Entry requirements

We normally require a First class or 2.1 Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification. We will also consider applicants with at least a 2.2 Honours degree in a related subject (e.g Education, Sociology, Social Policy, Politics, Psychology, Law, Health and/or Social Care).

Applicants must demonstrate how their previous experience in paid employment or structured voluntary work with a relevant organisation has prepared them for a career in social work. While there is no formal requirement for a set amount of time spent getting work experience we normally expect at least a year’s full-time (or part-time equivalent) experience. Applicants should also demonstrate what they have learnt from their own life/educational/work/voluntary experiences as appropriate to their life stage and how these have prepared them for a career in social work. Each application will be considered on an individual basis.

All applicants must hold a GCSE Grade C in English Language and Mathematics or an acceptable equivalent at application stage and must possess basic IT skills prior to the start of the programme.

An ability to communicate accurately and clearly in spoken and written English and the ability to think critically and analytically.

Applicants will need to provide two references: an academic reference from first degree and a character reference from someone who can testify to their suitability for a career in Social Work;

All applicants must demonstrate:

  • appropriate personal qualities and life experiences
  • ability to reflect on and positively learn from significant events in their life
  • recent undertaking of pre-course preparatory work either by making use of training opportunities within their work or by undertaking relevant study
  • the ability to express themselves orally and in writing and the ability to think critically and analytically
  • and an understanding of the role of research in informing social work practice.

This is a highly selective course and only the strongest applicants will be invited for interview.

2-year full-time

Months of entry


Course content

The Social Work MA programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-oppressive practice.

Graduates who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

The professional and academic elements are closely integrated throughout the programme. There are 170 placement days, with the working week divided between time in placement and time in the University.

See Frequently Asked Questions, which include application information.


This MA Social Work degree programme aims to provide high quality post graduate social work education and training to equip students with comprehensive pre-entry skills to work in any agency employing social workers in the United Kingdom.

Although the statutory sector is the major employer, increasingly social workers are being recruited into volutary and private sectors in a variety of service provision roles including community-based, residential or day care services in the UK and abroad.

The programme seeks to encourage the personal responsibility of students to function as independent learners and to develop a critical and reflective appreciation of the role of social work in society.

The curriculum provides teaching in both academic and practice elements, which are fully integrated at Brunel University London. It is designed to ensure that learning occurs in an incremental way, with learning outcomes that develop across levels enabling students to demonstrate progression in professional knowledge, skills and values through two years of study.

Specifically, the programme aims to:

  • prepare students for critical and reflective professional practice according to the HCPC’s approval standards of education, and The College of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework;
  • equip students to practise ethical, innovative and effective social work practice that actively promotes social justice in a diverse society
  • integrate learning in academic and practice elements of the programme so that students have a holistic understanding of social work in variety of professional contexts
  • enable students to identify, understand and critically appraise evidence and research which can inform social work practice
  • enable graduates to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and apply for membership with the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

Fees and funding

UK students
£7,500 full-time
International students
£17,500 full-time

Read about funding opportunities available to postgraduate students

Social Work Bursary

The Department of Health has confirmed that the postgraduate social work bursary will be maintained to ensure a continuation of highly qualified graduates. However, the Department of Health will cap the number of undergraduate and post-graduate bursary recipients to ensure a sufficient supply of high quality students is maintained.

Further information will be available shortly at http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/Students/825.aspx.

UK/EU students can opt to pay in six equal monthly instalments: the first instalment is payable on enrolment and the remaining five by Direct Debit or credit/debit card.

Overseas students can opt to pay in two instalments: 60% on enrolment, and 40% in January for students who commence their course in September (or the remaining 40% in March for selected courses that start in January).

Fees quoted are per annum and are subject to an annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months
24 months

Course contact details

Brunel Course Enquiries