|Start date:||September 2018|
|Duration:||Two years, full-time only|
MA in Social Work
Apply for September 2018 entry via UCAS UCAS
Please note that the 15th January deadline given on the UCAS link does not apply to this programme
Aimed specifically at those who wish to become registered social workers; successful completion of the MA Social Work at the University of Sheffield confers eligibility for professional registration as a qualified social worker in the UK. Our Masters is integrated within the two-year course so that the vast majority of our students exit the course with both a professional qualification in social work as well as a Masters degree.
We have a long-running and nationally respected programme staffed by academics engaged with research focused around social work practice. This means you will get innovative teaching based on the latest research findings and that as one of our graduates, you will be highly sought after by employers. The social work team is housed within a vibrant, friendly and supportive academic environment in the Department of Sociological studies, which has a strong track record of cutting edge teaching and applied social science research, underpinned and informed by principles of social justice.
We are also part of the trailblazing South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership, which provides access to outstanding opportunities for employment, practice learning and Continuous Professional Development post-qualification. Students are guaranteed two statutory, 100 day practice placements through the Teaching Partnership arrangements.
The overall purpose of the programme is to produce professionally competent, reflective and analytical social work practitioners. The course aims to develop an understanding of the theories surrounding social work, as well as their practical implications.
The MA achieves this through rigorous academic teaching and practice learning opportunities with an individual practice teacher/assessor. A particular strength of this programme is that it is taught within a department which includes a range of other social science disciplines; therefore our social work programme is able to draw upon widely informed sociological critiques of social work policy and practice.
The University runs Open Days for those interested in postgraduate study. We’d welcome you to visit us and find out more about the course and the Department.
Tips for the application and interview process
If you are interested in applying for the MA in Social Work, take a look at a selection of short video interviews with Dr Liam Foster, who offers advice on the UCAS application process, as well hints and tips for the MA Social Work interviews.
|Modules & Placements||
The MA in Social Work is run over a two year period, on a full-time only basis. Teaching consists of a variety of lectures, seminars, workshops and supervision in different areas of social work. Although it is largely carried out by experienced academics the course also benefits from the input of social workers and service users.
Over the two years you will take 180 credits (60 credits each year plus the 60 credit dissertation spread over both years), including all core modules for your programme of study. The professional nature and accreditation of the MA Social Work degree means that the modules you study are prescribed. Students must pass all modules in each year to progress. The prescribed modules are as follows:
The example course structure listed above may be subject to change in future years.
The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers.
In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.
Students undertake two statutory work placements based in practice learning environments, each one lasting 100 days. The two placements are in different types of settings. For example, working with different service-user groups or in different sectors of social work provision. This ensures students gain significant experience through practical application of social work skills.
Qualified social workers provide supervision for students on placements, offering both guidance and support. They also have the role of overseeing assessment; this consists of students producing a practice learning portfolio. It will be a reflective piece centred on the time spent on the placement and the activities carried out. Students are required to undertake a number of activities on the course in order to prepare for their placement experience.
Placements are arranged and operated through the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership (SYTP), allowing for a broad range of highly valued and relevant work placement opportunities.
The SYTP consists of the following partners:
We require a minimum of a 2:1 Honours degree for this course. In exceptional cases, however, applicants holding a 2:2 Honours degree may be considered where there is evidence of extensive relevant work experience, which can include voluntary work.
Candidates must have GCSE Mathematics at grade C or above. We accept alternatives to this, including: A minimum 12 credits Maths GCSE equivalent unit, providing these are approved University and Access Validating Agency units. We also accept Functional Skills (in maths) and Level 2 Adult Numeracy as valid substitutes, but not Application of Number.
Alongside the academic criteria there is also a requirement that applicants have some suitable experience. Also, an ability to use basic IT facilities, including word processing, internet browsing and email, is essential.
Due to the professional nature and accreditation of this course, it is not possible to accept transfers from other social work courses.
For more information regarding entry requirements for MA Social Work, you can contact Dr Jadwiga Leigh, Admissions Tutor, on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Relevant work experience
Relevant work experience is considered to be a minimum of 3 months or 60 days related social care experience (related personal experience will be considered but only alongside practice-based experience). This experience can be gained from a voluntary or employed capacity and can include work with social welfare and community groups, children or young people, older people, disabled people, or those with mental health problems. Your experience may also be in residential, hospice or supported living, youth work, nursing, working as or being a carer, or teaching those with special needs, among other areas.
Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) documents
It is essential that candidates show a commitment to social work values, and an understanding of what social work involves.
Applicants are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the:
English language requirements
English language requirements
If the candidate has successfully completed a first degree or postgraduate diploma taught in English in a majority native English speaking country, other evidence of English language ability will not normally be required. Otherwise, in most cases the candidate will need to complete an acceptable English language qualification.
For UK candidates, we normally ask for a minimum of a grade C in GCSE English Language. We also accept a range of alternative UK qualifications.
EU and international students
For EU and International candidates, we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.
The minimum English language requirements for candidates wishing to undertake the course whose first language is not English or who do not possess a degree from an educational institution using English language for instruction are: IELTS grade of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component, or equivalent.
For more information on English language requirements, please see: www.sheffield.ac.uk/postgraduate/info/englang.
All offers are subject to satisfactory health screening and an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. Candidates must declare a health condition/ issue or learning need on their UCAS application form.
Further health screening may then comprise of the candidate completing a detailed health questionnaire and also an appointment with the University's Occupational Health Department. In order to be admitted and continue on the programme candidates must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department.
Application Stage - Criminal Records and Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
All candidates must declare a criminal or professional conviction or caution on their UCAS application form. If the candidate is asked to attend an interview our Professional Services team will carry out further checks before an interview date is offered.
At interview, it is required that candidates complete a Crime Reports and Criminal Offences self-declaration form. If candidates do have a criminal offence and/or criminal conviction, they may be required to provide further details in writing or to attend an additional (CRCP)interview regarding the application.
Details of the Policy and Procedures that govern how we respond to people with crime reports or criminal convictions following interview can be found at:
Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances relating to crime reports and/or criminal convictions please contact Nora McClelland.
Accepted Course Offer Holders Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)
An offer of a place on this programme is subject to candidates’ suitability for social work and a Disclosure and Barring Service disclosure, at Enhanced Level and including checks against the lists of those barred from working with adults and children, for regulated activity with children and adults is required.
Once a place has been accepted, all candidates are required to complete this Enhanced Disclosure and Barring check . In the event that the information provided by the DBS check does not confirm the information the candidate provided during the application process the candidates registration may be suspended pending a CRCP review of the candidates’ offences and non-disclosure. Based on a CRCP recommendation the candidates University registration may subsequently be terminated.
If the candidate has not resided in the UK for the past 5 years and a disclosure check considered equivalent to the UK's is not available from the country, or countries, where the candidate has lived during this time, it may not be possible to accept the candidate onto the course.
|Fees & funding||
You can look up fees for full- and part-time postgraduate courses here.
A bursary is not required to study this course and ineligibility or failure to secure a bursary does not mean that your place on the course will be withdrawn.
Following consultation, the government has agreed to provide bursaries to postgraduate Social Work students on MA programmes for 2017-18 entry. These bursaries will be for both years of study and administered by the NHS Business Services Authority Bursary (NHSBSA) on behalf of the Department of Health. See here for more information.
We do not know if we will be able to offer NHS bursaries for 2018-19 entry, as the allocation process will be reviewed by the Department of Health-led Bursary Prioritisation and Advisory Group. Further information is expected at some point over the forthcoming months.
These webpages will be updated when any information is available for 2018.
Funding your study
Studying for your degree at the University of Sheffield offers you a world-class high-quality qualification and excellent value for money. One of the great advantages of studying at the University of Sheffield is that your money will go further in our city.
Postgraduate taught course tuition fee deposits
If you are an International applicant and have accepted a place on a taught postgraduate course, the University of Sheffield will ask you to pay a deposit towards your course tuition fee. By paying a tuition fee deposit you will indicate that you are definitely going to take up your place. Read more here.
You can find information on tuition fees for both UK/EU and overseas students here.
Home or overseas tuition fee status?
In common with other UK universities, the University of Sheffield charges different fees dependent on whether students are classed as Home or Overseas for tuition fee purposes. The decision to class a student as a Home or an Overseas student is determined by government legislation as set out in the Education (Fees and Awards) Regulations 2007. The regulations governing the fee status of students can be found on the government legislation website.
Tuition fee refund policy
If you are considering, or have decided to take leave of absence, withdraw entirely or transfer to another University, you will need to know how this will affect your tuition fees. Read the Tuition Fee Refund Policy for essential information on tuition fee refunds here.
Other potential costs
The admissions process for the MA Social Work course incorporates a face-to- face interview, plus other selection activities for any applicant we wish to consider. The cost in attending the interview process, including all travel and subsistence expenses must be met by the course applicant and not the University. Please note that Overseas applicants must also attend the selection process in person, we cannot accept SKYPE interviews.
All entrants to the social work programme are required to undertake a Disclosure and Barring Service check (even if you already have undertaken a recent DBS check). The fee is £44.00 and all students are responsible for this fee in advance of completing the full disclosure application.
If for any reason, you fail or are unable to complete an assessed piece of work which is a requirement to pass your course, you may be required to pay a reassessment fee. information about these fees can be found on the University's exam webpages.
|How to apply||
Applications for the MA in Social Work must be made through UCAS.
We are still accepting applications for the MA Social Work course for 2018 entry, beyond the UCAS 15th January deadline. Please submit your application via UCAS online. **PLEASE NOTE**: that whilst the MA in Social Work is a postgraduate course, you will need to apply via the UCAS undergraduate entry route. You will not find the course on the UCAS postgraduate web pages, nor be able to apply via the University of Sheffield application system.
When applying you are required to provide a supporting statement; this is your opportunity to provide the reasons you have for wanting to take part in the course as well as what you feel to be the skills and experiences you possess in order to succeed as a social worker.
Alongside a personal statement you will be required to produce two references; the application form only allows one reference on the application form. If you are shortlisted for an interview, we will take up a second reference at that point.
For your application form, you can use either an academic referee (i.e. someone from the University where you did your undergraduate degree), or a 'practice' referee (i.e. someone with supervisory responsibility for you while you were undertaking social work, or related experience, who can comment on your conduct).
It is a HCPC requirement that all applicants who are accepted onto the course will have undertaken a satisfactory interview. Applicants who are successful on the grounds of their application form will be invited for an interview, however this is no guarantee of a place on the course. The interview stage will consist of a formal interview with a panel, including a member of our academic teaching staff, a professional social worker and a social work service user. Alongside this there is a short written assessment. This is also a good opportunity for us to meet you and get to know you better. You will be provided with more information if you are invited for an interview.
Due to the large volume of applications we receive, each of these stages may take some time so please be patient.
The Department is committed to ensuring that all candidates have an equal opportunity to be selected. We are particularly keen to recruit appropriately qualified people from the Black and Asian community, disabled people and men - all of whom are currently underrepresented in the social work profession.
MA Social Work application and interview tips
In the videos below, Dr Liam Foster, Lecturer in Social Work, offers advice on the UCAS application process, as well hints and tips for the MA Social Work interviews.
MA Social Work graduate Sally Deakin
MA Social Work graduate Rebecca Joy Novell
"Social Work was intellectually and emotionally demanding, and I could not have survived the course if I hadn't been given the right teaching and support to manage the challenges." - Rebecca Joy Novell
Carol Duncan, MA Social Work graduate
Frequently Asked Questions