University of the West of Scotland

Postgraduate Programme Specification

Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 05/05/2022 11:25:18

Named Award Title:MSc Social Work (Conversion)

Award Title for Each Award: MSc  Social Work (Conversion)
PG Dip  Social work
PG Cert  Social Studies

Awarding Institution/Body:
Language of Instruction & Examination: English
Award Accredited By:Scottish Social Services Council
Maximum Period of Registration:To ensure currency of knowledge the maximum completion time for this programme will normally be three years.
Mode of Study:Full Time
Campus:Paisley

School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Programme Leader:Lawrence Nuttall

Admission Criteria

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in Chapter 2 of the University Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements:

Appropriate Undergraduate Qualification
An Honours degree in a social science discipline (normally) with a classification of 2:1 or above (normally). Applications will be considered from applicants who have extensive practice experience and an honours degree in a relevant discipline, not less than 2:2 who can demonstrate that they are able to study at the requisite level.
Other Required Qualifications/Experience

Candidates must be able to satisfy the general admission requirements of the University of the West of Scotland as specified in the Univerity's Regulatory Framework together with the following programme requirements: Honours degree (minimum 2:2 classification or a bachelor’s degree with significant and relevant work experience. Furthermore, the SSSC requires that applicants have numeracy skills that would normally be equivalent to a minimum SCQF level 5 Core Skills Numeracy at Grade C. Core Skills level 5 numeracy is a component of National 5 -Applications of Mathematics and National 5 -Mathematics.

English language proficiency is also a requirement, with candidates expected to achieve IELTs standard of 7.0 in all components. It is essential for students to demonstrate skills in literacy and criticality over the course of the degree programmes to fully meet the Standards in Social Work Education (SiSWE).


Further desirable skills pre-application


General Overview

Social work is located within the School of Education & Social Science (ESS) at UWS, where we currently offer Scottish Social Services Council-accredited undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications.  The programme benefits from strong links with placement providers across the west and south of Scotland.

The Student’s Learning Journey

This course is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Upon successful completion of the Post Graduate Diploma element of this degree, graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the SSSC or other social work regulators throughout the United Kingdom. This MSc offers a challenging and stimulating range of learning opportunities that will equip graduates with the key attributes necessary to work effectively in an increasingly globalised and pluralistic working environment.  This MSc is based on two years of study culminating in a dissertation that allows students to explore their chosen area of social work practice in considerable depth. 

Admission to this MSc programme will be on a competitive basis and subject to a satisfactory UWS online application, academic reference and participation in a group discussion, or other such selection process as may be deemed appropriate. Group discussions will typically be held online; the admissions officer has the discretion to arrange an individual follow-up interview with any candidate if they deem it to be appropriate. 

The modules selected for inclusion in this programme have been carefully chosen to reflect the changing requirements of professional social work practice. Due to the readiness for practice requirements stipulated by the SSSC, students must pass all core modules before they can progress to the next stage of study. To ensure currency of knowledge the maximum completion time for this programme will normally be three years.

MSc Programme Structure

Year 1

Introduction to Social work: The Social Context, Values, Research, Theory, Skills for Social Work 

Term 1

  • Social Work Values, Ethics & Theory in Practice
  • Learning & Applying Lessons from Service Failures
  • Applied Law for social work practice

Term 2

  • Direct Practice Placement A PG

Term 3

Year 2

Developing a Professional identity, the embodiment of social work values, advanced skills development

Term 1

  • Direct Practice Placement B

Term 2

  • Direct Practice Placement B

Term 3

  • Dissertation

Learning, Teaching and Assessment

Significant elements of this programme will be delivered online, with opportunities for meaningful campus-based engagement. Learners will be required to engage with resources on the university’s Learning Experience Platform (LEP)/Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).

Further study

Graduates can purse a number of study routes.  


Graduate Attributes, Employability & Personal Development Planning

The MSc Social Work programme is fully aligned with institutional priorities around the development of graduate attributes and with the institutional policy on personal development planning. The mapping of programme and module learning outcomes and employability-integrated assessment ensures the visibility of graduate attributes, employability and citizenship competencies. Personal development is embedded and explicitly signposted in the curriculum, with students provided with regular opportunities to capture and evaluate their progression and development, thereby stimulating reflection, self-regulation and a more constructive engagement with employability attributes. It is recognised that personal development planning is an essential component of lifelong learning and continuing and professional development. To support this activity, all students are provided with access to personal development planning tools and enabled to develop a personal e-portfolio across the programme.

The MSc Social Work (Conversion) provides a coterminous award combining academic and professional features into one qualification. The social work staff team maintain close links with local organisations such that our students receive input in the classroom and the field by current practitioners and managers, service users and carers to allow them to develop the skill repertoire required of professional social workers. The individualisation of each student's learning experience is best seen in the enquiry based learning strategies, individual placement opportunities in first and second year, the strong tutorial system facilitated through learning teams, assessment and personal development planning strategies outlined above and embedded throughout the programme.  

As noted above, student personal development planning (PDP) is supported through an embedded curriculum model of reflective self-learning across both first and second year of the Social Work programme, in accordance with the University of the West of Scotland Personal Development Planning (PDP) Policy (see http://www.uws.ac.uk/about-uws/services-for-staff/learning-innovation/strategies-and-policies/). 

 

Work Based Learning/Placement Details

The University of the West of Scotland, together with a number of other universities providing social work education (at the time of writing but subject to revision) employ the services of the Learning Network West to obtain practice placements for social work students.

During their placement students are supervised and assessed by qualified practice teachers or candidates currently undertaking the practice teacher’s award, who will themselves be supervised by a practice assessor.  From the academic year 2022/23 the programme will revert to the 'normal' two placement pattern for new entrants. Students progressing to year 2 in September 2022 will undertake a single 120 day placement in their final year as part of a Covid 19 recovery plan agreed with the SSSC. 

Should a student fail a placement, then that placement may only be repeated once.

Engagement

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time.

Where a programme has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:

In line with the Academic Engagement and Attendance Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with: timetabled sessions (whether online or in-person); course-related learning resources including those accessed via the LEP/VLE and if they complete assessments and submit these on time.

Equality and Diversity


The University's Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Procedure can be accessed at the following link: UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content. The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link: http://www.uws.ac.uk/equality/
Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School.)


Programme structures and requirements, SCQF level, term, module name and code, credits and awards ( Chapter 1, Regulatory Framework )

A. PG Cert
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of social work theory and practice.
A2Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles that underpin effective social work practice.
A3Demonstrate a research led in-depth knowledge and understanding in one or more specialist practice areas some of which are informed by or at the forefront of current social work theory and practice;
A4Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the ways in which knowledge about social work is developed, including a range of established techniques of inquiry or research methodologies.
A5Demonstrate a critical knowledge and understanding of the relationship between law and social work practice and how to source relevant case law and other guidance.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate competence in communicating in accordance with professional/academic conventions with peers and senior colleagues using a range of formats including the ability to deliver formal presentations;
B2Demonstrate a range of the principal skills, practices and/or materials associated with social work to assess and manage need and risk;
B3Demonstrate an appropriate range of skills, practices and/or materials which are specialised, advanced, or at the forefront of understanding about social work theory and practice;
B4Demonstrate a commitment to social justice, the promotion of human rights and ethical practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate the ability to use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established social work practices;
C2Demonstrate proficiency in making formal presentations about specialised social work topics to informed audiences;
C3Demonstrate the ability to communicate with social work peers, senior colleagues and specialists;
C4Demonstrate the ability to interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set and achieve goals/targets.
C5Demonstrate an ability to make effective use of ICT skills to be able to analyse data in order to inform action plans, measure progress and evaluate outcomes;

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate the ability to critically identify, define, conceptualise, and analyse complex social work problems and issues;
D2Demonstrate proficiency in offering professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues;
D3Demonstrate proficiency in critically reviewing and consolidating social work knowledge, skills, practices and thinking;
D4Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with social work issues;
D5Demonstrate proficiency in making judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources;

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise appropriate autonomy and initiative in social work activities;
E2Practice in ways which show a clear awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities;
E3Work effectively under guidance in a peer relationship with qualified practitioners;
E4Work with others to bring about change, development and/or new thinking;
E5Demonstrate the ability to work with complex ethical and social work issues in accordance with current professional /ethical codes of practice and the law;

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11SWPG11001Applied Law for Social Work Practice20check mark  
11SWPG11008Direct Practice Placement A PG40 check mark 
11SWPG11006Learning & Applying Lessons from Svc Failures20check mark  
11SWPG11005Social Work Values, Ethics&Theory in Practice20check mark  

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

Before students can undertake there first year placement, all of the above core modules must be passed in order to comply with the readiness for assessed practice criteria of the SSSC. Students can progress to their final year placement by having passed all previous modules in the programme.

To progress to Diploma level, in order to comply with the requirements of the SSSC students must complete all core modules at certificate level i.e. year one.

The Post-Graduate Certificate in Social Studies is typically offered as an exit award after successful completion of 60 credits at level 11 in accordance with 1.21 of the University’s regulatory framework. This credit total will change accordingly in the event that any change is specified within subsequent revisions to the University’s regulatory framework.


B. PG Dip
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of social work theory and practice.
A2Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles that underpin effective social work practice.
A3Demonstrate a research led in depth knowledge and understanding in one or more specialist practice areas some of which are informed by or at the forefront of current social work theory and practice.
A4Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of the ways in which knowledge about social work is developed, including a range of established techniques of inquiry or research methodologies.
A5Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of the relationship between law and social work practice and how to source relevant case law and other guidance.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate competence and sophistication in communicating in accordance with professional/academic conventions with peers and senior colleagues using a range of formats including the ability to deliver formal presentations.
B2Demonstrate a range of advanced skills, practices and/or materials associated with social work to assess and manage need and risk.
B3Demonstrate to an advanced level an appropriate range of skills, practices and/or materials which are specialised, advanced, or at the forefront of understanding about social work theory and practice.
B4Demonstrate a commitment to social justice, the promotion of human rights and ethical practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate the ability to use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established social work practices.
C2Demonstrate proficiency in making formal presentations about specialised social work topics to informed audiences.
C3Demonstrate the ability to communicate with social work peers, senior colleagues and specialists.
C4Demonstrate the ability to interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set and achieve goals/targets.
C5Demonstrate an ability to make effective use of ICT skills to be able to analyse data in order to inform action plans, measure progress and evaluate outcomes.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate the ability to critically identify, define, conceptualise, and analyse complex social work problems and issues.
D2Demonstrate proficiency in offering professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
D3Demonstrate proficiency in critically reviewing and consolidating social work knowledge, skills, practices and thinking.
D4Demonstrate some originality and creativity in dealing with social work issues.
D5Demonstrate proficiency in making judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise appropriate autonomy and initiative in social work activities.
E2Practice in ways which show a clear awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
E3Work effectively under guidance in a peer relationship with qualified practitioners.
E4Work with others to bring about change, development and/or new thinking.
E5Demonstrate the ability to work with complex ethical and social work issues in accordance with current professional /ethical codes of practice and the law.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11SWPG11007Direct Practice Placement B40check markcheck mark 

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Progression and Award

To progress to Masters level, students must meet the criteria specified in the most up-to-date version of the University regulations.






C. Masters
Learning Outcomes (Maximum of 5 per heading)

Knowledge and Understanding

A1Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of most of the principal areas, features, boundaries, terminology and conventions of social work theory and practice to an advanced level.
A2Demonstrate a critical in depth knowledge and understanding of the principal theories, concepts and principles that underpin effective social work practice with reference to a range of practice scenarios.
A3Demonstrate a research led in-depth knowledge and critical understanding in one or more specialist practice areas, some of which are informed by or at the cutting edge of current social work theory and practice.
A4Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the ways in which knowledge about social work is developed, including a range of established techniques of enquiry or research methodologies.
A5Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the relationship between law and social work practice and how to source and interpret relevant case law and other guidance.

Practice - Applied Knowledge and Understanding

B1Demonstrate competence in communicating complex information in accordance with professional/academic conventions with peers and senior colleagues using a range of formats including the ability to deliver formal presentations to an advanced level.
B2Demonstrate a range of advanced skills, practices associated with social work to assess and manage need and risk.
B3Demonstrate an appropriate range of advanced knowledge and skills in order to conceptualise alternative models of social work theory and practice.
B4Demonstrate the ability to conduct a detailed investigation into an area relevant to social work practice and identify and implement relevant outcomes in relation to best practice in a defined area.
B5Demonstrate and understanding of and commitment to social justice, the promotion of human rights and ethical practice.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills

C1Demonstrate the ability to use a range of advanced and specialised skills in support of established social work practices.
C2Demonstrate proficiency in making formal presentations about specialised social work topics to informed audiences.
C3Demonstrate the ability to communicate to a very high standard with social work peers, senior colleagues and specialists.
C4Demonstrate the ability to interpret, use and evaluate a wide range of numerical and graphical data to set, achieve goals/targets and evaluate interventions.

Generic Cognitive Skills - Problem Solving, Analysis, Evaluation

D1Demonstrate the ability to critically identify, define, conceptualise, and analyse complex social work problems and issues in order to formulate appropriate action plans and interventions.
D2Demonstrate proficiency in offering professional level insights, interpretations and solutions to problems and issues.
D3Work effectively under guidance in a peer relationship with qualified practitioners by demonstrating the ability to seek and utilise feedback and support.
D4Demonstrate originality and creativity in dealing with social work issues that have arisen during the course of practice.
D5Demonstrate proficiency in making critically important judgements where data/information is limited or comes from a range of sources.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working With Others

E1Exercise significant levels of autonomy and initiative in social work activities;
E2Practice in ways that show a critical awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
E3Work effectively under guidance in a peer relationship with qualified practitioners by demonstrating the ability to seek and utilise feedback and support.
E4Work in partnership with others to bring about change, development and/or new thinking.
E5Demonstrate the ability to work in a sophisticated manner with complex ethical and social work issues based upon a critical understanding of current professional/ethical codes of practice and the law.

Core Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
11SWPG11003Masters Dissertation: Social Work60  check mark

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Optional Modules
SCQF Level Module CodeModule NameCreditTermFootnotes
123
               

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

Footnotes

Criteria for Award


The award of MSc Social Work (Conversion) shall be awarded to students who have completed all 200 credits within this programme.




Regulations of Assessment

Candidates will be bound by the general assessment regulations of the University as specified in the University Regulatory Framework.

An overview of the assessment details is provided in the Student Handbook and the assessment criteria for each module is provided in the module descriptor which forms part of the module pack issued to students. For further details on assessment please refer to Chapter 3 of the Regulatory Framework.

To qualify for an award of the University, students must complete all the programme requirements and must meet the credit minima detailed in Chapter 1 of the Regulatory Framework.

Combined Studies

There may be instances where a student has been unsuccessful in meeting the award criteria for the named award and for other more generic named awards existing within the School. Provided that they have met the credit requirements in line with the SCQF credit minima (please see Regulation 1.21), they will be eligible for an exit award of PgCert/ PgDip in Combined Studies.



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