Search our site
Search our site

Advanced Social Work MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 3 years 1 day a week depending on module choice September 2018
January 2019

Please note: you can take free-standing modules as part of your CPPD in social work. The following qualifications are also available:

  • Professional Development in Social Work PgCert
  • Professional Development in Social Work PgDip

Choose Kingston's Advanced Social Work MA

This course for registered social workers gives busy practitioners structured opportunities for critical reflection in our well-resourced and research-informed learning community. It is designed and managed in consultation with employers, partner agencies and those accessing social work services. It complements the range of development opportunities available to social workers (including in-house training and career planning) and is a springboard for progression to doctoral studies.

What will you study?

The course is attuned to the vision of the Professional Capabilities Framework and Chief Social Workers' Knowledge & Skills Statements for social workers, which anticipate that experienced social workers may pursue multiple routes to progression. Consequently, you can combine specialist components, such as in the Best Interests Assessor module, with generic elements, such as supervision, professional education and leadership, management and decision making. This flexible format allows you to construct a programme of study to suit your professional profile and areas of developing expertise while benefiting from exchange with practitioners in other specialist roles.

You will need to successfully complete two 30 credit modules to gain the postgraduate certificate; four 30 credit modules to gain the postgraduate diploma; and four 30 credit modules plus the 'capstone' project to gain the MA.


Presentations, essays, critical reviews, online quizzes, posters, portfolio of practice, assessed practice, projects and a 'capstone' project that will enable you to produce an account of original research that is suitable for publication in a refereed journal.

Course structure

  • Postgraduate Certificate: two modules (each of 30 Level 7 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma: four modules (each of 30 Level 7 credits)
  • MA: four modules (each of 30 Level 7 credits) plus a 'capstone' project of 60 credits

At Postgraduate Certificate and Diploma level, you may select modules from the list below. Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list.

To achieve the MA you will undertake a 'capstone' research project and produce an article for suitable for publication.

Available modules

  • This module will enable students:

    • To undertake the statutory role of the Best Interests Assessor in applying the principles and provisions of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and Deprivation Of Liberty Safeguards in practice.
    • Keep appropriate records and to provide clear and reasoned reports in accordance with legal requirements and best practice.
    • Develop the skills necessary to undertake the Best Interests Assessor role in a person centred manner that promotes human rights and recognises the capabilities and strengths of vulnerable people within a rights-based approach.

    Successful completion of the module will prepare students to undertake the statutory role of Best Interests Assessor (BIA). The BIA is responsible for deciding whether a person is being deprived of their liberty, whether it is in their best interests and for how long an authorisation should last.

    On successful completion of this module students will have the opportunity to return to the university to attend a one day ‘Mental Capacity Act 2005, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards in Action' workshop that is included as part of the course. This will enable newly qualified Best Interest Assessors to share their experiences, gain peer support and enable a reflection of practice alongside an identification of future learning and support needs.

  • This module is suitable for those undertaking training and development roles in the workplace. Students taking this module are required to identify and analyse learning and development needs which might be met by the provision of training. They will then undertake independent research and develop a short training programme to meet these needs. The practicum for this module includes the development, delivery and evaluation of a minimum of two training events in an agency setting and the development of a training manual. This module is targeted at targeted at but not limited to social workers.

    • When provided: October to September
    • Time commitment: 35 hours – workshops, group tutorials and observation of training practice in a work setting
    • Level: 7
    • Credits: 30
    • Code: SW7012
  • This module examines the practice of supervision in the professional development of others. It aims to assist supervisors to develop the knowledge and skills relevant to professional supervision; to foster the growth of open, self-aware, flexible supervisors, with a clear sense of the professional boundaries and responsibilities of their role; and to promote critical debate and develop thorough knowledge of the supervision models available so that students can develop an approach which best suits their professional practice. It further provides a structured opportunity for students to develop their skills in providing reflective supervision and in the holistic appraisal of professional capability fostering critical evaluation of their own supervisory practice.

    In order to take this module, students must have responsibility for providing professional supervision in a practice setting. This module is targeted at experienced social worker/advanced levels but is not limited to social workers.

    • When provided: January to May
    • Time commitment: 25 plus a minimum of two live supervision sessions in practice 
    • Level: 7
    • Credits: 30
    • Code: SW7013
  • This module provides the opportunity for those employed in or about to take on management roles in social work to expand their understanding of leadership and management behaviours and processes, and what these mean for organisational culture, team building, staff management, supervision and development and making decisions.

    It will provide the opportunity for those in or joining first line manager positions to reflect on their management behaviours, enhance their capability in effective leadership and people management skills, and increase their capacity to be influential within and between teams. Students will identify relevant and appropriate professional examples for discussion and draw on research and theory to reflect on, analyse and improve their practice and performance.

    The module is  underpinned by the Chief Social Workers' Knowledge and skills statements for practice leaders and practice supervisors and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at Advanced Level (management).

    • When provided: November to May
    • Time commitment: Seven days equivalent to 42 hours including seminars, lectures and individual tutorials
    • Level: 7
    • Credits: 30
    • Code: SW7030
  • This module concentrates on the knowledge and capabilities required to successfully be a leader and manager within the context of social work organisations. It is targeted at current and prospective team and service managers and equivalent post-holders. Students will identify relevant and appropriate professional examples for discussion and draw on research and theory to reflect on, analyse and improve their practice and performance.

    • When provided: January – June
    • Time commitment: Six days equivalent to 42 hours including seminars, lectures and individual tutorials
    • Level: 7
    • Credits: 30
    • Code: SW7031
  • This module is co-delivered with partner agencies. This module critically examines adult safeguarding in relation to adults at risk whose independence and wellbeing is likely to be compromised through the abusive and harmful actions of others. The module will identify key factors which may give rise to adult safeguarding concerns and consider good practice in relation to responding to these in appropriate and sensitive ways that protects the rights of the person concerned. The module considers how safeguarding is an area of activity aimed at upholding adults' fundamental right to be safe, while at the same time respecting their rights to make choices – and how this involves questions of empowerment, protection and justice. The module will also explore appropriate multi-agency responses following official guidance from central and local government in this area. It is targeted at the social worker/experienced social worker level.

    • When provided: on demand
    • Time commitment: 30 hours learning sessions in both university and training settings in the employing agency
    • Level: 7
    • Credits: 15
    • Code: SW7021
  • This module is required for students undertaking studies at master's level and is normally taken after achieving postgraduate diploma level. The module will provide you with the experience of utilising principles of research and academic writing and thus demonstrate the intellectual skills learnt on the course. You are expected to review critically research and to evaluate the evidence underpinning your own practice. The module will provide you with the opportunity to implement the knowledge and skills developed during the previous modules by conducting research focused on a topic of your choice related to your area of practice with the support of a research supervisor. The module will enhance your presentation and publication skills as the assessment will include writing an abstract, presenting a poster and writing an article suitable for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.


You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

A copy of the regulations governing this course is available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

For further information

Dr David Nilsson
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 6578
Email us


This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps

For further information

Dr David Nilsson
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 6578
Email us


This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps
Favourite this course

Did you find what you are looking for?

This field is required.


Thank you for your feedback.

Find a course

Course finder


Find us on Facebook

Postgraduate study
Site menu