, as you develop your emerging professional identity and focus.

The modules will encourage you to review, evaluate, and utilise research within your practice and develop your own research creatively for innovative responses to contemporary practice settings. Time spent on placement will allow you to develop as an autonomous practitioner in a changing and evolving society while continuing to embrace a commitment to social justice.

Year one
  • Effective Communication in Social Work
    Build on your existing graduate skills to develop your verbal and written communication skills.
  • Using our Theoretical Imagination for 21st Century Social Work
    Examine and analyse contemporary issues in social work using social and psychological theories.
  • Using Evidence to enhance the Discipline of Social Work
    Develop the postgraduate techniques and methodologies of scholarship and research with which to explore answers to original research questions relevant to social work practice.
  • Safeguarding & Ethical Issues
    An introduction to the different aspects of practice and the activities that are core to generic social work practice, including safeguarding.
  • Critically Evaluating Interventions With Diverse Populations
    Learn to understand the detailed identification, assessment and management of safeguarding issues and the actions, which must be taken for both adults and children.
  • 1st Placement (70 Days)
    Undertake an insightful and challenging experience in a social care setting in which you can apply the knowledge and skills you have gained on the programme, and demonstrate your ability, under supervision, to become a Social Worker.

Year two
  • Critical Applications in Statutory Social Work Practice
    Gain a comprehensive, systematic and critical understanding of the legislation and processes, which are essential for social work practice involving statutory responsibilities.
  • Dissertation: Research Production, Analysis and Dissemination
    An opportunity to develop and demonstrate your ability to gather and manipulate data, and generate and test an original hypothesis or a unique research question applicable to social work practice.
  • Resilience, Employability and Leadership
    Develop the skills to manage a long and successful career in social work, in which you can maintain your emotional resilience and take your place as a future leader of your profession.
  • Final Placement (100 Days)
    A statutory social work experience and the opportunity to demonstrate the capabilities of the PCF to the level of ‘End of Final Placement’.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
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