Why study this course?
Our Social Work MSc degree is accredited by Social Work England. Once you've successfully completed the course, you can then join the Social Work England register that all qualified social workers must register with to practise in England.
Our course is rooted in the principles of equality and social justice. It covers a wide range of social work subjects, helping you to become a reflective and resilient practitioner who can work in a variety of settings. This may include working with children, families, older people or individuals with mental health problems or learning disabilities.
London Met was the 2017 “preferred provider” of the North East London (NEL) commissioning panel, which represents the Social Work Development Partnership of five local authorities. This demonstrates the excellence of teaching you can expect on our Social Work MSc.
More about this course
The focus of this professionally-accredited Social Work MSc programme is to help you develop practical skills that are necessary for a successful career in the health and social care sector. Training is based on up-to-date research, academic theories, policy and legislation. You’ll develop knowledge in a number of relevant subjects including the application of law, assessment and planning, human growth and development, research evaluation, safeguarding vulnerable adults and children, as well as social work theory.
Crucially, we’ll ensure that you understand how to apply your academic knowledge, skills and theory to the real world of social work.
In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your choice. This is achieved through your own independent study. You’ll be free to combine research and evidence, current policy, practice and theoretical perspectives.
You’ll be taught by a team of senior lecturers who are registered as social workers. Alongside our senior lecturers, we invite service users, carers and practising social workers to contribute to your learning.
You’ll be encouraged to interact with this dynamic mix of teachers. We welcome your questions and contribution of ideas and experiences to classroom debates.
In year one you’ll undertake supervised practise within two different placement settings for a duration of 70 days and 100 days in year two. To prepare for these placements you’ll undertake 20 days of skills training prior to the placement and a further 10 throughout the remainder of your course.
If you successfully complete all modules but not the dissertation module, you can be awarded our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. This option will also allow you to register with Social Work England.
As the 2017/18 “preferred provider” of the North East London commissioning panel, we’ve been commissioned to train existing social workers as Practice Educators to supervise students while on placement.
A key role of Practice Educators is to support your development of practical skills. This will make you more effective in a diverse range of social work settings.
You’ll be assessed through a variety of methods including essays, exams, oral presentations, group work, a portfolio and two periods assessed practice placements. You’ll also undertake supervised social work placements within at least two different practice settings over a minimum of 170 days during the course, as well as undertaking 30 skills days.
If you successfully complete all modules apart from the dissertation module, you can gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. This option will also allow you to join Social Work England register.
The course is also compliant with the Professional Capabilities Framework as defined by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Once registered with Social Work England, you’ll be eligible to join BASW, which will further boost your employability.
Fees and key informationApply now
You will be required to have:
- a second class honours degree (2.2) or above
- GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above, or Functional Skills English at Level 2 (or equivalent)
- employers references are needed to demonstrate a minimum of 12 weeks previous experience (at the point of application) either in a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people normally within a social care or health context
- an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the Child and Adult Workforce that's registered with the DBS Update Service. Please note that you will be required to pay for the DBS check.
If you’re shortlisted, you'll be invited to attend an interview day. On the day, you'll undertake a test, participate in a group exercise and have an individual interview.
As part of the admissions process, you'll need to complete a criminal convictions, health and personal circumstances self-declaration check; present your original qualification certificates and your passport.
International students and English language requirements
Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Student visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals may be considered for admission who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.
There may be an NHS bursary available for applicants. Recommendation for the bursary is based on how well you perform in your interview and test. Find out more about the bursary.
The modules listed below are for the academic year 2022/23 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.
Year 1 modules include:
- This module currently runs:
- all year (September start) - Monday afternoon
You will understand, analyse and critically reflect on legal processes, legislation, statutory instruments, and guidance. You will explore social work and multi-agency practice interventions applicable to children and adults in need and at risk of harm. You will examine how these are informed by law, theory, research and the voices of children and adults. Knowledge of inquiries and serious case reviews will inform your learning and concepts of human rights and safeguarding are central to the module. You will understand thresholds for intervention and the application of professional judgement which underpin best-practice models.
The teaching methods are various and participatory. They take into account different learning needs and styles to ensure wide participation. You will be given tools to develop your confidence to interpret the and use law in social work practice in order to safeguard and protect People with Lived Experience. Your understanding of case law will be tested in this module.
The lectures and case studies in the seminars are guided by real life situations as reflected in practice in case law and as described in serious case reviews.
You will have the experience of observing live courts in action and take part in mock court activities (with the presentence of a judge and visiting lawyers). These activities serve to build on existing knowledge of the law and this will further expand your understanding of legislation and law in practice.
An ethical approach to applying the law runs through the whole course. You will learn about the legal system as a way of ensuring social justice, and you will learn how and why a rules-based order based on the European Convention of Human Rights informs all social work practice.
You will have the opportunity to make the connection with anti- discriminatory and anti-Oppressive practice and Equality of Opportunity. You will increase your understanding of the impact of past and present colonial approaches within the law and how a rights-based approach to law facilitates decolonisation in law and practice. The teaching group are experienced Partitioners and Academic staff representing diverse ethnicities, genders, sexualities, and cultures.
The aims of the module are that you will:
1. learn how the English Courts and legal system works, and how to find your way through legislation, statutory instruments, codes of practice and case law.
2. become familiar with key professional milestones, such as serious incident reports and professional guidance.
3. have the opportunity to examine and explore laws related to anti- discriminatory practice, human rights and social justice in relation to current legislation, policy and practice guidance.
4. have direct live experiences of courts in action, the use of real-life cases and the examination and explorations of serious case reviews.
5. critically analyse the role of multi-agency working together in protecting children and adults, this will include housing law, and opportunities to explore safeguarding in practice for children and adults.
6. critically reflect on the professional role with an emphasis on evaluating and managing risk, the importance of accountability, understanding thresholds and the application of professional judgement.
7. investigate how the law evolved from a colonial context and how a rights-based approach to law facilitates decolonisation in law and practice.
- This module currently runs:
- autumn semester - Thursday afternoon
This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work practice. By the end of this module:
• You will understand key concepts and to develop a foundational knowledge of need, risk, support and care for children and adults, and the role of the social worker.
• You will be able to recognise how legislation, policy and practice guidance relates to assessment and support/care planning.
• You will be able to understand and reflect on models and theories of assessment and support/care planning for children and adults and to develop practitioner skills in a context of social work ethics and values.
• You will recognise the importance of promoting the involvement of children and adults in social work processes and the development of skills in the empowerment of service users.
People with Lived Experience colleagues have contributed to the development of the case studies used in the teaching and assessment of this module
- This module currently runs:
- spring semester - Monday morning
Social Workers are required to develop and apply relevant knowledge from social work practice and research, social sciences, law, other professional and relevant fields, and from the experience of people who use services (PCF Domain 5).
This module will support you to apply knowledge acquired from sociological and psychological theories of adult and child development, people with lived experience and through a child observation task.
By the end of this module you will be able to:
● Identify, analyse and evaluate psychological and sociological theories of child and adult development.
● Demonstrate an understanding of child developmental milestones within the parameters of diverse cultures and contexts.
● Explain and analyse theories of adult development, to understand the specific, day to day difficulties and disadvantages faced by different adult service user groups including people who need the help and support of social care services because of ill-health, impairment/disability.
● Explain theories of loss and grief and identify differing models of support within the context of anti-oppressive and anti-discriminatory theory and practice.
● Apply psychological and sociological theories of development to a child observation and an adult narrative task.
- This module currently runs:
- autumn semester - Friday
- autumn semester - Friday morning
This module prepares you for direct practice to progress into your first placement.
This module provides opportunities for you to:
• Gain a deeper understanding of the role of social workers, the regulations and key documents that govern social workers.
• Develop practice skills in a supportive learning environment.
• Develop professional abilities, skills and understanding of the generic role of a social worker to achieve readiness for practice across a range of different service user groups.
• Develop basic communication skills in-line with the Readiness for Practice criteria
• Engage with the 9 domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF).
People with Lived Experience colleagues have contributed to the development, design and delivery of this module in the following ways:
Assessment of summative role play task
Co-facilitation of role play communication skills session.
- This module currently runs:
- autumn semester
Social Work Practice Learning one will provide you with experiential learning opportunities, in a social work or social care setting, to integrate the theory you have been introduced to at university with practice. You will be supported to demonstrate appropriate professional behaviour and relationships, develop professional values and gain working knowledge of organisational contexts. It also aims to provide you with the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills required for practice with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities.
It provides the first opportunity for you to practise in social work under supervised conditions and develop knowledge, skills and values to enable you to meet the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at first placement level and Social Work England’s Professional Standards as they relate to this level of your studies.
- This module currently runs:
- autumn semester - Thursday morning
This module aims to provide students with an opportunity to learn a range of theoretical approaches used in Social Work interventions, and to apply these to different social contexts in order to promote effective, ethical and anti-oppressive social work practice.
By the end of this module:
• You will be able to critically analyse the contested nature of social work explanations of the circumstances of service users and the interventions implied by these explanations.
• You will be able to identify and analyse theoretical perspectives relevant to social work taking into account the practical and ethical impact these perspectives have upon different individuals, groups and communities.
• You will be able to critically evaluate different theoretical perspectives with regard to relations of power and anti-oppressive practice relevant to social work
Year 2 modules include:
- This module currently runs:
- all year (September start) - Monday morning
To be research minded is to have the ability to use research to inform practice which counters unfair discrimination, racism, poverty, disadvantage and injustice - consistent with core social work values. This core module enables students to re-visit their teaching and learning on their course and will explore a range of different attributes to develop critical understandings of the application to social work research. This will include:
● An awareness of the value of research
● The ability to identify or generate appropriate sources of evidence
● An appreciation of different methods used to obtain and make sense of research knowledges
It requires students to complete a substantive student led piece of work. Students will have scope to develop their critical analytical skills, engage with research processes and explore relevant subjects of personal and professional interest with a view to consolidating transferable skills for future employment.
- This module currently runs:
- all year (September start)
The Practice Learning 2 module provides you with the opportunity to prepare for professional practice in social work under supervised conditions and
• Develop your knowledge, values and skills in relation to working with people with lived experience in more complex situations, taking responsibility for managing your time and workload effectively.
• Develop an understanding of, and an ability to apply ethical principles and relevant legislation whilst working alongside professionally qualified social workers in a setting and with a people with lived experience group that contrasts with the first placement.
• Consolidate and integrate the skills and knowledge developed in your first placement and university-based teaching modules.
• Demonstrate knowledge and effective application of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF), BASW Professional Standards and the Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS) (DfE and DoH)
By the end of their final placement students are expected to be practising at the level that will be required of a newly qualified social worker.
What our students say
“I come from an IT background. The teaching on social work theories, human growth and development and anti-oppressive practice has been excellent in helping me understand social work concepts”.
Franck Omombo, final year student on our Social Work MSc
Where this course can take you
You will be qualified to practise social work (subject to the requirements of registration with Social Work England) and be eligible to become a member of the British Association of Social Workers. This is of major importance to your career as a social worker.
Because of the diverse topics taught on this course, you'll have the benefit of being able to work in multiple fields of social work.
Our graduates have taken up posts in both statutory and non-statutory settings and with different care groups. These include working with children and families, mental health settings, working with older people and supporting those with learning disabilities.
Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.
Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.
Important information for international applicants
Due to unprecedented demand for our courses for the spring 2023 intake, international admissions are now closed for the majority of our postgraduate courses. You can still apply for the autumn 2023 intake. Distance learning courses courses are still available for spring 2023.
How to apply
Applicants can choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University.
When to apply
You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.
Apply for this course
Please select when you would like to start:
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