Taught course

Social Work Research

University of Bristol · School for Policy Studies

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in a relevant social science discipline, such as sociology, social work, social policy, public policy, social welfare, social administration, psychology, economics, political science, business administration and management, public administration and management, gender studies, development studies, health, history, philosophy and law. Or an upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any subject AND a master's degree in Social Work. Or a professional qualification in social work and relevant professional or voluntary experience (minimum 18 months). A professional social work qualification is not a requirement for admission to the programme.

Months of entry


Course content

This programme creates links between social work research and practice in a range of settings. You will be taught the necessary skills to undertake research into social work and social care as practice-based professionals or as postgraduate research students.

This degree helps you acquire vital tools to maximise your work in addressing real issues of concern with policymakers, managers, practitioners and service users in social work and care.

The programme provides core research training in philosophy and research design in the social sciences, along with introductions to, and further approaches in, quantitative and qualitative methods in the social sciences.

Optional units build on our particular research expertise and will focus on the skills you will require as a social work researcher engaged with a range of multi-disciplinary colleagues. For example, you may choose to study community development programmes in the context of poverty, interventions to tackle domestic violence, or programmes for young offenders. Other optional units focus on the wellbeing of particular groups: children with disabilities, people with severe and long-term mental illness, or asylum seekers and migrants.

We recognise that a number of our students will have relevant - albeit varied - experience. Therefore, there will be opportunities for you to draw on your own experiences as researchers, practitioners or service managers.

Core units are taught in collaboration with other postgraduate programmes, providing a co-learning environment and giving you the opportunity to interact and share insights with other students working towards research degrees in disability studies, policy research and health and wellbeing.

This programme does not include practical training or lead to a professional qualification in social work. If you want to study for a qualification in social work practice, please see the MSc in Social Work.

Information for international students

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Fees and funding

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships.

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24-60 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Admissions
+44 (0) 117 954 6785