Social Work MA

The MA in Social Work delivers a professional qualification combined with an academic award. Successful completion of the course allows registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) so that you can practice as a social worker in the UK.

The course dynamically integrates theory and practice embracing both learning in the classroom and in placement settings. The course provides a generic learning opportunity encompassing all service user groups and every effort is made to involve service users, carers, practitioners and managers from across the social work arena in the learning experience.

While the course works to the UK points of reference including the QAA benchmarks the requirements of the HCPC and The College of Social Work (TCSW), the course team also embrace the International Federation of Social Work’s definition:

“The social work profession promotes social change, problem solving in human relationships and the empowerment and liberation of people to enhance well-being. Utilising theories of human behaviour and social systems, social work intervenes at the points where people interact with their environments. Principles of human rights and social justice are fundamental to social work.”

Links are developing with social work courses at universities in Russia and there may be opportunities for exchange visits as well as sharing with students from a number of countries attending the annual summer school at the university.

CPD Open Evening - 22 May 2014 (5-7pm)
Meet with members of the course team to discuss your CPD requirements.
To register your interest in attending this open evening please e-mail:

How to apply

Candidates must apply through UCAS

If you require further information about the UCAS process please contact the University Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or

Entry requirements

Before applying candidates should possess the following:

• An Honours Degree at 2:1 or above

• A minimum of six months contemporary, relevant practice experience verified by reference (See below)

• GCSE English Language & Maths grade C or above, or an acceptable equivalent

• IELTS 7.0 (if English is not your first language)

While a pass in an equivalency test demonstrates that you meet a GCSE equivalent standard in a particular subject, for the purpose of admission onto the course, the test does not provide you with a nationally recognized qualification and is unlikely to be accepted by other institutions.

Applying & Work Experience

When completing the UCAS application form, candidates should indicate why they wish to pursue a career in social work. This relates to the requirement for practice experience. Candidates can find waged and unwaged practice experience with a range of agencies working with children, young people or adults who are vulnerable. This may, for example, be work with children’s centres, adults who have a physical or learning disability, people with mental health issues or older people with incapacity issues or dementia. There may be opportunities in residential work, supported housing and day care services. This work experience will help candidates decide whether social work is for them and also begin to develop their understanding of social work as well as introduce them to the underpinning values.

The interview process will check the candidate’s ability to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English.

Additional Information

Given that students will be allocated placements in rural areas, access to a car or supported mobility arrangements for the duration of the placements is essential. The ability to meet this requirement will be checked at interview.

Successful candidates will be required to complete the university’s suitability documentation and an occupational health check as well as obtain an enhanced CRB statement.

Social Work students are currently able to access a NHS bursary – for more details please access

Study options

The course is offered as a two-year full-time degree course. During the taught elements students will be in the university for a minimum of two days per week and during the placement periods will be in the agency days a week over the course of both years.

The course commences each January with a two week block induction and continues for 24 months. The award is confirmed at the January Exam Board.

While the expectation is that students register for and complete the Masters award (nine modules), some students may for various reasons not meet the full requirement but may be able to claim an interim award: Postgraduate Certificate (three modules) or Postgraduate Diploma (six modules). Applicants should note that only the full MA Social Work award will enable them to register with the HCPC as a social worker.

Get in touch

Peter Unwin
Admissions Tutor
01905 855126

Admissions Office
01905 855111


On successful completion of the course you will be able to seek employment as a qualified social worker in a variety of organisations in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

The programme works closely with Worcestershire and Hereford Councils to enhance employment opportunities on completion of the degree.

To date graduates have demonstrated a good record in gaining employment.


Year One

Law & Policy for Social Work
Theories, Principles & Approaches in S Work Interventions
Practice Learning 1 (100 days)
Workshop Programme
Philosophy, Values & Social Work Practice

Year Two

Professional Social Work Practice in Welfare Organisations
Workshop Programme
Practice Learning 2 (100 days)

While the expectation is that students register for and complete the Masters award (nine modules), some students may for various reasons not meet the full requirement but may be able to claim an interim award: Postgraduate Certificate (three modules) or Postgraduate Diploma (six modules). Applicants should note that only the full MA Social Work award will enable them to register with the HCPC as a social worker.


The course consists of mandatory involvement in nine modules over the two year programme including 100 days (7 hours per day) of assessed practice learning in each academic year.

You will also be required to participate in a workshop and conference programme for each year. The placements which are arranged by the university in conjunction with partner agencies are currently undertaken between May and November each year.

Students are required to complete a portfolio evidencing their achievement of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). Students must be prepared to undertake an allocated practice placement in Worcestershire and/or Herefordshire.

Every effort will be made to take account of the student’s learning needs and personal circumstances but the university reserves the right to make the final decision and to allocate placements on the basis of availability.

To date, the course has a good record in placing students, increasingly in the Private, Independent and Voluntary sectors in Year One and in a statutory sector setting in Year Two.

In Year Two you will complete a dissertation, which will enable you to focus upon a particular sphere within social work.

Nadia Parker

2012 MA Social Work Graduate

I have chosen Social Work to be my profession because I believe it gives me the opportunity to help the most vulnerable members of our society sustain and improve their well-being and environment. The two year MA course at the University of Worcester provided me with a solid foundation to my value-base, theoretical and practical knowledge and skills which I am now in the process of developing as a Newly Qualified Social Worker. The fact that English is my second language has never hindered me from achieving the academic and practice standards at Masters Level. I was also able to balance work with studies which gave me a sense of comfort and reassurance in maintaining my day to day living. I am currently working full time in a Team for Older People/Physical Disabilities in Southern England. Although some days can be overwhelming and challenging, knowing that I am making a difference with support from colleagues and management, is rather fulfilling and rewarding.

Academic department

Institute of Health & Society

“The committed and enthusiastic staff in the Institute of Health and Society will assist you to develop your knowledge, skills and attitudes in order to achieve personal success and to ensure that you can ‘make a positive difference’ when you apply this learning to your chosen career or to your future life and study.”

Dr Jan Quallington, Head of Institute

Health & Society News