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Social Work

Degrees Available

MA Full-time

This course is full for 2014 entry but applications can be made for September 2015 entry.

Suitable for International Students?


Award Tuition Fees Attendance Mode Length of Course


  • Home / EU: £3,996
  • International: £12,100

(A small increase can be expected for the subsequent year)

Full-time 2 years
September start (24 months)

Course Introduction

The aim of our MA in Social Work is to provide students, who already hold a first degree, with a professional social work qualification at Master's level.

The course will enable you to be a confident, competent, qualified social work practitioner. We offer a well established course with a national reputation for producing high-calibre workers. Our course is designed, managed and delivered by a Programme Management Board that includes practice placement agencies, students, lecturers and practitioners. Stakeholder involvement ensures that our course maintains a dynamic, outward-looking approach towards social work education with a clear focus on the needs of service users.

The programme is built upon the following standards and requirements for social work training: the HCPC (Health and care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for social care workers, the DOH (Department of Health) Requirements for social work training, The College of Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework and the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmark statements for social policy administration and social work.

On completion of the MA in Social Work you will have:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of social work services and service users; the service delivery context; values and ethics; social work theory; the nature of social work practice.
  • Discipline skills in assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities; support of individuals to represent their needs, views and circumstances; the management of risk to users, self and colleagues; workload management and accountability; self reflective practice and professional competence.
  • Transferable skills in the use of communication and information technology and numerical skills; problem solving skills including: problem management, information gathering, analysis and synthesis, intervention and evaluation; communication skills; skills in working with others; skills in personal and professional development.

Course Syllabus

Modules: All Modules are Core (C)

Year 1 - Part 1 (60 Credits):

  • Ethics, Professionalism and Reflective Practice (10 Credits) (C)
  • Interviewing and Communication Skills (10 Credits) (C)
  • Practice Placement Learning 1 (80-day placement from May-September) (20 Credits) (C)
  • Social Work Theories and Methods (20 Credits) (C)

Year 1 - Part 2 (60 Credits):

  • Law for Social Work (20 Credits) (C)
  • Social Work with Adults (20 Credits) (C)
  • Social Work with Children and Families (20 Credits) (C)

Year 2 - Part 1 (20 Credits):

  • Practice Placement Learning 2 (120-day placement from January-July 2011) (20 Credits) (C)

Year 2 - Part 2 (40 Credits):

  • Inter-professional Working (20 Credits) (C)
  • Research methods for social workers (20 Credits) (C)

Special Features

  • Social work is a profession regulated in England, since 1 August 2012, by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and this course is regulated by the HCPC.
  • Bursaries are available through the NHS Business Services Authority.

Entry Requirements

  • An undergraduate honours degree at 2:1 or higher. Applicants with 2.2 degrees who have subsequently obtained a Master’s degree or PhD will also be considered.
  • You should have current and relevant underpinning knowledge from psychology, sociology and social policy, at a level, which will allow you to complete the MA Social Work. 
  • Applicants who have not acquired such knowledge in completing their first degrees or who obtained their degrees several years ago should consider what further study and/or reading is required as well as study skills revision to prepare them for this level of study. You may need to consider enrolment on foundation level courses at your local university or distance learning packages, such as the Open University’s ’Introducing the social sciences’.
  • You should have relevant work experience equivalent to a minimum of 6 months full-time work (approx. 910 hours). This may be paid or voluntary work and could have been undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. Applicants are usually expected to have had a substantial part of such experience during the past 2 years and to have had experience which includes working with vulnerable groups in Britain. 
  • Applicants who have limited experience or who have had little or no relevant experience during the past 2 years should consider seeking relevant employment or volunteering via organisations, such as their local Council for Voluntary Services, local Children’s or Adult Services Departments or local voluntary sector agencies. (Please see the attached document Work experience and contact with a social worker prior to the start of the degree).
  • Demonstrate that your understanding of social work is informed both by underpinning knowledge and by reflection on your experience.
  • Demonstrate that you have Information, Communication and Technology (ICT) skills which are sufficient to allow you to begin both study and practice, and that you will be able to develop these skills during their progress through the course. (Applicants without such relevant skills will need to demonstrate that they have plans in place to acquire them prior to starting social work training). 
  • Complete a health disclosure form.
  • Complete a declaration form regarding matters that include criminal convictions, cautions and reprimands and any disciplinary action by employers, in order to satisfy the programme that you are suitable to work with vulnerable children and adults.

Level of English Required

IELTS at 7 or the equivalent

[Full information on our General English Language Requirements]

Placement opportunities

The MA in Social Work includes two assessed practice placements.

Career Opportunities

  • On successful completion of the two years you will be awarded the MA degree in Social Work and will be eligible for registration with the GSCC as a qualified Social Worker.
  • There are a wide range of opportunities available in the public sector: in local authorities, the criminal justice field, social services departments, voluntary sector organisations, resource centres, women’s aid, counselling schemes, residential or day care work, and in both the local and national civil service. Many of our graduates also go on to work in the private sector or go on to further study, teaching and research.

Contact Details

Download Prospectus

Social and International Studies School Prospectus 2012 (PDF, 3.3MB)

Please note that these PDFs are correct as at time of print (2012). For the most up to date course information please use the web pages.

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