Welcome to MSc Social Work
Social work provides an opportunity to ensure fair and just treatment for those who might not be able to do so for themselves and can be a hugely rewarding career for anyone with an interest in safeguarding the human rights of others.
This programme is designed to provide the professional knowledge and skills needed to qualify and practice as a registered social worker. Through an integrated learning approach, students are supported to develop as competent, confident, analytical, and reflective practitioners who can work safely and effectively in complex, challenging environments to make a difference in the lives of people and society.
Interprofessional learning is at the core of this programme, enabling students to learn, develop, and collaborate with students from other disciplines in health and social care, including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy students. Students may take advantage of the excellent research environment and opportunities available to build on links between social work practice and research to undertake their own real-world research study. The programme benefits from strong international links providing chances for focused teaching and study visits further afield.
Each year, students will have the chance to undertake practice placements, supervised and assessed by a practice educator. These allow students to apply the theory and practice of social work in varied and challenging settings with a focus on health and social care.
Research Areas, Projects and Topics
Students can benefit from the excellent research partnerships across the School of Health and Social Care. These include:
- An innovative and large-scale international education and practice development project funded by the European Union.
- A range of local and national partners to support the development of social work practice and social work education. Locally-funded evaluations of service provision and service enhancement are being developed and carried out, with the goal of enhancing practice delivery.
- The National Health Service (NHS), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) network, and other academic institutions linking closely with key external contexts such as Best Research for Best Health, the NIHR, and the Cooksey Review of health research funding. Additionally, collaborative research funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF; budget-held elsewhere) is being revised prior to a programme of national dissemination.
Additionally, there are a number of Individual research projects currently being undertaken at programme level that highlight the School’s commitment to embedding research within social work practice. These include:
- Projects focusing on child and adolescent well-being, enabling young people to prepare for independent living when leaving care.
- Projects centring on developing practice include exploring practitioners' expectations of the role of practice educators, along with developing a bank of resources to support practice education.
- Emphasis on utilising a collaborative approach that draws together practitioners and researchers in co-producing research and training materials.
Accreditations and Memberships
This programme has satisfied all the professional qualification requirements set by the professional regulator (Social Work England). Upon successful completion of the programme students will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social work practitioner with Social Work England.
Career and Personal Development
Supporting the youngest to the oldest in society, social work will take practitioners from hospitals to care homes, and schools to communities as they help people through some of the best and most challenging times of their lives. Social workers could find themselves guiding a young person through their mental health journey, helping a family to grow through adoption, or supporting vulnerable people to improve their independence and wellbeing. Providing this level of support in someone’s life can be an incredibly rewarding experience.
While the job can be a humbling one, it is also a testing career. Working with vulnerable people can mean facing potentially difficult situations, but being a social worker means having the ability to find a way to work through those situations to benefit the person at the heart of it.
Graduates from the programme have gone on to work in a broad range of social work settings, including children’s services, adults services, mental health trusts, and in a range of independent and voluntary sector organisations.
Fees and Funding
For eligible students, there are more ways than ever before to fund your postgraduate study, whether you want to do a taught or research course. For those wishing to undertake a Master's course, UK students can apply for a loan as a contribution towards the course and living costs. Loans are also available to those who wish to undertake doctoral study. The University offers a number of scholarships and funded studentships for those interested in postgraduate study. Learn how Master's and PhD loans, scholarships, and studentships can help you fund your studies on our Postgraduate Fees and Funding pages.
Programme-Specific Funding and Bursaries
All candidates on the MSc programme who meet basic UK residency criteria will be able to apply for a Social Work Bursary to support their studies. The bursary provides a basic grant as well as means-tested allowances for a range of needs. For full details and information about eligibility, please visit: http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/825.aspx
Students may incur additional costs for travel to practice placements on this course and are strongly encouraged to hold a UK Driving Licence (unless a disability/medical condition prevents them from doing so) as it will significantly affect the availability of placements. Eligible students may be able to apply for an NHS Student Bursary for Practice Placement Expenses. Please see: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-bursary-students.
Programme-Specific Additional Costs
There may be costs incurred during travel to placement. However, students may be eligible for the travel bursary offered via NHS bursaries.
For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required.
With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.
Students may incur additional costs for travel to practice placements on this course and are expected to hold a UK Driving Licence. Eligible students may be able to apply for an NHS Student Bursary for Practice Placement Expenses. Please see: www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/nhs-bursary-students.
How You Study
This programme takes a student-centred approach to study through active participation, self-directed learning, and research, and the model of joint learning with other professionals is fully embedded within the teaching strategy. This is supported by a wide range of structured, planned, and additional teaching.
The University aims to support students in their learning and to produce independent, enquiring, and knowledgeable graduates and social work practitioners.
To support learning and accommodate a range of styles, the School's approaches to teaching and learning are diverse and include:
- Fostering interprofessional learning to collaborate with and learn alongside other health and social care students, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Nursing students.
- The involvement of service users, carers, and practitioners to promote the application of theory, knowledge, and values into practice.
- Utilising the School's excellent simulation resources to enable skills development within a safe and supported learning environment.
- Peer-learning opportunities such as knowledge exchange presentations, on-line discussion boards, and collaborative group-based learning.
- The active use of research to inform practice is embedded within each module, offering the opportunity to incrementally support development as a research informed practitioner.
- Examining global and international perspectives on social work to further develop understanding and capacity as a professional social worker.
Placements in social work and health organisations are a key feature of this course. Over the duration of the programme, you will spend 170 days on placement, which will include 70 days on your first placement and 100 days on the second placement. Placements will generally be located across Lincolnshire County Council or within the Humber Social Work Teaching Partnership area. At least one of the placements will take place in a statutory setting. Students are usually required to be at the University three days per week during teaching time, and expected to allocate one to two working days per week for independent study, research, preparation, and to complete assessed work.
An Introduction to Your Modules
† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.
How you are assessed
Assessment methods on this programme include written submissions, case studies, presentations, portfolios, a Readiness for Practice assessment interview, practice based assessment, in class tests, and a dissertation.
The final dissertation involves primary research with practitioners and or service users to investigate key social issues or to evaluate existing services. Recent successful dissertation topics have included:
- An evaluation of a regional befriending scheme for older people
- The role of social workers in challenging child poverty
- The experiences of kinship carers
- The impact of rurality in delivering social work to young people with disabilities
- Placing sibling groups for adoption.
The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to students promptly - usually within 15 working days of the submission date.
Entry Requirements 2023-24
A minimum of a 2:2 degree with relevant prior experience (including voluntary) in social care, education or health. This programme also requires a minimum of three GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language, and Maths (or equivalent). These GCSEs must be obtained prior to submitting an application.
We do not specify a minimum length of time in social work since we are most interested in how you reflect upon your experience. If you have studied outside of the UK and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/entryrequirementsandyourcountry/ for information on equivalent qualifications.
We welcome international applications although our places are very limited.
All international applicants require IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each element for students whose first language is not English. Applicants must provide a valid IELTS certificate at the point of application.
Students who have completed a UK degree within 5 years of their proposed enrolment at the University will not be required to provide IELTS.
For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/englishlanguagerequirements/.
If you do not meet the above IELTS requirements, you may be able to take part in one of our Pre-session English and Academic Study Skills courses. https://www.lincoln.ac.uk/home/studywithus/internationalstudents/englishlanguagerequirementsandsupport/pre-sessionalenglishandacademicstudyskills/. These specialist courses are designed to help students meet the English language requirements for their intended programme of study.
International applicants need to obtain a recent criminal record certificate from their home country and ensure this is still valid by the date of enrolment in addition to the DBS requirements detailed below. A list of admissible certificates can be found on the UK Government website; please see: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/criminal-records-checks-for-overseas-applicants.
Other requirements include:
Shortlisted applicants will also have to pass screening processes in terms of professional suitability: DBS criminal record checks; health declaration; professional references. The University will pay for DBS checks.
You must declare all spent and unspent criminal convictions including (but not limited to) cautions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar and details of any minor offences, fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, ASBOs or VOOs.
Further information can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/disclosure-and-barring-service
If you would like further information about entry requirements or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the admissions team on 01522 886097, or email email@example.com.
Find out more about how postgraduate study can help further your career, develop your knowledge, or even prepare you to start your own business at one of our postgraduate events.Find out More
Health and Social Care
The MSc by Research degree provides an opportunity to develop advanced and specific knowledge in a particular field of study.
MSc Occupational Therapy (pre-registration) is a science-based programme designed to prepare graduates for work in a variety of settings.
Physiotherapy is a science-based health profession that takes a ‘whole person’ approach to improving and maintaining wellbeing.