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Social Work

MA or PGDip

Key facts

Start dates

September 2023 / September 2024

Course length

Full time: MA/PGDip: 2 years (inclusive of summer months)

Part time: maximum of 5 years

Accreditation(s)

Approved by Social Work England (SWE)

Overview

If you already have a degree and are interested in becoming a social worker, our Postgraduate Social Work courses (MA /PGDip) can lead to the qualification you need. As a graduate you can apply for social work registration in England with Social Work England.

Our courses deliver high quality social work education. We have been approved by and teach to Social Work England (SWE) Standards of Proficiency for Social Workers in England, and the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). 

Our lecturing staff base their teaching on evidence-based practice, promoting the most current social work research. 

Your practice-based learning includes two work placements. You'll work with your practice educator to develop your capabilities as part of the PCF.

Our graduates are highly employable with almost 100% obtaining employment after graduating. We have links with Local Authority employers, local private voluntary and independent sector organisations. So it's likely you will secure a job before qualifying.

How to apply

Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

GCSE: GCSE Maths and English or equivalent at least to grade C or above

You must:

  • have a good honours degree (2:1 or above for the MA; 2:2 or above for the PGDip), or a professional qualification equivalent to an undergraduate degree, normally in a cognate area
  • GCSE Maths and English or equivalent at least to grade 4 (C) or above
  • have basic IT skills with reliable access to the internet, preferably through a broadband connection.

Additionally:

  • have experience of paid or voluntary work with vulnerable people. This would typically be the equivalent of one year’s full-time experience of social care or health care-related practice in either the statutory or the voluntary sector. Caring in a personal capacity may in some instances be acceptable as relevant experience.

Credit Transfer

Candidates may be admitted with credit from APL or APEL for the University based part of the programme. In exceptional circumstances where the student can demonstrate the required capabilities and meet assessment criteria, credit for placement learning will be considered.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

Screening

All applicants will be screened for fitness to practise and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.

English language requirements

For applicants whose first language is not English, an Academic IELTS score of 7.0 (with a minimum of 6.5 in each component) is required.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

International applicants will:

  • need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visas if offered a place
  • be asked to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure a place on the course.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

International applicants will need to apply early to allow enough time for obtaining visas.

If you are offered a place you may be asked to pay a deposit of £3,000 to secure a place on the course.

Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

Apply now

Tuition fees

Please see the fees note
Home (UK) full time
Masters £7,850 (new & continuing students); Diploma £5,200 (new & continuing students)

Home (UK) part time
Masters £1,750 per single 20 credit Level 7 module; Diploma £1,750 per single 20 credit Level 7 module

International full time
Masters £15,200; Diploma £10,130

Home (UK) full time
Masters £8,200; Diploma £5,470

Home (UK) part time
Masters - £1,820 per single 20 credit Level 7 module; Diploma - £1,820 per single 20 credit Level 7 module;

International full time
Masters £15,800; Diploma £10,540

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees

2022 / 23
Home (UK) full time
Masters £7,850 (new & continuing students); Diploma £5,200 (new & continuing students)

Home (UK) part time
Masters £1,750 per single 20 credit Level 7 module; Diploma £1,750 per single 20 credit Level 7 module

International full time
Masters £15,200; Diploma £10,130

2023 / 24
Home (UK) full time
Masters £8,200; Diploma £5,470

Home (UK) part time
Masters - £1,820 per single 20 credit Level 7 module; Diploma - £1,820 per single 20 credit Level 7 module;

International full time
Masters £15,800; Diploma £10,540

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

+44 (0)1865 483088

financefees@brookes.ac.uk

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

At the time of writing, Postgraduate social work students may be eligible to apply for the social work bursary (SWB). Please visit the NHSBA website for further details. The social work bursary is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBA) on behalf of the Department of Health who set the number of bursaries available each year. Performance at interview day will be used to rank applicants in order for the SWB, with applicants for the full MA given priority over applicants of the PGDip.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course are detailed below.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

Extra Costs
DBS – Fees for Post Office ID Document checking fee & Update Service Registration
Travel and parking – including those for placements
Inter-Library Loans and Articles
Books
Printing and Photocopying

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements

Learning and assessment

Both MA and PGDip students study seven core modules, including two practice placements. These placements include attendance throughout the summer months.

MA students will also need to take the Applied Research Methods module and the Dissertation module.

Student and academic

Study modules

The modules listed below are for the master's award. For the PGDip award your module choices may be different. Please contact us for more details.

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Skill Development and Professional Communication

The Policy and Law Context of Social Care

Social Work Theory, Assessment and Evidence-Informed Intervention with Adults

Foundations in Child Welfare and Wellbeing

Social Work Theory, Assessment and Evidence-Informed Intervention with Children and Families

Applied Research Methods (MA students only)

Dissertation (MA students only)

Placements

Compulsory modules

Social Work Practice 1 (70-day practicum experience)

Full-time students normally complete this placement in Year 1 during Semesters 2 and 3. 

The Part-time mode of study allows more flexibility as to when placements can be undertaken. Usually, part-time students complete this in Year 2 during Semesters 2 and 3.

Social Work Practice 2 (100-day practicum experience)

Full-time students normally complete this placement in Year 2 during Semesters 1 and 2. 

The Part-time mode of study allows more flexibility as to when placements can be undertaken. Usually, part-time students complete this in Year 3 during Semesters 1 and 2.

Final project

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Our teaching includes a blend of:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Group Work
  • Role Play / Simulated Interviews
  • Guest Speakers
  • Service User Input
  • Online Learning

We encourage active student participation. You will have opportunities to contribute your own knowledge and experience.

There will be opportunities to share your learning with other health care students. This is essential to developing teamwork skills and an understanding of the other roles you will encounter in practice.

The majority of teaching and assessment activities take place between Mondays and Fridays 9am to 4pm. There may be occasions when activities fall outside of these hours.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed through a variety of methods:

  • written assignments
  • class tests
  • assessed interviews
  • portfolios
  • presentations / viva
  • dissertation

Research

Social Work at Oxford Brookes offers a supportive and collaborative research community, giving you the chance to develop your research skills together with knowledge of your chosen subject.

We take a holistic approach to individual, family, community and societal well-being, and have partnerships with external research centres and practitioners. Our research covers a diverse range of fields, ensuring that we are delivering current, evidence-informed knowledge and skills for all levels of professionals.

Some of our current staff specialise in the following research areas:

  • Widening Participation in Higher Education and Diversification of Curriculums, with current research in Burundi working on a Global Challenges Research Grant project on peer mentoring
  • Community-based services and peer support
  • Psychological factors that affect human growth and development, particularly in relation to education and wellbeing
  • Children and parents perspective of Social Work Service
Researcher using a laptop in a quiet space

After you graduate

Career prospects

On successful completion of the MA and PGDip programmes graduates are eligible to apply for registration as a qualified social worker with Social Work England*, and then to enter employment.

There are a wide range of job opportunities for social workers in a variety of settings. Local authority and private, voluntary and independent partners employ many graduates who go on to undertake the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (AYSE).

Graduates of the MA programme will be well-placed to apply for a place on an MPhil / PhD programme should they wish to pursue a career in research at a later date.

*International Students should note that completion of the Oxford Brookes Social Work programme allows you to apply for registration with the UK regulator of Social Work. Any practice overseas is likely to require you to meet the country's requirement for regulation. The responsibility for identifying and working towards the requirements for registration overseas is with the student. You may wish to check the compatibility of the Oxford Brookes award prior to application

Our Staff

Ms Jill Childs

Programme Lead/ Principal Lecturer for BA and MA/ PG Dip Social Work, Jill Childs has a background in working with homeless people, particularly those who are disenfranchised and excluded from service provision.

Read more about Jill

Programme Changes:

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.