Course overviewThe MA is a professional social work qualification which will equip you with the necessary knowledge, values and transferable skills to enable you to seek employment as a newly qualified social worker (NQSW) in any sector of adult or children and families social work.
The MA Social Work is a full-time, two-year course leading to a Masters degree qualification and eligibility to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will normally be required to hold at least a second class undergraduate degree, preferably in a subject relevant to the social work curriculum and to have at least six months relevant work experience.
Practice placements run alongside academic teaching throughout the year. Therefore, a typical weekly pattern is one day in the University (attending lectures, seminars and workshops), three/four days in placement and, where possible, a day of independent study. Even though many of our students have childcare or work commitments, it is important to make time available for sufficient independent study in order to complete your learning and to be successful on the course.
Year 1 core modules
An intensive practical skills based module which takes place for 3 days per week for the first 6 weeks of the course. Students will need to attend these day and pass the practical assessment in order to progress to the first placement.
This module provides an introduction to the underpinning theory for the knowledge, values and skills that a Social Work student will require during their practice. It will run alongside the new module, Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice (ARDP).. As ARDP will provide opportunities for practising required skills, this module will enable students to learn, evaluate and critique the theories that underpin professional social work practice. It will be an opportunity for students to understand how social work as a profession fits into the wider political and social context, aspects of statutory, voluntary and private contributions to the social care field, the perspective of service users and carers and the wide range of theories and skills that are utilised in professional social work.
Understanding what influences people's 'well-being' is a key element in working safely and effectively in social work. This module provides an opportunity for students to examine the various factors that influence well-being. In doing so, the module promotes a holistic approach to well-being to enable students to understand the broader socio-economic context in which social work takes place and to develop critical perspectives on interventions which take the various sociological and psychological factors that affect service users' well-being into account. This necessarily includes exploring critically the perspectives of service users and carers.
Social workers need to be able to communicate thoughtfully and effectively within the context of professional and inter-professional relationships. This module therefore looks at the principles of good communication, barriers to communication and how to overcome them, as well as various useful communication tools. Linking closely to other modules in the course, this module will also help develop to critical and reflective thinking about how to put these and other skills, knowledge and values into practice. The module therefore includes sessions on: communication, reflection, anti-discriminatory practice, assessing risk and working in partnership with service users and other professionals/agencies.
In addition to attending special 'skills day' after which you will be assessed as 'ready for direct practice', you will also undertake 70 days of practice placement during year 1.
Year 2 core modules
This module provides a critical examination of key aspects of professional decision-making in social work. As part of this, it invites study of both the principles underpinning and the skills required for effective assessment and intervention in diverse areas of social work, including risk and risk management. Building on the knowledge and skills gained in Year 1, this module further encourages students to reflect critically and analytically on how to practice in ways that are anti-discriminatory and inclusive of service-user perspectives.
The aim of this module is to examine the legal and professional context that underpins the provision of social welfare services and is intended to enable you to examine and evaluate the sources of your power and structures of accountability as a local authority social worker. In addition, the module will give priority and emphasis to duties relating to the safeguarding of children and other vulnerable groups. The module will explore the quality assurance mechanisms which apply to professional social work practice, as well as the responsibilities and role boundaries inherent within multi-disciplinary and multi-agency models of working
The dissertation requires you to select and apply appropriate research methods to produce a substantial piece of academic work with which to conclude the course. As well as research methods, the Masters dissertation expects you to demonstrate the transferable skills of time management, organisation and communication.
You will also undertake a 100-day practice placement during year 2.
AssessmentA variety of assessment methods are used during this course, including assignments, case studies, presentations, portfolios and patchwork texts. The practice learning experience is assessed by portfolio of evidence gained from your practice which demonstrates that you can work in accordance with professional requirements.
Preparation for Practice and Practice PlacementsIn order to prepare you for the 70 day practice placement in the first year, you will first need to complete the Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice module. This module specifically requires attendance at Anglia Ruskin for three days a week for the first seven weeks of the course. This is in addition to the day at Anglia Ruskin devoted to the other modules you will be studying. Only if you this pass this module will you be able to start the first year placement. In the second year you will need to undertake a 100 day practice placement. Undertaking the second year placement is dependent on successfully passing the first year placement.
Special featuresThe curriculum is designed thematically in accordance with the Department of Health (2002) requirements for social work training. It is also designed to fit into the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and the Professional Capability Framework published by the College of Social Work.
Teaching and Learning
The course is designed to integrate theory and practice. Therefore, in lectures, seminars and workshops at the University you will learn about the underpinning knowledge, values and skills required to work effectively as a professional social worker and will need to produce written assignments to pass the academic side of the course. However, you will also be expected to evidence this learning in your practice placement against the nine domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework as laid down by The College of Social Work.
Students on qualifying social work courses might be eligible for bursaries paid via the NHS Business Services Authority. For the latest information about bursaries, please see the relevant pages on the NHS BSA website.
EmployabilityAnglia Ruskin takes employability very seriously. Over and above a dedicated Faculty employability adviser who will help with, amongst other things, CV preparation, job applications and mock interviews, the University has strong ties with local employers who provide a range of relevant practice placements. It is quite common for graduates to find employment in organisations where they undertook their placement.
Associated careersApart from the various branches of professional social work, careers associated with this course include various roles within children's services, organisations that provide advocacy and support for vulnerable groups including learning disability and victims of domestic violence and homelessness services, youth offending teams, probation services and residential social care.
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The official UCAS deadline is in January, although we will accept applications after this date as long as we still have vacancies.
This will be sent to us electronically and assessed against our published admissions criteria. If you are short-listed, you will be invited to come to an interview day comprising a written task, group exercise and individual interview. The interview panel would normally consist of a mix of academic staff, representatives from social work organisations and service users. We will normally notify you of the result within 10 days.
We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.
How to apply
Teaching times*You will attend Anglia Ruskin for one day per week as well as undertaking a 70-day practice placement in Year 1 and a 100-day practice placement in Year 2. These practice placements will be in contrasting settings, one of which will involve statutory intervention.
Fees & funding
Open DayWednesday 19 March
Postgraduate Open Day
FacultyHealth, Social Care & Education
DepartmentFamily and Community Studies
Contact usUK and EU applicants:
- Call 01245 493131
- Complete enquiry form
- Call +44 (0)1223 698609
- Complete enquiry form
* Teaching days are subject to change each academic year. Timings are also dependent on any optional modules you chose and are for guidance, so we advise all applicants to wait until they are in receipt of their timetable before making arrangements around course times.