The movement towards developing practice more firmly grounded on empirical research has, arguably, been one of the most significant international trends in social work during the past decade. However, in the UK the implications of this trend for pedagogical practices and the design of educational programmes have still to be fully explored. This paper reports on the findings of a repeated cross-sectional survey of MSW students in Queen's University Belfast which focused on their perceptions of the value of research training to professional practice. The study, conducted over a four year period, explored students' awareness of the relationship between research and practice and their readiness to engage with research training. The findings suggested that the majority of students perceived research training as a valuable component of professional development. However, the study also found a level of scepticism among students about its practical utility along with some resistance towards actively embracing a research agenda. The paper evaluates the significance of these findings for developing research and evidence-based practice as integral components of the new degrees in social work in the UK and for social work education programmes in other countries aiming to develop research-minded practice.