The Masters in Social Work is the professional postgraduate qualification for social work throughout the UK. The course aims to equip students with the knowledge, skills and values appropriate for work in a variety of social work settings. The teaching and learning is delivered by qualified/registered Social Work academic staff who are actively engaged in research, consultancy, direct practice and publication.
Currently a January intake only.
Park Campus, the larger of the two campuses, is set in 80 acres of open green parkland, occupying an impressive and spacious site.
Facilities available on-site include a sports hall, restaurant, Students’ Union, Student Centre, shop, bar and nightclub. Safe and secure accommodation for more than 1,300 students is spread throughout Park Campus, with the majority placed within our student village combining stunning green spaces with welcoming Halls of Residence.
A Multi-Faith Chaplaincy and Medical Centre (providing a full GP service and free counselling) are also available at Park Campus.
Park Campus is within easy walking distance of a busy, local shopping area, complete with banks, supermarkets, shops and pubs.
The University of Northampton
Boughton Green Road
Social workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society at times of greatest stress. By the end of this programme you will have been assessed against the Standards of Proficiency for Social Work and the Professional Capabilities Framework. Once qualified, you will be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration. Competent practice is essential for the award and you will undertake 200 days of practice learning (placement and skills for practice) during the programme. Practice learning through placement experience is undertaken in blocks of the course and skills for practice, 30 days experiential skills for practice during Year one (in the university), 70 days (in placement) during Year 1 and 100 days (in placement) during Year two.
For students enrolled on the programme, you will be expected to travel to placements with employer providers and be able to travel to service users. Being a holder of a current UK driving licence is therefore desirable.
During this initial year your knowledge and skills for social work practice is developed and assessed. The value base of social work is emphasised and you will engage in teaching designed to support your learning and understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practice in a model that promotes social justice and relationship based practice. The Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice module is designed to develop students’ skills, knowledge and understanding about social work. The course is delivered by a range of qualified social work academics, service users and social work practitioners, which includes 30 days experiential skills. You will have an opportunity to undertake a five-day shadow placement with an employer provider in a social work setting. The first year is designed to prepare and assess students’ ‘readiness for direct practice’ prior to the 70 day placement
You will develop your understanding of different service user groups and service provision in social work settings building on the teaching and learning during Year one. The teaching will provide opportunities for you to work in small learning sets developing your reflective critical thinking skills. A module on diversity develops your understanding of the correlations between oppression, discrimination and inequality and how gender shapes organisations and service delivery. A 100-day assessed placement learning opportunity will be completed in a social work setting. During this final year you will also undertake research which is either empirical or literature based which is presented in a final dissertation.
Masters in Social Work students will have the opportunity to enrol onto the Developing Housing Practice module. This is a 10 credit level 7 module which, on completion, gives students partial accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) which is equivalent to 10 credits towards postgraduate housing related training. This would be offered to the Masters students as an elective online module. There are a number of overlaps between housing and social work which include: vulnerable adults, people seeking asylum, safeguarding children, domestic abuse, hate crime, community safety and anti-social behaviours. This optional module would support the employability of the Masters students and offer a unique partial accreditation in housing-related training which complements social work.
Course modules (16/17)
Life Span 1: Human Growth and Development
- Module code: SWKM012
- Core module Y
- Module code: SWKM011
- Core module Y
Social Work Law and Policy
- Module code: SWKM015
- Core module Y
Dissertation and Research Skills for Effective Social Work Practice
- Module code: SWKM010
- Core module Y
Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice
- Module code: SWKM014
- Core module Y
Life Span 2: Assessing and Managing Risk in Child and Adult Protection
- Module code: SWKM013
- Core module Y
Developing Housing Practice, Knowledge and Provision
- Module code: SWKM016
- Core module N
Gender and Sexuality Studies in Social Work
- Module code: SWKM017
- Core module N
Methods of Learning
This programme promotes an approach to learning that engages students as active participants. This includes group work, role play, individual skills development, inquiry based learning, seminars and lectures. Students link academic learning to two supervised and assessed placement learning opportunities. Over the two years you will experience a range of social work services and work with service users.
Facilities and Special Features
- prepares you for professional social work practice
- enables you to develop their practice skills
- develops your skills and knowledge in working with other professions
- raises political awareness and encourages you to be a creative, critical and reflective thinker
- the Social Work subject team sign up to and hold the International Federation of Social Work definition of social work
- Students will have the opportunity to develop a range of communication skills in the first year through experiential teaching and learning facilitated by Service Users, Social Work Practitioners and Practice Educators.
You will undertake 170 days of practice learning (placement). You will complete a student profile during the first year of study and through strong partnerships between the University and employer providers, you will be matched to a specific service placement. You will be expected to be able to travel effectively to and from the placement and be able to carry out community based duties (where required) during the placement which may involve independent travel. It is therefore desirable that you hold a current UK driving licence. Placement learning opportunities can be outside of Northampton. All placement providers are quality assured by the University.
How to apply
For application information please see our how to apply page.
The Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) web page also provides information to prospective applicants about Standards of Proficiency and Regulation.
Students who are successful at the application point of the process will be invited to attend for a formal interview with academic tutors, practitioners and service users.
An undergraduate degree (minimum 2:2 classification or above) or other recognised equivalent qualification.
English Language & Mathematics: Social work entrants must hold at least a GCSE grade C in English Language and Mathematics (O level grade C or CSE grade 1 are the equivalent). Key Skills Level Two qualifications are also acceptable. For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 7 is required.
You will be required to declare that you have these qualifications.
- ability to write thoughtfully, insightfully and coherently about your motivation in applying for the course and understanding and commitment to the social work profession.
- relevant work experience. Students must demonstrate (100 days or equivalent) relevant previous experience in social care or a related area. This could be paid or voluntary work.
- students yet to graduate should provide an academic reference on the application, indicating their predicted degree classification. Students who have already graduated can also provide a professional reference.
- all applicants must confirm prior to interview/offer decision making that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities, including word processing, internet browsing and the use of email, and may be asked to specify how these skills have been obtained
Fees and funding
Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 16/17 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.
This course is available to international students.
Full-time international tuition fees
For information on our international tuition fees, please see our Tuition fees for international students page.
How to apply as an international student
For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to apply page.
Scholarships available to international students
For information on the scholarships available to you as an international student, please see our International scholarships page.