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Different course options

Study mode

Part time


4 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

DSW - Doctorate in Social work

Subject areas

Social Work

Course type


Course Summary

About the Course

The Doctor of Social Work (DSW) has been designed to meet the needs of social work professionals. You will come from any field within social work, be it supporting children or adults. You should have several years of professional experience, perhaps at a senior level. You should desire to pursue an area of research related to, and drawing on, your professional work. Your research will create new evidence-based knowledge, practice and understanding that will bring benefits both to you and your wider professional community.

There is a strong emphasis on individualised learning and critical reflection. You will engage at an advanced level with varied academic and professional issues relevant to your own practice. You will develop the three key skills of independent learning, independent research, and sustained critical and self-reflexive analysis.

The programme is divided into two Phases. Phase One is the Taught Phase. You undertake three ‘strands’ of taught study, organised into six modules (20 credits each). You will also write substantial research Proposal (60 credits), during this Phase. The Proposal forms the foundation for Phase Two, the Research Phase. Here, you undertake a supervised thesis project, much like a traditional PhD student would.


DSW students are usually experienced professionals. They come with a range of experience within social work. Students may have worked within Mental Health, Children’s Social Care or with Refugees and Asylum Seekers. You may have had some team leadership experience, but this is not essential.

The DSW focuses on enabling our graduates to become researching professionals. For some, this means a move into Higher Education, but for many others, it is about taking a critical, evidence-informed perspective at a level within their professional setting, often with a view to promotion and advancing professional practice and knowledge in their area.


Engaging with Research - Knowledge, Truth and Values in Research
Yourself as Researcher - Professional Identity and Values
Research Skills and Methods
Research Proposal
Engaging with Research - Research, Policy and Practice
Yourself as Researcher - Practitioner Research in Context

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Normally a First or Upper Second Class Bachelor’s degree in Social Work plus at least 3 years’ professional experience. Masters preferred. Registration with Social Work England is required.

University information

Liverpool Hope University is a research-oriented institution offering a selection of high quality taught and research postgraduate courses. The university is located across two green campuses: Hope Park, just four miles from Liverpool city centre, and the Creative Campus, close to the city centre. There is also a small residential campus at Aigburth Park. Over the last 10 years, there has been a significant investment in buildings and equipment...more

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