Entry requirements

The entry requirement is an upper second-class (2.1) honours degree classification or higher. Applicants with a 2:2 degree classification may be considered, on a case-by-case basis, if they have further related postgraduate study or extensive professional experience. Normally, this would be a minimum of 2 years of significant and relevant social work or social care experience.

We also require GCSE Mathematics and English at grade C/4 or certificated equivalent level two numeracy and literacy qualification.

A minimum of 30 days related practice-based experience. This can be in a variety of fields and does not have to be in a social work setting. Personal experience may count towards your practice-based experience but it is important that you are able to evidence some practice-based experience alongside this. This must show a sustained commitment, evidenced by a practice-based reference. If you do not fulfil these requirements or want further advice, please contact us directly.

Please note that work experience is not considered in lieu of meeting the academic entry requirements. You will be required to meet the practice element in addition to meeting the academic criteria.

If your qualifications differ from those listed here, please contact the central Admissions team for guidance.

Months of entry


Course content

The MA Social Work enables those with a BA degree to obtain the new professional qualification in Social Work, as well as a Masters degree. The University of Birmingham is the oldest running social work education programme in the country and we are proud of our history. Over 4,500 students from 150 countries worldwide choose to study here at Birmingham, and we now boast one of the largest and most vibrant international student communities in the UK. The MA Social Work welcomes applications from international students.

The social work programme at the University of Birmingham is the oldest in the country and we are proud of our history. It offers a stimulating and dynamic learning environment where you will learn not only from academics, but also current and former service users, carers and practitioners. The involvement of service users and carers is an integral aspect of the programme. This allows you to gain a greater insight into the role Social Work can play in people’s lives, so you can develop an understanding of lived experiences and expectations from the very start of your training.

A social work degree from our university can offer you a variety of opportunities for practising social work overseas. Social workers are in demand in a number of countries and our degrees are recognised in places such as Australia, Canada and Hong Kong.

Social workers play a vital role in society, working with vulnerable people in their times of greatest need. As such, Social Work is an incredibly rewarding career, which makes a real difference in peoples’ lives.

The MA follows an exciting programme. Committed to social justice, anti-oppressive practice and relationship based social work and drawing upon a number of disciplines informing social work practice, it includes the study of social work values, knowledge, law, theories, methods and skills. Additional electives offer students the opportunity to focus on a particular area of interest and exciting new projects, such as the International Exchange Project, and the award-winning Survivor Arts Project, allow students to move beyond the core curriculum and explore different ways of seeing the world and more creative ways of working. Watch the following video diary of our first exchange visit to Rotterdam, and a film of our award-winning Survivor Arts Project.

We offer a range of teaching methods, including lectures, small group seminars, group work, role play and self-directed learning and online tasks. As part of the programme, you will also undertake two practice placements in a social care setting, totalling 170 days. These placements will be supervised by the University. As part of the West Midlands Social Work Teaching Partnership, we work collaboratively with 15 local authorities, 2 children’s trusts, 1 foundation trust and 7 Higher Education Institutions within our region. This collaboration allows us to offer a large variety of practice learning opportunities. As part of your practice learning, you will be required to work with children, their families, adults and communities.

We use a range of assessment methods throughout the programme, including written essays, examinations, portfolios, presentations and live practice scenarios. At the beginning of each module you will be given information on how and when you will be assessed for that particular module. You will receive feedback on each assessment so that you can learn from and build on your previous work and use this to develop your future assessments.

Explore postgraduate study at Birmingham at one of our on-campus open days.

If you can’t make it to one of our on-campus open days, our virtual open days run regularly throughout the year.

Information for international students

International students can find details of scholarships on our website

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Please visit our website

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Students are required to complete a 70 day placement in Year 1 and 100 day placement in Year 2.

Course contact details

Postgraduate enquiry service
0121 414 5005