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Social Work

Duration: 2 years
Attendance mode: Full-time
Award: MA
Suitable for international students
Start date: September
Faculty of Social Sciences
Apply Prospectus downloads


The aim of our MA in Social Work is to provide students, who already hold a first degree, with a professional social work qualification at Master's level.

The course will enable you to be a confident, competent, qualified social work practitioner. We offer a well established course with a national reputation for producing high-calibre workers. Our course is designed, managed and delivered by a Programme Management Board that includes practice placement agencies, students, lecturers and practitioners. Stakeholder involvement ensures that our course maintains a dynamic, outward-looking approach towards social work education with a clear focus on the needs of service users.

The programme is built upon the following standards and requirements for social work training: the HCPC (Health and care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency for social care workers, the DOH (Department of Health) Requirements for social work training, The College of Social Work Professional Capabilities Framework and the QAA (Quality Assurance Agency) benchmark statements for social policy administration and social work.

On completion of the MA in Social Work you will have:

  • Knowledge and Understanding of social work services and service users; the service delivery context; values and ethics; social work theory; the nature of social work practice.
  • Discipline skills in assessment, planning, intervention and evaluation with individuals, families, carers, groups and communities; support of individuals to represent their needs, views and circumstances; the management of risk to users, self and colleagues; workload management and accountability; self reflective practice and professional competence.
  • Transferable skills in the use of communication and information technology and numerical skills; problem solving skills including: problem management, information gathering, analysis and synthesis, intervention and evaluation; communication skills; skills in working with others; skills in personal and professional development.

Why Bradford?

  • Social work is a profession regulated in England, since 1 August 2012, by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and this course is regulated by the HCPC.
  • Bursaries are available through the NHS Business Services Authority.

Entry requirements

  • Possess an undergraduate honours degree at 2:1 or higher in any discipline. We will also consider applicants who hold a Masters level qualification.
  • Demonstrate that, by the time they start the course, they will have acquired current and relevant underpinning knowledge from psychology, sociology and social policy, at a level, which will allow them to complete the MA (Social Work). Applicants who have not acquired such knowledge in completing their first degrees or who obtained their degrees several years ago should consider what further study and/or reading is required as well as study skills revision to prepare them for this level of study. They may need to consider enrolment on foundation level courses at their local university or distance learning packages, such as the Open University’s ’Introducing the social sciences’ module DD102.
  • Demonstrate that they have relevant work experience equivalent to a minimum of 6 months full-time work (approximately 910 hours). This may be paid or voluntary work and could have been undertaken on a full-time or part-time basis. Applicants are usually expected to have had a substantial part of such experience during the past 2 years and to have had experience which includes working with vulnerable groups in Britain. Applicants who have limited experience or who have had little or no relevant experience during the past 2 years should consider seeking relevant employment or volunteering via organisations, such as their local Council for Voluntary Services, local Children’s or Adult Services Departments or local voluntary sector agencies. (Please see 'All Prospective Entrants' information below).
  • Demonstrate that their understanding of social work is informed both by underpinning knowledge and by reflection on their experience.
  • Hold certificated qualifications in Maths and English which are, at least, equivalent to GCSE (at grade C or above).
  • The minimum level of English Language attainment for entry to MA Social Work is IELTS 7 or equivalent.
  • Have Information, Communication Technology (ICT) skills which are sufficient to allow them to begin both study and practice and that they will be able to develop these skills during their progress through the course. (Applicants without such relevant skills will need to demonstrate that they have plans in place to acquire them prior to starting social work training).
  • Complete a health disclosure form.
  • Complete a declaration form regarding matters that include criminal convictions, cautions and reprimands and any disciplinary action by employers, in order to satisfy the programme that they are suitable to work with vulnerable children and adults.
  • All information obtained from the admissions process is used to assess a candidate's potential to successful complete the social work programme and to eventually practice as a qualified worker in accordance with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) regulatory standards for Social Work and the College of Social Work’s (TCSW) Professional Capabilities Framework.

English language requirements:

IELTS at 7 or the equivalent.

If you do not meet the IELTS requirement, you can take a University of Bradford pre-sessional English course. See the Language Centre for more details.


The modules for this course can be found in the latest programme specification.

Stage 1

  • Social Work Theories and Methods. 20 credits, core
    Gain an advanced level understanding of theories and methods drawn from the social sciences and assess and integrate your application to social work.
  • Ethics, Professionalism and Reflective Practice. 10 credits, core
    Analyse and critically reflect on the social work values and ethics underpinning professional practice.
  • Interviewing and Communication Skills. 10 credits, core
    Gain an advanced theoretical and practical understanding of communication and interviewing skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs.
  • Practice Placement Learning I. 20 credits, core
    Reflect critically on your social work practice in preparation for and during your first placement, and to prepare and present items which will demonstrate understanding of your developing professional competence.
  • Social Work with Children and Families. 20 credits, core
    Critically consider the policies and practices of social work with children, young people and their families.
  • Social Work with Adults. 20 credits, core
    Gain an understanding of the social work role in adult social care and investigate theoretical perspectives and methods used in adult social work.
  • Law for Social Work. 20 credits, core
    Critically examine, analyse and evaluate legal issues with reference to social work practice.

Stage 2

  • Practice Placement Learning II. 20 credits, core
    Reflect critically on your own social work practice in preparation for and during your second placement.
  • Interprofessional Working. 20 credits, core
    Critically analyse and understand the relationship and importance of interprofessional working across and between social work and other professions and agencies.
  • Research Methods for Social Workers. 20 credits, core

Reading lists

All reading lists can be found here.

Career support and prospects

Career support

The University is committed to helping students develop and enhance employability and this is an integral part of many programmes. Specialist support is available throughout the course from Career and Employability Services including help to find part-time work while studying, placements, vacation work and graduate vacancies. Students are encouraged to access this support at an early stage and to use the extensive resources on the Careers website.

Discussing options with specialist advisers helps to clarify plans through exploring options and refining skills of job-hunting. In most of our programmes there is direct input by Career Development Advisers into the curriculum or through specially arranged workshops.


Fees, Finance and Scholarships

Tuition fees


  • Home/EU - £4,195 per year (subject to a small annual increase)
  • International - £14,900 per year

Tuition fees are subject to review for students starting their course in subsequent years. See our Fees and Financial Support website for more details.

Financial support

You may be eligible to apply for the government's new Postgraduate Loan of up to £10,000 to put towards your fees and living costs. Find out more on our Fees and Financial Support website.

A capped number of NHSBSA Bursaries may be available for MA Social Work students. More information can be found from the NHSBSA website.

Closing date for applications is 31 May 2018 if you wish to be considered for bursary nomination. We will still continue to accept applications after 31 May 2018 but there will be no guarantee that you will be considered for bursary.

How do I find out more?

Steps to Postgraduate Study

Find out more about studying at a postgraduate level on the official, independent website Steps to Postgraduate Study (link opens in new window).

How to apply

The easiest way to apply is online.

This will help us process your application more quickly and allow you to submit your supporting documents electronically.

If you are unable to apply online, please email to request a paper application form.

We will also need the following supporting documents, along with any other information specified on the course page:

  • Degree certificates/transcripts
  • Research proposal (if required)
  • Two references (including one academic reference)
  • Evidence of English language level (if required)
  • A copy of your passport

Once you have applied you will have access to the University's Applicant Portal, where you can track the status of your application.

You should also start thinking about how you plan to fund your postgraduate study — you may need to apply for loans or grants at this stage.

International students

If you applying from outside the UK and require additional support you may apply through your country representative.

They can help you at every stage and communicate with the University on your behalf. They often provide additional services to ensure your smooth arrival to the UK such as visa application support and assistance with your travel arrangements.

Further information is available on our International Office website.

This is the current course information. Modules and course details may change, subject to the University's programme approval, monitoring and review procedures. The University reserves the right to alter or withdraw courses, services and facilities as described on our website without notice and to amend Ordinances, Regulations, fees and charges at any time. Students should enquire as to the up-to-date position when applying for their course of study.