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Social Work MRes

1 year full-time, starting in September 2020

Develop in-depth knowledge and skills of research methods. Prepare yourself for an academic or professional career with a focus on social work.

The course systematically reviews and critically evaluates a range of theories, methodologies and paradigms of research that are relevant to social work, and their application to the specific areas of social enquiry in which our students specialise.

Working within an active research community, you'll be supported in identifying, investigating and realising your own research. We'll equip you with the skills to contribute to social work research projects using any of the main methodologies of the social sciences.

This course will not enable you to qualify as a social work practitioner. You may want to consider our BSc Social Work and Applied Social Studies course.

South West Doctoral Training Partnership

This MRes is recognised by the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC), specifically, as part of the larger South West Doctoral Training Partnership (SWDTP). It can be taken as a course in its own right or if you hold an SWDTP studentship you can take the 1+3 (MRes + PhD) pathway.

If you wish to be considered for a 1+3 SWDTP studentship, then you must apply for your preferred PhD route and not the stand alone MRes. You should follow our how to apply and funding guidelines.

For those holding a 1+3 SWDTP studentship, progression from the MRes to the MPhil or PhD stage is dependent on an acceptable level of achievement.

Graduate prospects

Our graduates generally go on to work in a wide variety of organisations and roles, such as:

  • social research in universities and research institutes, government, business, voluntary organisations and international organisations
  • public policy analysis at local, national and international levels
  • public information and campaigning within organisations concerned with wellbeing, sustainability and social justice.

Course structure

This course lasts 1 year. It starts in September 2020 and ends in 2021. Induction week starts on 21 September 2020.


Occasionally we make changes to our programmes in response to, for example, feedback from students, developments in research and the field of studies, and the requirements of accrediting bodies. You will be advised of any significant changes to the advertised programme, in accordance with our Terms and Conditions.

Compulsory course units

These compulsory units are currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new units.