Master's in Social Work
Successful completion of the degree leads to the University award of MA Social Work and enables you to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council to register as a social worker.
|Fee||Please see below for information about funding|
|Venue||Main Campus, The University of Warwick/Placements|
Applicants will normally have a 2:1 degree in any subject, or equivalent international degree level qualification.
|Length||Full-time for 24 months|
|Contact||Please use our Contact page if you have an enquiry|
Who is the MA in Social Work for?
The MA in Social Work at Warwick is available for people with an undergraduate degree, and a clear desire and motivation to work with and support the most vulnerable people in society. Successful completion will lead to the professional qualification necessary to seek registration as a Social Worker, as well as a higher degree from a top-ten UK university.
The University of Warwick has a long established reputation for delivering high quality social work training, and our graduates are keenly sought and have strong employment prospects as social workers in a variety of statutory, voluntary and private organisations. 89.2% of graduates completing the destinations survey are in work or further study (DHLE 2013/14 - 2015/16).
Our MA Social Work graduates go on to work in a variety of careers. Many become social workers and there are currently social worker positions available throughout the West Midlands and beyond.
In this video recent graduate, Jasmine, explains how a combination of 170 days work placement and 200 days of structured academic teaching has prepared her for her new role as a social worker. This video was filmed in January 2017.
How is the MA Social Work course taught?
The MA Social Work is full-time for 24 months which consists of:
• 200 days of structured academic teaching
• 30 days of professional skills development
• Two practice learning placements of 70 and 100 days
A mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars and experiential activities is used across all teaching to engage with a range of learning styles and methods. This includes collaborative group work and inter-professional learning opportunities. Practice learning placements are delivered across a wide range of established, high profile contacts which offer excellent placement opportunities in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.
We are committed to excellence and innovation in our teaching, and work within the Centre for Lifelong Learning to develop a holistic teaching programme drawing from a range of expertise. The course has been developed in consultation with our service users and stakeholder partner groups, who are also actively involved in teaching and learning opportunities.
What will I learn on the MA Social Work course?
Throughout this degree, you will be encouraged to explore:
• The use of self in social work, and how you can build upon the skills you have to develop effective communication, critical analysis and decision-making, and reflective practice
• The organisational and policy context in which social work occurs, and current developments in the profession
• Themes around social justice, social exclusion and inequality, and how social work policy and practice should be informed by recognising and challenging oppression
• Working in partnership with service users, and thinking about how people experience social work involvement in their lives
The first year taught modules in 2017/18 are:
• Engaging and Working with Service Users
• Human Growth and Diversity
• Legal Policy and Organisational Frameworks
• Social Work Law
• Research Skills for Practice
There will also be a number of days set aside for professional skills development, and the first 70 days practice learning placement will begin in February.
The second year teaching will build on this learning and develop knowledge and skills in specific areas of practice. The current taught modules in 2017/18 are:
• Social Work with Children
• Social Work with Adults
• Dissertation (10,000 words)
There will again be days set aside for professional skills development, and the second 100 days practice learning placement will begin in January.
How is the MA Social Work course assessed?
You will be assessed by a combination of:
• academic essays
• a formal examination (Social Work Law)
• a practice learning portfolio
• formative exercises, designed to develop your academic and professional skills
• a dissertation, to enable you to expand knowledge and specialism in an area of social work
Staff research interests
The teaching interests and expertise of the social work group include:
• children’s physical and emotional well-being
• child protection, gender and domestic violence
• social policy and the social and political contexts of social work
• power in child protection
• critical social work
• gender and health inequalities
• promoting creativity in social work practice
• the positive use of ICT and social media in teaching and practice
• working with people who have physical impairments and learning difficulties
• communication and inter-professional learning
Staff members are research active in these and other fields. You can find out more about our research through our Staff research interests page. Additionally, we are linked to the Centre for the Study of Safety and Wellbeing, which is also located in the Centre for Lifelong Learning.
A vibrant community
Our MA in Social Work forms part of a vibrant community of professional education and academic courses at Warwick. We enable you to develop applicable expertise that is grounded in an understanding of theory and policy. We have a strong regard for inclusivity and delivering cutting edge teaching informed by the latest research and the use of technology to promote participative learning. We work in collaboration with a range of partner organisations within social work settings and in multi-disciplinary contexts across the health, social care, education and criminal justice sectors. We are also strongly committed to service user participation, and drawing from the expertise of those who have used social work services.
Social workers come from an array of backgrounds and we greatly value the different skills and experiences that people bring to our programme. Applicants will normally have a 2:I degree in any subject or equivalent international degree level qualification.
Successful applicants must also have GCSE (or equivalent) in both mathematics and English at grade C or higher (please note, the University will not accept Functional Skills as equivalent to GCSE).
Applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to submit an English Language test equivalent to IELTS 7.0 with a maximum of two component scores at 6.0 or 6.5.
How to apply
All applications should be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Please visit the UCAS website for further information or request an application form (Tel: 0870 112 2200 or email: app dot req at ucas dot ac dot uk).
The official UCAS deadline for this course is 15 January. However please ignore this as it relates to traditional undergraduate programmes and not this programme.
The selection process will take place in three stages:
1. Initial screening based on your UCAS application
2. Extended personal statement
3. Candidates will be invited to attend a selection day where they will be assessed by members of the academic team, service users and social work practitioners. Candidates will also be asked to complete a short written exam.
An enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS) and an Occupational Health Form is mandatory, however applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
It is recommended that in advance of applying, and in preparation for each stage of the process that candidates should demonstrate awareness of the knowledge, skills and experience at the ‘entry level’ of the Professional Capability Framework. Please see the British Association of Social Workers website for further details as well as this short article which offers guidance for applicants on social work courses.
Currently, the government offer bursaries to students completing social work qualifying programmes. We are currently awaiting the number of bursaries available for 2018. A bursary is not required to stay on the course.
The bursary covers:
• Tuition fees
• A maintenance grant, based on individual circumstances and recognising the needs of disabled students and students with dependants
• Travel expenses
Please visit the NHS Bursary Services Authority website for further information. The bursaries are organised by the NHS Bursary Services Authority based on candidates individual circumstances.
Full time students on this course may be eligible to apply for the Warwick Taught Masters Scholarship Scheme.
For self funding students the fees are:
Home/EU: Full-time £8580
Overseas - Band 1: Full-time £19,300
Other funding opportunities
Government Postgraduate Loans are available for students on this course that are not in receipt of the bursary. For more information visit the student funding webpages.
You may also be eligible to apply for a career development loan, available through Barclays, Lloyds and other banks.
Please visit the Postgraduate study webpages at The University of Warwick for more information about studying as a Postgraduate.
Please note that if you are interested in arranging accommodation through the University, the first year of the MA only lasts until the end of Term 3 of the academic year rather than for 50 weeks like most postgraduate courses. For more information, please see the Warwick Accommodation website.
*The modules mentioned above may be subject to change. Please read our terms and conditions for more detailed information.
Student video profiles
Have a look at videos of our students explaining what the MA in Social Work involves and what they have most enjoyed.