Postgraduate Factfile: Social Work MA
Modes of study: Full Time (2 years)
Start date: September
Expected Intake: 30
- The Programme
- Supporting info
- Entry requirements
- Finance / fees
- How to apply
- Employment / careers
- LJMU and Liverpool
At a glance
- Qualifying award for social work, recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
- Delivers the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as a qualified social worker in a range of settings, catering for all service users
The MA in Social Work Degree provides a sound basis for continuing professional development and is designed to enhance your professional skills and competency by adding value to your existing knowledge and experience.
Completing this master’s programme will give you the skills, confidence and ability to deal with people in a caring and professional manner; to assess situations for change; to write concise and coherent reports; to make convincing presentations (both spoken and written) of ideas; to summarise and present data; to work individually and as part of a team, in producing solutions to problems. Your computer literacy will also be enhanced.
The programme is geared to training and supporting knowledgeable and skilled practitioners, who are aware of the importance of service users, and to giving them a genuine voice and choice in the services available to them. Underpinning all aspects of the training offered on this course is a commitment to ethical and anti-oppressive values.
Collectively the knowledge and work-experience secured through the course will enable you to use the regulatory guidance and standards set out by the Health and Care Professions Council.
The course is designed to balance academic learning and the development of social work skills. There is a strong emphasis on integrating practice and theory, with the purpose of producing theoretically informed and highly competent practitioners. The curriculum is mapped against the QAA benchmark for Social Work 2008, the Standards of Proficiency (HCPC) 2012 and the Professional Capabilities Framework Guidance on Conduct and Ethics.
In your first year you will be introduced to social work theory and its application to working with people. This will be supported by the study of other disciplines, including: law, social policy, inequality and social justice. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in communication, assessment, intervention, planning and review and demonstrate your ability to work directly with service users. In addition to a 70 day placement, you will also complete 5 modules: Contemporary Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, Law and Social Policy for Practice, Poverty, inequality and social justice and Introduction to research methods.
During your second year, you will complete a further two modules: Social Work: Specialist module and your Dissertation. You will also undertake a second 100 day professional placement enabling you to further develop your social work practice skills.
The course is delivered by the Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences, which offers excellent educational and professional training facilities tailored to development of effective practitioners in health and social care.
Your tutors are actively involved in research and publishing in their areas of expertise. They also take an innovative approach to training and draw on a wide variety of methods of teaching and assessment that facilitate student learning.
Why study this course at LJMU?
The programme is designed to develop skills that will make it possible for students to operate effectively in the increasingly complex world of social work. However these skills will be of value for a wide range of work settings. Skills include the ability to deal with people in a caring and professional manner; the ability to assess situations for change; the ability to write concise and coherent reports; computer literacy; the ability to make convincing presentations (both spoken and written) of ideas; the ability to summarise and present data; and the ability to work individually, or as part of a team, in producing solutions to problems.
The programme at LJMU is committed to training and supporting practitioners who are knowledgeable and skilled who are aware of the importance of service users, to have a genuine voice and choice in services available to them.
Introduction to the School
The Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences offers students excellent educational and professional training facilties for programmes of study that facilitate the development of the relevant skills and knowledge to become effective practitioners in health & social care.The course portfolio includes certificates, diplomas and degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level. The programmes are specifically designed to balance academic content with practical experience, and are geared towards securing , motivating and rewarding employment . The Faculty is also expert in developing and delivering continuing professional development programmes that help practitioners maintain and advance their skills throughout their careers.
Staff research interests
The Faculty of Health and Applied Social Sciences has an active research programme, with supervision offered in the following areas:
- Alcohol Research
- Behavioural Epidemiology
- Environment, Sustainability and Capacity Building
- Financial Inclusion
- Poverty and Social Security
- Health and Social Care Informatics
- Health Promotion, Policy and Inequalities
- Healthcare for Ageing Populations
- Organisation and Delivery of Services
- Medical Sciences and Therapeutics
- Public Health Education and Training
- Sexual Health and Substance Use.
The Faculty is renowned nationally and internationally for aspects of its social science research, including work around the role of credit unions in promoting financial inclusion and the application of participatory action research as a research methodology.
The Faculty is home to the internationally acclaimed Centre for Public Health, designated as a World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Violence Prevention and home to the UK Focal Point for Violence and Injury prevention, providing information and intelligence for the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction. Together with other research undertaken in the Faculty, the Centre plays a central role in the University’s Institute for Health Research (IHR).
How will I be assessed?
Progress is assessed mainly by continuous assessment. A range of formative and summative assessment tools are used on the programme such as essays, group and individual presentations, self assessment questionnaires, completion of a practice learning reports.
Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career. We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate:
- A social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind.
- Are concerned about issues such as child and elder abuse, social exclusion, crime, poverty, physical and mental health and the desire to do something about them.
- A desire to enter a profession that works to support problem solving in human relationships and to promote social change.
- An ability to reflect on their personal life experiences and how this has led them to social work as an area of study and possible career.
We welcome applications from people who are considering a career in social work or other allied professional areas.
- Hold a degree to classification level 2:2 in social sciences or related subject area.
- Have a minimum of 500 hours prior experience either paid or voluntary in the social welfare field.
- Have achieved English and Mathematics Key skills/GCSE Grade C or equivalent
Other qualifications considered: We will consider the following Level 2 qualifications in place of English Language and Mathematics GCSE grade C or above: Key Skills, City and Guilds, OCR (via Learn Direct) and ALAN.
All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview which will assess comprehension and communication skills, commitment to personal and professional values and the potential to develop professional knowledge and skills.
Criminal Records and Health Checks
As with professionally qualified social workers trainee social workers must be physically and mentally fit. You will be asked for information about this and you may be asked for permission to approach your doctor.
Any criminal convictions, police cautions and disciplinary matters, including those that are spent must be declared. (A Criminal Records Bureau check will be made when you join the course). A criminal conviction or a period of ill-health will not automatically debar you from the course as decisions are made on an individual basis. If there is anything about this that you wish to discuss please do not hesitate to contact us.
UCAS course codes
UCAS code name: LJM Institution code: L51 Course Code: L508
Application and Selection
Incomplete application forms will not be accepted and we are unable to accept amendments so please take care to ensure you have completed all relevant parts of the UCAS application form.
Prior to submitting your application we require to you submit an extended personal statement (please see guidelines at http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/hea/hea_docs/Social_Work_Extended_Personal_Statement_Guidelines.pdf). Failure to submit this prior to submitting your application form, will result in your application being unsuccessful.
We shortlist applicants based on current qualifications, predicted grades, references and UCAS personal statement and extended personal statement (please see guidelines at http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/hea/hea_docs/Social_Work_Extended_Personal_Statement_Guidelines.pdf).
The assessment process for social work candidates is directed by the Health and Care Professions Council Professional requirements.
Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career. We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate:
• A social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind
• Are concerned about issues such as child and elder abuse, social exclusion, crime, poverty, physical and mental health and the desire to do something about them
• A desire to enter a profession that works to support problem solving in human relationships and to promote social change
• An ability to reflect on their personal life experiences and how this has led them to social work as an area of study and possible career.
• In addition, applicants are also required to have undertaken a minimum of 500 hours paid/voluntary work in the social care and welfare field. A detailed record of how you meet or intend to meet the required 500 hours relevant work experience is requried within the personal statement.
Please note: Due to the volume of applications, amendments will not be accepted once an application has been submitted; therefore applicants are advised to make sure each section is completed correctly prior to submission.
Will I be interviewed?Yes, shortlisted applicants will be invited to a selection process consisting of a short written test, observed group work and interview.
The Social work bursary is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Although it is administered by the NHSBSA it is not an NHS bursary. The bursary is made up of income and non-income assessed components. If you are accepted onto the MA Social Work and are from England and will be studying in England your annual tuition fees will be paid by the General Social Work Council (GSWC) through the NHSBSA and you may be eligible for help with your living costs.
Help with your living costs
Students can receive a range of financial support to help meet your living costs while completing your studies at LJMU on the MA Social Work course through the NHSBSA.
- Basic grant: In 2013/2014, all new eligible students will be eligible to receive a grant of up to £3362.50 non-means-tested Basic Grant.
- Means-tested Maintenance Grant: You will also be eligible to apply for a further means-tested Maintenance Grant of up to £2608.
For more information on the NHS grants, go to: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/
How to apply for your NHS funding
Once you have applied to study at LJMU you can apply for your NHS funding via their online application system.
This application will check you meet the residency criteria and then whether you are entitled to receive the non-means-tested Basic Grant as well as the means-tested Maintenance Grant.
As part of the application process you will need to provide details of your household income. Once you have completed this application, you can apply for any additional allowances you may qualify for, for dependants such as the childcare grant and Parents Learning Allowance.
Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify this information at any time.
Securing funding is one of the main hurdles you may have to face when considering Postgraduate study. However there is help available and you may be able to apply for funding from the sources below.
This will normally be from a bank. The most popular of these is a Professional and Career Development Loan (PCDL). These loans are from £300 to £10,000 in value and can be used to cover up to 80% of your course fees. Further Information from www.direct.gov.uk and look for PCDL
Charities and Trusts
Trusts and charities can offer assistance to some students. Eligibility for these trusts and charities vary enormously. Your local library will have a section of books and directories of grant making trusts.
Research councils may provide support for recognised postgraduate courses. Their websites offers useful information regarding the support and funding opportunities on offer. Competition for this type of funding can be very strong. For more information about Research Councils visit: www.rcuk.ac.uk
You need to be aware that most PG courses do not attract statutory funding. The ones that do attract statutory support (grants and/or loans) that we offer at LJMU are:
- PGCE courses , for more information please vist www.directgov.co.uk and www.tda.gov.uk
- MA social work for which an NHS bursary is payable to some students. For more information please visit www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk
- PG dip in Architecture
Advice and support at LJMU
LJMU offers a Postgraduate bursary of £500 to students who go from an undergraduate course to study a taught PG course. For further information and eligibility see http://www.ljmu.ac.uk/feesandfunding/117585.htm
LJMU employs a team of staff that are experts in fees and funding who can offer advice based upon your personal circumstances. You can contact them on 0151 904 6056/6057, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance and support.
Currently postgraduate social work students whose LEA is in England, Wales or Scotland receive an annual bursary and may have their fees paid by the NHS Business Services Authority. Details of bursaries will be provided once students have accepted a place on the programme. For information on financial support available, please refer to the following
How to apply
LJMU's Admissions policy is in line with the University's Equal Opportunities Policy and applications are welcome from all candidates who fulfil the entry criteria. The university has a commitment to equality of opportunity and welcomes application from everyone regardless of age, disability, race or sex. The University is committed to widening participation and therefore will actively consider applicants who do not have a relevant degree but who are able to provide satisfactory evidence of their knowledge in the area. All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel, if shortlisted applicants will be asked to attend for an interview.
LJMU offers an extensive support system through its international office and study centre. An equivalence to the normal entry requirements is needed for entry. Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example with an IELTS tests or equivalent. Please note that because of UK visa restrictions, International students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis. Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting www.ljmu.ac.uk/international for more information and advice.
If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:
Tel: +44(0)151 231 5090
Employment and careers
As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.
LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.
Our World of Work Programme – endorsed by FTSE 100 companies and leading business organisations – offers you the chance to get an additional certificate proving to potential employers that you have the skills and experience they are looking for. No other university in the UK or internationally, offers students the chance to develop these skills and organisations backing the scheme include the Confederation of British Industry, United Utilities, Sony, Siemens, Peugeot Citroen and Marks and Spencer.
LJMU offers a superb environment for postgraduate study and top level research.
Whether you are studying on a taught master's course or embarking on a research degree, LJMU offers you a supportive, flexible academic environment, well-structured programmes and round-the-clock access to extensive resources.
Our research environment is rated as 'world-leading' in a majority of our subjects and all of our postgraduate programmes are taught by academics actively involved in research or consultancy projects with business and industry.
It is this combination of academic expertise and 'real world' experience that ensures LJMU's courses have real currency with potential employers and why over 95% of our postgraduates are in work or further study six months after they graduate (HESA 2010).
We believe this expertise – coupled with world-class academic standards – 75% of LJMU's research is rated as internationally important – puts us in a league of our own.
To find out more about our postgraduate courses and research opportunities plus the range of facilities and support we offer, click on the links opposite.
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Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.