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L5K907 Social Work Studies MA Postgraduate Taught 2012


UCAS code L5K907
Degree MA
Mode of study Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time)
Start Date 2012-10-01
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 1470

Course Content


The MA Social Work Studies focuses on the completion of a dissertation project usually associated with social work policy and practice, supported by research methods training. This is a one year course that may be taken by anyone in the UK or any other country with an interest in social work or contemporary social problems, but not intending to register as a social worker.

Course Structure

Students take a range of taught modules primarily in the first two terms of the academic year.  Typically  towards the conclusion of the second term, students undertake an optional module on research design which enables students to develop a research proposal for their dissertation. 

Core Modules

  • Perspectives on Social Research
  • Policy Related and Evaluation Research
  • Contemporary Social Work
  • Introductory Social Work Studies
  • Dissertation
  • Perspectives on Social Research
  • Policy Related and Evaluation Research
  • Either: Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science;
  • Or Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science.

Optional Modules

Up to two modules from the list below:

  • Youth Policy and Practice
  • Community Policy and Practice
  • International Social Work
  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
  • Research Design and Process.

Teaching and assessment details

Students are assessed by a range of methods of continuous assessment including (depending on module choice): summative essays, group presentations, agency reports, statistics and computer-based projects and research proposals. The programme concludes with a dissertation.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

Normally an upper second class honours degree or equivalent.

English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent with no element less than 6.0.

English Language requirements


Requirements and Admissions

You can apply to our postgraduate programmes via our online application process.

Fees and Funding

Fees have not been set for this academic year.


Common Wealth Shared Scholarships (see University website).

For more information on funding opportunities, visit the University's funding database.

Career Opportunities

School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology and Criminology)

For information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here.

Open days and visits

Campus tours

Are you interested in studying at Durham University? Then why not come along to one of our Campus Tours? They run regularly at Durham City and Queen's Campus, Stockton on Wednesday afternoons. For further information, please click here.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits

Department Information

School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology and Criminology)


The School of Applied Social Sciences is an interdisciplinary School located in well-equipped buildings in the heart of the historic and beautiful City of Durham.

Our vision is to be a leading international centre of excellence in interdisciplinary applied social research that shapes and informs social policy and practice, enhances individual, community and social well-being, promotes social inclusion, and forms the foundations
of research led learning.

In the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, 90% of research in the School was rated as of international
significance, with 60% being internationally excellent or of worldleading originality, significance and rigour. The School's ‘excellent active and vital research culture' was highlighted, along with our outstanding international collaborations, interdisciplinarity and
impact on policy and practice.

The School provides a focus for collaboration across the related academic disciplines of Sociology, Social Policy, Criminology, Sport, Social Work, and Youth and Community Work. Across these disciplines, we emphasise methodological innovation and the production of applied social research of an internationally excellent standard.

Our taught degrees are amongst the best in the country. The Complete University Guide 2012 ranked our Sociology provision 3rd in the country while Sport
was ranked 2nd. Our academic staff have strong national and international reputations as researchers, government advisors and consultants. There is an
emphasis on both academic excellence and higher-level skills training in professional practice and quantitative and qualitative research methods.

Three of the School's current subject based Masters programmes in Social Research are recognised pathways within the newly established ESRC Doctoral Training Centre and we have an impressive track record of receiving ESRC and other funding for PhD
studentships and research.


Teaching Staff

Ms Helen Charnley, Programme Director

Helen Charnley is the programme convenor for this taught programme and is a Lecturer in Social Work. She is a registered social worker with a strong commitment to linking social work theory, practice and research. Helen has worked as a social worker in Birmingham, Liverpool and London, as a social development worker and researcher in The Gambia, West Africa and Mozambique, Southern Africa and as a research fellow in the Personal Social Services Research Unit at the University of Kent.

Key Teaching Staff



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