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People come to a career in social work through a variety of routes. Some come as career changers. Mature students come into social work having experienced successful careers in other areas of employment but feeling they want to do something they consider to be more worthwhile with their lives. People often want to make a difference and to use their skills to benefit others in the community. They bring life experience with them and are able to transfer experiences from previous employment to help them succeed in their social work careers. Others come to social work as they have had experience of benefiting from social work services themselves or seeing how services have benefited others. People also come to social work from their undergraduate degrees – wanting to continue studying and to gain the social work qualification to enable them to develop their careers effectively.
At the University of Manchester we are very proud of our MA Social Work programme and of the part we play in educating the social workers of the future. In 2019 the University of Manchester is rated as the tenth best University in the country and the twenty ninth best university in the world. A social work qualification from the University of Manchester is internationally recognised. Manchester itself is an excellent place to live and to study – it is a welcoming and inclusive city.
The MA Social Work programme recruits approximately 40 students each year so we have the opportunity to really get to know you and to work closely with you to develop your potential. Each student has a dedicated Academic Adviser who stays with you throughout your studies and offers you academic and personal support. We are key members of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy and have strong links with social work employers across Greater Manchester, including the ten local authorities. This means we are able to place you in excellent practice placements to give you experience of social work in the community. We also make sure you are well prepared before you go out on placement. In your first semester we work closely with you in our simulation suites to help you practice your interviews and communication skills to build up your confidence and expertise. You will work closely with social work practitioners, people with lived experience who use social work services and experienced academics. You will also be supported to develop your academic skills and to work towards submitting a dissertation on a practice related area of your choice. You will be supported in your move into employment and most of our students obtain social work positions very quickly after qualifying.
We still have a few places available on our social work programme to start in September 2019. If you want to know more about what studying for social work at the University of Manchester entails hearing about this directly from our students – past and present – would be a good starting point: