This two-year programme is provided under the new framework for Social Work qualifications. It is a joint professional practice and academic award. Completion fulfills the registration requirements of the Health & Care Professionals Council and entitles you to register and practice as a qualified professional social worker.
The University is committed to ensuring that future users of the personal social services have effective and competent workers who uphold the dignity of individuals and, where possible, establish a shared approach to problem-solving. Qualifying students will understand the structural and personal factors that lead to oppression and discrimination and be able to work within an anti-oppressive framework. They will develop skills as reflective practitioners, able to appraise critically a range of relevant evidence, including research, to evaluate their own work and that of others, and to contribute to the development of policy and practice.
The University of Bristol has longstanding partnership arrangements with a consortium of social work agencies in the region, including statutory, voluntary and independent agencies providing a range of social work services. Staff from these agencies have worked with us to develop the new programme. We also enjoy long-standing links with a range of service user and carer organisations. Representatives from these groups have been involved in teaching on our social work programmes and have helped us to develop our policy and practice. More recently a Service Users and Carers Forum has been established. The role of the Forum is to ensure that service user and carer perspectives inform the teaching and learning which students undertake, and permeate all other aspects of the programme, from selection to assessment. Students are also stakeholders and students’ ideas and feedback are highly valued.
Historically the University of Bristol’s engagement with social work education has evolved in line with professional developments. It has maintained a reputation for high quality provision at different academic levels starting in the early 1960s. The new MSc is run alongside post-qualifying professional practice programmes.
Bristol courses have been very favourably rated in periodic reviews by external quality assurance bodies, including the Central Council for Education and Training in Social Work and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. The Health Care Professionals Council validates and monitors new courses.
The University of Bristol education programmes are underpinned by Social Work research; it was judged to be the best in the UK in the 2001 Research Assessment Exercise. It was the first Social Work group to be given the highest research rating. Its work is focused in five main areas:
Within the School as a whole, there is considerable additional research activity relevant to social work. This includes work on carers and caring, substantial work in the area of parenting including fostering and adoption, work on user involvement, and work in the areas of domestic violence and mental health. Other research themes relevant to social work include inequalities in welfare, inter-agency and inter-professional collaboration, neighbourhood renewal, crime and criminal justice, asylum seekers and refugees, housing and social exclusion.
Download the MSc Social Work programme philosophy (PDF, 35.6Kb)