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MA Social Work

Key facts

Start date January 2019

Duration/mode 24 months full time

UK/EU fees £15,000 (total)

Additional cost information

Entry requirements A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social care related subject + experience.

Language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component

This course has a mandatory work placement

This course is available to UK/EU residents only


The MA programme at Leeds offers a “fast track” programme to professional registration as a social worker with 14 bursaries available and excellent employment opportunites on completion. It’s an exciting opportunity for graduates with some experience and knowledge of social care to enter a challenging and rewarding profession that contributes to the well-being of society.

This respected programme has strong partnership links to the statutory, private, voluntary and independent sectors, and our graduates are highly sought after in the employment market. During the programme, you'll have excellent placement opportunities across a range of providers.

You’ll benefit from the small student number we recruit and will enjoy a high level of support from tutors. Practice and theory have equal value on the programme, and they inform and develop each other.

The Social Work MA involves service users and carers in all aspects of our programme and supports an inter-professional perspective in both the theory and practice of social work, studied at a world-leading university.

Bursaries and funding
We currently have 14 bursaries available for students. Bursaries are available for both years of the programme. Please scroll down for bursary information.

MA Social Work students are eligible for postgraduate student loans and can obtain up to £10,280 as a contribution for the whole course if they do not receive bursary. Learn more.

For the School of Healthcare 2018/19 Admissions policy click here


Graduates of this HCPC-approved programme are eligible to apply for registration as a social worker on the HCPC Register.

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Course content

You’ll study the law and social work with children, families and adults. You’ll learn about research methods and complete a dissertation. You’ll also be required to undertake 170 days of placement in a social work setting, supported by practice teachers and assessors.

This programme accepts a small number of students in each year group and the social work team is committed to providing a stimulating, supportive and challenging environment for study.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Social Work MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

The social work programme is designed to allow you to study as an adult learner. The programme’s methods of study and training are highly participative, with a combination of tutor-led input and support, learning through group work and discussion, and individual exercises and practice. There is a strong emphasis on developing as a critically reflective practitioner. Service users and carers along with experienced current practitioners take a full part in the teaching and learning on the programme. You’ll have access to modern University and School of Healthcare facilities.


The course is assessed through a combination of essay, exam, practice portfolio and dissertation. The workload of assessment is carefully spread throughout the programme.

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Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a social care related subject, where social sciences form a significant element of the curriculum.

GCSE Maths and English grade C or above or equivalent.

Applicants must provide:

  • certificated evidence of qualifications
  • evidence of recent study normally within the last five years
  • evidence of significant social care experience, usually a minimum of 500 hours equivalent. This could include experience as a carer.
  • two satisfactory references, one of which must be an academic reference, one offering commentary on social care experience/aptitude.

In accordance with Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) requirements:

  • All applicants for social work training must demonstrate that they have a satisfactory standard of health. Applicants who are conditionally offered a place on the course are required to obtain a satisfactory health check either through the School's Occupational Health Unit.
  • All candidates are subject to Declaration and Barring Service (DBS) checks. Candidates must fill in a self-declaration and apply at entry for an enhanced DBS disclosure. Social Work as a protected profession is exempted from the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974. This means that all cautions, convictions, spent or unspent, including motoring offences, covering the applicant’s entire lifetime must be included on the self-declaration. Continuation on the course is subject to a satisfactory DBS check.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. Contact the School of Healthcare admissions team.

English language requirements

IELTS 7.0 overall, with no less than 6.5 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for the programme may be able to study an English for Academic Purposes pre-sessional course with a progression route to the degree programme. For information and entry requirements, read Pre-sessional programmes.


How to apply

Application deadline

28 September 2018, for January 2019 start.


This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

Selection principles

Applicants will be selected on an individual basis by interview and written exercise.

This programme is not open to international students as it does not meet the tier 4 study visa requirement.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £15,000 (total)
International fees: £35,000 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

Additional cost information

You may have some travel costs whilst on placement, though we encourage agencies to minimise these and some cover this cost. There are travel awards for expenses to and from placement for all those eligible who apply for a bursary, including those who do not receive a full bursary.

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

NHS bursaries

We currently have 14 bursaries available for students. Bursaries are available for both years of the programme. Please scroll down for bursary information.

Since 2013 the numbers of Social Work bursaries at each university have been capped nationally for each individual social work programme.

Students are ranked according to their performance at admissions interview. This ranking will be sent to NHS Bursaries and the final decision on eligibility for bursaries remains with NHS Bursaries.

In addition, the current position is that all students must apply for a bursary in order to be eligible for a contribution towards their travel expenses while on placement in years 1 and 2.

Please consult the NHS Bursary website for the up-to-date position.

Postgraduate Student loans

Students enrolling on the MA are eligible for a Postgraduate Student loan. Students who have applied for a PG loan do not have to pay 50% fees up front at registration but are able to pay their fees in three instalments over the academic year to match loan payments. Full details on how to apply for a Postgraduate Student loan can be found here.

MA Social Work students are eligible for postgraduate student loans and can obtain up to £10,280 as a contribution for the whole course if they did not receive a Social Work bursary.

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Career opportunities

Our graduates go on to work in a wide range of posts in children and families and adult work in the statutory and non-statutory sectors, locally and throughout the country. We have a very high success rate in students finding employment.

Careers support

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Placement opportunities

You will undertake a 70- day placement from July to November in the first year of studies.

In the second year you will complete a 100- day practice placement in a setting with statutory work experience.

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