Social Work MA

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Students must apply via one of the following online application forms:-

Please ensure that you attach the completed supplementary questions with your application which can be found under the ‘Fee and Entry Requirements’ tab. Your application cannot be shortlisted without these.

Course starts: 17 September 2018Apply now

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Make a real difference to some of the most marginalised and at-risk people in society. Help disadvantaged people access essential social services. Begin an extremely rewarding career in social work.

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Overview

As a social worker you will be making a real difference to some of the most marginalised and at-risk people in society. You could work in child protection, with young people in care, older people, people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, homeless people, people with drug dependencies, or with any other group of people with specialist needs. As you help people access essential social services, your interventions can literally be the difference between life and death for extremely vulnerable people.

MA Social Work combines classroom learning and practical experience. You will study the context of social work, legal and policy frameworks, social work theory, psychological and sociological theory, power, discrimination and anti-oppressive practice. You will consolidate this theoretical knowledge with two placements, to put your learning into practice.

Why us?

  • Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council
  • 170 days spent on practice placements

Course structure

This part-time course is taught during the day at the University of Sunderland. This course takes four years to complete, compared to two years for the full-time Social Work MA.

A typical week for you will include lectures, seminars and workshops, with a strong emphasis on individual participation and discussion. During the first semester you will also develop a Practice Skills Portfolio that helps you to reflect and make the best use of supervision. Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters course requires a higher level of independent working.

Your progress will be assessed with assignments, written coursework, presentations and workbooks/portfolios. Throughout the course you'll have one-to-one support from staff throughout your degree.

A full-time version of this course is also available.

Modules on this course include:

  • The Social Work Context

Explore legal frameworks and policy contexts for social work with adults, children, young people and families.

  • Theories and Models for Social Work Practice

Critically examine relevant theories, including social and psychological theories, and explore models of intervention.

  • Preparing for Practice

Develop practice skills, explore the role and value base of social work, and understand service user and carer perspectives.

  • Practice Placement 1

70-day practice placement, to be arranged by our Practice Learning Coordinator.

  • Critical Perspectives in Social Work Practice

Examine some of the contemporary issues in society, human rights and social justice and consider how these relate to the role of social work. You will also explore new developments in the integration of theory, policy and practice across a broad range of social work areas.

  • Social Work Research and Dissertation

Through researching and writing up a dissertation you will develop specialist knowledge around a specific issue relevant to social work and develop your understanding of research methodologies and methods.

  • Practice Placement 2

100 day practice placement, to be arranged by our Practice Learning Coordinator.

The Reg Vardy Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
Sunderland,
SR6 0DD

54.912052,-1.374524

  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision

Facilities

You'll be based at The Reg Vardy Centre, situated on the award-winning St Peter's riverside campus. The location benefits from dedicated library services and has superb transport links with the city centre and City Campus.

 

 

 

 

 

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a second class honours degree (usually a 2:1) or equivalent. We also accept applications from those with a 2:2 in a relevant postgraduate qualification and exceptional practice experience.

You also need Grade C or above in GCSE Mathematics and English Language, or equivalent qualifications. If you have studied for a GCSE which has a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

If English is not your first language, you will also need International English Language Testing System (IELTS) at a score of 7.0 in all components.

Supplementary questions for your application

In addition to the application form, you must submit supplementary questions for your application to this course to be considered. Please attach these completed supplementary questions when you apply online, using the apply now button on this page. 

Social Work experience

To apply for this degree you must have experience (voluntary or paid) in a social care setting. You can include placements which you have undertaken as part of college, but we do expect more experience than this. Experience could include volunteering during weekends, evenings, or holidays. We also accept any personal experience you might have as a carer.

You should clearly describe this experience in the personal statement section of your application and show how this relates to a career in social work. Some applicants may be invited for interview as part of their application process.

Social Work involves working with some of the most vulnerable people in society, and social work education is regulated by the Health Care Professionals Council. We must therefore be satisfied that you are 'fit to practice' before we can accept you onto this degree course.

In addition to the academic qualification and work experience, you will need:

  • Two satisfactory references
  • A satisfactory health clearance
  • An Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) check
  • A completed declaration form about previous criminal convictions (either spent or unspent) and any disciplinary hearings or investigations related to vulnerable adults or safeguarding young people

Social Work is listed in the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 (Exceptions) Order 1975. This means that we must ask you for an enhanced DBS check. Some spent convictions and cautions are ‘protected’, which means that we can't take them into account when deciding on your suitability for this course. You must read the Disclosure and Barring Service Filtering Guide to decide whether or not you need to tell us about your spent convictions or cautions.

If we offer you a place on this course, we will need you to make a written statement about any prior incidents. We’ll need your permission to share this anonymised information with our partner placement agencies, so that we can make a judgement on your fitness to practice.

We may also need your permission to contact the agencies involved in any incidents that you declare. Any offer of a place on the course will be subject to a satisfactory outcome of this process. However, declaring something does not necessarily mean that you will be prevented from attending the course, and we judge each case on its merits.

Fees and finance

The fee for this course is £367 per 10 credits if you are from the UK or EU. This part-time course is not available to international students.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Applications with the Supplementary Application Questions submitted on or before 31 May 2018 will be considered for a social work bursary. Please note that applicants also need to apply to NHS Bursaries. Later applicants may be considered for a bursary dependent upon availability. Contact the Student Helpline for more information.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night

Employment

MA Social Work is a highly practical qualification. After successful completion of the MA Social Work course you will be eligible to apply to register as a newly qualified social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council.

Social Work is a very broad discipline. You could work in child protection, with young people in care, older people, people with learning disabilities, physical disabilities, mental health difficulties, homeless people, people with drug dependencies, or with any other group of people with specialist needs.

Many Social Work jobs are with local authorities, but you could also work, for instance, in an NHS trust, a voluntary agency, a charity, the Criminal Justice system or other agencies helping people in need of support.

With a Social Work MA you also have the option to continue in academia, and study for a PhD.

Centre for Applied Social Sciences

The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Applied Social Studies (CASS) regularly hosts visiting speakers, and it can be an excellent way to learn from the real-life experience of people who already have a strong track record in social work.

CASS is the centre for applied social science research at the University, and you may find opportunities to collaborate with the academic team.

 

Practice placements

Placements are an essential part of your degree. We will organise two main placements for you, and you will spend a total of 170 days on practice placements. There is in-depth preparation before the placements, and you will be supported and supervised with by an assigned practice educator.

Placements allow you to apply your learning in a real-life context, and get a sense of what type of social work you might want to specialise in. When you’re ready to start searching for a Social Work job, you will already have a wide network of professional contacts who can help you find the right opportunities.

Meet our academics