Course Information

MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Social Work

Dependent on pathway School Of Health And Social Care Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

How to Apply

There are two online application forms available from this web page. If you are a new student to this Masters programme, please use the New Students application form.

If you are a continuing student of this programme or the previous PQ/Interprofessional Practice award, please use the Continuing Students application form.

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This is a flexible programme designed to support social care staff in meeting their own professional development needs by choosing an individual learning pathway. Students can attend single modules on the programme.

You can choose from a range of modules to meet your needs for learning and development. There are three compulsory modules in the programme and all other modules are optional. Routes are not prescriptive as the flexibility of the programme allows you to move from one area of specialism to another to support your personal and professional development.

The approach to learning is participative with your module tutor providing structure and conceptual practice models with frameworks to guide learning. You are provided with the opportunity to work in project groups to research areas that are relevant to your own practice, working with ‘live’ case material.

How You Study

Example Modules:

  • Practice Education
  • Contemporary Practice in Children’s Services
  • Managing Risk in Children’s Services
  • Mental Health Practice: Theory and Innovations
  • Supervision in Social Care Practice.

How You Are Assessed

A number of methods are used to assess students, including written assignments, projects and presentations.

Entry Requirements

Professional Qualification of Dip HE or equivalent

Currently employed by a provider of services to either adults or children in an education, health or social work related profession.

Key Contacts

Jenny Dagg, Programme Leader.
07917 529470

Sapphira Kingfisher +44 (0)1522 886013

Masters Level

Addictions (M) (Option)

The module explores different models and approaches to understanding addiction and intervention and treatment methods. A range of addictive behaviours and processes are examined including problems with substances such as drugs, alcohol and food; and non-substance based problems, including gambling and the internet. Participants learn basic skills relating to brief solution focussed interventions, motivational interviewing and mindfulness.

Best Interests Assessor (Option)

The module prepares professionals to carry out Best Interest Assessments of individuals residing in local authority and Primary Care Trust premises, and who may be at risk of being deprived of their liberty.

Consolidation of Post-Qualifying Professional Development

Students will reflect on their continuing professional and personal development, exploring how their knowledge base, skills and values have evolved through, and have been consolidated in practice.

Throughout the module, students will be encouraged to reflect on feedback from managers and peers as well as from service users and carers. This includes an observation of practice.

Those students who have already completed a postqualifying portfolio may use elements to produce
academic pieces of writing.

Contemporary Practice in Mental Health (Option)

Students explore the full spectrum of issues that might influence the onset, course and outcome of mental distress, including additional and complex needs and how these factors can be addressed to improve outcomes. Evidence-based interventions are critically assessed, including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Mindfulness and Social Interventions. Students reflect on the challenges posed by developing effective inter-professional working. Throughout, students are supported to demonstrate a good understanding of the perspectives of people experiencing mental distress, their carers and their families, and the importance of promoting participation and inclusion.

Contemporary Practice in Working with Adults (Option)

Students explore contemporary issues within the full spectrum of adult care, including learning disability, physical disability, vulnerable adults and older people. Underpinning the module is an understanding of value based practice, social care values and ethics, and the importance of promoting participation and inclusion. Students consider the changing context of professional practice, including the challenges posed by developing effective interprofessional working.

Participants are supported in evidencing their understanding of issues relating to adult care in terms of current practice, policy guidance and research evidence.

Contemporary Practice with Children and Young People and Families (Option)

Content Required

Developing as a Manager (Option)

A focus for the module will be participants’ own experience and they will have the opportunity to examine the extent to which this, together with organisational behaviour concepts, provide a vehicle for enhancing their understanding of organisational life.

The module provides a framework for developing selfawareness, awareness of self in relation to others and,
interpersonal and social processes as they impact on personal and organisational effectiveness.

It is also intended that the module supports students to develop their abilities in relation to learning and group skills that have relevance for the programme as a whole.

Dissertation (MSc Advanced Professional Practice in Social Work)

Students are supported to plan and complete a smallscale empirical research study relevant to their practice setting which results in a written dissertation. Students conduct a literature search which involves collecting and interpreting relevant material in order to apply this to researching their chosen topic. The empirical research is carried out within students’ employing organisations, with permissions gained from line-managers for the nature of the work and other permissions obtained via relevant governance channels. Students develop their critical awareness and research skills by means of focused individual and group work.

Effective Team Leadership for Social Care (Option)

The module provides a framework for the development of self-awareness in relation to leading others and interpersonal and social processes within teams as they impact on team and organisational effectiveness. The module supports students in developing a conceptual understanding that is grounded in personal experience and has practical relevance.

Evidencing Professional Learning in Social Care (Option)

The intention of this module is to support the student in drawing on a learning event and examining their application of knowledge within their professional practice. Students will further develop and critically examine their knowledge and the evidence base in relation to the area of learning, reflecting on the implication for their own practice and the application and impact for others, including service users, carers and families.

The module explores impact on the leadership and management of the organisation and is primarily for those students who have a role in the development and delivery of services, or training and development programmes.

Joint Investigation in Child Protection (Option)

Building on ABE (Children and Young People) training, the module enables critical reflection about the complexities and issues involved in achieving ‘best practice’. Students are supported to develop a critique of practice carried out in partnership with other agencies and may work in study groups in order to facilitate the process of learning.

Leadership and Multi-agency Working (Option)

Students are supported to engage critically with current leadership theories and practice relevant to working across professional boundaries. The module provides a deeper understanding of the knowledge, theories and skills needed to support and manage within multi-agency settings and when working strategically with other professionals. Drawing on contemporary literature, students build self-awareness and recognition of the personal and professional processes required to support integration in fluid settings which require management of complex roles and responsibilities.

Managing Change in Social Care (Option)

The module provides an introduction to perspectives on change management, the range of contexts in which change takes place, formal and informal aspects of change, and options available to those planning change. Students are supported to apply learning from the module to a practical problem or project.

Managing Risk in Children’s Services (Option)

The module emphasises critical reflection about personal and organisational attitudes to risk and their impact on practice. Working with their own case material, students are introduced to frameworks and models in relation to risk assessment. By applying and evaluating these, students develop an objective approach to working and managing risk, while analysing the role played by other agencies.

Mental Health Practice Theories and Interventions (Option)

Using relevant literature and research, the module focuses on the knowledge base which underpins work with people experiencing mental health distress, their carers and families. Different models and approaches to mental distress are explored, along with methods and treatment. Specific themes include: crisis management; ‘risk’ and risk management; the Care Programme Approach; and resources and support.

Perspectives and Values for Understanding Mental Distress (Option)

The module enhances students’ understanding of the role of personal, organisational, institutional, social and environmental factors in the causes, development and outcomes of mental ill-health. This includes developing a critical understanding of the impact of these factors on the individual, taking into account specific factors such as gender, race, culture, religion and spirituality. Students are introduced to the research and evidence base to enable them to critically appraise the value of research evidence and its relation to social work values.

Practice Education 1 (Option)

The module equips practitioners with the necessary skills, values and knowledge to enable them to become effective Practice Educators. The concepts of learning and teaching are core to this. The module involves an examination of key areas in developing the learning partnership, including: roles; responsibilities; preparation; planning; and managing the practice learning opportunity. This module meets the requirements of Stage 1
of the Practice Educator Professional Standards for Social Work (Social Work Reform Board, 2010) which is a requirement for teaching, assessing and supervising social work degree students from October 2012.

Practice Education 2 (Option)

Students will be supported to examine, reflect on and consider their experiences of being practice educators from within the context of their agencies, making use of feedback from observations. The module focuses on: reflexive practice; the ‘learning organisation’; and contemporary issues in practice education.

Practice Education 2 builds on Practice Education 1 (previously ‘Enabling Others’) and meets the requirements for becoming a ‘Stage Two Practice Educator’ under the Post Qualifying Practice Education Framework. Only Stage Two Practice Educators will be able to take final placement students from October 2013.

Research Methods for Social Care Settings

The module supports students in developing a clear contextual discussion from which a purposeful and appropriate research question emerges. By means of individual and group work, the module introduces the necessary research skills to explore the research question in a planned and systematic way. In learning
about these areas, students construct a full research plan which is underpinned by a critical awareness of what is involved in designing each stage of an achievable research project.

This is a core, preparatory module for those wishing to complete the final dissertation and equips them with an appropriate level of skills and knowledge to progress a research idea. It is particularly relevant for advanced practitioners who are expected to evidence practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline’ (PCF, 2012).

Safeguarding Adults (Option)

This module enables students to engage critically with research and other literature and to use this to reflect on current personal and inter-agency practice, including aspects of difference and values. Prominent features in the module are learning from experience, working with others, and examining the legal framework including the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and accompanying Code of Practice. The concepts of risk and risk management are explored, informed by the key values of human rights and social justice.

Service Improvement and Development Project (Option)

The module is based on the premise that all projects involve similar stages and processes. A key stage is the project definition and participants are assisted in establishing the focus and aims of their projects, terms of reference and ways of operating. Students are supported to evaluate their progress. The module provides participants with a basis for identifying the key stages, issues and actions involved in a comprehensive service development project.

Supervising Newly Qualified Social Workers (Option)

This module enables practitioners to develop a critical understanding of the functions of supervision and models, theories and skills which underpin effective supervision. Specific emphasis is placed on supervision to support the learning and professional development of NQSWs and how supervision is used to develop and review practice and performance. A workshop approach to learning is used to build on participants’ experience.

Supervision in Social Care Practice (Option)

The fundamental purpose of supervision is to improve the quality of care for service users, work performance and staff morale. The module offers opportunities to reflect on practice in relation to these purposes. Consideration is given to the integration of supervision within organisations and workforce development strategies and the implications which these have for practice. The module enables a critical understanding of the areas, functions and types of supervision, together with the theoretical models that underpin these. This understanding builds on and develops learning gained during professional training.

Supporting Practice Learning (Option)

Students examine institutional requirements in relation to equality and diversity and the wider national policy and practice context. Different approaches to supporting individuals undertaking practice learning are introduced, considering diversity in teaching, as well as the role and responsibilities of the Practice Educator with regard to core values and good practice. The module also includes a focus on professional boundaries and the management of challenging or difficult situations, along with alternative models for support such as peer support and peer-assisted learning.

Understanding and Responding to Dementia (Option)

The module considers a range of models and approaches to understanding dementia, together with different intervention and treatment methods. Attention is given to skills development, including the use of person centred care methods and dementia care mapping. Relevant literature and research are highlighted and critically assessed and the scale and context of the issue in contemporary societies will be analysed.

Career and Personal Development

This programme is designed to support social workers in achieving a Masters level qualification, as recommended by the Social Work Reform Board.

For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages. Occasionally provision may be altered in order to meet changing circumstances or to keep courses up to date with trends and developments in subject areas. Specific programme queries should be directed to the teaching department. Fees for all our courses may increase each year in line with government regulations and are subject to change.

Always check our website for the latest information about entry tariffs, fees & funding before making your application to the University.