MSc Social Work Research

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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 2022

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 policymakers, managers, practitioners and service users in social work and care.

The programme provides core research training in philosophy and research design in the social sciences, along with introductions to and further approaches in quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences.

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 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
£9,600
UK: part-time (two years)
£4,800
Overseas: full-time
£20,800

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

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 discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

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 of our 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, social policy, social welfare, public administration, social administration, psychology, economics, political science, management, history, philosophy and law;
  • 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.

Expected application closure date

Applications for 2022 have now closed and will reopen for 2023 entry in October 2022.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email: choosebristol-pg@bristol.ac.uk

School website: School for Policy Studies

International students

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

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.

Disclaimer

Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

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