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MRes Social Work

Analyse social issues and research key issues in social work

Year of entry: 2019

Length

1 year full-time,
2 years part-time

Start date

September 2019 (term dates)

This course is ideal for research training in social work. If you would like to become a qualified social worker you should look at the MA in Social Work.

You'll undertake intensive research training which will equip you with the skills to carry out your own research. You'll also become adept at critically interpreting the research of others.

During this course you'll undertake your own research project in which you'll explore an aspect of social work that you find interesting.

REF 2014

Social Policy and Social Work at York is a world class research community awarded the highest ranking in the UK for research impact by the Times Higher Education based on the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Course content

This research-based course will give you a foundation of research skills through the taught modules. From a broad introduction to social research methods you'll go on to focus on research in a social work context. You'll follow this with modules that will guide you through advanced research methods.

You'll then progress to developing your own research project. 

Modules

You will take modules totalling 180 credits during the course of your degree. This includes 100 credits of taught modules that concentrate on social research techniques and specifically address researching social work. You'll acquire the skills required to develop and carry out your own research dissertation, which you will complete for the 80 credit Independent Study Project.

In the Summer Term and summer months you'll take part in the Graduate Research Workshops module (20 credits). This will give you the chance to develop your research interests and participate in a group project with other students who have similar interests. You will also use this time to work on your individual research project.

Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.

Dissertation

You'll also complete a dissertation of between 15,000 and 20,000 words. The dissertation will allow you to demonstrate your skill at independent research and apply your insights from the taught modules to explore and analyse issues in social work. You'll have an individual dissertation supervisor who will provide you with regular guidance.

Your dissertation will require the design, collection and analysis of research data. It may be a self contained project, or you may plan for a subsequent research degree.

Previous dissertations have explored a number of areas of social work, including:

  • Research on a problem stemming from developments in a particular social work domain
  • A preliminary comparative study of aspects of social services or social work practice in different countries
  • A systematic review of research in a given field
  • The exploration of a research problem that stems from the characteristic nature of social work

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Critically and independently use an in-depth understanding of research theory, design, qualitative and quantitative skills, and the ability to apply this to real-life social work and policy problems.
  • Identify and synthesise theories, methodological approaches and concepts from multiple disciplines and critically apply them to real world contexts to contribute to the informed construction of social work responses to social needs.
  • Effectively design and manage social work research projects drawing on appropriate qualitative, quantitative and mixed research methods; retrieve, generate and interpret relevant primary and secondary data, digital resources and work within appropriate ethical codes of conduct and data protection laws.
  • Communicate research findings authoritatively to specialist and informed audiences, including service users, carers, practitioners and policy makers, in ways that balance academic rigour and accessible presentation of complex information.
  • Reflect on your own independent learning experience by conducting and facilitating the management of a social work research project that would require them to critically analyse social work policy and practice, devise and evaluate policy and practice strategies and take into account multiple and multilevel interests.
  • Work effectively in teams, with sensitivity to the individual perspectives, organisational positions and institutional dynamics of peers and other actors, and recognition of their own subjective positions.
  • Critically apply knowledge and skills to the pursuit of social progress and social justice beyond the context of local and domestic social work as active and participatory citizens.

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.

Teaching format

You'll attend lectures and workshops, supported by seminars where you can discuss lectures and readings in small groups. Our modules are designed exclusively for postgraduate students, allowing you to study key issues at a more advanced level.

Our academics are have extensive experience in professional social work and are active researchers.

  • You'll have one-to-one supervision whilst undertaking your social work research project.
  • You'll be taught in classes that are typically no larger than 20 people and in some with fewer than 10 people.

You'll also be able to attend Department events, including our Making Research Count seminar series.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which is based on Campus West. The majority of your teaching will take place in Alcuin and Derwent Colleges on Campus West.

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You will be continuously assessed, mainly through essays and reports. You will receive written feedback on all assessed work.

You'll complete a 15,000 - 20,000 word dissertation as part of your own specialist research project. You'll also have the opportunity to present your research as it progresses to a wider audience as part of our dissertation workshops.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2019/20

Study modeUK/EUInternational
Full-time (1 year)£7,810£17,370
Part-time (2 years)
Fees for subsequent years are subject to confirmation.
£3,905
year 1 fee
£8,685
year 1 fee

Students on a Tier 4 Visa are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Additional costs

There are no mandatory additional fees but we do recommend that you set aside some money for photocopying. Course books will be available to you from the Library either in print or online format but you may wish to buy your own copies - book prices vary, with new ones usually costing between £20 and £60. All other teaching resources will be available online.

Fees information

UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK/EU or international student.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Home/EU students

International students

Departmental scholarships

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

Careers and skills

This course is a fantastic basis for further study, such as a PhD in Social Work. You will also gain relevant and highly sought-after skills that will qualify you for a research career in academic institutions, local and central government or related organisations.

Career opportunities

  • Teaching on social work courses
  • Research posts in universities
  • Research strategy posts in children’s, adult and health services
  • Senior practitioner posts
  • Policy posts in central government

Transferable skills

  • Qualitative and quantitative research methods
  • Data analysis
  • Evaluation of research
  • Design and completion of original research
  • Communication skills

Entry requirements

Qualification Typical offer
Degree

You should have at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent qualification. 

Other qualifications

Please see our general guidance on international entry requirements or email international@york.ac.uk.

You will usually have the equivalent of one year's full-time experience working in social care, health care or related voluntary work.

English language

If you're a non-native English speaking applicant you must provide evidence of your English language ability.

  • IELTS: 6.5, with no less than 5.5 in each component
  • Pearson (PTE): 61, with no less than 51 in each component
  • CAE and CPE (from January 2015): 176, with no less than 162 in each component
  • TOEFL: 87, with a minimum of 17 in Listening, 18 in Reading, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing
  • Trinity ISE: level 3 with Merit in all components

Full list of accepted tests and exemptions.

Applying

You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

Next steps

Contact us

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Social Policy and Social Work

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