School of Society and Community

MA Social Work

MA Full-time 2 years

Successful students studying our social work master’s become qualified to begin their careers in the industry.

Successful students studying our social work master’s become qualified to begin their careers in the industry.

Start date(s)
16 September 2024
Course specifications
Course length
Full-time (2 years)
Campus location
University: City Campus
School of Society and Community
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Why choose this course?

Our (MA) Social Work Master’s Degree is designed to equip students with the knowledge, skills and values necessary for qualification. We offer a comprehensive curriculum that covers everything from human development and behaviour to research methods and policy analysis. 


Upon successful completion of the course, students will have met the required levels of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). They will then be eligible to apply to register with Social Work England (SWE) to begin their first year of employment as a registered and qualified social worker.

The MA (Social Work) is an academic award dependent upon the successful completion of a Master's-level dissertation as well as demonstrating capable practice. There is an ‘exit award’ of PGDip, which allows successful students to apply to register with (SWE) as qualified and registered social workers. Students taking this route may be eligible to complete their dissertation for an alternative MA in a related field.

The specific educational aims of the course are to:

  • develop a knowledge base to underpin capable and effective practice
  • develop the necessary intellectual skills of critical thinking, enquiry and problem-solving as applied to academic learning
  • practice ethical, research-minded and critically engaged work
  • develop a social work practice committed to social justice, which recognises structural inequality


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What happens on the course?

The course consists of four taught modules, two placement modules and a dissertation module. Upon completion of our (MA) Social Work Master’s course, you’ll have studied a range of methods, models, theories and approaches, combined with practical experience on a 70-day and 100-day social work practice placement. You’ll also get the chance to develop your understanding of working with adults, children, families and carers, giving you the option to specialise in your future career or further studies. 

At the end of the course, you’ll complete a final dissertation. Through your own independent study and support from a personal tutor, you’ll investigate a chosen area of social work or a real-world issue and complete your own piece of research around this.

We are proud to be a part of The West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership - which is funded by the Department for Education and designed to strengthen the quality of education and training for social work students and practitioners across the West Midlands. Find out more about excellence in social work education and professional practice.



Course Modules

Potential Career Paths

Successful students studying our social work Master’s become qualified to begin their careers in the industry.

The English qualification is accepted throughout the UK. Graduates may return to the University of Wolverhampton (or any higher education institute) to undertake courses as part of their continuing professional development (CPD), which is a requirement to maintain social work professional registration.

These currently include Approved Mental Health Professional and Practice Educator courses, but additional courses are in development following policy changes related to the Mental Capacity Act. Candidates can also choose to enrol in a program of doctoral study - either a professional doctorate or a PhD.

Additional Information

Everything you need to know about this course!

The course at the University of Wolverhampton has some excellent features including:

  • Opportunities for learning from practitioners, service users and carers as well as lecturers
  • Approved placement opportunities across a range of settings.
  • Opportunities to hear visiting lecturers from Germany.

There is commitment to International Social Work on the award and staff members have interests and publications in this area.

Ethical and engaged practice is a core element of the award, which is enhanced by developing values and critical reflection. Several of the staff team have relevant publications in this arena.

Core members of staff on the course have a strong record of social work publications and/or conference presentations across a range of areas of interest.

There are also excellent campus facilities (catering, libraries and well equipped social learning spaces) which contribute to an enjoyable learning experience.

At the end of this course students will have acquired the knowledge to underpin practice; a range of intellectual skills of thinking and problem-solving in academic learning and practice; enhanced self-awareness and social work specific skills. These will be incorporated into the 5 course learning outcomes:

  • Demonstrate capability in social work practice, requirements for Social Work Training and the PCT ensuring that social work's core values are central. 
  • Be able to reflect critically on evidence and information, apply and synthesise this knowledge to social work processes and interventions to become an engaged social worker, committed to social justice.
  • Confidently and consistently apply intra-personal and inter-professional skills and knowledge when working with professions, agencies and service users/carers to promote best practice with people who are often vulnerable.
  • Demonstrate a critical commitment to a service user and carer centred approach in practice, focussed upon social work's core values.
  • Be able to engage in and demonstrate a critical analysis of the legal, political and social influences impacting on social work practice in a complex and changing environment, often characterised by ethical dilemmas or conflict of interests.


Location Mode Fee Year
Home Full-time £5500 per year 2022-23
Home Full-time £5775 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £5775 per year 2023-24
Home Full-time £5775 per year 2024-25
Home Part-time £5500 per year 2022-23
Home Part-time £5775 per year 2023-24
Home Part-time £5775 per year 2023-24
Home Part-time £5775 per year 2024-25
International Full-time £11000 per year 2022-23
International Full-time £11900 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £11900 per year 2023-24
International Full-time £12400 per year 2024-25
International Part-time £11000 per year 2022-23
International Part-time £11900 per year 2023-24
International Part-time £11900 per year 2023-24
International Part-time £12400 per year 2024-25

These fees relate to new entrants only for the academic year indicated for entry onto the course, any subsequent years study may be subject to an annual increase, usually in line with inflation.

Key Requirements

All candidates must hold an Honours degree (Bachelor) at 2:1 or above


  • GCSE: English language and maths grades 9-4/A*-C or equivalent
    • Equivalent qualifications include the following at Level 2:
    • Functional Skills, Key Skills, Learn Direct.
  • Equivalency Test: If you have not achieved your Level 2 qualifications, you are eligible to take our University equivalency tests. The tests for this course are free of charge and can be taken completely online. Our admissions team will confirm in your offer if you are required to take one of these assessments.

English Language Requirements for International Applicants

We will accept applicants who hold an Internationl GCSE English Langauuge equvialency, these will be assessed by our admissions team for suitability. 

If English is not your first language, evidence of your English language proficiency will need to be met by achieving a proficiency test.  We accept results that have been achieved within 2 years of the intake you are applying to join.

Our IELTS requirements: Achienve an overall band score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each element. We also accept alternative proficiency tests, we recommend the Oxford International Digital Institute English Language Level Test (ELLT) as a suitable alternative to IELTS.

All candidates must have substantial prior experience in the field of Social Care, Health or Education (this can be either paid or voluntary work and must be verifiable by a manager).

  • If you've got other qualifications or relevant experience, please contact The Gateway for further advice before applying

Other Requirements

Applicants will also be required to provide satisfactory personal statement and one satisfactory academic or employer reference   A minimum of 3 months work experience in a relevant area such as a social care or health setting, paid or on a voluntary basis is highly desirable. We also consider life experience for example, if you are or have been a carer or if you have experience of the care system and are able to reflect on these experiences we would consider your application.   

Those meeting the entry requirements may be shortlisted for interview and will be invited to an assessment day where you will be assessed in comprehension, verbal ability and suitability for social work. Interview panels will include, whenever possible, employer and service-user/carer representatives.

Interview Information.
Read further information regarding interview preparation

DBS Police Check and Occupational Health.

Due to the professional nature of this course you are also required to complete a Declaration of Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.  The regulator for Social Work is Social Work England. 

Free Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health Check:

Due to the professional nature of some of our courses you may also be required to complete a Declaration of Health and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check.  We will coordinate both of these non-academic conditions with you should your course require this and you receive an offer from us

There will be no cost for the DBS this is free to applicants who have secured an offer and have chosen to study at the University of Wolverhampton.


Due to the nature of social work and the geographical location of social work practice placements, you will be expected to travel and this may be for up to an hour and a half (90 minutes) from where you live to the placement agency. You will also be expected to travel as part of the placement day from the placement office to meetings and to undertake visits to people in their homes. You must ensure you have the time required to travel and can meet the travel costs. Having a driving license and your own transport is advantageous.


Please note than an offer of a place at the University does not guarantee eligibility for student funding. To confirm that you meet the residency criteria go to or telephone SFE on 0300 100 0607.

Social Work England

Approved by Social Work England (SWE) for the purpose of providing eligibility to apply for registration with SWE as a social worker in England.

Postgraduate Loan (Home Fee Status):

You may be able to get a postgraduate student loan from Student Finance England of up to £12,167 to help pay for a Master’s degree. Applications are made through Student Finance England and more information on the regulations and eligibility criteria can be found at Masters Loans GOV.UK

* Any RPL will invalidate your eligibility as you must study a minimum of 180 credits

Changes for EU students:

The UK government has confirmed that EU students starting courses from 1 August 2021 will normally be classified as having Overseas Fee status. More information about the change is available at UKCISA:

EU citizens living in the UK with 'settled' status, and Irish nationals living in the UK or Ireland, will still be classified as Home students, providing they meet the usual residency requirements, for more information about EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) click here.

NHS Bursaries for Social Work Students

The number of bursary recipients for both part-time and full-time courses are capped. As the number of students commencing social work programmes can exceed the number of bursaries available, there is no guarantee that all students will receive a bursary.

To determine which students are successful with securing a bursary, subject to meeting the NHS Bursary requirements above and entitled to a bursary, the University prioritises applicants based on a ranking during the selection interview. This ranking is based on the overall score achieved by applicants.

Students who are not allocated a bursary can apply for the postgraduate loan through Student Finance England. Students cannot apply for both the Bursary and the loan.

Postgraduate Loyalty Discount:

You can get 20% discount on a taught on-site postgraduate course if you’re a University of Wolverhampton Graduate.

The University offers a generous 20% Loyalty Discount to students progressing from an undergraduate programme to a taught postgraduate programme, where both courses are University of Wolverhampton Awards.

There is no time limit on how long ago you completed your degree as long as this is your first Masters level qualification.

The discount applies to the first year of enrolment only. Students who receive a loyalty discount are not entitled to any further tuition discount or bursary. For full terms and conditions click here.


If you are paying for the fees yourself then the fees can be paid in 3 instalments: November, January and April. More information can be found by clicking here.

Sponsored - Your employer, embassy or organisation can pay for your Tuition fees:

Your employer, embassy or organisation agrees to pay all or part of your tuition fees; the University will refer to them as your sponsor and will invoice them for the appropriate amount.

We must receive notification of sponsorship in writing as soon as possible, and before enrolment, confirming that the sponsor will pay your tuition fees.

Financial Hardship:

Students can apply to the Dennis Turner Opportunity Fund for help with course related costs however this cannot be used for fees or to cover general living costs.

Charitable Funding:

You might also want to explore the possibility of funding from charitable trusts; please see the following websites Association of Charitable Foundations, Directory of Social Change or Family Action. Most charities and trust funds offer limited bursaries targeted to specific groups of students so you will need to research whether any of them are relevant to your situation.

You can find more information on the University’s Funding, cost, fee and support pages.


01902 32 22 22



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