Master of Social Sciences
Social Work as a subject in the University first started in 1952, when it offered the first professional social work qualification in Singapore, the two-year Diploma in Social Studies. Since then, it has evolved with the changing times, circumstances and requirements of the country into its present form.
Over the past few years, social work graduates have had increasing demands made on them for skills in such areas as social work research and programme evaluation, management, staff development and social entrepreneurship. The employing organizations are computerising administrative and programmatic procedures and are offering opportunities for the upgrading of professional practice through the use of ICT (information and communication technology). Student learning in these areas has been greatly enhanced by the setting up of a small research and management skills facility within the department, wherein staff and students can work together on computer-related aspects of coursework.
Students are exposed to social service visits, skills training, fieldwork placements and module projects, among other applied learning methods. The fieldwork placements are organized on a flexible basis. A wide variety of placements providing the necessary field-learning experience for these students is made available. Students also learn to document and present projects in which they are involved.
The objectives of the Master of Social Work programme are:
- To facilitate graduate exchange with top social work programmes overseas;
- To meet projected manpower needs for specialist practice;
- To produce practitioners who can be leaders in their field of specialization and serve as part-of a multi-disciplinary group of professionals in health, family and community development
From a pedagogical point of view, the programme aimed at developing specialist skill sets based on a specific knowledge base, will focus on building from the generic level in the undergraduate programme as well as to provide a wider option in the choice of modules. The Master of Social Work with a specialization focus will provide a rung in the hierarchy of knowledge and skills development for social work professionals.
The maximum period of candidature is 36 months of full-time study or 48 months of part-time study from the date of commencement of the course. Leave of absence of up to one year will not be counted towards a candidate’s maximum candidature. Subsequent period of leave will be considered as part of the candidature.
The maximum periods of candidature are exclusive of any period of preparatory study that may be required by the Department of Social Work.
The Head of the Department of Social Work may require a candidate to withdraw from his/her programme of studies for the degree of Master of Social Work if, in the Head’s opinion, the candidate’s progress has not reached a satisfactory level of proficiency.