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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

  • Possess an undergraduate honours degree normally at 2:1 or higher in any discipline or
  • Possess an undergraduate honours degree at 2:2 in a relevant discipline.
  • Demonstrate that, by the time they start the course, they will have acquired current and relevant underpinning knowledge from psychology, sociology and social policy, at a level, which will allow them 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. They may need to consider enrolment on foundation level courses at their local university or distance learning packages, such as the Open University’s ’Introducing the social sciences’ module DD102.
  • Demonstrate that they have relevant work experience equivalent to a minimum of 6 months full-time work (approximately 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 'All Prospective Entrants' information below).
  • Demonstrate that their understanding of social work is informed both by underpinning knowledge and by reflection on their experience.
  • Hold certificated qualifications in Maths and English which are, at least, equivalent to GCSE (at grade C or above).
  • The minimum level of English Language attainment for entry to MA Social Work is IELTS 7 or equivalent.
  • Have Information, Communication Technology (ICT) skills which are sufficient to allow them to begin both study and practice and that they 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 they are suitable to work with vulnerable children and adults.
  • All information obtained from the admissions process is used to assess a candidate's potential to successful complete the social work programme and to eventually practice as a qualified worker in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulatory standards for Social Work and the College of Social Work’s (TCSW) Professional Capabilities Framework.

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.

We offer an exciting programme of skills development sessions on top of your academic modules and practice placements. The main purpose is to prepare students for their first placement by providing structured opportunities to practice key generic skills and to increase their understanding of the social work role, without the immediate pressure of assessment, and without the need to be in a social worker role with service users and carers. We also provide opportunities later in the course to develop more advanced skills. 

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.

Cognate Course


This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.