BRUNEL UNIVERSITY LONDON

Social Work

M.A  |  Placement Year:   No

The Social Work MA programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-oppressive practice.

Graduates who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

The professional and academic elements are closely integrated throughout the programme. There are 170 placement days, with the working week divided between time in placement and time in the University.

Programme description

The Social Work MA programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-oppressive practice.

Graduates who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

The professional and academic elements are closely integrated throughout the programme. There are 170 placement days, with the working week divided between time in placement and time in the University.

Key Modules

Brunel University London has an excellent placement team that takes care to match students to appropriate children and families and adult social work placements within the London area. Placement providers have been consistently positive about their experience supervising post-graduate students and have frequently hired students back into permanent posts after they have completed their degree.

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

Module & Subject

Year 1

The Foundations of Social Work Practice

Main topics: social work values, codes of ethics and anti-oppressive practice in social work; the use of critical reflection and reflexivity in practice; power and authority and their effects on workers, service users and others; skills in relationship building: engaging and sustaining relationships with service users; social work processes i.e. assessment, intervention, and evaluation; skills in recording interviews and report writing; skills for working within organisations; inter-professional practice, professional responsibilities, and boundaries.

Social Work Theories and Perspectives

Main topics: an overview of modern social work theory; psychodynamic perspective; cognitive perspective; behavioural perspective; systems and ecological perspectives; humanistic perspective; feminist perspective; social constructionist perspective; social change and social work; theory of groups; organisational theories.

Life-span Behaviour and Development

Main topics: key concepts and theories of human growth and development; a critical analysis of attachment theory; physical and cognitive development in infancy and childhood; needs and special needs of children and young people; identity development and change across the life-cycle; adolescence and risk; antisocial behaviour and delinquency during the adolescent years; physical and mental health in adulthood; the challenges of an ageing population; death and dying; deprivation and disadvantage across the life-cycle; the impact of culture and ethnicity in childhood and adulthood; developing observational skills, and monitoring and recording observations.

Legal Frameworks for Social Justice

Main topics: English legal system and framework for social work; Rights law including human rights, equality and mental capacity law; law relating to children and families, adult service users and carers and mental health; confidentiality and information sharing; youth justice system and court reporting skills; welfare benefits and oral presentation skills; remedies including litigation, alternative dispute resolution, advocacy, mediation, complaints systems and the role of ombudsmen; role of advocacy including independent advocacy and self advocacy; accountability and ethical dilemmas in social work practice.

Social Policy and Sociology

Main topics: key ideas, concepts and theories in social policy, social welfare and sociology; theoretical and ideological perspectives of social welfare and citizenship including contemporary debates such as welfare reforms and austerity, globalisation and neoliberal welfare models; and personalisation and social care; critical race theory and anti-oppressive practice; gender and social policy; the process of policy-making, and the framework and methods of policy analysis; translating policy agendas into an analysis of national and local needs; social welfare and services for particular groups.

Professional Skills Development I

Main topics: communication and interviewing skills training; skills of empowerment; professional skills training such as emotional resilience training, prevention of harm, neglect and abuse; leadership and management skills training.

Practice Learning I

All practice settings provide a defined student workload reflecting the nature of normal practice in the agency; opportunities for direct interventions with service users and carers; opportunities for learning about organisational processes; opportunities for learning about the legal duties and powers, and their application or implementation within the context of the agency.

Approaches to Research

Research methods appropriate to both quantitative and qualitative methodologies, including surveys and longitudinal studies; questionnaire design; experimental and quasi-experimental designs; statistical analysis and using SPSS; in-depth interviews; focus groups; observation; and qualitative analysis.

Compulsory Modules

Year 2

Assessment and the Management of Risk and Complexity

Main topics: nature and role of assessment in social work; models of assessment; involvement of service users, carers and other professionals in assessment; assessment tools; theoretical perspectives on risk and complexity; and leadership and the management of risk and complexity.

Effective Practice with Domestic Violence, Mental Health and Substance Misuse

Main topics: research, legislative and practice perspectives on domestic violence, mental health and substance misuse; assessment and the management of risk; individual and family interventions; and leadership and multi-agency working.

What Works in Social Work

Main topics: developing a critical understanding of the contribution of evidence to social work practice; developing a critical understanding of the contribution of theories of change and their application to practice; evaluating the effectiveness of a range of evidence-informed interventions; decision-making, professional judgement and different organisational contexts.

Professional Skills Development II

Main topics: supporting and counselling techniques and interventions with young children, people with disabilities, loss and bereavement, and for safeguarding vulnerable persons; professional skills training such as working with conflict and resolution, working with resistance/challenging behaviour, care planning, complex assessment and working with other professionals, court reporting.

Practice Learning II (100 days)

All practice settings provide a defined student workload reflecting the nature of normal practice in the agency; opportunities for direct interventions with service users and carers; opportunities for learning about organisational processes; opportunities for learning about the legal duties and powers, and their application or implementation within the context of the agency.

Dissertation

This constitutes a 15,000 word document presenting research undertaken by students within a social work context. Students are allocated a dissertation supervisor whom they meet on a regular basis to discuss all stages of the research from developing the initial idea into a full proposal which achieves ethical approval, to drafting the final dissertation. Recent examples of dissertations by students undertaking this programme include:

  • 'Supporting carers with children with learning disabilities'
  • 'Social workers’ knowledge of domestic violence'
  • 'Adolescent substance misuse and family conflict'
  • 'Changes in statutory care for older people as a result of the personalisation agenda'
  • 'Reasoning mental distress: service user perspective'
  • 'Attitudes toward religion and spirituality in social work.'

Year 2 Pathways (choose one)

Social Work with Children and Families

Main topics: working with children in need and child protection; theory, research, law, policy and practice; inter-professional workshops on the impact of parental problems including parental substance misuse and domestic violence; critical review of inter-agency and inter-disciplinary practice through serious case reviews; children looked after and leaving care and service user voices; theory and research specific to social work practice with children and families; risk analysis and risk management; the centrality of relation based practice in direct work and communication with children and young people; the family court system and skills in analysing and presenting case material.

Social Work with Adults

Main topics: the development of community-based care and support and integrated adult health and social care including ideological underpinnings and contemporary issues in policy and adult social work practice; person-centred and care management approaches to community-based adult social work practice; and adult practice specialisms.

Entry Requirements
  • IELTS: 7 (min 6.5W, 6.5L, 6.5R, 6.5S)
  • Pearson: 64 (58 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 70% (65% in all areas)
Foundation Campus
No Foundation
Course Option
Course Duration: 1 year
Course Fee:  14800.00
Course Level:  POSTGRADUATE
Application Deadline 
International Student:   (15,July)
Location
Country:  UNITED KINGDOM
Campus Location:  Brunel University London, Kingston Lane Uxbridge, Middlesex UB8 3PH
Intake Deadline
SEPTEMBER