Advanced practice and research social work and social care (D55)

Join one of the most established and respected doctoral social work and social care programmes in the UK

This course engages with the realities of your current work experience, its emotional demands and complexities and enables you to respond to these more reflectively, effectively and with increased confidence in your role.

You are supported to design and implement a research project relevant to your area of work and interest. It is uniquely arranged with other professional doctorates covering consultation and the organisation and systemic therapy, making for a multidisciplinary student body and enriching learning experience.

Please note: you may see the D55 course also referred to as SCDOTP003 in communications from our application system.

About this course

The course is comprised of two years of ‘taught’ work and a minimum of two years applied research leading to submission of a 40,000-word doctoral thesis.

In years one and two, you will attend small reflective practice seminars focusing on direct practice as well as supervision/management or education/training. You will undertake an organisational observation and engage with theory and research around the contemporary policy environment and ‘complexity’ in social work and social care.

In year one you are also required to attend a five-day group relations conference which is a unique opportunity for experiential learning about how you work in groups, systems and organisations, and how they impact upon you and your role. The cost of this event is included in the course fees.

Research methods, lectures and seminars are shared with students on other professional doctorate programmes, making for a rich interdisciplinary learning experience.

By the end of year two, you will have developed a clear proposal for your research, and in subsequent years will be regularly supervised on your project by an experienced team. Research continuation seminars offer opportunities for group data analysis and problem solving, and strong peer support.

Each year you will also attend the annual Tavistock doctoral conference where students present work in progress, display posters and learn from the experience of doctoral graduates.

Who is this course for?

If you are working in the social work or social care sector, are looking for in-depth professional development and want to research a pertinent topic in a supportive and dynamic learning environment then this may be the course for you.

Course details

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you have a master’s degree and either a social work qualification and at least two years post-qualifying experience, or substantial experience working in the health and social care sector.

Please note: you may see the D55 course also referred to as SCDOTP003 in communications from our application system.

Home

£ 5,415 per year

International

£ 10,830 per year

For more information about financing your studies and your fee status, please see our fees and funding area.

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy to offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses.

This course is not eligible for a doctoral loan.

Assessment

Assessment in the first two years is by written coursework. Research methods units are assessed by 5,000-word submissions, a critical literature review in year one and a research proposal in year two.

Other units are assessed by 3,000-word essays or case studies. The research phase of the programme is assessed by a 40,000-word thesis and successful completion of all these requirements leads to the award of a doctorate.

Attendance

The core attendance day is Thursday. The programme requires attendance on 14 full or half days in each of the first two years on a fortnightly basis, plus the five-day group relations conference in year one which normally runs in the week preceding Christmas week.

In the research phase, there are monthly research continuation seminars, normally on a Thursday, and individual research supervision meetings which can be organised on a more flexible basis.

There is provision for some elements of the programme to be accessed remotely, but this needs to be negotiated.

Graduates from this course have continued to develop their careers as practice leaders either in strategic leadership or practice leadership positions, in advanced or specialised practice roles and in education, or academia.

Why study with us?

The doctoral social work and social care programme at the Tavistock and Portman is among the most established and respected in the UK. We now have many successful doctoral graduates, a number of whom contribute to the teaching and learning, as well as a long established service user representative who plays an important role in the life of the course.  

A high proportion of our current and past students are from Black, Asian and other minority ethnic backgrounds and many students are researching aspects of their professional experience of racism, marginalisation, migration, and discrimination, bringing to the surface aspects of lived experience that might otherwise remain relatively invisible. Our staff group is diverse and fully committed to supporting such work.

Our programme is unique in its emphasis on relationship-based and therapeutic practice principles and benefits from a course team who are experienced as well as current practitioners, leading academics and researchers.

Research supervisors are selected on the basis of their expertise in relation to your chosen area of research. There are also some opportunities to undertake supervised practice in one of the Trust’s clinical services as part of the course or to benefit from reflective supervision with clinical staff.

Our students have access to the rich programme of academic, research and multidisciplinary clinical practice learning opportunities in the Trust and events such as the Tavistock policy seminars.

Testimonials

“My decision to study at the Tavistock and Portman was a gradual process. I initially became aware of the Trust following an interesting reflective group discussion with Professor Andrew Cooper, which explored Relationship-Based Social Work Practice. I later had the privilege of meeting another lecturer which further sparked my interest in Psychodynamic Theory.”
Student

Course facilitators

Accreditations

Skills for Care have endorsed us as a ‘Recognised Provider’ for our social work and social care courses.

Register your interest

Applications for this course are now closed. Follow the link and complete the form to be the first to hear when this course opens for applications.

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