Salford University has been delivering the Department for Education commissioned Step Up to Social Work Programme since the pilot ran for the first time in 2010. The programme is delivered through Local Authority partnerships and is an employer led, fast track Social Work programme which leads to a post graduate qualification in Social Work. The Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work offers a dual qualification, academic and professional which enables students to apply to Social Work England to register as a social worker.

We have strong relationships with Local Authority partners which ensures we produce well rounded Social Workers, ready for the fast-paced reality of social work practice.

The course is full time and intensive. Students receive bursary support and do not pay University tuition fees. The course is currently delivered through four taught modules, two of the modules have Social Work practice-based placements within Local Authorities. The course aims to deliver an increased children and families Social Work workforce; however the qualification equips students to work in either a child or adult setting.

Entry Requirements

Current entry requirements for cohort 8: 2024 start are:

  • a 2:2 (level 6) degree qualification
  • 6 months, full-time (or equivalent) direct experience, either in a paid or voluntary capacity, of working with vulnerable children, young people and/or families, carers or vulnerable adults
  • GSCEs in English or English language and mathematics at grade 4 (C) or above (or an approved equivalent) 

Step Up to Social Work is not a rolling/continuous programme and the Department for Education consider, cohort to cohort, if this is something they wish to commission again. They have announced that there will be a Cohort 8, which will commence in January 2024. Please see the Department for Education website – which will be active when applications open. Find out more information and Apply here.

Next Steps

Step Up To Social Work

Salford Current Step Up to Social Work Partnerships

Currently we deliver a course with;

The Greater Manchester Partnership, which includes all 10 Greater Manchester Local Authorities. Salford is the lead Local Authority. Teaching is delivered at Salford University.

The West and North Yorkshire Partnership which includes Leeds, Bradford, North Yorkshire, Wakefield, Calderdale and Kirklees. Leeds is the lead Local Authority. Teaching is delivered in Leeds City Centre.

The University does not manage the admissions process to the course. If you are interested, you may be able to have questions answered by contacting the programme lead Dr Lynda Shentall. Lynda will also be able to advise on reasonable adjustments that can be made during the admission and interview process, should they be needed, and she will be able to direct you to the correct person within the Local Authority partnership, if required.

For additional information about the Disability Inclusion Service at the University please see:

You can contact Lynda via email: