Social Work MA | Coventry University
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Social Work MA 2019/20 entry

Course code:

HLST102

Study options:

2 years full-time

 

Location:

Coventry University

Starting:

September 2019

 

Fees:

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £7,750

Find out more

Faculty:

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

+44 (0) 24 7765 4321


Overview

Social work is a rewarding profession which enables you to work with and support individuals, families and communities of all ages who face difficulties or distress in their lives.

Your role is to assist them in developing practical strategies to improve their situations and make a positive difference – protecting the vulnerable from harm and abuse or supporting people to live independently. It allows you to give something back to society.

Accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), our MA was developed in line with government recommendations in response to the demand for a highly skilled workforce. Recognised internationally, the British social work qualification allows you to apply to register for practice as a professional social worker on completion, working for local government, voluntary and third sector organisations, charities or NGOs.

Upon graduation you can apply to work in any area of social work, rather than simply qualifying for one particular area, such as child care or mental health – a distinct advantage giving you greater flexibility in your career choices.

Grounded in practice, this course will enable you to build on your existing academic, work and life experiences in order to achieve the HCPC professional social work qualification, as well as gain a master’s level degree to help you stand out to employers.

Why Coventry University?

An award-winning university, we are committed to providing our students with the best possible experience. We continue to invest in both our facilities and our innovative approach to education. Our students benefit from industry-relevant teaching, and resources and support designed to help them succeed. These range from our modern library and computing facilities to dedicated careers advice and our impressive Students’ Union activities.

Global ready

An international outlook, with global opportunities

Employability

Career-ready graduates, with the skills to succeed

Student experience

All the support you need, in a top student city

Accreditation and Professional Recognition

Health Care Professional Council (HCPC)

This programme is subject to the rules and requirements of the professional body, the Health Care Professional Council (HCPC) and prepares students for critical and reflective professional practice as according to the HCPC’s approval standards, and the British Association of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework. On successful completion, you will be able to apply to register with the HCPC to practice as a professional social worker. We also encourage you as students to become members of the British Association of Social Work.

Course information

Grounded in practice, this course will enable you to build on your existing academic, work and life experiences in order to achieve the HCPC professional social work qualification, as well as a master’s level degree to help you stand out to employers.

The course is regularly reviewed and updated to reflect new developments in the professional practice, in policy and in legislation. The curriculum centres on the Professional Capabilities of Social Work framework of: professionalism; values and ethics; diversity; rights, justice and economic wellbeing; knowledge; critical reflection and analysis; intervention and skills; and contexts and organisations.

We aim to develop you as a social work professional capable of applying social work values, ethics, knowledge and skills to a variety of situations and contexts. Wherever possible, academic learning will be supported with real-life practice – either directly on placement or through case studies, guest lectures, and role play. The University has a team of staff who are dedicated to finding you your 70-day and 100-day placements.

Course Specification
Download PDF (412kb)

Modules

Overview

The core course themes, which you will study in Years One and Two, are the legal framework, social work theories and methods, health and wellbeing, social work practice with children and adults, psychology of human growth, values and ethics, transformative social work, and critical reflection, which is central to what we seek to develop in our students throughout the programme.

We will examine the social processes that lead to marginalisation, isolation and exclusion, considering social work services in a diverse society. You will learn about empowerment and anti-discriminatory practice and how these can be developed in contexts such as Mental Health, Learning Disability and Alcohol Addiction and Recovery.

In readiness for your first 70-day practice placement, you’ll take part in practical skills development, which includes enhancing your communication skills with service users and other related professionals, such as Occupational Therapists, the Police and Community Psychiatric Nurses. You’ll learn about the legislative framework of social work, including areas such as Human Rights, Child Protection and Mental Health. We will also study the knowledge base and models of intervention used in social work, such as feminist, anti-racist or other forms of anti-oppressive theory and practice, for example, or motivational interviewing and task centred practice.

Modules

  • Introduction to Social Work

  • Philosophy and Ethics for Social Work

  • Social Work Theory and Methods

  • Readiness for Practice in Social Work

  • Social Work Law and Practice: Children and Families

  • Social Work Law and Practice: Adults

  • Applied Social Research for Professional Practice

  • Psychology and Human Development

  • Social Work Placement (70 days)

Overview

In Year Two, you will undertake a 100-day practice placement, together with a taught module looking at Transformative Social Work. This second placement will take place in a different area of social work practice where your skills will be additionally developed. Our successful and well-established local and regional partnerships – with private, independent and voluntary organisations – provide placement opportunities to train in statutory children, adult and mental health settings.

Previous students have worked on placement in areas such as fostering and adoption, children and families, learning disability and work with refugees and asylum seekers.

Finally, as part of your postgraduate study, you will also be required to produce a professional practice dissertation on a practice topic of your interest. In the past, we have had dissertations looking at Kinship Family Care, the mental health needs of young care leavers and the development of policy around multi-agency work in child protection. Many research dissertations follow the work developed in placement settings.

Modules

  • Social Work Placement (100 days)

  • Transformative Social Work: International Perspectives

  • Professional Practice Dissertation

We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

In more detail...

  • Coventry University is ranked 25th best in the UK for Social Work in the 2017 Guardian University Guide.
  • High quality placement opportunities with our partners – 70 placement days in Year One and 100 placement days in Year Two.
  • Strong reputation within the field and Social Work Partnership with the local authorities of Coventry, Warwickshire and Solihull.
  • There is a specific focus on Skills development on the programme which includes students being filmed which undertaking a role play interviewing service users.
  • 84% of our Social Work students were satisfied with teaching and 95% said staff were good at explaining things in the Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey (PTES) 2016.
  • Focus on critical reflection, re-examining ‘real’ issues and problems to improve decision-making and accountability – recommended by the Laming review, Munro report and Social Work Task Force.
  • The programme offers opportunities for collaborative teaching with Social Work students in other countries through attendance of events like the Student Conference, associated with the International Association of Schools of Social Work (IASSW) Conference, which last took place in July 2015 in Milan with a focus on ageing in society.
  • Regular expert guest speakers from the UK and a range of other countries to set the context of social work internationally. Recent contributions have included a human rights activist looking at the labour conditions in Apple factories in China and a senior researching looking at issues of inequality and child protection comparing the UK and Belgium.

Your main study themes are:

  • The importance and significance of the legal framework for social work: This covers child care and mental health legislation, Care Acts, work with young offenders etc.

  • Theories and methods of social work: The importance of different social work approaches and understandings and the link to different areas of practice.

  • Applied research in practice: The centrality of understanding research and methodology in social work.

  • Ethical basis of social work interventions: Looking at the ethics and values on which social work interventions are based.

  • Social work practice with children and adults: We consider legislation, practice and research in the field.

  • Psychology of human growth and development: The development of personality, psychological difficulties and attachment theory.

  • Transformative social work: Examining the role of social work in social change.

This course can be studied full-time over two years. In the first and second semester of Year One, you will be expected to be on site at the University for three days per week, with the remaining two days used for self-directed research and reading. In the third semester, you will be on placement 9.00-5.00 Monday-Friday. The second year of the programme begins with the 100-day placement, followed by one taught module.

The course is designed to provide personal and professional development for students intending to become social workers in a variety of settings. The learning experience will encourage you to be enterprising, resourceful problem-solvers. You will be able to develop your knowledge base, acquire practical skills, understand value issues and dilemmas and be able to communicate your knowledge in practice situations. This will be achieved by mixing traditional ‘front loaded’ academic learning with problem-based learning approaches. 

A variety of teaching and learning delivery methods will be used, including: lectures and seminars; practice-based learning opportunities; experiential workshops; guided student-led and self-directed study; portfolio learning and online Learning.

A core feature of our teaching is the use of Action Learning Sets (ALS), which acknowledges the importance of critical reflection in improving decision-making and accountability. Integrating theory and practice, ALS enables you to understand the issues you may be dealing with in a holistic manner. You will reflect back on the totality of your experiences, considering the ‘real’ issues and problems and working through these using what is sometimes referred to as the ‘Socratic method’. 

We will ensure you gain a thorough understanding of current critical debates about the significance of inequality, discrimination and oppression in relation to social work policy and practice. We’ll share the findings of our own research and discuss controversial issues making headlines. For example, in the past we consider the question of why increasing numbers of young people are diagnosed with ADHD.  Is this due to better monitoring or increasing use of medication?  Are we supporting or harming young people when they acquire labels such as this?

This course will be assessed using a variety of methods which will could vary depending upon the module. Assessment methods include an essay, case study, exam, poster presentation, critical reflection on practice, an investigative report, presentation by individual or group of students, or a reflective analysis of practice. 

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards the achieving the intended learning outcomes. Assessments may include exams, individual assignments or group work elements.

On successful completion, you should be able to:

  • Practise safely and effectively as a professional social worker committed to professional development (professionalism)
  • Understand and critically engage with social work ethical principles and values in the context of the maintenance and development of professional practice (values and ethics).
  • Demonstrate an awareness of the impact of culture, equality and diversity in practice applying anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive principles on those who use social work services and their communities (diversity).
  • Advance human rights and promote social justice and economic wellbeing (Rights, justice and economic wellbeing).
  • Practise within the legal and ethical boundaries of social work by applying a critical understanding of research, theory and knowledge from sociology, social policy, psychology (knowledge) 
  • Develop logical, systematic, critical and reflective reasoning to inform and provide a rationale for professional decision-making (critical reflection and analysis). 
  • Communicate effectively to intervene with individuals, families and communities to promote independence, provide support and prevent harm, neglect and abuse and to develop the professional writing and recording skills (intervention and skills).
  • Engage with, inform, and adapt to changing contexts that shape practice. Operate effectively within your own organisational frameworks and contribute to the development of services and organisations. Operate effectively within multi-agency and inter-professional settings (contexts and organisations).

In a typical week you will have up to 15 ‘contact’ hours of teaching, split between small group and larger group teaching.

In addition, you will be expected to undertake a further 10 hours of self-directed studying and revising in your own time each week, including some guided study using handouts, online activities etc.

We actively consider the issues that social work service users face in the context of a globally interconnected, but also highly unequal world. We usually try to arrange video link-ups on World Social Work Day in March every year. These give you the opportunity to learn first-hand about social work in other countries and the way social workers are engaging with things like work with refugees and asylum seekers. 

We have developed a range of associations with institutions across the globe including: The University of Montreal and Dalhousie University in Canada, Laurea and Metropolia Universities in Finland, Kocaeli University in Turkey, Calabria University in Italy, St. Petersburg University in Russia, Loyola College in India, and the Belarusian State Pedagogical University. Every year, we participate in World Social Work Day in March to connect with students studying social work in another countries. Last year, we organised a video link up with Social Work students in South Africa. 

We encourage attendance at a range of international conferences, where possible, like the European Association of Schools of Social Work (EASSW) or the International Federation of Social Work (IFSW) International Conference, which is taking place in Iceland in March 2017. The next IASSW Student Conference is being held in Paris in June 2017.

Global ready

Did you know we help more students travel internationally than any other UK university according to data from the experts in higher education data and analysis, HESA?

In 2016/17, we were able to provide a total of 3,482 student experiences abroad that lasted at least five days.

Much of this travel is made possible through our Global Leaders Programme, which enables students to prepare for the challenges of the global employment market, as well as strengthening and developing their broader personal and professional skills.

Explore our international experiences

1st for

international experiences

Sending more students overseas than any other UK uni (HESA 2016/17)


3,482

Student experiences

The number of student trips abroad for at least 5 days in 2016/17



21,000

and counting

The number of students we’ve helped travel internationally so far

12

global programmes

As well as trips, we offer other opportunities like language courses


Entry Requirements

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in any discipline, and have at least 1 year relevant work experience in social work related field. Applicants with a lower degree classification will be considered, if they have completed further qualification at postgraduate level (such as a PgCert). Successful applicants must also have GCSE (or equivalent) in both mathematics and English at grade C/4 or higher.

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in any discipline, and have at least 1 year relevant work experience in social work related field. Applicants with a lower degree classification will be considered, if they have completed further qualification at postgraduate level (such as a PgCert).

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 7.0 overall, with no component lower than 6.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:1 undergraduate degree in any discipline, and have at least 1 year relevant work experience in social work related field. Applicants with a lower degree classification will be considered, if they have completed further qualification at postgraduate level (such as a PgCert).

English as a Foreign Language: This course requires IELTS of 7.0 overall, with no component lower than 6.5. Pre-sessional English is available if required.

Our International Student Hub offers information on entry requirements for your country, as well as contact details for agents and representatives should you need more advice.

More detail

Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis and offer a wide range of scholarships to support students with their studies. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £7,750 (per year)


Scholarships

If you're a truly outstanding undergraduate candidate we may be able to offer you a Coventry University Scholarship. Coventry University Scholarships are awarded to recognise truly exceptional sports achievement and academic excellence.

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £7,750 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

Starts

Fee


September 2019

2019/20 fees - TBC
2018/19 fees - £13,350 (per year)


Scholarships

For the September 2017 and January 2018 intakes, we're investing £1 million into scholarships for high achieving and enterprising students.

Our scholarships are worth up to £10,000 and every student that applies will be considered. Fulfil your potential this academic year with Coventry University!

NHS Bursaries

There are a limited number of bursaries available to eligible UK/EU students. You may be eligible for a Social Work bursary which is funded by the Department of Health. For the latest information regarding bursaries, please go to the NHS Business Services Authority website.

Career prospects

Career prospects in Social Work continue to be good and, as a post-graduate, you can expect to gain employment locally, regionally and nationally in local authorities, voluntary agencies, Primary Care Trusts, housing, education and also charities and private and voluntary organisations. Fields of practice are broad and include children and families, youth offending, mental health, learning disabilities and older adults.

Recent graduates have gained employment with organisations such as Solihull Care Trust, Age Concern, Coventry Aquarius, Alcohol Action, Warwickshire County Council, Coventry City Council, Coventry NSPCC, Birmingham Sweet Project, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Birmingham City Council, and Sunbeam Fostering Agency.

There is a dedicated employability team who will work with you to develop interviews skills presentation skills and work on developing your Curriculum Vitae (CV).

Work Placements

In year one you will undertake a 70 day practice placement and in year two you will undertake a 100 day practice placement. There are opportunities to train in a wide variety of practice placement settings and each of the two placements will afford a contrast to be experienced.

Global Leaders Programme

To prepare students for the challenges of the global employment market and to strengthen and develop their broader personal and professional skills Coventry University has developed a unique Global Leaders Programme.

The objectives of the programme, in which postgraduate and eligible undergraduate students can participate, is to provide practical career workshops and enable participants to experience different business cultures.

Further details on the Global Leaders Programme.


Disclaimer

By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the University. A copy of the 19/20 Contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the University will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the University.

The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the webpage and in the prospectus will apply. If the duration of the course is longer than one academic year, the University may increase the fee for each subsequent year of study but any such increases will be no more than inflation.

Admission to this course is subject to satisfactory health clearance, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) checks and a successful interview. Find out about the application process