Applied Social Work Practice: Leadership and Management - MA

About the course

This part-time course prepares you for the challenges of management in organisations where policy and structure are subject to constant change.

You will cover key issues in social work leadership and management – honing your ability to critically examine daily management practice.

Duration: The course is normally completed within five years.

Intermediate qualifications available:

  • Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Masters level
  • Postgraduate diploma – 120 credits at Masters level

Applied Social Work Practice: Leadership and Management - MA - Putteridge Bury Campus, Luton

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - Putteridge Bury Campus, Luton
  • Start dates - Oct
  • Duration - 2 Years
  • Attendance - | Part-time day
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

  • Study and apply current models of supervision and understanding of leadership and management in your own practice to ensure best quality outcomes for service users
  • Explore your full potential as a leader and manager in social work through enhancing your knowledge, skills, sense of enterprise and self-awareness enabling you to evaluate and plan for your own future career direction and learning needs
  • Develop your expertise in critical reflection, bringing analytical and research-led perspectives into your leadership and management practice – able to influence change through creative thinking and collaborative communication
  • Gain the skills, confidence and mental agility to take effective decisions, even in the absence of complete data, and motivate others in ever-changing environments with competing demands
  • Benefit from the ability to clearly communicate your ideas and conclusions to a range of stakeholder audiences.

The course will provide budding social work managers with a deep and systematic understanding of current knowledge about effective practice in leadership, management and supervision in the context of current social work practice and how this can enhance best outcomes for service users.

It will increase your expertise in critical reflection bringing analytical and research-led perspectives to your practice as leaders and managers to influence change where necessary by using creative thinking.

The course will encourage you to reach your full potential as a leader and manager in social work by enhancing your knowledge, skills, sense of enterprise and self-awareness so that you can evaluate and plan for your own future direction and learning needs. It will equip you with the skills, confidence and mental agility to lead and make decisions for best outcomes in provision for service users working collaboratively in complex, ever changing environments and with competing demands.

We have a proven track record for delivering innovative social work programmes and world leading, pioneering research. There is a strong commitment to ensuring that teaching is informed by up to date knowledge that is evidence based.

Whether you undertake the full masters programme or opt for individual units you will benefit from the expertise of a team of experienced social work academics committed to holistic practice that is firmly embedded in research, in partnership with practitioners and service users.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

  • Leading and Managing in Social Work
  • Supervising for Quality and Performance in Social Work Core
  • Strategic Leadership
  • Systemic Leadership for Social Workers
  • Practice Education (Stage 2)
  • Applying Knowledge to Work Based Learning
  • Applied Research Skills in Social Work
  • Dissertation for Social Work Leaders and Managers

Discover the School of Applied Social Studies

How will I be assessed?

You will encounter a wide range of assessments designed to collectively meet a variety of individual learning styles and to support you in your progress towards becoming an autonomous learner in leadership and management.

These methods are designed to test you in all the areas necessary for competent practice as qualified social work managers, as well as the academic disciplines underpinning this practice.

Through the use of a variety of assessment methods, you will be able to demonstrate a wide range of key skills for both academic and practice competence. Assessments building towards the final stage of study encourage more self-directed study and autonomous learning. In all the units there is an initial assessment early in the delivery of the course to enable students to practise key skills with feedback given in areas for improvement and development.

Assessment methods include:

  • Presentations
  • Observation of practice
  • Collaborative projects
  • Research dissertation

Entry requirements


As a successful applicant, you will normally have an honours degree (2:2 or above), and must have a professional qualification in Social Work and have proven ability to work at post-graduate level.


As an applicant you should be practising social work manager in a social work setting, or should be an aspiring manager who is expected to progress to a management role at some stage during the programme. Usually you will have a minimum of three years of post-qualifying experience for direct entry into the course.

Should you have three years' experience, but do not hold an honours degree, with a classification of 2:2 or above, you will be required either to complete a written assessment of your academic ability to write at postgraduate level or provide evidence of your ability to study at this level.  One way of evidencing this is the successful completion of the unit Embedding Professional Capabilities ASS037-6.


As an applicant you must be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council.


Should you seek accreditation for recognition of prior certificated learning you will be referred to the University of Bedfordshire's regulations for admission with advanced standing.  Each case will be assessed on its merit and in line with the University's maximum permissible credit transfer for the level of award sought.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

The course has been mapped against the Professional Capability Framework for Social Work and as a result, on completion, you will have evidence that you have met capability at advanced level.

Many career opportunities will be available to you in social work as a consequence, specifically your employability skills will be enhanced by:

  • being observed in your managerial and supervisory practice and expected to critically review, analyse and propose specific actionable areas for improvement
  • creating a personal development strategy outlining your strengths, areas for improvements, opportunities for development and how any barriers to these can be overcome
  • developing employability skills such as professional leadership, high level oral and written communication skills, analytical problem solving and decision making
  • learning from other leaders and managers both informally and formally about what works and what does not work in social work leadership and management and sharing this knowledge to improve social work practice.

Students on this course bring a wide range of experience and students are therefore able to learn from each other as well as from research and teaching. Many graduates have been able to secure key leadership or management opportunities in social work or social care, or have been promoted to positions of greater responsibility such as Heads of Service and have used the knowledge gained on the course to secure these positions.
Quote from a lecturer

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding

    MA Applied Social Work (Post Qualifying)

  • UK /EU
  • For the Academic Year 2018/19 fees are £850 per 30 credits course unit.

    This course is subject to a fees variance agreement. Details are available from the course coordinators.

    The University reserves the right to increase tuition fees by no more than inflation.

  • Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.


Putteridge Bury campus

Putteridge Bury is a magnificent country mansion set in 30 acres of landscaped gardens and picturesque parkland. Built in 1911, it is just four miles from the University Square campus on the Hertfordshire - Bedfordshire border. 

It is home to the Bedfordshire Business School postgraduate programmes and the University’s Conference Centre.

A free shuttle bus service operates between Putteridge Bury and University Square.

Comprehensive Learning Resources Centre

The Putteridge Bury campus has its own comprehensive Learning Resources Centre equipped with PCs, which give you access to online information databases and more than 2,000 electronic journals.

Students based at Putteridge Bury can also benefit from the 200,000 books and specialist texts, 9,000 journals and 300 fully networked PCs that are available at the University Square campus.


Ideally located only four miles from Luton town centre, Putteridge Bury is set in picturesque parkland just off the A505 and enjoys a tranquil rural environment and ample parking within the grounds.

Putteridge Bury lies close to the University Square campus, and is a short drive from the London Luton airport, the train station and bus station.

How to Apply

Bedfordshire University

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