MA in Practice Education (non-Social Work qualified staff working in Social Welfare roles)

  • Length
    4-6 years part-time
  • Department
    Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies

Course overview

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

Do you see yourself moving into a more experienced, advanced or strategic professional role? If so, this programme 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 Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework (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.  Please contact the programme convenor for more information. 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.

The MA in Practice Education is ideal for social care professionals other than social work. If you are a qualified social worker please go to MA in Advanced Social Work: Practice Education. Both programmes 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.  


Contact the department

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

Modules & structure

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.

You’ll then 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, which can be taken instead of two 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, staff, service users and carers you are working with.


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

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.


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.

Student profiles


"It may sound corny, but doing this course has been a career changing experience for me. What and how I have been taught and the content of the MA programme have improved my practice."

How did you become involved with the course?
"My local authority education officer informed me of the MA programme when I was performing the role of my organisation’s practice educator. I always had an interest to further my training and education, as I believe education to be pivotal to empower self and others.

In particular, I found the programme’s educational research module invigorating as it enabled me to deliver a real action research project, working with individuals and groups to find answers. My first enabling others role was when I was a chef trainer, training apprentice chefs.

My role within social / health care for the last 15 years was in Mental Health Advocacy. During this time I performed the role of an on-site student social work practice educator and post qualified social worker assessor."

How did you find the course?
"The course was an excellent experience and the lecturers went out of their way to support participants. I appreciated the learning and teaching methods used, as information was not just thrown at you, I found the MA programme at Goldsmiths generated a positive learning environment, which allowed me and others to excel. I found my peer students to be engaging and like minded practitioners to want to make an actual difference to the customers that we serve.

As a learning institute, I found Goldsmiths to promote diverse learning approaches; anti- oppressive and anti discriminatory practice was its cornerstone. I gained new teaching skills and a deeper degree of confidence. As a result I am able to further comprehend organisational constructs on a higher level.

I completed the programme part-time over of 4 years, whilst working fulltime. My motivation and the student group work was an added value to my success. I used some of my annual leave to do the final research dissertation. It was challenging but a great experience, it was worth the effort!"

What are your career plans now?
"I have now changed my job and I'm a member of the London Borough of Lambeth’s Black Mental Health Commission. I am also a committee member of a local community charity. The MA helped me directly to achieve this."

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 8 do not apply, but personal statement requires demonstration of i), ii) iii) and iv) in relation to professional practice in Adult Social Care.


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 if you are not qualified as a social worker, be registered or in the process of registering with the appropriate professional body if applicable;

3. Have developed and consolidated your practice in a specific area of social care practice; (requirement: two years’ relevant work experience before taking full responsibility for assessing a social work placement, qualified for two years for module SW76007A and three years’ relevant work experience, qualified for two years by the end of the programme. for SW76008A)

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; You demonstrate this in your personal statement, which should be approximately 500 words long. Please address in all of the following:
(i) Outline the skills, knowledge and values that you bring from your professional practice
(ii) Describe your existing experience in practice education
(iii) Discuss what knowledge and skills you hope to gain from attending the programme
(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.

Personal statement in online application from

5. Be able to demonstrate that they 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

PART B (Line manager’s reference): employers confirmation that applicant 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. In exceptional circumstances very able and experienced practitioners not holding a recognised qualification and who are over the age of 25 may be admitted to the programme. In these circumstances you will need to demonstrate that you can meet the criteria 3-6 above. Further advice about admission requirements is available from the programme convenor.

Personal statement in online application. Refer to the convener.

8. Consideration will be given to requests for Advanced Standing from suitably qualified or experienced applicants. If candidates already hold the Practice Teaching Award or another equivalent qualification they can claim advanced standing for modules one and two. If candidates have passed the module ‘Enabling the learning of others’ in the Graduate Diploma in Specialist Social Work/Specialist Welfare Practice they can claim advanced standing for module one.

Certificates of any modules you intend to claim advanced standing for e.g. the Practice Teaching Award. Upload this as a word or PDF document and contact the convener.

9. Funding confirmation

PART C (Agency commitment form). Upload this 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 6.5 in writing

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.

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.

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. 

Late applications will only be considered if there are spaces available.

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

Find out more about applying.

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.

Related content links