MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK (MSW) PROGRAMME

The Department of Social Work and Sociology is one of several academic departments of The University of Zambia, School of Humanities and Social Sciences. It consists of two academic divisions: Social Work; and Sociology. The Division of Social Work was the first to be established; and is formerly known as The University of Zambia Oppenheimer College of Social Services. The Oppenheimer College of Social Services was established in the mid 1950s at the now Ridgeway Campus of the University of Zambia in Lusaka, Zambia to provide professional social work training in Zambia.

The department through the Division of Social Work offers two professional degree programmes: Bachelor of Social Work Degree (BSW); and Master of Social Work Degree (MSW). The BSW programme is designed to prepare students for generalist social work practice, and for graduate studies in social work and related fields. Students learn the knowledge, skills, and values of the social work profession and gain both classroom and community-based experiences that prepare them for a wide range of entry-level professional social work jobs.   

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK PROGRAMME MISSION

Social Work is an internationally recognized practice based profession and an academic discipline. Its historical mission is to promote and enhance human well-being and alleviate poverty, vulnerability and oppression. Against this background, the primary mission of graduate social work program at the University of Zambia is to provide quality professional education that would prepare students for competent practice with individuals, families, groups, organizations, and communities in accordance with regional and international acceptable standards. The ultimate goal is to equip students with most appropriate skills and knowledge to design and implement innovative programs; and to devise creative strategies that would enhance human well-being with special attention to meeting basic human needs and empowerment of people who are vulnerable and live in poverty.

MSW PROGRAMME OBJECTIVES

To accomplish the primary mission, the graduate social work programme of the University of Zambia is expected to produce graduates who:

a)       Draw on their knowledge, values, and skills to help people in need and to address social problems;

b)       Pursue social change, particularly with and on behalf of vulnerable individuals and group of people;

c)       Focus their social change efforts primarily on issues of poverty, unemployment, discrimination, human rights violations and other forms of social injustice;

d)       Endeavor to enhance people’s capacity and opportunity to change and address their own needs;

e)       Engage in social work practice from a sound empirical/evidence base to understand and apply theory to practical situations;

f)        Undertake social work research from a sound theoretical base;

g)       Promote the responsiveness of organizations, communities and other institutions to individuals' needs and social problems; and

h)       Uphold the mission, core values and ethical principles and standards of practices of the social work profession in Zambia.

MSW ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS

Admission into the Master of Social Work (MSW) programme is based on requirements set by The University of Zambia, Directorate of Research and Graduate Studies.

1)                   Candidates will be eligible to apply for admission if they have obtained a Bachelor of Social Work (BSW) degree with credit or a Bachelor of Arts degree (BA) with credit in appropriate field, or an equivalent degree from another university. However, applicants who do not possess undergraduate degrees in social work will be required to undertake appropriate undergraduate courses as a prerequisite to admission to the Master of Social Work programme.

2)                   The most appropriate fields include social science disciplines, education, health, law, and agriculture.

3)                   Candidates with undergraduate degrees in disciplines outside the social work should show evidence of competence of work in private sector, non-profit organisations, UN agencies, NGOs and/or public welfare services. 

4)                   All Applicants will be required to submit a 1000-1500 word, typed statement of purpose for pursuing professional postgraduate programme in social work.

PROGRAMME REQUIREMENTS

The duration of the programme is two years. However, the duration of the programme can vary depending on a number of factors including the enrollment status of the student.

Candidates shall have their course-work examined by the end of the first academic year of study and the second year of study shall be devoted to research, seminars and the preparation of the Dissertation. The pass mark for the Master’s degree shall be as provided for by University of Zambia regulations. No candidate shall be permitted to proceed to part II of the degree programme unless he/she has satisfied the requirements of part I or has been exempted from it because of equivalent standing of academic work acquired elsewhere.

MASTER OF SOCIAL WORK (MSW) CURRICULUM STRUCTURE AND CONTENT

The curriculum consists of three parts: Course work; Thesis Project; and Field Practicum. Full-time students are expected to complete these curriculum requirements within a period of two years.

The course work is undertaken over a period of one year. The primary objective is to provide students with the advanced knowledge and skills for effective practice in selected fields of social work practice or specializations, including Children, Youth and Families (CYF); and Community Social Development (CSD).

The Children, Youth and Families (CYF) specialization prepares social workers to provide a broad range of services to individuals, children, adolescents, youth and families in all phases of the family life cycle. Marital therapy, family counseling, parent education, and the full spectrum of child welfare policies and child protection services are emphasized in this concentration. Students undertake their advanced field practicum in public and private human service agencies that specialize in working with the issues of children and families; and especially in agencies that combine direct service provision with policy advocacy work.

The Community Social Development (CSD) specialization is for students who are interested in promoting social change, human rights and social justice in rural and urban low income communities. The Issues that are addressed include poverty in its various manifestations, socioeconomic inequalities, and empowerment of low income individuals, families, and groups. Students undertake advanced field practicum in field settings that provide opportunities to practice roles in leadership, management, program development, community building, and community organization.

THESIS PROJECT

Effective social work practice requires practitioners who are consumers of research with ability to evaluate practice. Thus, in order to acquire the necessary skills in evaluating social work practice, students are required to undertake a thesis in form of an independent research project on a particular social problem or social programme of importance. During the second year of study, students are required to register for a Thesis project course; assigned faculty supervisor(s); develop a thesis research proposal; collect and analyze data; and write and defend the thesis.

FIELD PRACTICUM

Global standards for Professional training in social work require that students integrate knowledge from classroom content, social work practice, and research. This is achieved through service learning or educational internships. Students are placed in relevant human service agencies for the purpose of acquiring necessary work experience in selected fields of social work practice or specialization; and examining the relevancy of theoretical knowledge to practice. Students are required to take two field practicum courses: Block field practicum and Concurrent field practicum. Block field practicum course is undertaken between the end of first year and before beginning of second year of study. Concurrent field practicum course is undertaken during the course of the second year of study.

MSW PROGRAMME REQUIRED COURSE SEQUENCE

CHILDREN, YOUTH AND FAMILIES SPECIALIZATION

FIRST YEAR: CORE COURSES

MSW 5115:  Social Work Practice with Children, Youth and Families  

MSW 5455:  Management of Human Services Organisations   

MSW 5435   Theories and Principles of Clinical Social Work Practice   

MSW5315:   Social Work Theory    

MSW 5110:  Social Policy

MSW 5210:  Advanced Social Work Research Methods

 

SECOND YEAR: CORE COURSES

MSW 5220: MSW Thesis Project

MSW 5613: MSW Thesis Project            

COMMUNITY SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIZATION

FIRST YEAR: CORE COURSES

MSW 571 5:  Community Development

MSW 5455:  Management of Human Services Organisations   

MSW 5435   Theories and Principles of Clinical Social Work Practice   

MSW5315:   Social Work Theory    

MSW 5110:  Social Policy

MSW 5210:  Advanced Social Work Research Methods

 

SECOND YEAR: CORE COURSES

MSW 5220: MSW Thesis Project

MSW 5613: MSW Thesis Project

ELECTIVE COURSES

MSW 5855: Child Protection and Welfare

MSW 5950: Social Protection-Contributory and Non-Contributory

MSW 5755: Project Management

MSW 5215: Migration, Human Rights and Sustainable Human Development

MSW 5425: Project, Programme and Policy Evaluation

MSW 5725: Integrated Case Management for Social and Health Services

MSW 5825: Human Rights and Social Justice

MSW 5355: Social Statistics

MSW 5225: Counseling Skills

GRADUATE CAREER OPPORTUNITIES

The Master of Social Work provides an internationally recognised degree which allows graduates to work in varied contexts such as health services (e.g., medical social workers and oncology social workers), mental services (e.g., psychiatric social workers), justice systems (e.g., forensic social workers), women's services, disability services, child protection services, aged care, police services, correctional services, military bases, city councils/local government, criminal and child/juvenile justice systems, schools, universities and colleges, and international development, and migration and refugee services, research firms, private practices, Management and supervision, among others. Graduates may also be involved in Community work and community development, youth work and development, project and programme evaluation, policy development, human rights and social justice, advocacy and research. So, social workers make a difference in many areas around the world. In Zambia, graduates of the MSW programme are prepared to address the complex social welfare challenges facing Zambia such as poverty; unemployment; juvenile delinquency; gender-based violence/domestic violence; human rights violations; social and economic injustice; and child abuse and neglect, among others. They are expected to assume leadership roles in the profession and in their communities, and bringing their knowledge of research, policy analysis, and advocacy to bear in diverse social work fields of practice.

 

MASTER OF ARTS IN SOCIOLOGY

AIMS OF THE PROGRAMME

The Masters’ Sociology program has been designed to prepare postgraduate students in the broad skills typically utilised by contemporary sociologists. The goal is to provide students with advanced training beyond the undergraduate level for success in a number of professions as applied social scientists. The program combines an emphasis on competence in applied advanced social theory and research methods with opportunities for the development of each student's own interest. The postgraduate program is expected to make an invaluable contribution of new skills and knowledge to the existing body of knowledge in the field. This is expected to be achieved by focusing on:

1)       The normative foundations of social relations and the implications of the changing and increasingly challenging national and global context for the achievement of social and community ideals;

2)       A theoretically-based examination of the structures and functioning of the family, community and organizations in a postmodern society;

3)       The research and analytical skills needed for generation of new knowledge as well as effective problem-solving and decision-making and the development of an approach towards community or public service which guides the efforts of all social actors and integrates their contributions with those of other disciplines in society.

OBJECTIVES OF THE PROGRAMME

At the end of this mixed mode program, graduates are expected to:

1)                   Show in-depth understanding of social structures and their roles.

2)      Apply integrated sociological theory as well as scientific methods in understanding society and in the management of societal problems.

3)                   Apply evidence from research for practice to guide social or societal decisions and welfare.

4)                   Disseminate research findings for evidence based policy utilization

ADMISSION CRITERIA

The admission criteria to the Master of Arts in Sociology are as follows:

1)       Graduates of the University of Zambia with Bachelor’s degree with sociology major or minor or in possession of at least a merit or an upper credit.

2)       Graduates from other recognized universities with Bachelor’s degree in any Science related field with at least credit (second class honors).

PROGRAMME REQUIREMENTS

The duration of the program is two years. However, the duration of the program varies depending on a number of factors including the enrollment status of the student.

The program will be in two parts composed of coursework and dissertation work. Part 1 of the program will be in the first year and students will be required to take an equivalent of four full courses. Students will be examined at the end of the first academic year. Part II shall consist entirely of a dissertation on a topic approved by the School Postgraduate Board on behalf of Senate. This approval shall be given before the candidate completes Part I.

Candidates shall have their course-work examined by the end of the first academic year of study and the second year of study shall be devoted to research, seminars and the preparation of the Dissertation. The pass mark for the Master’s degree shall be as provided for by University of Zambia regulations. No candidate shall be permitted to proceed to part II of the degree program unless he/she has satisfied the requirements of part I or has been exempted from it because of equivalent standing of academic work acquired elsewhere.

MASTER OF ARTS IN SOCIOLOGY COURSES

CORE COURSES

SOC 5110: Advanced Sociological Theories

SOC 5210: Advanced Research Methods in sociology

ELECTIVE COURSES

SOC 5150: Cultural Sociology

SOC 5850: Disaster Management and Preparedness

SOC 5510: Sociology of the family

SOC 5310: Social Organization, Change and Development

SOC 5380: Comparative Sociology

SOC 5330: Sociology of Religion

SOC 5410: Advanced Study of Rural Sociology and Social Organization

SOC 5490: Movements for Social and Political Change

SOC 5630: Advanced Sociology of Health and Illness

SOC 5710: Men, Women, Masculinities, femininities and Gender Relations

SOC 5780: A Comparative study of Organizations and Leadership

SOC 5810: Comparative study of Urban and Rural Sociology

SOC 5670: Sociology of Science and Technology

SOC 5350: Criminology

SOC 5850: Disaster Management and Preparedness

SOC 5950: Social Impact Assessment

SOC 5830: Social Science Research Utilization

EMPLOYMENT PROSPECTS FOR GRADUATES

The 21st century labour market not only Zambia is fast-changing, increasingly global, and technology driven. The skills that are needed to succeed in the 21st century include creativity, innovation, critical thinking, analytic problem-solving, communication, collaboration, multicultural and global understandings, and excellent written expression. The MA in sociology provides a gateway for students wishing to continue on into a Ph.D. in the social sciences, preparation for professional careers in areas linked to the social sciences, and time and space for acquiring new skills and developing research projects among early and mid-career professionals interested in a year of graduate study.The discipline of sociology addresses the root causes of some of society’s toughest problems, but many prospective students wonder about the jobs available with a Master’s in Sociology. People who study sociology come to understand the social behaviour of people based upon their cultural groups and the institutions that have sprung from those groups. The research conducted by sociologists helps society to improve communication channels among a variety of individuals, businesses and even government entities within a multicultural context. Sociologists are also needed to track societal developments across several sectors. Skills needed within this industry differ depending on the role but, generally, employers look for analytical and critical thinking skills, cross-cultural understanding, ability to collate and present complex information, awareness of current laws and regulations in the sector and solid interpersonal skills. This is covered in the courses. The good news for sociology is that it helps the postgraduate foster creativity, innovation, critical thinking, and analytic problem solving and communication skills. Given the breadth, adaptability, and utility of studying Sociology, employment opportunities abound for postgraduates. The following are some specific jobs available for those who commit to the sociology discipline by earning an advanced degree in the subject and employment sectors include: social services, community work, law enforcement and justice systems, health services, public policy, Non-profit agencies, and research, among others.