Social work masters
University of New England
Master of Social Work
Scope of a Master in Social Work
A master in social work is usually a two years program in which the first year is spent in developing the theoretical concepts of the students and the second year is focused on a particular subfield of social work such as mental health, community organization, military social work, planning and administration, families and children. Some universities distinguish their master of social work programs on the basis of the type of practice. Direct clinical practice programs train the students to interact directly with the people in the society and the indirect macro programs focus on teaching students the concepts of community organizing, political advocacy and policy making. Some universities also offer dual degree programs by offering a master in social work in combination with a degree in child development, public administration, public health or law. A growing trend by various first-rate universities is to offer online MSW degree programs. These programs are ideal for existing social workers aiming to specialize in a particular area of interest without leaving their jobs.
Social work master programs usually cover the following topics:
- Human Behavior in the Social Environment
- Research in Social Work
- Social Welfare Policy and Programs
- Integrating Micro and Macro Frameworks
- Social Work Practice with Groups and Complex Cases
- Social Work Practice with Individuals and Families
- Administration and Supervision in Social Work
Field experience with social work organizations is an integral requirement for degree completion.
Prerequisites for admission in a master in social work program are that applicants should be baccalaureates in a liberal arts subject. Some universities require biology courses to be also covered in the undergraduate curriculum. Educational/professional references, statement of purpose and GRE scores may also be requested. People applying for a master in social work program should be empathic with caring personalities. They should be experts in dealing with challenging situations and should be able to work independently.
A person with a master in social work can find jobs as an administrator or supervisor in social service agencies. He/she can also go into research, teaching, consulting and even policy making. Private practice is another career path available for master in social work degree holders. The average salary for social workers with a master’s degree is $65,000.