Social Work Programme

Department of Sociology
30 Old Elvet

"The broader value of the collegiate way is something to do with how we collaboratively prepare to live lives that flourish for others as well as for ourselves…"

[Evans HM & TP Burt (eds), The Collegiate Way: university education in a collegiate context, Dordrecht: Sense Publishers, 2016, 88]

The Durham MSW is a 21 month programme engaging students with the knowledge, skills and values that underpin social work practice with individuals, groups and communities. Academic study is complemented by two practice placements with different service user groups. Practice experience to enable you to understand statutory interventions with children and families or ‘vulnerable adults’ is complemented by opportunities for innovative practice in the voluntary and independent sectors in areas such as family justice, homelessness, substance use, domestic violence, sexual exploitation, community interventions and self-advocacy. With strong involvement of service users, carers and practice partners throughout the programme, the MSW provides strong foundations for practice in any field of social work.

What support is available?

We offer a variety of professional support and advice, including:

  • Advice before you arrive at Durham University
  • Regular contact with Disability Advisers or the Study Support Team
  • Individual Student Support Plans
  • Liaison with departments and tutors
  • Help with applying for the Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and other financial support
  • Guidance and help to arrange any recommended funded support
  • Specialist support from qualified Mental Health Advisors
  • Assistive Technology support
  • Loans of equipment, including digital voice recorders, when DSA provision is pending
  • Library support, including extended loans and access to assistive software in the library
  • Support with examinations, including extra time if needed
  • Useful in-house library resources for students

How can we help?

Disability Support provides support for students with a range of disabilities including, but not limited to:

  • Autistic Spectrum Disorders/Asperger's Syndrome
  • Dyslexia, Dyspraxia and other specific learning difficulties
  • Mental health difficulties
  • Mobility impairments
  • Sensory impairments
  • Unseen disabilities like Epilepsy/HIV/AIDS/Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

Disability Support has an appointment based advice service for students. We can provide you with advice and support in a range of areas, including:

  • Guidance on obtaining diagnostic evidence
  • Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA) and other disability funding ,such as charitable trusts
  • Advice on how to access support
  • Liaising with other staff about setting up support, including Departmental Disability Representatives (DDR).
  • Signposting to other services, including those at the University and externally, such as the NHS, Social Services departments etc.
  • Advice about what the University can do to support you

How to make an appointment to see a Disability Adviser

To book an appointment to see an advisor, we recommend you do so in advance by contacting the Disability Support Reception.

To help make your first appointment as useful as possible, please bring with you a copy of any relevant supporting evidence of your disability, if you have some. If you don’t already have evidence then your Disability Adviser can discuss this with you during your appointment.




The Palatine Centre
Durham University
Stockton Road

0191 334 8115





Student Experience and Wellbeing

The Student Experience & Wellbeing team work to support Durham students' education and personal development. Our work is co-ordinated and developed across the Colleges through engaging with students and college staff.

We work closely with Common Room members and leaders - helping these student organisations to provide the best, most inclusive experience possible for all students. Through providing training, resources, contacts and support to Common Rooms and other student organisations, we enable Durham students to have a truly transformative experience.

In partnership with local organisations, durham students and other University departments, we also work to raise awareness in key areas as they relate to students' educational and personal development needs, including:

  • Drugs and alcohol
  • Sexual violence and consent
  • Living safely in the city
  • Personal wellbeing and health
  • Looking out for others

Counselling Service

For further details, regarding the university counselling service, please click here.

Alternatively, you can get in contact here.

Durham University Specialist Study Support

You may be referred to this service if you have:

  • DSA Funding for 1:1 Specialist Support
  • A recommendation from a Disability Adviser


What does the service offer?

One to one Tuition

The Study Skills Service offers specialist one-to-one tuition to assist you with managing the study related demands of your course. Recommended support may include:

  • Effective time management and organisation
  • How to tackle assignments
  • Developing effective research skills
  • Developing effective academic reading techniques
  • Developing effective academic writing techniques
  • Revision techniques and exam skills

The full Student Information Booklet is available below.

Student Support Handbook


In order to arrange sessions, students are required to complete the Tutorials Request Form

You will also be asked to sign a Learner Agreement at your first session.



Roger Smith
Programme Director/Departmental Disability Representative

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