Master of Social Work

Master of Social Work

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Course information

Course title Master of Social Work
Course code PMSWKFTT7
Level of qualification Second Cycle
National Qualifications Framework level Level 7
Duration 4 Semesters
Mode of attendance Full-time
Total ECTS credits 120
Coordinator Claudia Psaila
Delivered by Faculty for Social Wellbeing
This is a professional degree providing a graduate entry into the profession of Social Work for graduates from other fields. This is in line with cutting edge social work education in other countries.

This degree, grounded in the critical and creative thinking approach to learning with a strong foundation in systematic inquiry and an evidence-based tradition to learning, prepares students with the values, knowledge and competencies necessary to become competent social workers. Emphasis is placed on practical placements, theoretical and conceptual frameworks, research, and personal and professional development. To this end, students undertake a range of taught study units, a dissertation and two assessed placements in organisations providing social work services.
The Course shall be open to applicants who are in possession of the following qualifications:

(a) a Bachelor degree from this University or any higher education institution recognised by Senate, obtained with at least Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in Social Policy, Psychology, Youth and Community Studies or Social Wellbeing Studies or

(b) a Bachelor degree from this University or another higher education institution recognised by Senate, obtained with at least Category IIA in any two of the following areas of study: Anthropology, Psychology, Sociology or Social Studies or

(c) a Bachelor degree from this University or another higher education institution recognised by Senate, obtained with at least Category IIA in Theology with Psychology or Social Studies or Sociology or

(d) a Bachelor degree from this University or another higher education institution recognised by Senate, obtained with at least Second Class Honours (Upper Division) in any area of study.

Apart from being in possession of one of the qualifications indicated above, all applicants shall:

(a) present a letter of attestation demonstrating that they have social-care related experience which they would have engaged in not less than three years prior to the commencement of the Course, provided that:

(i) applicants admitted under paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) shall be required to have a minimum of 150 hours of experience and
(ii) applicants admitted under paragraph (d) shall be required to have a minimum of 500 hours of experience

(b) present written reflections about their social-care related experience during an interview

(c) not be included in the Register established under the Protection of Minors (Registration) Act (CAP. 518) and

(d) demonstrate that they have the necessary aptitude and disposition to follow the Course with profit.

Professional aptitude and disposition shall be measured by means of a personal interview and group discussion. Interviews shall be conducted by an interviewing board composed of at least three members, appointed by the Board for the purpose.

Applicants who obtain less than 60% for the professional aptitude and disposition criterion shall automatically not be admitted into the Course.

The maximum number of students shall be limited to 30 students.

When the number of applicants that may be admitted to the Course is limited and the number of applicants who satisfy the aptitude criterion as specified above exceeds the number of places available, applicants shall be selected according to the following criteria, which shall be weighted as follows:

(a) degree type and classification – 30%
(b) social-care related experience – 15%
(c) professional aptitude and disposition – 50% and
(d) references – 5%.

Applications for the Course shall be submitted by the deadline announced by the University of Malta. For the purpose of selection, applicants who fully satisfy the entry requirements by 31st August preceding the commencement of the Course shall be considered first.

On acceptance on the Course, applicants will be asked to submit an original Police Certificate of Conduct (not more than 6 months old) to the Faculty for Social Wellbeing.

The admission requirements are applicable for courses commencing in October 2018.

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.

The International Office at UM provides information about admission, English language requirements, and comparability of qualifications. Dedicated personnel assist international students with visas, health tests, accommodation and other related issues.

Local/EU/EEA Applicants: No fees apply

Non-EU/Non-EEA Applicants: Total Tuition Fees: Eur 21,600
Yr 1: Eur 10,800 - Yr 2: Eur 10,800
Individuals who complete the Master of Social Work programme are educated into the profession of social work. They are able to utilise social work practice theories and methods for work with individuals, families, groups and communities. Through the knowledge, values and skills gained, they demonstrate that they are equipped to work with vulnerable individuals in society; to appreciate diversity and individuality; to identify strengths in people and communities; and to seek to develop those strengths and to build on them. They are also able to conduct evaluation of social work practice which is evidence based.

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

1. Identify as a professional social worker and conduct oneself accordingly.
1a. advocate for client access to the services of social work;
1b. practice personal reflection and self-correction to assure continual professional development;
1c. attend to professional roles and boundaries;
1d. engage in career-long learning;
1e. use supervision and consultation.

2. Apply social work ethical principles to guide professional practice.
2a. recognize and manage personal values in a way that allows professional values to guide practice;
2b. make ethical decisions by applying standards of the Maltese Association of Social Workers Code of ethics;
2c. tolerate ambiguity in resolving ethical conflicts;
2d. apply strategies of ethical reasoning to arrive at principled decisions.

3. Apply critical thinking to inform and communicate professional judgements.
3a. distinguish, appraise, and integrate multiple sources of knowledge, including research-based knowledge, and practice wisdom;
3b. analyze models of assessment, prevention, and evaluation;
3c. demonstrate effective oral and written communication in working with individuals, families, groups, organisations, communities and colleagues.

4. Engage diversity and difference in practice.
4a. recognize the extent to which a culture's structures and values may oppress, marginalize, alienate, or create or enhance privilege or power;
4b. gain sufficient awareness to eliminate the influence of personal biases and values in working with diverse groups;
4c. recognize and communicate their understanding of the importance of difference in shaping life experiences;
4d. view themselves as learners and engage those with whom they work as informants.

5. Advance human rights and social and economic justice.
5a. understand the forms and mechanisms of oppression and discrimination;
5b. advocate for human rights and social and economic justice;
5c. engage in practices that advance social and economic justice.

6. Engage in research-informed practice and practice-informed research.
6a. use practice experience to inform scientific inquiry;
6b. use research evidence to inform practice.

7. Apply knowledge of human behaviour and the social environment.
7a. utilize conceptual frameworks to guide the processes of assessment, intervention and evaluation;
7b. critique and apply knowledge to understand person and environment.

8. Engage in policy practice to advance social and economic well-being and to deliver effective social work practice.
8a. analyze, formulate and advocate for policies that advance social well-being;
8b. collaborate with colleagues and clients for effective policy action.
The students expected to read for this course are graduates in related fields, who are interested in obtaining a professional degree and becoming social workers. There are currently a number of related undergraduate degrees that do not offer their graduates a professional qualification. Thus, this new Postgraduate programme will be a path that students, qualified in these disciplines, could take in order to pursue a social work career.

It is an ideal course for some students, returning to studies, following a number of years in employment or in caring roles. These would have obtained degrees in related fields, and would now be seeking a professional degree in social work. The course is also intended for any graduates, in any field who are seeking a complete change in career.
A Master of Social Work will give graduates access to the profession of social work, and opportunities for working in the different settings of social work. This includes working in the areas of children and families, the elderly, disability, addictions, mental health, education, rehabilitation, health, diversity and anti-oppression, community work, poverty, and inclusion, amongst others.

The degree is a pathway to further studies like specialist Masters or Doctoral studies.
Click here to access the Programme of Study applicable from 2018/9.

Last Updated: 1 September 2018

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.

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