This programme enables those with a BA degree to obtain the new professional qualification in Social Work, as well as a Masters degree. You join students on the new undergraduate route for Social Work for Year 3; your academic work is assessed at the higher M level, which includes a dissertation. You undertake two assessed social work placements in line with government requirements of 200 days of practice over the two years of the programme (changing to 170 days for entrants in 2013). International students undertake the same placements as UK students and obtain a detailed understanding of the operation of the English social work system.
The MA follows an exciting programme. Committed to social justice, anti-oppressive practice and relationship based social work and drawing upon a number of disciplines informing social work practice, it includes the study of social work values, knowledge, law, theories, methods and skills. Additional electives offer students the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest and exciting new projects, such as the International Exchange Project, and the award-winning Survivor Arts Project, allow students to move beyond the core curriculum and explore different ways of seeing the world and more creative ways of working. Watch the following video diary of our first exchange visit to Rotterdam, and a film of our award-winning Survivor Arts Project.
Social Work video materials
Rotterdam International Exchange Project
Survivor Arts Project
In the first year of the degree you will have the opportunity to develop core academic skills and explore the key strands of social justice and inclusion; research-mindedness and evidence-based learning and practice and; respectful, helpful, critical practice. You will also be introduced to the social and organisational context of social work and will be given the chance to develop practice skills in readiness for your 100 day placement for professional practice learning (changing to 70 days in 2013).
The social work regulatory body, the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the College of Social Work requires that before our students go out onto placement that they have the basic skills needed to work with a wide variety of people and talk to service users with understanding and respect. As part of the readiness for practice skills development you will be required to undertake a Shadowing Assessment period with a local family support organisation. During this period you will meet and interact with service users, carers, agency staff and other professionals and will be assessed on your performance before you are able to go out on your first practice placement. You will also undertake Readiness for Practice Learning Interviews, role plays carried out with service users and carers. This way we ensure that students meet the basic standard before they go out into the 'real world'.
We work in partnership with Birmingham City Council, who provide the majority of the placements, and a range of voluntary and private sector organisations. We also have a few placements with some neighbouring local authorities. However, we cannot guarantee any placements outside Birmingham itself and so students who live outside Birmingham will be required to travel. The placements on offer are challenging and also very rewarding. Some of the areas of social work covered on placement are:
Family support and prevention
Refugee and asylum
Special educational needs
Students should be aware that placements in particular areas of interest are not guaranteed. However, all placements are quality assured, meet required HCPC and College of Social Work standards and provide a wide range of learning opportunities which are transferable to any setting, and have international relevance.
In addition to your practice placement you will participate in a practice based reflection module designed to help you apply the values, knowledge and skills acquired to the practice setting and in your work with a specific service user group. You will also undertake a module in Social Justice and Inclusion, and will follow a strand of teaching entitled: Respect, Integrity, Critical Perspectives and Helpfulness in Social Work Practice (RICH).
In Year 2 you will undertake a further 100 days of professional practice learning which, in line with HCPC requirements, will be with a different service user group in a different agency setting. All students will have the opportunity during at least one of their practice placements to undertake some statutory duties.
In conjunction with this you will again have the opportunity to reflect upon your learning in preparation for and within practice during the Professional Practice Reflection module. Following on from this, the RICH strand of teaching will concentrate on cross-cutting issues for practice around risk and protection, whole-family approaches, collaborative working, and strengths based approaches. You may then select one elective from a range focusing on areas such as:
The final module concentrates on research methods and skills and prepares you to develop, conduct and write-up in the form of a dissertation, an individual piece of literature and/or empirical based research in an area of social work you are particularly interested in.
Fees for 2013-2014: Home and EU (full time): £4,295
Standard fees apply.
NHSBSA have now confirmed that a limited number of bursaries will still be available to eligible 'home' students starting on the social work programme in the 2013 academic year for the MA Social Work (over both 1st and 2nd years). These bursaries are not available to students from Northern Ireland, Scotland or Wales or those classified as 'overseas'. Please go to www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students for further information regarding eligibility.
You can download a copy of the ‘Reforming social work bursary information pack’ and a copy of the ‘Reforming the Social Work Bursary consultation outcome’ from the Department of Health website
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships may be available.
For further information contact the Department directly or contact the Student Funding Office via the online enquiries system at www.studenthelp.bham.ac.uk.
The entry requirement is an upper second-class (2.1) degree classification or higher (an undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline is preferred) and 6 weeks (approximately 30 days) to 3 months related social care experience (related personal experience will be considered but only alongside practice-based experience). Equivalence is reviewed for international students. Applicants with a 2:2 degree classification may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, if their application is considered to be particularly strong in other areas, e.g. with regards to practice experience, personal insight or other related qualifications.We also require GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C or an equivalent level two numeracy and literacy qualification.
International students should contact the Admissions Tutor Dawn River. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Tel: +44(0)121 414 2936.
If your qualifications differ from those listed here, please contact the Admissions Officer, Heather Buckley for advice. Email: email@example.com, Tel: +44(0)121 414 7908.
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 mail, and be asked to specify how these skills have been obtained.
Please note that work experience is not considered in lieu of meeting the academic entry requirements. You will be required to meet the practice element in addition to meeting the academic criteria.
Transfer applicants - we do not consider applicants who have studied, or are studying, social work elsewhere. We do however consider, on a case-by-case basis, if there is a valid reason for doing so, applications for entry into the first year of our programme from applicants wishing to withdraw from their current programme of study. For applicants wishing to do this, we would require a reference from a tutor on the programme where they are currently or have previously studied social work.
For further information please contact:
Social Work Manager
Tel: +44(0)121 414 5719
Learn more about entry requirements