Social Work (MA)

This programme allows you to build upon academic and occupational experience and achieve a professional qualification in social work. You will benefit from strong tutorial support, teaching informed by research and practice, and access to a range of placement opportunities in specialist fields.

This is a two-year full-time programme leading to an MA and a professional qualification in social work.

Situated within the broader environment of social sciences, this programme provides a theoretical and critical approach to the acquisition and appreciation of knowledge about social work practice and its context. Principles of human rights are core.

Distinctive features

  • Our teaching staff have current practice and research backgrounds that keep them up to date with developments in the field.
  • A range of placement opportunities in specialist fields are provided.
  • Bursaries may be available from the Care Council for Wales (or other UK equivalent councils).
  • The programme continues to meet the Care Council for Wales’ requirements with no conditions according to yearly reviews.
  • There are opportunities to take part in student exchange (ERASMUS) and carry out some study abroad (currently Finland, Lithuania, Austria or Germany).
  • Users of social services are central to the management and delivery of the Programme.

Key facts

Next intakeSeptember 2017
Duration2 years
QualificationMA
ModeFull-time
Admission Tutor contact(s)

Admissions criteria

A first degree at 2.2 or higher and grade C GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent) together with relevant experience. All candidates have to be registerable with the Care Council criteria.

Suitable for graduates awarded a degree at 2:2 and above who have relevant employment or voluntary based social work experience, as well as a basic understanding of the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers. In accordance with Care Council for Wales programme approval criteria, applicants will need to refer to relevant social care experience and also hold GCSE, grade C or above (or equivalent) in maths and English at the time of application.

Candidates without a degree but with 3 or more years' relevant experience who can demonstrate the ability to study at Masters level, may be considered and might be asked to submit an essay to support this.

Applications must be made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) through their website or by telephoning 0371 468 0468. This application will form the basis of the decision whether or not to call for interview.

The application form should include details of the essential qualifications outlined above, as well as a considered personal statement that demonstrates how you have used your experience to gain an understanding of social care and social work, and an academic or practice related reference.

You could also address your self-motivation in study, analytical skills and critical reasoning in their statement. An academic or practice related reference should also be included.

Shortlisted candidates will be interviewed in person in Cardiff in late February and March.

Please note: Applications made via the University’s Online Application Service will not be accepted.

Deadline for applications is the 15th January.

All University and agency-based teaching and learning is structured in accordance with the National Occupational Standards for Social Work and the Code of Professional Practice and the requirements of the Care Council for Wales. Furthermore the teaching responds to UK subject benchmarks for social work.

The programme will be delivered between early September and late July of each year with one week vacation periods at Christmas and Easter.

All subjects on the MA Social Work are mandatory/core – there is no optional element. Your specialisation at the end of year two is one subject but splits into one of two themes: adults or children and families. 

Your time will be divided between formal study and undertaking practical learning placements.

Year one

This is a two-year full-time programme leading to an MA and a professional qualification in social work.

You will spend 100 days on placements in year one.

Year two

You will spend another 100 days on placements in year two. You will choose a specialist pathway (adults or children and families) and complete a dissertation.

The University is committed to providing a wide range of module options where possible, but please be aware that whilst every effort is made to offer choice this may be limited in certain circumstances. This is due to the fact that some modules have limited numbers of places available, which are allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, while others have minimum student numbers required before they will run, to ensure that an appropriate quality of education can be delivered; some modules require students to have already taken particular subjects, and others are core or required on the programme you are taking. Modules may also be limited due to timetable clashes, and although the University works to minimise disruption to choice, we advise you to seek advice from the relevant School on the module choices available.

How will I be taught?

Teaching is offered in a range of ways: lectures, seminars, group work, self-directed study, role plays and in practice settings.

You will be expected to attend all timetabled sessions and are also expected to engage in independent study. You will receive supervision to help you complete the dissertation, but you will be expected to manage your own time to undertake significant independent study during this phase.

You are expected to adhere to the Cardiff University policy on Dignity at Work and Study and to the Care Council for Wales Code of Professional Practice.

How will I be supported?

Support materials will be provided via Learning Central (Cardiff University’s Virtual Learning Environment) or from study packs specially developed for selected modules.

You will be allocated a personal tutor. Additional support and advice is available where necessary from our Senior Personal Tutor for Postgraduate Taught Students.

Feedback

Feedback on coursework may be provided via written comments on work submitted, by provision of ‘model’ answers and/or through discussion in contact sessions.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including essays, class tests, project work, case studies, practice portfolios and reflective accounts.

Agency-based practice learning is examined and a ‘pass recommendation’ by the designated practice assessor is required together with a pass in academic work. 

What skills will I practise and develop?

The MA in Social Work is a two year full-time programme, leading to a master’s degree and a professional qualification in social work. It will enable you to build upon your existing academic and occupational experience to achieve a professional qualification in social work, with the range of skills that entails. These all meet the National Occupational Standards in Social Work.

Your professional development will be strengthened through strong tutorial support, a research-led teaching environment and access to a range of placement opportunities in specialist fields.

On successful completion of the course you qualify as a social worker and will be able to assume the title of Registered Social Worker. This enables you to become employed in a range of social work settings. We have a high employment rate for our students.

Tuition fees

UK and EU students (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Students from outside the EU (2017/18)

Get the latest information on postgraduate fees.

Will I need any specific equipment to study this course/programme?

No.

You will carry out three periods of practice in placement throughout the programme, 20 and then 80 days in year one and 100 days in year two. 

These are organised and provided through our partnership with the ten local authorities here in South East Wales.