ma work

Start date: September 2018
Duration: Two years, full-time only
Programme code: L508

MA in Social Work

Applications are now open for September 2018 entry via UCAS

Overview

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.

The Department has very high standards of its students and adheres to the guidelines set out by the Health and Care Professions Council, the regulating body for social work. This helps you to develop the relevant practices and capabilities required to become a social worker.

Recently selected to become part of one of only four early-adopter Teaching Partnerships nationally, the University of Sheffield is working in collaboration with the four local authorities in South Yorkshire to lead the way for social work education. This means that, as a student accepted onto the MA in Social Work course, you will not only benefit from a social work curriculum that is enhanced by increased collaboration with placement providers and employment agencies, but you can be assured of guaranteed statutory placements over the two-years of your course.

Course objectives

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

Modules

The full-time MA in Social Work is run over a two year period, with no option to study part time. 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:

Year one:

Readiness for Practice Placement 1

All students following a qualifying level social work programme are expected to undertake a minimum of 170 practice learning days, including approved independent study time. For the first practice placement, you will complete a total of 74 days, including 70 practice placement days and four additional skills days. Under new professional arrangements, no student can be allowed to commence their first period of practice placement without the University having satisfied itself that the safety of vulnerable service users will not be compromised. The four preparatory skills days included in this module, together with the relevant assessment elements of other academic modules, will provide an assessment of your readiness for practice and your capability and entitlement to progress onto your first practice placement.

Practice Placement 1

Your first practice placement is for 78 days, including four preparatory skills days prior to the placement beginning, which will contribute to the assessment of your readiness to undertake direct practice and four further (a total of eight) skills development days, as set out in the new national curriculum proposals, designed to enhance student learning on more specialist skills. It consolidates and builds your skills relating to social work theories and approaches, life course development, legislation, policy and guidance informing practice. It also provides opportunities to apply this knowledge to direct work with service users in a diverse range of settings; and to develop skills in working in organisations and increase your understanding of, and skills in, multi-disciplinary practice.

Law and Policy for Social Work

This module examines key areas of the law and social policy relevant to social work. It will introduce key concepts in the legal system and social policy. It then critically examines law and policy relating to human rights, youth justice, mental health, community care, the family and child protection. Material from public enquiries and actual cases reported in the courts and the media will be used to supplement learning, and you will also consider social policy from comparative perspectives, using examples from other countries.

Social Work Practice - Context, Values and Skills

You will be introduced to a range of key principles and values underpinning professional activity, and be provided with an introduction to core professional skills to enable you to prepare for and progress to their first practice placement. Activity will seek to focus on identifying service user perspectives and the skills and strategies required to practice in a safe, responsible and ethical way.

Human Growth and Development through the Life Course for Social Workers

You will engage in critical evaluation of theories and literature in the areas of child and adult development and consider ways in which these relate to social work practice across the human life course and at end of life. You will also consider the research evidence and theoretical perspectives which underpin a range of approaches to social work practice interventions based on these differing perspectives. There is a focus on developing your ability to make age-appropriate assessments across the life course; to understand the importance of cultural context; to explore and examine critically aspects of parenting and the influence of family structures on child and adult experience.

Year two:

Safeguarding in Social Work Practice

You will have the opportunity to further develop skills in assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation in practice, with a particular focus on the safeguarding of vulnerable adults and children. The module will consider contexts for safeguarding children and adults with particular reference to the impact of substance misuse, mental ill-health, domestic abuse, disability and older age risks and vulnerabilities on individuals and families. The module will also critically evaluate risk assessment in relation to child and adult protection and explore the critical interface with the law and multi-disciplinary approaches to safeguarding adults and children.

Skills for Social Work Practice

You will explore in greater depth a number of key theories for practice intervention, which will equip you with some core skills for practice. The work undertaken on this module will link to work already undertaken on your first practice placement and will be carried forward in their final placement, offering the opportunity to put some of the skills into practice and to develop a critical awareness of their situational applicability and a balanced view of their advantages and disadvantages in the practice context. Some opportunity to explore specialist pathways will be offered. The module contributes nine skills development days, as set out in the new national curriculum proposals, designed to further enhance learning on more specialist skills.

Social Work Professional Development

This module will build upon knowledge of social work methods and approaches gained through academic and practice learning in year one. You will critically evaluate the main theoretical models relating to issues and circumstances, which may impact upon service users at the point at which you interact with your environment. The module will also consider anti-oppressive and critically reflective practice, in order to develop your skills in the area of evidence-informed practice and their ability to identify and reflect critically on areas for personal and professional development.

Practice Placement 2

All students following a qualifying level social work programmes are expected to undertake a total of 170 practice learning days, including approved independent study time. The second practice placement is for 103 days and is linked to the Year Two taught modules. It provides opportunities for you to increase your knowledge of the legislation, policy and guidance informing practice by working with a service user group different to the one worked with during practice placement one. You will also have the opportunity to apply this knowledge to direct work with service users, improve skills in working in organisations and increase their understanding of, and skills in, working in a multi-disciplinary context, with a particular emphasis on safeguarding issues. The placement also incorporates three skills development days, as set out in the new national curriculum proposals to further enhance your learning on more specialist skills.

Dissertation

The dissertation enables you to undertake a substantial literature based study on a topic relevant to social work of your own choice. This provides the opportunity for you to develop and demonstrate skills in the planning, definition and management of a substantial academic project. You will have the chance to demonstrate research-mindedness and an evidence-informed approach to practice and are aided by supervision from an academic tutor.

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.

Placements

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.
South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership.

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:

  • Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Doncaster Childrens' Services Trust;
  • Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council;
  • Sheffield City Council;
  • The University of Sheffield.

South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership banner

Entry requirements

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 j.t.leigh@sheffield.ac.uk.

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:
• HCPC Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Candidates (PDF)
• HCPC Standards of Conduct, Performance and Ethics

English language requirements

English language requirements
In order to study at the University of Sheffield, candidates must be able to show that that their English is good enough to successfully complete the course.

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.

Health Screening

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:
CRCP Policy
This policy is subject to regular review and will be amended periodically to take account of changes in national legislation and local policies and practices.

Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances relating to crime reports and/or criminal convictions please contact Nora McClelland.
Telephone: 0114 222 6450
Email: n.mcclelland@sheffield.ac.uk

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
Full-Time Fees 2017-18
Course Title Home/EU fees per annum Overseas fees per annum

MA in Social Work

PLEASE NOTE: Year 2 fees of the course are subject to a small inflationary increase year on year. Please refer to the following webpage regarding tutition fees and the University's Postgraduate Taught Tuition Fees Look-up Tool also provides relevant information.

£7,500 £16,000

NHS Bursaries

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 post-graduate 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 (http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students).

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.

Other funding opportunities

There are a variety of ways to fund your postgraduate study; including the new government postgraduate masters loans follow the link below to discover the options available to you.

Funding opportunities available to UK/EU students

Application Expenses

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.

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 2017 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.

What do you look for in a social work personal statement?

What makes an MA Social Work UCAS application stand out?

What would make you reject a social work application?

Three tips for a successful MA Social Work interview

Things to avoid at an MA Social Work interview

The Social Work team

Picture of David BosworthDavid Bosworth

Director of Social Work Education

David joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2014, having come from Sheffield Hallam University, where he was both a Principal Lecturer in Social Work and Academic Delivery Manager for the Department of Social Work, Social Care and Community Studies. Prior to that, David worked for Nottingham City Council as a social worker in a Community Learning Disability Team and as a Practice Learning Co-ordinator.

David qualified as a social worker 1995 and his professional background is in adult-care with a specific focus upon people with learning disabilities. He has also worked in the areas of youth work and youth offending. David's academic background is in social work and latterly, in adult education and higher education management.

Read more about David

Picture of Harriet ChurchillDr Harriet Churchill

Lecturer in Social Work

Harriet joined the Department of Sociological Studies in September 2008, having previously taught at the University of Manchester (2005-2008) and been a Research Fellow in the Department of Sociology and Social Policy at the University of Leeds (2003-2005).

Harriet's research interests bridge social policy and sociology with a focus on the analysis of policies, services and everyday lived experiences in relation to childhood, young people, parenthood and family support. Harriet is interested in the relationship between child, family and social policy, and engages in critical policy analysis for improvements in child welfare and family support entitlements, provisions and services. She has completed qualitative research about lone mothers’ experiences of negotiating motherhood and paid work, parental empowerment in Sure Start Children’s Centres and parents of teenagers’ experiences of participating in group parenting programmes.

Read more about Harriet

Picture of Liam FosterDr Liam Foster

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Lian rejoined the department in January 2007 as a University Teacher in Social Policy and Research Methods having completed his PhD within the department in 2006 under the supervision of Professor Alan Walker. In September 2008 Liam was appointed as a Lecturer in Social Work within the Department. He had previously conducted his undergraduate and postgraduate MA degrees at the University of Leeds. In 2006, Liam spent time teaching at Leeds Metropolitan University in the Health Sciences Department and was employed as a postgraduate teaching assistant within the Department of Sociological Studies at the University of Sheffield throughout his PhD.

Liam's research interests are as follows: gender and pension provision, gender inequality in the workplace, funeral provision and poverty, disability and ageing research, theories of ageing, and the sociology of sport.

Read more about Liam

Picture of Beverley JowettBeverley Jowett

University Teacher in Social Work

Beverley is Course Leader of the MA in Integrated Practice with Children and their Families. She convenes the following modules:

  • SCS636 Public Family Law
  • SCS665 Integrated Safeguarding of Children
  • SCS6063 Safeguarding in Social Work Practice

Read more about Beverley

Picture of Jane LaingJane Laing

University Teacher in Social Work

Jane joined the Department of Sociological Studies in September 2014. She qualified as Social Worker in 1999 from the University of York and has since worked in a statutory setting in Children and Young People and Families services.

Jane's most recent post was as a Local Authority Social Work Consultant, supporting newly qualified Social Workers in their first three years of practice as part of their Assessed and Supported Year of Employment. As part of this role, Jane also took a specialist lead in the Social Work assessment of adult sexual and violent offenders and was very much involved in mentoring and training of Social Workers in the assessment of convicted or alleged offenders and their non-abusing partners. Jane has extensive experience in authoring Person Posing Risk assessment reports and providing witness testimony in both private and public law matters.

Read more about Jane

Picture of Jadwiga LeighDr Jadwiga Leigh

Lecturer in Social Work

Jadwiga joined the Department of Sociological Studies in 2014. In 2005, she qualified as a social worker and has since worked in both statutory and voluntary child and family settings up until 2013. Prior to qualification, Jadwiga worked as a residential support worker in a number of different areas such as: learning disabilities, disability and older people.

In 201o, Jadwiga began her PhD which focused on professional identity and child protection culture both here in the UK and abroad in Belgium. The method Jadwiga used was that of a comparative ethnography which included visual methodology. She is currently in the process of writing a monograph from the findings of her thesis which is entitled: Blame, culture and child protection.

Read more about Jadwiga

Picture of Nora McClellandNora McClelland

University Teacher in Social Work

Nora joined the Department of Sociological Studies in October 2005. She qualified as social worker in 1991 and worked as an approved social worker in community mental health services. In her early days, Nora had a particular interest in the development of group based services, for women survivors of childhood trauma related to sexual and physical violence. This developed into a wider consideration of women's experience of mental distress and mental health services. In developing her interests and practice, Nora has had the opportunity to work, under supervision, as an honorary psychotherapist and to develop specialist training in working with post traumatic stress disorders, as an EMDR therapist.

Prior to joining this Department, Nora was a social work practitioner within a specialised, regional Democratic Therapeutic Community service, setting up and developing outreach services, through the provision of group based TC services, for people who might attract diagnosis of personality disorder in local communities. Nora was involved in the development of a service user network of consultants who collaborate with the service, in service planning and delivery. Working with service users, she has provided training, supervision and service consultation, in this area of practice, for multi-disciplinary groups of mental health professionals.

Nora's academic background is BSc (Psychology), MSc (Mental Health Studies), MA (Health Care Ethics and Law).

Read more about Nora

Picture of Kate MorrisProfessor Kate Morris

Professor of Social Work

Kate is a qualified registered social worker, and joined the University of Sheffield in 2015. She was previously Director of the Centre for Social Work and Deputy Head of School, University of Nottingham. She began her career as an academic at the University of Birmingham. However, Kate gained substantial experience in practice, management and policy development prior to moving into social work education and through her research and her involvement in national and international social work developments has remained very closely connected to practice.

Read more about Kate

Picture of Bernadette MurphyBernadette Murphy

University Teacher in Social Work

Since Bernadette completed her Social work training 27 years ago, she has worked in Adult services in a variety of roles. This has included mental health, learning disability and substance misuse as well as with older people and people with dementia.

In her other posts since 1990, Bernadette has been responsible for managing professional staff from a variety of backgrounds and whilst working in Manchester my role included the management of Social workers and direct involvement in supervising Social work students and developing the social work practice curriculum within the agency, which also involved providing training on the Mental Health Act.

Bernadette has worked as a Development and Operations Manager with a variety of Voluntary Sector agencies and has been responsible for designing new services and then developing and managing them. An example of this is developing alternatives to traditional day care for people with learning disabilities and prison based therapeutic communities and CBT based drug programmes.

In one of her previous roles, Bernadette worked collaboratively with colleagues to lead the service managers towards achieving and developing good practice and expertise in the provision of services to older people especially those with substantial or critical needs. An example of this has involved developing and training staff in the needs of people with Dementia and the Mental Capacity Act.

Since taking up her appointment with the University of Sheffield in 2007, Bernadette has contributed to Social Policy modules on Older people and Social work modules on Assessment and Planning. She has also convened modules about Knowledge Skills and Values and Disability, and contributed to Practitioner Development and Community Care Law modules.

Read more about Bernadette

Picture of Robin SenRobin Sen

Lecturer in Social Work

Robin took up his current post as a Lecturer in Child and Family Social Work at Sheffield in September 2010. Prior to that, he was a Teaching Fellow at the University of Strathclyde for three and a half years. His practice background is as a children and families practitioner in Glasgow, where he had a particular focus on working with looked after and accommodated children. Robin is also a qualified Practice Teacher in social work.

All of Robin's research has been connected to issues in children and families practice, with particular emphasis on issues of safeguarding and work with looked after children. Robin is currently developing work looking at how looked after children use new technology and professional responses to this.

Read more about Robin

What our students say

MA Social Work graduate Sally Deakin

Picture of graduate Rebecca Joy NovellMA 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

Read more from Rebecca...

Carol Duncan, MA Social Work graduate

FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership

What is the South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership?

The South Yorkshire Teaching Partnership for social work education was formed in April 2015, and is a partnership between:

• Barnsley Metropolitan Borough Council
• Doncaster Children’s Services Trust
• Doncaster Metropolitan Borough Council
• Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council
• Sheffield City Council
• The University of Sheffield.

Working together, we deliver high quality training for social work students and qualified social workers in order to help them to develop the skills they need to work effectively in front line statutory services.

Teaching partnerships are part of the government’s broader strategy to strengthen the quality of practice learning and continuing professional development (CPD) among trainee and practising social workers.

How will it help social work students?

The Teaching Partnership’s MA in Social Work is delivered by the University of Sheffield, a World Top 100 university which is renowned for the excellence of its research informed teaching.

Students within the partnership will benefit from a curriculum which is developed and delivered jointly by the Teaching Partnership, thereby ensuring that it is relevant to and informed by social work practice. Students will also benefit from 2 x 100 day placements which are:
• guaranteed to be in statutory services
• supported by fully trained Practice Educators who are working to a set of common agreed standards
• audited to ensure that each placement is of a similarly high quality.

For more information about our MA in Social Work, please see
MA Social Work

Entry Requirements & Applying

What are the entry requirements?

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.

When can I apply?

For 2018 entry you should ideally apply between September 2017 and 15 January 2018 to be sure that your application will be considered. This is the UCAS deadline for early applications.

We do consider applications beyond the UCAS January deadline but would encourage you to apply sooner rather than later as the course offers are being made. All applications for social work must be made through UCAS (http://www.ucas.ac.uk/). We will not consider an application made directly to the university.

Do I need two references?

UCAS only allow one reference on the application form. If we shortlist you for interview, we will request a second reference at that point.

For your UCAS application form, you can use either an academic referee (i.e. someone from the university where you did your undergraduate degree, who can confirm your degree and classification), or a 'practice' referee (ie. someone with supervisory responsibility for you while you were undertaking social work experience, who can comment on your practice).

Have I got enough experience and is it suitable?

Meeting the academic minimum does not guarantee a place on a course. It is necessary to be strong across all sections of the application process. The level of experience is extremely important.

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.

Funding

NHS Bursaries

For the latest information regarding bursaries, please refer to www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/students

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

**Please note that the University cannot provide eligibility advice regarding the NHS Bursary, nor provide bursary allocation figures for the forthcoming academic cycle, only the NHS BSA can provide this information. The University can only advise potential applicants on how we have allocated NHS bursaries in previous years and this can be subject to change.**

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The Postgraduate Student Loan has increased its maximum loan amount to £10,280 for 2017-2018 academic year. Those on PT courses who applied in 2016-2017 are not able to increase their second year of loans to this increased amount. More information can be found on the FindAMasters loans page.

Please note that you are unable to be in receipt of both the NHS MA Social Work bursary and the new post-graduate government loans, you are only able to apply for one of these funding sources.

Interviews

What information will I have to provide when I come to interview?

You will be required to complete a declaration about your health; a basic ICT competency form and provide information about any criminal convictions. These forms will be available for you to complete at interview. We are unable to consider making an offer to you until you have provided this information to us.

If I am selected for interview do I have to attend an interview in person, or can the interview be carried out over the phone or on the internet?

Any applicant we wish to consider for the course will be required to undertake a successful face to face interview, we cannot undertake interviews by SKYPE due to the complexity and processes involved in the interview.

Common Questions

Is there an open day?

Our next postgraduate open day will take place on Friday 21 November 2017. Please see the following pages for further details:
Open Days

When does the course start?

The course starts at the end of September each year, in line with other University programmes.

Can I study the course part-time?

We do not offer a part-time route.

When will I know if my application has been successful?

Once you have applied through UCAS the electronic forms are received by Professional Services for an initial screening. These are then forwarded to the admissions tutor to consider. If you are not successful you will be contacted by email by UCAS and informed of this decision. If we wish to invite you to interview you will be contacted directly by the department by email and provided with the necessary information required.

Following interview you will be contacted by UCAS if you have been successful or unsuccessful and not by the Department. Due to the large volume of applications we receive each of these stages may take some time so please be patient.

Can I work full time and study?

You cannot be in full-time employment and undertake the course. Even though, while in university, the teaching is not every day, working during timetabled study-days can be reflected in poor marks. In addition there are 200 days of practice learning where you must be in attendance Monday-Friday 9.00-5.00, 100 days placement occur at level one and 100 days placement at level two.

Some students do work on a part-time basis, generally on evenings and at weekends. However, the university recommends that students work no more than 16 hours a week in order to be able to prioritise their academic studies and strike a balance between studying and working.

You may wish to try another University, if you require flexible learning around work commitments.

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: CRCP Policy. This policy is subject to regular review and will be amended periodically to take account of changes in national legislation and local policies and practices.

Should you wish to discuss your personal circumstances relating to crime reports and/or criminal convictions please contact Nora McClelland. Telephone: 0114 222 6450

A criminal record or caution may result in us not being able to offer you a place on the course. Please see the information on criminal records .

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.

Please note we are unable to provide individual advice about DBS checks prior to application.

Will I be a fully qualified social worker on completion of the course?

Successful completion of this MA confers eligibility for professional registration as a qualified social worker in the UK.

Do you accept transfers from other social work courses?

Unfortunately, because we are unable to verify the specific content of social work courses taught at other institutions and we are required by the HCPC to teach certain components, we do not accept transfers onto the MA in Social Work at the University of Sheffield, particularly as credit systems often differ between universities. Therefore, we would ask all applicants for the course who are not already registered at the University of Sheffield to apply directly through UCAS for the first year of the course.

What if I am rejected?

Due to the high number of applications we receive each year in relation to the number of places we have, there are a large number of candidates who are naturally disappointed when they are not offered a place. If you are unsuccessful this does not necessarily mean you could not succeed as a social worker, it is just that, on this occasion, there were others who were able to demonstrate skills and qualities more effectively or, perhaps you did not currently fulfil the academic or DBS criteria. We would encourage those not successful to consider reapplying in the future.

International Applicants

Is this course suitable for international candidates?

We consider applications from international candidates or those with a non-UK qualification. The University has established procedures for verifying the status of non-UK school-leaving qualifications, universities and degrees. Non-UK candidates should be aware, however, of the following important factors:

• The programme is intended as a qualifying programme for social workers to work in the UK;
• We require candidates to have some pre-course experience of social work, social care or helping people in the UK because students need to have an understanding of UK practices, policies and key debates;
• 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.

How much are overseas candidate fees?

For fees information you need to check with Student Services who set fees as part of Central University administration, you can check the relevant section of the website on:
Postgraduate Taught Fees and Funding (we are located in the Faculty of Social Sciences)
Postgraduate Taught Fees Calculator

Placements

Can I have my placement in my home area?

Because all Universities have partnerships in their local areas it is difficult to arrange placements outside our teaching partnership region and therefore we only offer placements in our area.

Can I arrange my own placement?

The teaching partnership tries to offer equality of access to all students based upon their learning needs and placement opportunities available. All placements therefore need to be coordinated by the placement manager, who is also responsible, with the tutors for the quality of the placements offered.

How do I get the placement I want?

You submit a personal profile to the placement manager, stating your experience and interests. The profiles are then matched to available placements offered by the agencies. However we cannot guarantee that particular placements will be available or that you will get exactly what you would like.


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