The Department has been commended for its excellent social work teaching, and provides a lively and active research environment with much on-going research in the field of social work and applied social science.
Staff teaching on the Social Work programmes have research interests within the areas of social work, social policy, disability studies, sociology, criminology and applied social science. Considerable emphasis is placed on linking theory, research, professional practice and service development in research and teaching activities. Find out more about our staff, their publications and research interests.
Introduction to Postgraduate Social Work
The MA Social Work and PgD Social Work are professional qualifications. Graduates are eligible to apply to register as social workers with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).
To apply to register with the HCPC on graduation you must be able to demonstrate that you have reached the Standards of Proficiency it has set for social work. The social work degree programmes at Lancaster University are designed to ensure that on their successful completion students will meet the Standards of Proficiency. In addition, the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Social Work are central to our programmes, as specified by the Department of Education and the Department of Health and students must demonstrate competence against these.
The professional aims of the MA and PgD social work schemes are to develop students' ability to become social work practitioners, who are prepared to practise critically in order to help individuals, families and groups in need, by giving them insight into the following aspects of social work practice:
- The need for social workers to practice in a disciplined way
- Social work as a resource and case management
- Social work in a team context, both within the agency and across agency boundaries
- The use of research in changing practice and organisational policy
- The ambiguities of welfare and the need for honesty and clarity - e.g. about social work as surveillance and control
- The need for social workers to be aware of social divisions and inequalities, and to incorporate this awareness into their practice
The schemes involve students and staff in an active debate about the nature of social work based on research evidence and professional experience in order to illuminate its various purposes - support, maintenance, protection, control and bringing about change.
Key information about the MA and PgD Social Work, including timelines and entry requirements, can be found in our Courses listing under MA Social Work.
Funding Opportunities - MA Social Work qualifications
- For social work students ordinarily resident in England, there are bursaries available through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Information, including eligibility criteria can be found on the NHSBSA website, in their regular Bursary Newsletters, and in their 'Ask Us' section.
- For Postgraduate applicants, we allocate on a first come first served basis, meaning that candidates who accept Lancaster University as their firm choice on UCAS are prioritised and ranked accordingly (in the order of the date the University offer was accepted).
The social work bursary scheme is currently being reviewed and you should regularly check the NHSBA website to keep up to date with any changes that will be in place for your entry year.
Travel costs may be incurred in getting to Social Work placements. The amount will vary depending on the location of the placement but students may be able to claim a placement travel allowance from the NHS or a contribution from the agency offering the placement towards the cost of travel. All Social Work students will need to pay for an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check. Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews