Book an Open Day
A student in discussion during a seminar


Read More

Institution C58


Bishop Otter campus (Chichester)

2 Years (Typically)

Top 30
UK University
Top 25
best university in the UK
Social Work comes 6th for overall satisfaction in the UK
1. Guardian University Guide 2021 | 2. National Student Survey 2021 | 3. National Student Survey 2020

Entry Requirements and Fees

Entry Requirements:

  • 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 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)


2021/22 UK fee: £7,600

2021/22 International fee: £14,300

University of Chichester alumni receive a 20% fee discount for 2021 entry.

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

For further details about international scholarships, please see our Scholarships page.

Social Work students can apply for a possible bursary from the NHS. Visit their website for more information

Course content

6th for overall satisfaction in the UK

6th out of 79 institutions for overall satisfaction for our Social Work programmes (National Student Survey 2020) 

Course overview

Social work 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.

Social Work England logo

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 before 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.

Course length

Students may study typically over two academic years to complete and receive the MA in 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 12 and 24 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.

Course start date

This course starts in September

Take a look at our Social Work brochure.

Our facilities

We’ve developed both of our campuses to have the best facilities available for your degree. We pride ourselves on the quality of the learning environment we can offer our students.

Learning Resource Centre

Learning Resource Centre facilities

Our Learning Resource Centre is at the heart of the campus.  It hosts:

  • A modern library service with areas for quiet and silent study on both floors 
  • A range of study areas for group study
  • Over 80 open access PC and Mac stations
  • Wi-Fi areas for laptop use
  • A substantial collection of books, journals and other materials to help you further your research
  • Online library resources you can access from anywhere at any time
  • Costa Coffee
  • Also situated in the Learning Resource Centre is the Support and Information Zone (SIZ) to help with any enquiries while at university
  • At SIZ, there's an equipment loans centre offerings laptops, tablets and other electronic devices for short and long-term loans

The local area

The local area surrounding the University of Chichester's main Campus including Chichester Cathedral, Chichester Town Centre, The South Downs and West Wittering Beach

It’s important to love where you live and study and the local area surrounding the University has so much to offer. With the seaside town, historic city, rolling countryside and stunning beaches, there’s plenty to explore

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. 

70-day placement

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.

100-day placement

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

This module seeks to support your development in several ways. The first is to introduce you to the University and Social Work as a discipline and profession. The module will provide you with opportunities to examine the historical and social context of social work practice, which will enable you to understand a framework of theories, values, ethics and research mindedness as a foundation for good practice and study throughout the course.

Human Development and Psychology across the Lifespan

An introduction to human growth and development, which will draw on developmental psychology as well as the social context of development. It will also explore difficulties in physiological, psychological and social development, including attachment theory, mental health and wellbeing. It will consider cultural and gender perspectives in relation to development. The effects of social problems on development and socialisation will also be critically examined.

Social Work Law and Social Policy

This module seeks to explore primary, secondary and tertiary legislation, case law and social policy which has relevance to social welfare. It seeks to equip you with a critical understanding of how to apply legislation, case law and policy in practice. It will enable you to link legal and policy frameworks, anti-oppressive practice and social justice.

Practice, Research and Dissertation Skills

This module aims to build on your basic communication and relationship skills in order to prepare you for social work practice. It will enable you to develop an understanding of the wider community in which social work takes place. There will be opportunities to introduce you to the perspectives of service users, carers, and the organisations with which social workers liaise and operate.

Social Work Methods of Assessment, Intervention, Risk and Safeguarding

This module aims to explore the nature of evidence and knowledge-based practice in relation to methods appropriate to risk and safeguarding. It will enable you to develop an understanding of the implicit and explicit ethical and value base underlying such interventions and approaches.

Values, Dilemmas and Conflicts in Social Work Practice

Social work tasks and responsibilities require an understanding of complex situations which are likely to need high-level professional skills. This module will enable you to develop evidence-based knowledge on the multi-faceted factors likely to impact individual interpretation and understanding of dilemmas and conflicts in social work practice.

Assessed Practice 1: 70-Day Placement

This module will enable you to apply evidence and analyse competence in the nine domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework. You will be required to demonstrate your ability to work within the HCPC Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students. There will be a range of activities to help you develop skills in critical reflection in relation to your social work practice and be able to apply appropriate social work skills and methods in practice. You will be supported to demonstrate skills in synthesising information and reflecting critically on social work knowledge. 

Year Two

Research Methods and Dissertation

The module aims are to promote individual understanding of research methodology, including both qualitative and quantitative methods, and to enable the use of skills such as communication, observation, evaluation, planning, recording and collecting information and offer opportunities to analyse, interpret and synthesise the literature. There will be an opportunity to undertake a comprehensive review of relevant literature and consider the value of adopting a structured approach to literature searches. You will also be required to examine the ethical issues encountered in social work research.

Reflection, Analysis and Decision Making with Children and Adults

This module will support you to reflect on practice requirements and on successful completion of the MA Social Work to meet the aims of threshold requirement for entry into the profession as a registered social worker (Standards of Proficiency, HCPC).

Assessed Practice 2: 100-Day Placement

This module will enable you to apply evidence and analyse competence in the nine domains of the Professional Capabilities Framework at the qualifying level. It will help you to demonstrate evidence of your ability to work within the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students. It will also support you to develop social work skills in critical reflection and synthesising information. At the point of qualification, you are expected to have also developed analytical techniques and problem-solving skills and be able to demonstrate personal responsibility and decision-making in complex and unpredictable professional situations. This module aims to enable you to demonstrate your readiness in the assessed year in supervised employment (AYSE).

International English Studies

Include International English Studies: 

Teaching and assessment


We focus on teaching quality as our 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: 


As a University of Chichester student, you will be provided with many things to support you but there may be additional costs which you may encounter while studying.​ A DBS enhanced disclosure check charge of £40 will be required for Social Work (BA, MA and PG Diploma)

Financial help available from the University:

We offer a number of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at Chichester.

Our Finance pages provide details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.



Are you interested in this course and would like to learn more? Get in touch with Kish Bhatti-Sinclair the Head of Social Work programmes for more information.