ma courses

MA in Advanced Professional Practice

Start date: September
Duration: 3 years part-time
Programme code: SCST26


Sound professional practice in social work requires you to integrate theory and research with your practice. To do this, you need to be able to reflect on your work critically and think about your practice creatively.

The MA in Advanced Professional Practice (MAAPP) has been developed in consultation with local authorities as part of the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership, to support social work professionals to continue to develop their knowledge and skills as professionally capable, reflective and analytical practitioners.

The course supports professional practice under four strands:

  • Leadership and management;
  • Practice;
  • Practice educator;
  • Research.

The MA in Advanced Professional Practice is a three-year part-time course, with study taking place alongside students’ careers. The structure allows achievement of three academic awards attributed at the end of each year:

  • Post Graduate Certificate – first year;
  • Post Graduate Diploma – second year;
    Masters Degree – third year, on completion of a dissertation.
  • Academic staff with strong and substantial professional experience teach our modules, and their teaching content reflects the best and latest research.

Teaching is conducted through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, small-group work and problem-solving.

CPD route also available

If you are not in a position to commit to the whole programme, you can take modules on an individual basis as an alternative option to our MA in Advanced Professional Practice. This CPD route is available to qualified practitioners and their employers, in order to provide greater flexibility and choice for study at post-qualifying level.

Our intention is to combine creativity and flexibility with rigorous academic approaches to learning, in order to develop practitioner students’ skills and knowledge, and to help support and enable them to deliver first-class service quality.


The programme modules are as follows*:

  • Evidence informed practice;
  • Out of home care;
  • Interventions to promote change;
  • Child development and communication with the child;
  • Parenting capacity;
  • Introduction to leadership and mentoring;
  • Developing Professional Practice and Safeguarding;
  • Learning and teaching in social work and social care;
  • Assessed and supported year in employment;
  • Practice learning educator: Stage one;
  • Dissertation in professional practice with children and their families.

It will be possible to finish the course with: 60 credits and be awarded a Post Graduate Certificate; or with 120 credits for a Post Graduate Diploma.

The full award will be a Master of Arts Degree in Advanced Professional Practice (students on the old MA in Integrated Practice award will receive a Master of Arts Degree in Integrated Practice with Children and their Families) upon successful completion of 180 credits, which must include the 60 credit Dissertation.

*Please note that modules listed may change year-on-year due to current events and staff availability.

Entry requirements

We accept both graduates and non graduates onto our course. For graduates, the requirement is that you must be in possession of a professional qualification and have graduated from a recognised University.

In both cases if your agency has an agreement with the University to provide a certain number of sponsored places, then initial selection will be via the agency, undertaken in partnership with the University.

Non-graduate entry

We welcome non-graduates who possess a professional qualification. You need to be confident that you can study at post-graduate level, and be able to provide some evidence that you are capable of doing so.

This could be examples of your practice reports, student supervision, a supervisor´s reference, or a short essay on a social work subject. If you would like to discuss the example you wish to provide in more detail, we encourage you to get in touch with the Department.

Fees and funding

The MA in Advanced Professional Practice is a three year part-time course.

Please refer to the University's Postgraduate Taught Fees Look Up tool.

Fees for years 2 and 3 will be 33% of the standard University of Sheffield full-time taught postgraduate fee.

For further information:

Beverley Jowett
Course Leader
tel: 0114 22264232

(NB. Existing students who are re-registering should contact the Course Leader if they require information about fees.)

Course team

Beverley Jowett (Course Leader)

Nora McClelland

Dr Harriet Churchill

Dr Liam Foster

Jane Laing

Dr Jadwiga Leigh

Professor Kate Morris

Bernadette Murphy

Robin Sen

Professor Sue White

How to apply

The easiest and fastest way to apply is online. You can also complete your application form and send it by post. There is no application fee to apply for postgraduate Taught Masters degree programmes.

The following University postgraduate website will lead you through this process:


All taught Masters courses start in September. There is no application deadline. However, competition for places is strong.

It is also important to apply as earlier as possible if you are intending to apply for funding or scholarships.

You do not need to wait for final examination results or references before you apply. The University of Sheffield can issue conditional offer letters if you have not taken your final examinations or English language qualifications.

We base our decision on your application on the information and references you provide to us, so the more information you give us about yourself, your reasons for applying, your working and previous educational experiences and you send references with the application, we will be able to process your application and get back to you with our decision quickly.

You will see from the application form that we require two references. It is your responsibility to either enclose these with your application or to ensure that the people you nominate send references to us as quickly as possible.

You should use the supporting statement as an opportunity to let us know why you want to undertake your chosen course of study and what experiences and skills you bring to the course. You should also make sure your supporting statement follows the requirements of any funding for which you are applying.

Request info

For further information on the MA in Advanced Professional Practice, please contact:

Beverley Jowett
Course Leader

MA in Integrated Practice
Department of Sociological Studies
University of Sheffield
Elmfield, Northumberland Road
Sheffield, S10 2TU.


Zoe Spink
Recruitment & Admissions Assistant

Department of Sociological Studies
University of Sheffield
Elmfield, Northumberland Road
Sheffield, S10 2TU.

Tel: +44 (0)114 222 6402