The MSc in Social Work is a two-year course that runs over two academic years, and is based at Royal Holloway’s Egham campus. The course is full time and students are expected to attend from 9am - 5pm, both in College and while on placement. The course integrates theory, research, policy and practice in social work, and the academic and practice programmes run concurrently.
Course structure and organisation
In the first year you'll attend College four days a week during the first term. In the second term you are on placement (70 days) from Monday to Thursday and in College on Fridays. The placement continues in the third term. There are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College.
In year two you'll attend College on Mondays and Tuesdays and are on placement (100 days) the rest of the time. Again there are occasional block weeks on placement and Recall Days when you need to attend College. Please see information about placements for more details regarding the practice element of the course.
First year courses
Practice Learning 1: preparation for practice. .
Social Policy for Social Workers: gain an understanding of social policy issues related to social work.
Human behaviour in the social environment: gain knowledge about psychology in relation to working with service users.
Child observations: develop observation skills that are relevant to social work with all service user groups.
Theories and knowledge for Social Work practice: gain knowledge of theories and approaches used to understand how to work with service users.
Law for Social Work: learn about law relating to working with services users.
Second year courses
Critical Social Work: issues relating to working with service users and about different service user groups e.g. adult and child safeguarding, assessments, working with asylum seekers, substance misuse, working with resistant service users.
Choose one of three optional seminars depending on your area of interest: mental health, child and family welfare or vulnerable adults.
Practice Learning 2 - critical reflection: students explore and reflect upon their practice in seminar groups.
Research methods: Students learn about research methods in preparation for their dissertation.
Understanding and working in organisations: learn about the legal obligations, structures and cultures within organisations and how these impact on policy, procedure and practice.
Students are provided with one to one support from: Academic Tutors, who'll support you throughout the course; Placement tutors and Practice Educators; Dissertation Supervisors in the second year.
Royal Holloway provides range of wider services that support students including the Educational Support Office, Student Financial Advisor, Counselling Services, Students’ Union and Careers Service.
On completion of the course graduates will have advanced knowledge of:
- sociology, psychology, social policy and law and their application to social work practice
- the contribution and application of social research to social work theories and practice
- the range of statutory, voluntary and private welfare organisations within social work agencies and in health, housing and educational environments
- the range of theories and methods needed for effective social work practice
- the social and individual origins of a typical range of problems presented to social care agencies
- values and ethics relevant to social work practice
- the significance of inequalities and difference in working with organisations and social service users
- the significance of cultural diversity and anti discriminatory practice in working with organisations and social service users.