MA in Advanced Social Work: Practice Education (qualified Social Workers)

  • Length
    Part-time only: PGCert 1-2 years / PGDip 3-5 years / MA 4-6 years
  • Department
    Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

Course overview

This MA will enable you to extend and develop your initial competence in supporting the professional learning of others.

Practice education is the teaching, mentoring, supporting and assessing of Social Work students, social care staff, qualified Social Workers and other allied professionals for the purposes of developing competence and raising the quality of service for users and carers.

Modules include enabling the learning of others, teaching and assessing the adult professional learner, developing and undertaking the evaluation of practice learning, and developing the learning organisation through work with individuals, groups, whole organisations and interagency practice.

Please note: You may take individual modules separately or exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma – please contact the Programme Convenor for details.

Students who are working as associate lecturers for Goldsmiths may be able to undertake the University-run Certificate in the Management of Learning and Teaching as part of the programme.  

Find out more about service user and carer involvement in social work education at Goldsmiths.

This programme is endorsed by the Health & Care Professions Council.


What you study

The first two modules support you in meeting the requirements of the Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS). This allows you to become a practice educator for social work students on their first (PEPS stage 1) and last placement (PEPS stage 2).

The next two modules focus on planning, implementing and evaluating a learning intervention and help you to develop your skills as a Practice Development Educator.

If you are going to work with NQSW as an ASYE mentor and assessor, module five is designed for you.

In all these modules you will develop your capabilities in relation to teaching, mentoring, supporting and assessing of Social Work students, social care staff, qualified Social Workers and other allied professionals.

Professional leadership also involves developing the learning organisation through working not only with individuals but also with groups, whole organisations and in interagency practice. The last two modules specifically address these leadership skills and enhance your capabilities in working with teams and groups and in supporting workforce development through reflective practice and learning within and across organisations.

To further develop your leadership in social work education and your research capabilities and evidence informed practice skills you will conduct your own research. We also offer CPD modules on interpersonal skills for direct work with adult service users and on the Care Act, including adult safeguarding, which can be taken instead of tow of the modules three to six or seven.

The modules have an academic and professional component. They support you in learning from your work, your reading and your interaction with others and by developing practice, skills and values, always aiming to enhance the experience of students, service users and carers you are working with.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Adi Staempfli


The Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies
has human relationships at its heart

Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

We offer programmes in Community Studies, Social Work, and Therapeutic Studies.

Our degrees are informed by our commitment to social justice and applied practices – whether you want to:

  • understand and challenge the ways that vulnerable individuals and groups are disadvantaged and marginalised
  • become a social worker, community and youth worker, therapist or counsellor
  • change people’s lives through dance, drama and music

You’ll benefit from the wealth of experience of our staff and their commitment to ensuring that you’ll leave us as a reflective, research-minded professional.

Find out more about the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies.


Professor Claudia Bernard

Prof Bernard is interested in gender-based violence and how narratives of racism and gender oppression affect the way trauma ensuing from familial maltreatment is experienced, understood and named. She also leads a research group that is exploring diversity and progression of social work students in England.


Carol Campbell


I joined the Social Work Office in 2005. Prior to joining Goldsmiths I worked for Great Ormond Street Hospital and at Guys’ and St Thomas’s Hospital as Assistant Technical Officer in their Pharmacy Department. I have experience as Day Service Officer with Adults with Learning Difficulties and in Elderly Day Centres. I was a support worker for a service user and worked for a Youth Project as Secretary of the Management Committee, where I trained to teach phonetic reading to children and adults. I have worked for Zandra Rhodes UK limited in the fashion Industry and as a Qualified Youth worker.


Carl Chandra

Associate Tutor and Freelance Consultant in Health and Social Care

Having worked for 15 years in social work across children and adult services, I have been fortunate to have acquired a variety of practice experiences including working as a social worker through to senior management. I also provide freelance consultancy input with specialisms in safeguarding adults with learning disabilities or mental health disorders and leadership in practice. My interests include writing and I am currently involved in research around working effectively with mental health disorders and best practices around multi-disciplinary working.


Lee Clark

Lecturer in Practice Learning (Social Work)

I had ten years practice experience before joining the staff team in 2004. I worked in several London Boroughs, specialising in child protection, complex family assessments and court work. I have contributed to good practice guides and procedures manuals. I also hold qualifications for working therapeutically with children. I have long standing involvement in Practice Learning. I hold the Practice Teaching Award and have worked with several university programmes in the role of Practice Teacher / Assessor. At present, my research interests are concerning domestic violence and comparative social work in Europe.


Joan Fletcher

Senior lecturer in social work

Joan Fletcher's work is concerned with relationship-based social work and therapeutic epiphanies; diversity and progression in social work training and multi-generational, multi-family group work with teenage mothers.


Adi Staempfli

Lecturer in Social Work and MA Practice Education convener

I joined the social work team at Goldsmiths in March 2012 from the University of Applied Sciences and Arts, Northwestern Switzerland, where I worked as a senior lecturer responsible for practice learning and theory-practice integration.

I have qualified as a social worker in 1991 and hold a Mental Health and Practice Teaching Award. In 2006 I have graduated from Middlesex University with a MSc. I am currently working towards a PhD in a project on reflective social work practice. I have worked for 15 years as a social worker and senior practitioner with vulnerable clients in multidisciplinary and statutory substance misuse and mental health settings in London and Switzerland.

My teaching and research interests include practice learning and education, adult learning, reflective practice, communities of practice. I have co-authored a book on reflection in key situations in social work (


A number of other associate tutors contribute to the programme.

Find out more about staff in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies.

Skills & careers

Our students have been successful in a range of areas, from postgraduate research to employment in local authority children’s services departments, adult services departments, independent sector and voluntary sector agencies such as NSPCC, Family Action, MIND.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths



"The course was interesting, challenging, demanding and thought-provoking. It stretched me, expanded my thinking and made me realise my capabilities not just professionally but personally."

"After a turbulent youth I decided to study social work and graduated 12 years ago. I specialised in youth justice and managed a restorative justice project at a busy inner London youth offending team for 10 years.

I realised early on that I had a flair for group work and became interested in educating a new generation of social workers. I completed the Practice Teacher Award in 2005 and since then have supervised about 10 students one to one. I chose Goldsmiths as it has a good academic reputation; as a young person I never dreamed I would be a student at Goldsmiths. I really valued the support and encouragement I received from the tutors.

The course was interesting, challenging, demanding and thought-provoking. It stretched me, expanded my thinking and made me realise my capabilities not just professionally but personally. The highlight of my time at Goldsmiths has to be getting my results on my research. On a busy stressful day I received an email letting me know I had aced my research. All the sleepless nights, blood, sweat and tears were worth it. I was walking around with the biggest grin and nothing could cloud the deep sense of achievement I felt.

Goldsmiths is organised, consistent, reliable and treated us like professionals. This was so beneficial, especially as we were juggling full time social work posts, families, the course and all of the other things life throws at us. Goldsmiths is such a great community to be part of. I know from my own experience as a manager that employers are aware of the calibre of students graduating from Goldsmiths.

As a result of the course, I've recently been appointed as Practice Development Manager at Southwark Council. I now work with newly qualified social workers and students on practice placement. I have the opportunity to apply the findings from the research I conducted on the emotional impact of social work and vicarious trauma. I have also been invited to teach on a module of the Practice Education course at Goldsmiths for those who are supervising newly qualified social workers."


"This course has been extremely good for me personally and professionally. I have developed my understanding of how I can promote learning."

How did you become involved with the course?

“I qualified as a social worker in 1990 and have always worked in the mental health field in voluntary sector organisations. After about 13 years in social work I decided to take on a student and did a practice teaching course at Goldsmiths. Since then I have always had students and it was this experience which inspired me to carry on with the programme. After the first course I had a taste of practice education skills, but knew there was much more that I could learn.

Also, in the voluntary sector as a social worker you can sometimes feel a bit isolated. So I realised that the course at Goldsmiths was a good way of keeping in touch with social work. So I continued with the course right up to the MA in Advanced Social Work: Practice Education (qualified Social Workers). I even managed to get a distinction! It was hard work but very rewarding on both a personal and professional level.

I had to juggle a full-time job and it was really helpful that I was able to dip in and out of the course and spread it over several years. I never enrolled in more than two modules a year and had some time completely out. It was helpful that I got some funding for parts of the course.”

How did you find the course?

“Goldsmiths' teaching and learning approach was really good. There was a helpful balance between students learning from each other, seminars, lectures, input from practitioners and service users. Our feedback was heard and as students we felt valued.

It was nice that the other students came from diverse backgrounds and from different social work organisations, fields and roles. This diversity made for a much wider discussions and was enabled through an emphasis on sharing knowledge and experiences.

The teaching and information presented was up to date and quite a few of the lecturers could present personal research that they had done. In the last couple of years, I was using the virtual learning environment (VLE) much more and a lot of the books that were recommended were uploaded as E Books and there was good access to journals.

Tutorials were very helpful and I could always ask questions and get a response even outside formal tutorials."

What are your career plans now?

“As well as practising as a social worker I am now an independent Practice Educator. The course gave me the confidence to do that, which I would not have had before doing the course. I have also been asked to carry out the role of Practice Assessor to support and assess other trainee practice educators.

Now I am aiming to do more work in practice education and I am looking at possibilities of becoming involved in teaching on BA in Social Work courses as a tutor. The whole course has opened up a lot of options within the broader context of social work education and learning and development in organisations.”

Entry requirements

You should normally hold a degree level professional qualification in Social Work (eg Diploma in Social Work) or one of the caring professions and be registered, or be in the process of registering, with the GSCC as a Social Worker.

If you are not qualified as a Social Worker, you should be registered or in the process of registering with the appropriate professional body, if applicable, and have developed and consolidated your practice in a specific area of welfare practice.

You should have obtained initial competence in teaching and assessing the practice of professional students and mentoring and supporting students or colleagues, be able to demonstrate that you can meet the academic requirements of a postgraduate programme, and be working or intending to take up employment (usually in a paid, but exceptionally in a voluntary capacity) in a setting that will enable you to demonstrate competence in practice education at the required level.

See full details of entry requirements here.

Fitness to train
You'll need to meet fitness to train criteria to be considered for this programme.

Equivalent qualifications
We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

English language requirements
If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to meet our English language requirements to study with us.

For this programme we require:

IELTS 6.5 (with a minimum of 6.5 in the written test and no individual test lower than 6.0)

If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

As part of your application you’ll need to have:

  • Details of your professional and academic qualifications and experience
  • A 750-word personal statement in which you:
    • describe the specialist area of practice that you are currently working in
    • evaluate the existing skills, knowledge and values that you bring to your specialist area of professional practice
    • discuss what knowledge, skills and expertise you hope to gain from attending the programme
  • A reference from a line manager or equivalent recommending you for the programme
  • Evidence to demonstrate competence in practice at the level that is required to complete the programme
  • An agency commitment form undertaking to pay the necessary fees (where applicable)

If you do not hold a recognised qualification in Social Work or in one of the other caring professions, you will need to provide an additional 1,500-word statement showing how your experience makes you eligible for the programme

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline. 

Find out more about applying.

Fees & funding

Find out more about funding opportunities for home/EU applicants, or funding for international applicants. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

Find out more about tuition fees.

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