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

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

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

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.
See our tuition fees.
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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.   

Courses in all of these programmes may be taken on a modular basis if appropriate.

Further information: Find out about Service User and Carer Involvement in social work education at Goldsmiths

What you study


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Watch the video above for an overview of studying Social Work at Goldsmiths

Applying and entrance requirements

How to apply

Please download and complete an application form. You should send this to or mail it to Admissions Office, Goldsmiths, University of London, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW.

If you're applying for funding you may be subject to an application deadline. Find out more about funding opportunities for UK/EU students and international students.

Selection process

When you apply you will be asked to:

  • Give details of your professional and academic qualifications and experience.
  • Supply 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.
  • Supply a reference from a line manager or equivalent recommending you for the programme.
  • Give evidence to demonstrate competence in practice at the level that is required to complete the programme.
  • Supply 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.

Entrance 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.

We also accept a wide range of international equivalent qualifications, which can be found on our country-specific pages. If you'd like more information, please contact the Admissions Office.

English language

If your first language isn't English, you need to demonstrate the required level of English language competence to enroll and study on our programmes. 

Please check our English language requirements for more information.

Find out more about applying 

Contact us 

Get in touch via our online form


+44 (0)20 7919 7766

International (non-EU)

+44 (0)20 7919 7702

Staff in the Department of Social Work

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

Professor Jim Campbell
Mental health social work, mental health social work and law, social work and political conflict.

Anna Fairtlough
Diversity and progression in social work training; evaluation of training for work with parents initiatives; lesbian and gay parenting; parenting and domestic violence and practice education.

Joan Fletcher
Relationship-based social work and therapeutic epiphanies; diversity and progression in social work training and multi-generational, multi-family group work with teenage mothers.

Dr Perlita Harris
User views and experiences, particularly black perspectives; looked-after children; adoption, adoption support, transracial and transnational adoption. Dr Harris has also been working on a DfES-funded study, ‘Pathways to Permanence for Children of Black, Asian and Mixed Parentage: Dilemmas, Decision-Making and Outcomes.

Programme specification

To find out more about this degree, including details about the ways you'll be assessed and information about our marking criteria, you can download the programme specification.

Graduate profile

Julian, social worker and practice educator

"This course has been extremely good for me personally and professionally. I have developed my understanding of how I can promote learning. As a result I was able to enhance the quality of my practice education with social work students on placement. But moreover, I developed a deeper understanding of learning in organisations and it gave me a far better understanding of organisations and how to contribute effectively to their development. I feel in a much better position today to influence change and promote good practice."

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. 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.”


"Lectures were interactive and provided great opportunities for sharing work experiences and learning from others."

I began to study part-time at Goldsmiths in 2010 on the ‘Enabling Others’ course, the programme of study was taken at the same time as I began work with a Goldsmiths social work student who was on a placement in our team.

The course was very well organised, lectures were interactive and provided great opportunities for sharing work experiences and learning from others.

I continued my studies and over three years have been able to complete the whole MA in Advanced Social Work (Practice Education) award. It was a great opportunity, providing fantastic access to resources and support from very skilled staff. Along with developing my skills I have been able to extend my work portfolio to include marking assignments and practice assessing.

Content last modified: 09 Apr 2015

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