Master of Arts in Social Work [Taught and Research (Mainly by Research)]

Master of Arts in Social Work [Taught and Research (Mainly by Research)]

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Course information

Course title Master of Arts in Social Work [Taught and Research (Mainly by Research)]
Course code PMASWKPET0
Postnominal M.A.(Melit.)
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 6 Semesters
Mode of attendance Part-time Evening (mainly by Research)
Total ECTS credits 90
Coordinator Patricia Bonello
Delivered by Faculty for Social Wellbeing
The Master of Arts in Social Work (mainly by research) is a programme which will provide social workers with a more flexible way of furthering their studies. It will provide a small number of core taught study-units which will expose the students to research knowledge and skills and to a limited number of areas related to their practice and research interests. It will then give the students the opportunity to undertake a meaningful piece of research with appropriate academic guidance. In this way, social workers will have the opportunity to integrate an academic component into their practice, enhancing their professional development and, consequently, their chances of career progression.

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The Course shall be open to applicants in possession of the following qualifications:

(a) a Bachelor degree in Social Work with at least Second Class Honours or equivalent and a minimum of two years of social work practice or

(b) the Diploma in Social Work or the Diploma in Applied Social Studies (Social Work) from this University and a minimum of five years of social work practice,

provided that such applicants shall have successfully sat for an interview, during which they shall be required to provide written and employer-corroborated evidence of social work practice and other relevant qualifications obtained following completion of the diploma course. Such applicants shall further be required to complete a preparatory programme as specified below.

Preparatory Programme

Applicants admitted under paragraph (b) shall be required to complete a preparatory programme, comprising 45 ECTS credits as directed by the Board, and to obtain an overall average of 65% or better, prior to their registration as regular students on the Course.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2021.

For more detailed information pertaining to admission and progression requirements please refer to the bye-laws for the course available here.

UM currently hosts over 1,000 full-time international students and over 450 visiting students. The ever-increasing international students coming from various countries, in recent years, have transformed this 400-year old institution into an international campus.

Our international students generally describe Malta as a safe place, enjoying excellent weather and an all-year varied cultural programme. Malta is considered as the ideal place for students to study.

You can compare your national qualifications to the local requirements by visiting our qualifications comparability webpage.

Access more information about our admission process and English language requirements.

After you receive an offer from us, our International Office will assist you with visas, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 3,900
Fee per semester: Eur 650

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 10,800
Yr 1: Eur 5,400 - Yr 2: Eur 5,400 - Yr 3: NIL
Knowledge and understanding

By the end of the programme, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a critical understanding of systematic inquiry, the role of social work research and its relationship to social work theory and practice;
2. Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of theoretical issues that determine different social work research strategies, designs and methods;
3. Demonstrate knowledge and sensitivity to the ethics of social work research, and ability to design and implement a study that fully respects all ethical principles of social work research;
4. Identify and critically analyse the use and quality of research in social work practice, including the social policy and organisational contexts within which social work is practiced;
5. Demonstrate awareness of the social context of social work research and the social and political influences that affect the process of social work research;
6. Demonstrate an awareness of minority, disability, and gender issues, particularly in research, and an understanding of how to develop user involvement research practices;
7. Explain the key notions underpinning social work practice;
8. Critically analyse how these core themes contribute to effective social work practice through an analysis of their practice;
9. Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the particular issue identified for their research study;
10. Have a wider knowledge of theory surrounding the issue;
11. Demonstrate an understanding of the main concepts emerging from the study.


By the end of the programme, students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate capacity for empirical inquiry and critical thinking, and a commitment to their use for service and organizational improvement;
2. Use different research designs and related methodologies in order to apply them to social work practice situations;
3. Discuss, evaluate and critically appraise and synthesise primary and secondary social work research, and a capacity to be informed by social work research
4. Critically reflect on practice;
5. Develop an appropriate research strategy, design and method to answer practice-based research questions
6. Engage with service users when undertaking research;
7. Engage in a critical analysis of the themes underlying social work theory and practice;
8. Debate issues that arise in practice drawing both on the practitioners’ contribution and their own practice experiences;
9. Analyse their application of knowledge of some of the key themes in their practice;
10. Apply appropriate research methods to the study undertaken;
11. Carry out a research study and write-up of the findings according to the University’s guidelines.
This programme of study is intended for qualified social workers, either in practice or not, who would like to further their studies mainly through research.
This course will allow graduates to advance in the social work career ladder, and opens to way to further study, particularly through PhD studies.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2021/2.

Last Updated: 4 May 2021

The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
Unless for exceptional approved reasons, no changes to the programme of study for a particular academic year will be made once the students' registration period for that academic year begins.