Normally an upper second class (2:1) honours degree or equivalent. English Language requirements Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
Months of entry
This unique programme is aimed particularly at international or UK students, with an interest in international social work, community development and comparative social policy. The programme will give you advanced knowledge about the theory and practice of social work and community development in an international context. You will be encouraged to develop a critical understanding of global social issues (such as social exclusion, poverty and environmental degradation) and relate this knowledge to developments in their own country. You will be equipped with the skills to engage in research and to apply research findings effectively in practice. The programme includes a two-week placement in a social work agency and the opportunity to carry out research on an aspect of social or community work in the UK.
Durham University is a world leader in International Social Work and Community Development. Our social work team edit the prestigious International Social Work journal and work closely with the International Federation of Social Workers and the International Association of Schools of Social Work.
You will study in a small group of international students and alongside UK students on postgraduate social work and research degree programmes. This will give you plenty of opportunities to share knowledge and experience in addition to your learning through lectures, presentations and seminars.
The MA consists of five core modules, designed to give you an understanding of social work as it is practiced in the UK, and a thorough grounding in research methods and their application. You will also choose two specialist modules according to your particular professional interests. Finally, you will undertake a research project and write a dissertation. To achieve the Master's degree, you must accumulate a total of 180 credits, as listed below.
International Social Work (30 credits)
- International social work: Debates and controversies.
- The history of international social work.
- International institutions and social work theories and practices.
- Legislative underpinnings to international social work.
Social Work: Context and Practice (30 credits)
- Contemporary social work and social welfare in a diverse society
- Construction of social problems
- Ethical frameworks for social practice
- Contemporary social work theories and practice.
Field Based Learning (15 credits)
- Social work practice
- Comparative theory/practice approaches
- Social and community work organisations
- Practice based pedagogies.
Students are required to pay for travel costs to and from their fieldwork practice placement.
Community Policy and Practice (15 credits)
- Critical analysis of communities
- Origins, history, and theoretical approaches to community development
- Contemporary forms of community development practice
- Community and public policy.
Practitioner Research and Dissertation (60 credits)
- Uses of research in social welfare policy and practice
- Approaches to social research
- Ethical issues in research
- Literature reviewing, sampling, data collection and analysis methods.
In previous years, typical modules offered were:
Youth Policy and Practice (15 credits)
- Youth policy in the UK
- Origins, development, and theoretical underpinnings of youth work
- Critical overview of contemporary youth work practice Key forms of intervention.
Management in Community Settings (30 credits)
- Critical analysis of a range of perspectives which have informed the management of organisations in community settings, including those relating to:
- Development of understanding in effectively managing and developing these organisations in the current context to increase their effectiveness in achieving their aims in ways that are consistent with professional values
- Personnel management
- Physical resource management
- Financial management
- Strategic management
- Change management.
Policy Related and Evaluation Research (15 credits)
- Relationship between theory and empirical research in evaluation
- Defining and measuring outcomes
- Case study analysis
- Poster presentation and participatory evaluation.
Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
- Spreadsheets and data analysis
- Populations, sample data and sampling distributions
- Point estimates and confidence intervals
- Significance tests, cress-tabulations, and Chi-Square tests
- Correlation and linear regression.
Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
- Sampling and sample design, questionnaire design
- Numerical taxonomy and cluster analysis in practice
- Methods for representing complex systems.
Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
- Introduction to theory and research practice in qualitative methods
- Ethnography and grounded theory
- Group discussions
- Data analysis and management processes.
Theorising Crime and Criminal Justice (30 credits)
- Apply theories of crime and justice to topical issues
- Theory and practice of criminal justice
- Analysis of contemporary politics
- Governance of criminal justice.
Crime, Violence and Abuse (30 credits)
Fees and funding
Qualification and course duration
Course contact details
- School of Applied Sciences
- +44 (0)191 334 1505