MSc Advanced Social Work Practice

About the course

Our underpinning philosophy is to bring innovation and change to social work practice. The sector needs pro-active practitioners with exceptional skills in efficiency, resource management and leadership. This is your chance to master those skills.

We’ll empower you to make a real difference in people’s lives. Whether your passion is to improve social work practice for children or adults, or to enhance mental health provision, our part time programme invites you to study alongside work.

We offer a mixture of taught sessions, workshops, and seminars, some of which are recorded so you can access the teaching whenever you want. We’ll encourage you to analyse, explore and reflect upon your own experiences and share them with your peers. Working together, we’ll build upon your clinical reasoning skills. We’ll teach you the knowledge and competencies you need to develop policies and manage initiatives. You’ll investigate ways to support individuals, groups and communities who are experiencing complex difficulties.

You’ll benefit from our diverse range of speakers, including practitioners, managers, academics and service users from a variety of health and social care environments. We’ll encourage you to think holistically as you specialise in your area of interest. You’ll even gain an international perspective in social work, analysing the impact of processes and developments across the globe. Together, we’ll explore the changing face of social work.

This confident programme has gained great credibility with service users, agencies and staff. 

Why choose this course?

  • You’re an experienced social worker and you aspire to be a leader in your area of expertise. You want flexible part time study, delivered online and face to face so you can fit it in around your work.
  • You want to learn an industry relevant curriculum. You want to join an innovative programme, developed through partnerships in Health and Social Care, including experienced practitioners, academics, service providers and experts by experience.
  • You’re passionate about a multi-disciplinary approach to health and social care. Driven to improve the client experience, you want to unlock your creativity, originality and sense of initiative.
  • You want to immerse yourself in independent research, focussing on an area of social work that fascinates you.
  • You’re looking for a course which offers a range of assessment methods, including written assignments, practice portfolios and presentations.

What will I study?

To gain a master’s degree, you’ll study four core modules encompassing, practice education, safeguarding, decision making and wellbeing. We’ll teach you the skills you’ll need to observe, assess and prepare the social workers of the future. You’ll learn how to manage legal, ethical and professional issues. You’ll extend your knowledge of relevant legislation and apply it appropriately to social work practice. We’ll help you work with the complexities of risk and guide you through the process of informed decision making.  Every step of the way, you’ll learn vital theory and practical skills so you can respond to rapid changes and developments that take place in this fascinating field.

Plus, you’ll choose a selection of interprofessional modules offered across the various programmes in the School of Health and Social Work. Examples include Complex Social Issues in Maternity Care, Best Interest Assessor, Informed Consent and Coaching Skills for Leading.  We’ll invite you to learn with other professionals, to gain valuable insights and draw upon their expertise in your work with service users. Our diverse curriculum offers you multiple perspectives to inspire new ways of working.

Delivered on a part time basis, normally over 6 years, this programme offers fantastic flexibility. If your circumstances happen to change during your studies, you can choose to study fewer modules, gain less credits, and graduate with a diploma or postgraduate certificate instead. With regular contact with your tutors, in individual and group tutorials, we’ll encourage you to reach your potential in each module you study.


A master’s degree is becoming a requirement for career progression in health and social care services. Plus, it can lead to further work in research or teaching. As a graduate, you’ll demonstrate professional expertise, a critical awareness and advanced communication skills to meet the complex demands of the field.  

If you choose to advance your career in social work, you can be confident that you’ll graduate with the insight and awareness to develop innovative practice in your workplace. You’ll have a strong foundation to develop and manage projects, adopting an inclusive focussed approach. Your reflection and analysis skills will guide you to adapt your service delivery and improve service user outcomes.  

If you choose to work in research or teaching, you’ll have gained a range of skills, from critical evaluation to effective leadership, preparing you to be leader in your chosen speciality. Your knowledge of the principles of research, your focus on evidence-based practice and your passion to promote positive change will enable you to have a significant role in research or teaching.

Whichever path you choose, you’ll feel inspired and energised to make a confident contribution to social work practice.

Please note that some of the images and videos on our course pages may have been taken before social distancing rules in the UK came into force.