MSc Social Work Research

Find a programme
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two to five years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Start date September 2020

Programme overview

This programme creates links between social work research and practice in a range of settings. You will be taught the necessary skills to undertake research into social work and social care as practice-based professionals or as postgraduate research students.

This degree helps you acquire vital tools to maximise your work in addressing real issues of concern with policy makers, managers, practitioners and service users in social work and care.

The programme offers a combination of academic rigour, up-to-date practice content and relevant and transferable research skills development. Core units will draw on theories and research methods from across the social sciences - including economics, law and philosophy - providing you with a strong foundation to then carry out your own research.

Optional units build on our particular research expertise and will focus on the skills you will require as a social work researcher engaged with a range of multi-disciplinary colleagues. For example, you may choose to study community development programmes in the context of poverty, interventions to tackle domestic violence, or programmes for young offenders. Other optional units focus on the wellbeing of particular groups: children with disabilities, people with severe and long-term mental illness, or asylum seekers and migrants.

We recognise that students will be joining with relevant, albeit varied, experience and there will be opportunities for you to draw on your own experiences as researchers, managers and policy advisers and to share these with other participants on the programme. A co-learning environment also gives you the opportunity to interact and share insights with other students studying research degrees in disability studies, policy research and health and wellbeing. 

This programme does not include practical training or lead to a professional qualification in social work. If you want to study for a qualification in social work practice, please see the MSc in Social Work.

Fees for 2020/21

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2020/21 are as follows:

UK/EU: full-time (MSc)
£8,400
UK/EU: two-year part-time (MSc)
£4,200
Overseas: full-time (MSc)
£19,200
Channel Islands/IoM: full-time (MSc)
£8,400

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni scholarship

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a ten per cent reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni scholarship.

Funding for 2020/21

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme is delivered through a combination of intensive block teaching and weekly delivery so that it is as accessible as possible to postgraduate students, busy policy professionals and practitioners. The way units are designed allows students to accumulate credits flexibly and organise their patterns of attendance to suit their needs and circumstances.

The MSc consists of four core and two optional units, with a dissertation of 10,000 to 15,000 words.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure: MSc in Social Work Research.

Entry requirements

  • An upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant social science discipline, such as sociology, social work, psychology, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy and law. Degrees from other fields may also be considered;
  • or an upper second-class honours degree (or equivalent) in any subject and a master's degree in social work;
  • or a professional qualification in social work and relevant professional or voluntary experience. 

A professional social work qualification is not a requirement for admission to the programme.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile E
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement

Careers

The programme emphasises the development of social work and social research and analysis methods, as well as substantive knowledge. Graduates from our MSc Social Work Research can go on to careers as social work and care researchers or analysts, or research commissioners/managers in public or private agencies, both in the UK and internationally.

Potential employers include local or central government departments, voluntary or charitable organisations, national or international non-governmental organisations, or global institutions such as the United Nations.

Alternatively, our MSc provides students with the core training to further their career in academic research with a PhD in Social Work.

How to apply
Application deadline:

1 October 2020. We welcome applications at any time of year. Early application is advised as places may fill quickly.

The closing date for ESRC studentship applications is 12 noon on Tuesday 21 January 2020. For further details on applying for ESRC funding, please visit the SWDTP website.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

Register your interest

Want an insight into life as a student in Bristol? Want to be the first to know about events, scholarships and more?

Sign up for our updates

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.

Joyce

REF 2014 results

  • Social Work and Social Policy:
  • 38% of research is world-leading (4*)
  • 42% of research is internationally excellent (3*)
  • 18% of research is recognised internationally (2*)
  • 2% of research is recognised nationally (1*)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Open days and visits

Find out about opportunities to visit Bristol.

Get in touch

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 6785 Email: sps-pgadmissions@bristol.ac.uk

Dr Demi Patsios Programme Director Email: demi.patsios@bristol.ac.uk

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TZ http://www.bristol.ac.uk/sps/

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

Edit this page