MSc Social Work


The aims of the MSW programme derive from the Department of Behavioural Science’s mission in social work education to provide educational opportunities for advanced study and social work practice. Graduates are equipped to contribute to the development of social work as a profession within the Caribbean, the development of Caribbean societies and the development of social policy as a means of influencing public policy. The programme provides graduates with the skills and knowledge to enhance their competence in the areas of advanced clinical practice and in social work management and administration. The programme also contributes to increasing the research profile within the social work unit by developing research knowledge and skills and in promoting the value of research as a foundation for practice and policy.


Graduates of the programme will:

  • Be able to apply skills of critical analysis within a professional setting, to synthesise and apply theoretical perspectives relevant to social work intervention
  • Be able to evaluate current trends in social work research, at the local, regional and international levels both in terms of methodologies and the applicability of findings and also, be able to identify policy and practice implications for specific client groups
  • Be able to utilise a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods within social work settings
  • Be able to undertake theory building with specific relation to social work in the Caribbean context
  • Be able to undertake advanced policy analysis and evaluate the impact of social policies on client groups
  • Have examined social work practice and theory in an international context
  • Have built upon a generic knowledge of social work theory and methods to a level commensurate with advanced level social work practice particularly in relation to populations at risk
  • Have developed the range of skills, knowledge and values for practice at an advanced level and will have demonstrated competence by applying these in an area of specialisation
  • Understand systems of oppression and discrimination and have acquired skills and strategies to advance social justice
  • Have skills for effective social work management, particularly issues of supervision and staff development, procedures for ensuring quality and equality in service provision and the implementation and management of strategies for change

Programme Requirement

Graduates of the programme pursue an area of concentration in their second semester, which will either:

  • Equip them further with skills, knowledge and the theoretical framework for advanced social work practice within a range of settings including clinical, school and employment-based settings.
  • Further prepare them for management level responsibility within the social work profession.
  • Students are also required to undertake Advanced Practicum (564 hours) and to complete a Research Project in their area of concentration.

The social work degree programme currently makes use of a large number of agencies (governmental and non- governmental) for the placement of students. The range and standard of learning opportunities these provide are diverse. There is a need to ensure that practice teachers and agencies providing practicum opportunities at Master’s level have the appropriate skills and structures to meet the needs of graduate students. To this end a systematic process of agency/practice teacher assessment has been initiated and training for practice teachers is provided.

The criteria for Practice Teachers supervising students at graduate level are:

•    Relevant academic and professional qualifications

•    A minimum of five years relevant experience (two at a supervisory level)

•   The Certificate of Participation in Practice Teaching Course (for persons not holding a social work degree) or The Award for Practicum Instructors

Duration of Study

Part-time: two (2) years (over five semesters).

Full-time: 18 months (over three semesters).

Course Listing – Master of Social Work

Students must take seven (7) taught courses, one (non- assessed) course in Critical Thinking and Practice for Social Work, one (1) fieldwork course (Advanced Practicum) and complete a research project. The course load will be as follows:

Course Code

Course Title


SOWK 6000

Research Design & Methodologies for Social Work


SOCI 6001

Social Policy, Analysis & Evaluation


SOWK 6001

Advanced Social Work Theory & Methods (Risk, Abuse & Resilience)


SOWK 6002

Planning and Leadership


SOWK 6015

Critical Thinking and Practice for Social Work


SOWK 6003

Social Work and Issues of Equality



SOWK 6004

Advanced Social Work Interventions (Concentration A)



SOWK 6005

Seminar in Advance Social Work Practice



SOWK 6006

Social Work Management & Administration (Concentration B)



SOWK 6007

Seminar in Programme Implementation



SOWK 6008

Advanced Practicum (564 contact hours must be completed in a field agency setting)


SOWK 6010

Research Project





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