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About Social Work

Why choose us?

UEL social work programmes are taught by experts in the field. All teaching staff are professionally qualified and registered social workers, and lectures are lively, highly participative and interactive. The majority of placements are in east London, a diverse and multicultural environment. This provides unique opportunities for students as they put theory into practice, giving them a wide range of experiences valuable to employers.

We have strong links with local social work agencies and employers, who often offer UEL students newly qualified social worker posts. Qualified practitioners often remain connected with UEL including undertaking continuing professional development and post-qualifying specialist courses.

We are accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council to award professional qualifications in social work alongside academic degrees. We have strong links with partner organisations including the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust with whom we offer a jointly taught qualifying MA Social Work. We host an innovative research centre, the Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR), led by Professor Steve Briggs and Dr Jo Finch.

Facilities and resources

UEL provides a wide range of modern facilities to enable you to study and learn effectively. On the Stratford and Docklands sites we have excellent library services and helpful supportive librarians. Students are encouraged to network with each other and both sites provide ample opportunity and spaces for this to be achieved. UEL have a range of eating places providing for different tastes which staff and students share together. There is a dedicated ‘one stop’ information and guidance service at each campus – The Hub – offering wide support and advice, coupled with a dedicated proactive study skills team who work with students to nurture their academic skills.

Short courses and continuing professional development

Our range of fully validated post-graduate specialist short-courses with credits offer continuing professional development (CPD) for qualified practitioners and can be completed as stand-alone courses or can be combined with specialist pathways to achieve named awards.

Practice Educator Professional Standards Stage 1; Practice Educator Professional Standards Stage 2 and Best Interest Assessor: Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards (BIADOLS) are accredited Level 7 short-courses with 30 credits. Advanced Mental Health Policy and Practice (Pre-AMHP) is a Level 7 course with 15 credits that can prepare participants to undertake a PG Dip. AMHP programme.

We are inviting social workers who qualified with a PG Diploma in Social Work to enrol on our 60 credit ‘Professional Practice Innovation Project’ (SK7503) enabling qualified practitioners to top-up to a MA Post Qualifying Professional Practice (follow the link to the MA Post-Qualifying Professional Practice).

Collaborative Partnerships

We are proud of our working partnerships in the social work subject area at UEL. We validate a PG Dip AMHP programme delivered by North-East London AMHP Training Consortium and a suite of Post-Graduate programmes with professional recognition for the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (TCCR).

We are running Cohort 4 of the qualifying Step-Up programme – Post-Graduate Diploma in Social Work (January 2016 – March 2017). This programme is managed in partnership with 3 East London Boroughs (Havering, Barking and Dagenham and Redbridge). Look out for notices with regard to Cohort 5

We actively involve ‘service experience advisors’ in our social work programmes with a key partner group being Advisors in Mental Health Services (AIMHS).

We are active members of the North-East London Social Work Partnership and the Social Work Education Network (SWEN) and we have an active ‘stakeholders’ group that contributes to the development of social work education at UEL.

What we're researching

Social work research is coordinated through The Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR).

CSWR applies a distinctive approach to social work research and its applications in practice through its model of ‘practice-near’ research. CSWR research embraces relationship-based reflective approaches to social work practice and policy, psycho-social approaches to understanding individuals, society and institutions and inter-/multi-disciplinary perspectives on social work practice.

CSWR led the REF 2014 submission in UoA22, Social Work and Social Policy (with >50% outputs at 3* and 4*) and contributing a 3* impact case study, Improving the evaluation and delivery of social and health services. CSWR works closely with national and international academic collaborations and non-academic partners in practice, to ensure practice relevance and enhance the impact of its research.

CSWR has 3 current themes with research projects undertaken through research projects and PhD students:
•    mental health, including suicide prevention; infant mental health; adolescent mental health
•    social work education; practice education and issues of diversity
•    child protection; including issues affecting ethnic minorities