Taught course

Values-based Practice: Health and Social Care

University of Glasgow · School of Critical Studies

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for postgraduate taught programmes are a 2.1 Honours degree or equivalent qualification (for example, GPA 3.0 or above) in a relevant subject unless otherwise specified. We also welcome applications from those with relevant professional work experience. Therefore, we will consider professional rather than academic qualifications where applicable. For candidates with the required academic entry requirements but no professional qualification, relevant professional or voluntary work experience is highly desirable. All applicants must supply two references. International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses. Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

Months of entry


Course content

This Masters programme is intended to develop critical understanding and key skills in values-based practice as they relate to health and social care. It also provides opportunity for focussed reflection on issues of emerging significance within the student’s own sphere of engagement.

Why Glasgow

  • This is a pioneering and innovative programme in an area that is becoming increasingly significant within many spheres of professional and voluntary engagement,
  • It is possible to take the whole programme through twilight teaching and occasional one day events.

  • You will be taught by people who have research specialisms in this field and are personally involved in values-based practice.
  • You will have the opportunity to focus upon issues that matter to you and are relevant to your own practice.

Programme Structure

The full time version of the programme involves taught sessions over two ten-week teaching periods, plus a period of research and writing over the summer. In each teaching period you will study a core course in Values-Based Practice and an optional course. A credit bearing training course runs throughout both training periods. During the final phase of the programme you will undertake supervised study of a specialised topic of your choice, researching and writing a 15,000 word dissertation.

You can choose option courses from within those designated for the programme and, with the convenor’s permission, other appropriate masters levels courses offered within the University. Within theses options there will be opportunity to focus your studies upon issues that are of most relevant to you.

The School of Critical Studies Graduate Training course will prepare you to work on your dissertation and to prepare a proposal and funding application for PhD work, should you choose to pursue doctoral research.

The programme is made up of three components.

  • Core courses: taught over two ten-week teaching periods, from October to December and January to March.
  • Option courses: also taught in ten-week blocks. Full-time students usually study one topic course in each semester.
  • Training course: taught on occasional study days throughout the year
  • A dissertation: written during the final phase of the course, from April to September.

Part time students would be expected to take both Core courses and the Graduate training course in the first year (80 credits). They will take two options courses and write a dissertation in their second year of study (100 credits). Twilight teaching makes this programme a viable option for those engaged in full time employment.


This programme aims to promote critical reflection, at an advanced level, upon values-based practice for practitioners in health and social care. It is the first course of its kind in the UK to provide training in this increasingly important field of professional engagement. The programme will introduce and employ the methodological approaches of reflective practice. It will enable the development of core skills in values-based analysis and evaluative strategies which are relevant to the public sector. Ethical frameworks for values-based practice will be studied and opportunity will be offered to focus upon emerging issues in a relevant field of professional engagement. Teaching will draw upon the wide range of research interests and expertise of both University staff and external specialists.

Core Courses

  • Use of Self in Values-based Practice: Students will work in a reflective group to analyze case studies in Values-based Practice that come from their personal fields of engagement. Critical reflection on these examples will develop skills of self awareness and self evaluation. Through use of a variety of reflective techniques students will develop the resources necessary to enable others in reflective practice. Formative Assessment: Learning Journal. Summative Assessment will be in the form of critical reflection upon two worked examples of values-based practice.
  • Writing and Reflecting upon Practice: Students will be introduced to a variety of writing techniques that are used to develop reflexivity in practice including journaling, autoethnography and life writing. They will present their reflective writing within a writing workshop. Summative Assessment will be through submission of reflective writing together with a critical commentary upon this.

Option Courses

  • Issues in Ethics and Practice: Students will consider various models of ethics and practice and critically interrogate their use and potential when considering current issues in health and social care. Assessment will be by an essay on this topic.
  • Theory and Practice of Peacebuilding: This course will examine the theoretical understandings of peacebuilding in local communities and across the globe. It will incorporate practical elements of conflict resolution and peacebuilding appropriate for practitioners wishing to better their skills in this area.
  • The Disabling Society: Students will acquire a basic grounding in modern disability theory and will explore disability and disablement as an equal opportunity issue through the study of contemporary organisations and institutional practices. These include education, work, access to health and healthcare, cultural representations of disabled people and the provision of social support.
  • Guided Study: In consultation with the Programme Convenor students are permitted to select a particular topic and work on this with the support of a supervisor.
  • Self-selected Option: One option, as agreed with Programme Convenor, can be taken from the wide range of taught postgraduate courses offered by the University which cover topics relevant to this programme including: health in social context, global perspectives on health and culture, public policy, research methods, pastoral studies, spiritual and religious care, global perspectives on health and culture, public policy

Students will complete a 15,000 words dissertation on a topic related to Values-based practice in Health and Social Care. Students wishing to undertake primary research using human subjects are advised to take a research methods course as one of their optional choices.

Information for international students

IELTS: overall score 6.5; no sub-test less than 6.0; ibTOEFL: 92; no sub-test less than 20. CAE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169 CPE: 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169. PTE Academic: 60; no sub-test less than 59

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Dr. Heather Walton