Taught course

Social Work Practice - Master of Professional Social Work Practice

University of Bedfordshire · Department of Applied Social Studies

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Entry requirements

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. This course is only open to graduates holding a PG Diploma in Social Work. This course does not currently allow for open access. Recruitment is governed by the Department for Education (DfE) and advertising and the initial application process is managed by the DfE. Standard University entry requirements apply but applicants must also meet the DfE and College of Social Work entry requirements as set out below.

International students are not eligible for this course unless they have indefinite leave to remain and access to public funds - and must have achieved IELTS Level 7 in order to be considered. In order to be eligible for this course you must have a first degree (First Class or Upper Second Class honours) in any discipline, in addition, you must meet the Department for Education criteria of having experience of working with children, young people and families and demonstrate emotional resilience.

As for any qualifying Social Work course all successful applicants must also have achieved at least Key Skills level 2 in English and Mathematics. This would normally be equivalent to grade C in the GCSE examination in English and Mathematics. The initial recruitment process will be managed nationally by the Department for Education and applicants will then be shortlisted and interviewed locally by regional employers and their partner HEIs, in this case the University of Bedfordshire. The selection process will require you to demonstrate substantial relevant experience and an aptitude to work with children and families in need, i.e. the appropriate personal qualities, values and skills to be a social worker (i.e. the Professional Capabilities Framework at entry level). It will include a written task, group exercise, role play and personal interview in accordance with the College of Social Work guidance on recruitment.

You will be required to declare any previous offences (including reprimands and formal warnings) and any previous disciplinary matters, and if selected, you will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure your suitability for working with vulnerable groups. In addition you will need to complete a health declaration and give permission for contact with your GP, where necessary, to confirm your suitability for Social Work training and professional registration.

If you have relevant prior experience and /or certificated learning you may be able to claim RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) in accordance with the University's published criteria and up to a maximum of 60 academic credits at M level.

Months of entry


Course content

About the course

The Master of Professional Social Work Practice (Step Up to Social Work) course allows graduates holding the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Social Work Practice to progress to a full Masters award by undertaking a work-based research project.

This work-based course will enable you to gain the systematic and independent ability to critically evaluate current theoretical understanding and practice.

You will develop the skills needed to apply knowledge-informed and evidence based practice in the workplace, and have opportunities to undertake a piece of supervised research.

At the end of your studies, you will have achieved a nationally-recognised professional qualification in Social Work together with a postgraduate academic award

Key features

  • Study in both classroom and practice settings to develop the skills of communication, teamwork and leadership you will need to address a range of increasingly complex issues.
  • Explore, understand and critically evaluate the power structures of society which create inequalities, and acquire an awareness of the tools and techniques which can be used to counter them.
  • Develop the skills of initiative, resourcefulness, critical reflection and emotional literacy that you will need if you are to offer successful solutions to human problems.
  • Gain a deep and systematic understanding of the applied social sciences that inform the knowledge and practice of social work, including sociology, social policy, law and ethics.
  • Benefit from a critical awareness of current social issues and develop confidence in the approaches required to address them.

Areas of study

Dissertation for Qualified Social Workers

Career prospects

By completing the Master of Professional Social Work Practice you will be well placed to progress on to one of the Department of Applied Social Studies' Professional Doctorate (DProf) awards in due course to enhance you own knowledge and career development as well as being able to make a distinctive contribution to your profession.

Further post-qualifying (PQ) level study is also available to qualified social workers in a range of settings, allowing graduates to engage in continuous professional development and demonstrate their fitness for continuing professional registration

Information for international students

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.

Fees and funding

See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • Masters
    full time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
0300 3300 073