Postgraduate MA

Social Work

School of Health and Society




Two year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

This qualification opens up a challenging and rewarding career in social work, social justice, and political activism within the diverse field of social care. This nationally and internationally recognized qualification equips graduates to work in the voluntary, statutory, and private sectors within fields such as policy, therapeutic intervention, research, and management.

We welcome students of all backgrounds who seek an MA in Social Work that develops critical analysis, open debate, questioning, and dismantling of conceptual frameworks. If you want professional social work training founded on principles of empowerment and social justice, look no further.

You will qualify as a professional social worker while gaining a master's degree.

This programme is accredited by Social Work England, the professional regulatory body for social workers in England. 

You will:

  • Learn integrated knowledge, theory, research, and practical understanding to use in your professional practice.
  • Study a programme designed collaboratively with service users, practitioners, carers, students, and academic staff.
  • Develop skills to enable you to have a challenging and rewarding career in social work.

options available

Course accreditations

Social Work England logo

This is for you if...


You are looking to change careers into Social Work.


You are committed to helping others.


You have a compassionate and caring character.

Course details

All about the course

The MA in Social Work programme includes the professional qualification that is assessed by a period in a practice learning setting, known as a placement. The duration is 70 days (first level) and 100 days (final level). The University makes every effort to identify suitable student placements but is unable to guarantee that students will have access to the placement of their choice.


Year One Modules:

  • Skills for Social Work Practice
  • Equality, Diversity, and Inclusion
  • Contexts for Social Work Practice
  • Theories and Interventions
  • Professional Capabilities in Practice 1 (70-day practice placement)

Year Two Modules:

  • Decision-Making in Social Work
  • Social Work Law and Policy for Practice
  • Understanding Research in Practice
  • Professional Capabilities in Practice 2 (100-day practice placement)
Year one

Skills for Social Work Practice

This initial module prepares you for direct professional practice by helping to develop a range of social work skills such as communication, observations and reflection.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

This module provides an in-depth understanding of the impact of discrimination and oppression from intersectional perspectives. It takes a decolonising approach to social work and offers clear frameworks for empowering and anti-oppressive social work practice.

Contexts for Social Work Practice

This module provides a comprehensive understanding of the social work role, a range of different professional settings and the social and political contexts of social work practice.

Theories and Interventions

This module enables a comprehensive understanding of psychological, sociological and social work theories and how they relate to social work practice. The complexity of assessing and intervening in people’s lives is recognised.

Professional Capabilities in Practice 1

This module enables students to undertake a 70-day professional practice placement in an audited social work setting in order to meet the knowledge, skills and values of the Professional Capabilities Framework (end of first placement capabilities) and the Social Work England Professional Standards for Social Work.

Year two

Social Work Law and Policy for Practice

This module provides an opportunity to focus on law and social policy relevant to the systematic process of assessment, planning, implementation, review and evaluation across of range of practice contexts.

Decision-making in Social Work

This module prepares students to work in difficult and challenging situations using appropriate professional judgement and authority. It focuses on risk and decision-making, emphasising accountability for decisions when working to safeguard vulnerable children and adults.

Understanding Research in Practice

This module develops a critical understanding of social work research and its application to practice. You will have the opportunity to undertake a written research project and advance recommendations for practice in a particular area of service provision.

Professional Capabilities in Practice 2

This module enables students to undertake a 100-day professional placement in an audited social work setting in order to meet the knowledge, skills and values of the Professional Capabilities Framework (end of final placement capabilities) and the Social Work England Professional Standards for Social Work

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?

The course is delivered using an action learning approach which places the emphasis on group work and individual responsibility for researching and collaborating.


  • Assignments
  • Practice portfolios
  • Independent research project
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Presentations
  • Hi-fidelity simulations

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real-world impact.

We live in a rapidly changing world, and we’re keen to leave a productive legacy of helping people at all stages of their lives, improving their physical, psychological and social wellbeing.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

This course provides the professional social work qualification which enables graduates to work in any area of social work practice, including the statutory, voluntary, and private sectors.

When you qualify, you would enter social work which then offers you the opportunity to undertake post-qualifying training to enable you to progress in an area of social work which interests you – such as mental health or child protection. One of the joys of having a social work qualification is that there is no typical trajectory. It allows you the scope and freedom to forge your own career path in line with your personal motivation.

You may also choose to pursue further study and research on our Professional Doctorate (Health and Social Care/Advanced Practitioner/Social Work)

Career Links

Our course is operated and developed in close conjunction with local social work agencies and local authorities. 


What you need to know

Applicants for the full-time course need to apply for this course through UCAS. The course is listed in the undergraduate section, under 'Social Work Studies - Postgraduate Entry'.

As part of the application process, you may be invited to take part in an assessment or interview activity - if this is the case we will contact you with further details. 

Acceptance on the course is also subject to satisfactory health and DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) clearance.

International Students - Academic Technology Approval Scheme:

International Students are required by the Home Office and/or the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) to apply for an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) Certificate before they begin studying their course. You may need to obtain an ATAS Certificate before you come to the UK in order for you to comply with Home Office regulations. Please refer to your offer conditions.

You can find out if your programme requires an ATAS by checking the FCO website at with your JACS code which will be on your offer letter should you choose to make an application. If you cannot find it please contact International Conversion team at If you have any queries relating directly to ATAS please contact the ATAS team on

You can apply for your ATAS Certificate via this link:

English language requirements

If you are an international student and not from a majority English-speaking country, you will need IELTS 7.0 with no element below 7.0. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take our Pre-Sessional English course

Standard entry requirements

Undergraduate degree

Applicants should have an undergraduate honours degree, normally achieving a 2:1 or above.

Qualifications achieving a 2:2 will be considered with relevant work experience and will be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

Competence in information and communication technology (ICT) methods and techniques to achieve course outcomes is required.

A suitable professional or academic reference is also necessary.


GCSE or equivalent: English at grade 4/C or above.

International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative entry requirements

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

We welcome applications from students who may not have formal/traditional entry criteria but who have relevant experience or the ability to pursue the course successfully.

The Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL) process could help you to make your work and life experience count. The APL process can be used for entry onto courses or to give you exemptions from parts of your course.

Two forms of APL may be used for entry: the Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or the Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).

How much?

Social Work Student Bursaries

Funding may be available for social work students. Social Work Bursaries are provided and administered by Student Services, part of the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). The number of bursary recipients for full-time courses (BSc and MA) are limited (or ‘capped’). There is no guarantee you will receive a bursary even if your application is accepted and you take up an offer of a place on a social work course.

The number of social work bursaries allocated to each University varies from year to year. It is also important to note that bursaries are linked to a student engaged in a placement. If you are not on a placement you will not be eligible for an NHS bursary. The role of the University is to nominate social work students for bursaries. Thereafter the University must submit your enrolment and attendance information to NHSBSA for you to retain your bursary. Once you have been nominated for a bursary, by the University, the contractual relationship is between you as the student and NHSBSA, and not the University. The capping criteria are different for the BSc and MA degree programmes.

The capping criterion for the MA in Social Work is:

  • Allocated on a first-come, first-served basis (once a student has firmly accepted an offer of a place).

NHS funding for this course may be available to eligible candidates. You can find more information about this on the NHS website.

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £8,820.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £16,380.00per year
Full-time home 2025/26 £9,100.00per year
Full-time international 2025/26 £17,000.00per year

Additional costs

For more information about DBS, Occupational Health clearance, and immunisations, visit our Information for Students page.

You should consider additional costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships. Explore our International Scholarships

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email:
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID L508 (FT)

Institution S03