Postgraduate MA

Social Work

School of Health and Society




Two year

Next enrolment

September 2022


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 recognised qualification equips graduates to work in the voluntary, statutory and private sector 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.

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


students accepted

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.  

There is a nationally recognised shortage of placements and availability is dependent upon external providers who are able to offer a limited number of placement opportunities. This has been significantly impacted by the Covid 19 pandemic. If you are unable to take up a placement opportunity offered, and therefore not actively engaged in the programme, you will need to return any funding that you receive from the Student Loan Company.


Year one

Introduction to Professional Social Work

Human Growth and Development Across the Life Course

Social Work Law Policy and Practice

Professional Capability in Practice 1

Year two

Safeguarding in Social Work Practice

Understanding social work research

Research in Practice

Professional Capability in Practice 2


Year one

Introduction to Professional Social Work

This initial module prepares you for direct professional practice. It provides a critical and comprehensive understanding of the social work role. 

Human Growth and Development Across the Life Course

This module enables a systematic understanding of life stages as relevant to practice which is derived from sociological and psychological theory. It demonstrates the significance of social work and recognises the complexity of practice in assessing and intervening in people's lives. 

Social Work Law, Policy and 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. 

Professional Capability in Practice 1

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

Year two

Safeguarding in Social Work Practice

This module enables you to confidently apply the law and social policy relevant to safeguarding social work practice. 

Understanding Social Work Research

This module develops a critical understanding of social work research and its application to practice. 

Research in Practice

This module will enable you to undertake an exciting research project and advance recommendations for practice in a particular area of service provision. 

Professional Capability in Practice 2

This module enables students to undertake a 100-day professional placement in an audited social work setting and support, the knowledge, skills and values set out in the Professional Capabilities Framework (end of final placement level capabilities) and the HCPC Standards of Proficiency 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 Portfolio
  • Independent Project
  • Exams
  • Practical demonstrations
  • Presentations

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

Please note that we are not taking any more international applications for September 2021. 

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 at 2:1 or above.

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


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.

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 both part-time (MA) and 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 2021/22 £7,020per year
Full-time international 2021/22 £15,030per year
Full-time home 2022/23 £7,160per year
Full-time international 2022/23 £15300per year
Additional costs

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

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.
We have a range of scholarships available for students applying for courses in 2020-2021 and 2021-2022. Our Global Gold Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,500 and our Global Silver Excellence Scholarship is worth £3,000 - both are available for students studying in our 2021/22 intakes.

We also offer the Salford International Excellence Scholarship which offers up to £5,000 discount on tuition fees. As this is a prestigious award we have a limited number of these scholarships available.

See the full range of our International Scholarships.

Apply now

All Set? Let's Apply

Enrolment dates

September 2022

UCAS information

Course ID L508 (FT)

Institution S03