Course information

Course overview

Support the professional learning of others through leadership in education, supervision and reflective practice.

Where do you see yourself in five years' time?

Do you see yourself moving into a more experienced, advanced or strategic social work role? If so, Goldsmiths can support you in developing your professionalism by enhancing your skills, expanding your knowledge and reflecting on values. They offer a whole range of modules designed to further your capabilities in all domains of the PCF, but they focus especially on practice education and professional leadership. In addition, many of the modules are designed to further your knowledge and skills outlined in the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Practice Supervisors of Social Workers in Child and Family Social Work.

Normally, practitioners take individual modules of this programme and apply through the Continuous Professional Development Framework. If you want to achieve the MA or exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, and you are supported by your employer to do so, then you should apply to this programme. Please contact the programme convenor for more information.

The MA/PGDip/PGCert in Professional Leadership for Social Work is ideal for qualified social workers and will enable you to extend and develop your existing competence and prepare for leadership and research in practice education. All modules, except the dissertation, can be taken as standalone MA-level CPD modules.

This programme has been endorsed by TCSW as working to an agreed set of quality criteria and offers provision that meets the CPD learning needs of social workers.   

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Contact the department

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

What you'll study

Your first two modules will see you providing work-based learning and assessment for a recognised professional award, for example for social work students. You’ll develop the skills and knowledge in supporting and assessing learners. The modules will 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). In your third and fourth modules, you’ll develop your practice education skills through designing, implementing and evaluating a practice learning intervention. If you successfully complete these four modules on one of the MA programmes you can leave at this stage with a Postgraduate Certificate in Practice Education.

In modules five to seven you’ll focus on developing the learning organisation. You’ll extend your skills and knowledge in developing professional leadership with individuals, teams and groups within and across organisations. The modules will focus on coaching, mentoring, supervision and reflective practice. If you are going to work with NQSW as an ASYE mentor and assessor, module five is designed for you. 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. If you successfully complete these modules on one of the MA programmes you can leave the programme at this stage with a Postgraduate Diploma.To gain your MA qualification, you’ll complete a dissertation on a topic related to practice education. You’ll develop your strategic leadership in the field through your research, which will normally take the form of an action research project. You may also choose a more conventional dissertation, through which you’ll play a leading role in how the recommendations arising from your literature review could be implemented. Throughout your dissertation, you’ll learn research methodologies, and receive individual supervision and mentoring to help you design your research or literature review.

We also offer CPD modules on interpersonal skills for direct work with adult service users and on the Care Act, including adult safeguarding.

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.

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

Download the programme specification for the 2018-19 intake. If you would like an earlier version of the programme specification, please contact the Quality Office.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Entry requirements

Requirements for all applicants and modules

Please note that these requirements are different for the Care Act and Interpersonal Skills modules: criteria 4, 6 and 7 do not apply, but personal statement requires demonstration of criteria 4 i), ii) iii) and iv) in relation to professional practice in Adult Social Care.


Requirement Evidence to be submitted
1. Hold a degree-level professional qualification in social work or one of the caring professions.  A copy of your registration with the HCPC or other professional body (if appropriate).
Upload this as a word or PDF document.
2. Be registered or be in the process of registering with the HCPC as a social worker; or be registered or in the process of registering with another appropriate professional body, if applicable.
3. Have developed and consolidated your practice in a specific area of social care practice. You are required to be qualified for two years and have two years' work experience for module one and three years’ work experience for module two

Evidence of registration and employment history in online application form.

4. Have obtained initial competence in teaching and assessing the practice of professional students and mentoring and supporting students or colleagues.

Personal statement in online application from (approx. 500 words). Please:

(i) Outline the professional skills, knowledge and values

(ii) Describe your experience in practice education

(iii) Discuss what knowledge and skills you hope to gain from the module(s)

(iv) If you are an unqualified practitioner, you should provide further evidence (1,500 words) in section (i) to show how you consider your experience makes you eligible for the programme

5. Be able to demonstrate that you can meet the academic requirements of a post-graduate programme*. Qualifications in online application; personal statement in online application and line manager's reference to be uploaded as a word or PDF document.
6. 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. Line manager’s reference needs to confirm that you will be able to work with a student or meet the other work related requirements of module. Upload this as a word or PDF document.
7. If you already hold the Practice Teaching Award or another equivalent qualification, or have MA level credits, you can apply for accreditation of prior accredited learning.  Please upload certificates of any modules. e.g. the Practice Teaching Award, Transcript of Record from another university. Upload this as a word or PDF document and please contact the convener.
8. Funding confirmation. Please upload the Agency Commitment Form as a word or PDF document.


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.

International qualifications

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

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score of to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

Find out more about tuition fees.

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.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Please see entry requirements with information on your personal statement and on the documents that you need to upload as part of your application.

Please see our guidance on writing a postgraduate statement

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

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging in using your username/email and password.

Find out more about applying.

Learning & teaching

What are the requirements for meeting the PEPS 1 and 2?

To meet the requirements of Practice Educator Professional Standards at stage 1 you will need to: meet the academic standards (pass) for module 1 (Enabling the Learning of Others) and meet the professional standards in your work with your student. For this you will need to have worked with a social work student (first placement), which is assessed by the university's tutor and to be observed by a PQ Assessor in your practice with the student.

To meet the requirements of Practice Educator Professional Standards at stage 2 you will need to meet the academic and professional standards for: meet the academic standards (pass) for module 2 (Assessing and Teaching the Adult Professional Learner) and meet the professional standards in your work with your student or another learner. For this you will need to have worked with a social work student (final placement) or another learner, which is assessed by the university's tutor and to be observed by a PQ Assessor in your practice with the student. Please note that employers are responsible to keep track of whether their employees meet the PEPS.

To only meet the academic university requirements for modules 1 & 2, you must have worked with a student or another learner and have been observed at least one by a PQ Practice Assessor.

Can I take on a final year student on placement if I only meet the PEPS1?

A social worker who has met the requirements for PEPS 1 but does not meet the requirements of PEPS 2 (or is not in training to meet the requirements of PEPS 2) cannot work with a final year student.

If you are not in training to meet the requirements for PEPS 2 you therefore can only work with a final year student, if you are supervised by a practice educator who meets the PEPS 2 requirements. This supervising practice educator acts as a long arm support by coaching you, by reading and signing off the reports on the assessment of the student.

What support can I expect?

Once you have started with the module you will receive a handbook for the CPD modules. This handbook lists all the relevant dates (see chapter on curriculum). In the handbook you can also find all the relevant information on your module(s), including module outlines, learning outcomes, assessment requirements, reading lists, additional support available to practice educators with a learning disability, etc. In addition, we offer an induction workshop, where you will be supported with your enrolment, receive information on the virtual learning environment (VLE) and be given an induction to the library. In relation to your assessment we are running portfolio preparation workshops for some modules and are also offering sessions on how to upload your portfolio. You are entitled to 1 hour individual tutorial time per 60 credits, or 30 minutes, if you are doing 30 credits. Tutorials can either be face to face, phone or via email.

I would like to undertake the whole MA in Advanced Social Work: Practice Education (qualified Social Workers) or the MA/PGDip/PGCert in Practice Education (non-Social Work qualified staff working in Social Welfare roles), What do I need to do?

Please apply via the Goldsmiths' webpage for the MA in Advanced Social Work (Practice Education) if you are a qualified social worker or the MA in Practice Education for other professionals. If you already have MA level credits for relevant CPD modules please upload the transcript of records from your university, if you have not gained the credits at Goldsmiths. You can bring a maximum of 2/3 of the credits for the award you are seeking to gain.

The PG Certificate in Practice Education can be awarded if you are enrolled on the MA and decide to exit the programme, once you have obtained 60 Masters level credits. The Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work - Practice Education (if you are a qualified and registered social worker) and the Postgraduate Diploma in Practice Education for non social work qualified educators can be awarded if you have 120 Masters level credits.




Staff who teach on the modules include:

Professor 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. 

Carol Campbell Administrator
"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 am currently working as a lecturer at LSBU where I have been based for 6 years. 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
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.

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