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Entry Requirements and Fees

2020/21 UK fee: £7,500

2020/21 International fee: £13,950

For further details about fees, please see our Tuition Fee page.

  • An honours degree at 2:2 or high in a related discipline, normally in a social science subject;
  • Social work or social care experience of up to six months or equivalent part-time (paid or voluntary);
  • GSCE English and Mathematics at grade C / 4 or above or equivalent;
  • A satisfactory enhanced DBS check.
  • A minimum IELTS score of 7.0 on each element (from those for whom English is not their first language)

For more information contact Kish Bhatti-Sinclair,

Student view

Peter Burrows
The course is driven by a warm and experience team, with an abundance of lived and worked experience in their specific fields. In addition, their creativity towards the subjects we are learning is hugely stimulating and challenging. The lecturers are always open with their suggestions and there has never been a moment when they are not there to give support and advice for those difficult times. Not to forget the advantage of a truly approachable administration team who are an integral part of the department, and knowing there are always available with additional support for all those other challenges is vastly reassuring. Speaking from the heart, the course would have to be described as life changing and an essential component towards gaining a greater understanding and compassion in relation to our own communities and fellow human beings.

Course content

Practice is seen as central to the programme as an experiential base for learning, supported by a rigorous tutorial system, designed to help students integrate academic learning with their experience in social work and social care. 

The MA Social Work is nationally recognised and will be approved and endorsed by Social Work England.

The programme is appropriate for you if you are interested in:

  • High professional and academic standards;                                                            
  • A commitment to forms of practice which proactively address discrimination and oppression;
  • A strong emphasis on research-mindedness;
  • Excellent practice learning opportunities provided in partnership with local and regional social work agencies and service users.
  • If you have completed relevant work experience prior to applying

If you enjoy:

  • Problem solving
  • Creative thinking
  • Working independently and in groups
  • Engaging in debate

If you want:

  • A qualification that will equip you for a range of careers in social work, social care, probation and criminal justice.
  • To work in statutory, voluntary and independent sector organisations in the UK and overseas.

About the programme

Students may study typically over 2 academic years to successfully complete and receive the MA Social Work.

The programme has three possible levels of outcome:

  • Postgraduate Certificate  (PG Cert): The Postgraduate Certificate lasts for approximately twelve months. Completion of a set number of academic credits will enable the award of Postgraduate Certificate.
  • Postgraduate Diploma ( PG Dip): The Postgraduate Diploma lasts for a period of between twelve and twenty four months. The award of the Postgraduate Diploma is conditional on the achievement of academic credits at Master’s level (FHEQ Level 7).
  • Master’s Degree  (MA): Completion of the dissertation will enable students to achieve the cumulative 180 credits required for the award of the MA. 

Our facilities

We pride ourselves on being able to offer a quality learning environment for our students.

At the Bishop Otter campus where this course is based, there is an integrated approach to the provision of learning resources and support.  We offer a substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research. A range of study areas for group and quiet study including Wi-Fi areas for laptop use are available, or you can use our open access PC and Mac areas.  We use an electronic learning environment with an expanding portfolio of online library resources from anywhere at any time.

The Learning Resource Centre is the hub of the learning environment.  It has two upper floors of library resources, one for silent study and one for quiet study. On the ground floor, you’ll find the Support and Information Zone, Media Centre, The Careers Centre, Costa Coffee and a variety of IT resources.

The Bishop Otter LRC also offers:

130 open access PC workstations

45 Apple iMacs

Ample printing facilities

Netbooks available on loan

Professional editing suites

Media loans counter

Wi-Fi and plug points throughout

Where this can take you

The MA Social Work will equip you for a range of careers in social work, social care, probation and criminal justice. You will be able to work in the statutory, voluntary and independent sector organisations in the UK and overseas.

Work placements

From the beginning of your course to your final year there are modules available to develop your personal and professional skills. You will have the opportunity to carry out key social work roles within practice placements totalling 170 days. 

For the 70 day placement in your first year, you could gain experience in organisations such as West Sussex and Hampshire County Councils, Homestart, Stonepillow, Aldingbourne Trust, Barnardos and Citizens Advice. We also have opportunities in schools who have units for pupils with additional needs. These include Front Lawn Primary and Felpham Community College. There are similar opportunities in hospital teams and other support organisations such as Motiv8, My Sister House, Cornerhouse Mental Health Resource Centre and Chang, Grow, Live.

The 100 day placement in your second year could include local authorities like West Sussex and Hampshire County Council within teams such as: family support and protection, looked after children, fostering, disabilities, older persons, youth offending, children’s asylum and mental health.

Indicative modules

Year One

  • Introduction to Social Work Profession
  • Human Development and Psychology across the lifespan
  • Social Work Law and Social Policy
  • Practice, Research and Dissertation Skills
  • Readiness for Practice Interview
  • Social Work Methods of Assessment, Intervention, Risk and Safeguarding
  • Values, Dilemmas and Conflicts in Social Work Practice
  • Assessed Practice 1

Year Two

  • Research Methods and Dissertation
  • Reflection, Analysis and Decision Making with Children and Adults
  • Assessed Practice 2 

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment

We focus on teaching quality as our first priority. Teaching staff are accessible and approachable and all of our staff have experience of working within a statutory or voluntary social work agency which means that you will be taught by professionals who have extensive, professional practice experience, as well as who publish a large number of nationally recognised books on social work.  You will be supported in small tutor groups and will be allocated a dedicated personal tutor who will work with you for the duration of your course and support you in the application of professional standards in practice placements and the development of critical evaluation and reflection.

Most modules are assessed through written assignments or presentations. The practice elements of the course are assessed through portfolio presentation and assessor reports. The course includes a dissertation module.

Additional Costs

Include Additional Costs: 

Additional Costs

2019/20: £6,980, (Alumni, 15% discount, £5933).