Applicants are expected to undertake the Introduction to Research Methods (SWK 7031A) before starting this module in order to provide the necessary grounding in research methods needed for this 40-credit module. Applications are open to social workers are already enrolled within the SWK CPD programmes.
As an advanced level student, you will be well supported during the Applied Dissertation, but in line with the ‘Advanced’ level of the Professional Capability Framework, you will also take responsibility for your own learning and work independently. You will also meet Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS). One of PCF and KSS linked goals of the dissertation is to provide practice/and or professional leadership through the development of theory and best evidence-informed practice. Social workers at this level make a difference by working either directly with people in highly complex situations, or by supporting and /or developing staff or knowledge, to provide better outcomes for people who use services.
The dissertation is expected to make a modest original contribution to knowledge in your specialist area and within it you should demonstrate an understanding of the background research and literature in your field of study as well as a theoretical understanding of the approach taken to your own modest piece of research. Most students will therefore have taken the Introduction to Research Methods: design and analysis (SWK-7031A) as preparation for the Applied Dissertation. The subject of the dissertation will be agreed by you, the module leader, and your individual dissertation supervisor. You will also be linked to an agency-based mentor who will provide a sounding board and comment on the dissertation’s relevance and usefulness for the agency.
All students will be required to seek ethical approval from the School of Social Work Ethics Committee before beginning any data collection. You may also be required to seek clearance from your employing authority’s research governance processes.
- To facilitate a disciplined, modest and achievable exploration of a topic relevant to practice, service or staff development or management.
- To make a contribution to the understanding of knowledge in your specialist area and to help you to apply the understanding of the theoretical approach to the study undertaken
The ability to carry out a modest and focused piece of exploratory research applying quantitative and or qualitative research methods.
Knowledge and understanding
The applied dissertation provides the opportunity for you to draw on your work experience and knowledge gained from any of the master's pathways. You will bring these together by undertaking a modest piece of exploratory research in relation to a particular area of practice, service delivery, or service development. This work will enhance your own learning and contribute to the body of knowledge in your chosen area. The topic of the dissertation is likely to be an extension of the theme pursued in the Research Methods module but may need to be adapted to be achievable and meet the needs of your employing agency.
The module will enable you to demonstrate:
- The level of academic performance appropriate to a master's degree.
- Leadership in your chosen field, based on your extensive knowledge and high level of interpersonal skills, explicit values and acknowledgement of the responsibilities of your role.
- The successful completion of a modest piece of original research evaluation
You will present an applied dissertation that demonstrates your ability to:
- Plan and formulate proposals/hypotheses.
- Pursue a piece of well-designed and well-defined exploratory research.
- Critically evaluate relevant literature.
- Identify and collect relevant data.
- Analyse and interpret relevant information.
- Use coherent and logical arguments leading to conclusions for professional practice.