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Postgraduate study

Trauma-Informed Practice (Social Work and Care) MA

Awareness of trauma and the impact it has on physical and mental health, school experience and educational outcomes affects us all, directly or indirectly. In response to this knowledge, our MA Trauma-Informed Practice (Social Work and Care) gives you a comprehensive understanding of this topic which can be applied in practice to a variety of social work and care settings, and makes you a confident, critical, creative, adaptable, articulate and aspiring professional.


Course overview

The course takes a strengths-based approach that is grounded in an understanding of and responsiveness to the impact of trauma, which emphasises physical, psychological and emotional safety for everyone, and that creates opportunities for survivors to rebuild a sense of control and empowerment.

Content includes early childhood development and how this is impacted by adversity and trauma, ways in which we can mitigate and ameliorate this, and opportunities to apply this knowledge through topical and relevant practice-focused assessments. You focus on a particular aspect of trauma-related practice that will be of value to your professional development.

You develop the skills and knowledge to continue your professional, educational and personal development by consolidating, enhancing and extending your disciplinary expertise, experience and abilities. High levels of personal responsibility and self-direction are required to work with complex knowledge, theory and concepts.

Mindful of the diverse cohort of working professionals and non-practitioners this taught course is delivered outside of normal working hours; you attend for two - six on one or two evenings per week.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules

Approaches to Trauma-informed Social Care

You consider the trauma that exists in service users / clients that you may work with and how systems and processes can potentially exacerbate this further. Various ways of working with these individuals will be explored, enabling you to apply the knowledge gained to the people you work with and develop new skills in engaging therapeutically and in a trauma-informed way with your clients / service users. You identify and work to reduce the impact of trauma across all aspects of the lifespan, including in specific service user groups.

Supporting Frontline Workers and Carers

You consider what it means to be working with, or caring for, children and young people who have experienced adversity and trauma. The impact on teachers, social workers, youth workers, foster carers and adoptive parents, police, health care workers, those working in mental health, the criminal justice system and with the homeless is discussed. How we can support people with their own trauma histories who are working on the front line and how workplaces can support people who have experienced trauma is also examined. Strategies to help people in these challenging circumstances will be considered, for individuals, groups, organisations and communities.

Trauma-informed Practice Dissertation

This is your opportunity to complete a research project in a specialist area related to trauma-informed practice or within a social science discipline. Through individual supervisory consultation and building on knowledge, interests and skills from other modules on the course, you will think reflexively about your project’s development to further its progression and towards the creation of an independent research report.

Trauma-informed Research Methods

You gain a diverse understanding of trauma-informed research methods, philosophies and procedures. Through continuous review and self-evaluation, you will critically explore the nature of enquiry to inform your own ideas for research. You also consider the broader ethical parameters required in research planning and development. This module enables you to explore research ideas and methods located within a trauma-informed and/or social science specialism and will form the basis of a research plan for the development of your dissertation.

Understanding Childhood Trauma

You consider how adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) impact children and young people with regards to their physical and mental health, educational outcomes and life chances. Theories of typical and atypical child development will be discussed, types of trauma will be examined and related to the impact they have on children and young people's social and emotional development and behaviour. There will be a focus on relational and developmental trauma, the stress response system, toxic stress, the damage this causes and the life-long repercussions.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

A range of learning and teaching methods are offered in the course so that the learning outcomes can be explored in-depth in a variety of ways. Lectures will provide the information that will be built on in workshops and seminars where a more interactive and exploratory approach will be taken. You consider your own practice and reflect in groups and individually to apply theory to practice. Tutorials will be available with a member of the programme team for each module. You engage in independent study and are supported to investigate aspects of your practice. There will be the opportunity for you to work together outside of the face-to-face sessions through the virtual learning environment, where there will be additional information and guidance and discussion boards for synchronous and asynchronous dialogue.

Class sizes will be a maximum size of 25, each 30-credit module requires 300 hours of study – much of which is guided but independent at this level. Lectures and seminar will be provided by the course team, visiting experts and local practitioners. High levels of student support are embedded into the course because of the sensitive nature of the content.

How you are assessed

A range of assessment methods allow you to take different approaches to exploring the learning outcomes and demonstrate your knowledge and understanding and postgraduate skills, including written assignments, for which feedback will be provided.

Ongoing formative assessment is built into each module; skills are introduced, revisited and consolidated and assessed at the end of each semester. Detailed information about assessments will be provided at the beginning of each module.


Entry requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 at undergraduate degree and experience of working with children, young people and/or adults in a variety of settings.

For non-standard entry, if you can demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study you may be considered for the programme, and asked to attend an informal interview. A written record of the informal interview will be kept to provide evidence of particular recommendations

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

You develop a comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the subject matter and a range of new skills which will enable you to apply what you have learnt effectively in the workplace. This expertise could lead to greater specialisation and more senior roles with the profession.

Successful completion could lead to Doctorate of Education and PhD study.


Information for international applicants


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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,710 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

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2023/24 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£750 for each 20 credits

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  • Length: 2 years
  • Attendance: Evenings
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates

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