Taught course

Social Work

University of Kent · School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research

Entry requirements

A good (2:1) honours degree in a relevant subject as well as Maths and English (at GCSE grade C or above or at level four with the new grading system) are essential for all candidates. GCSE equivalence within an Access to Higher Education course is acceptable as a substitute for GCSE or Functional Skills level two. It is also expected that you will have at least six months full-time relevant experience in social care/social work (or its equivalent part-time). This need not be paid work but could be voluntary work or unpaid work caring for a relative with a disability. Applicants with a 2:2 honours degree may be considered in circumstances where they have a sustained period of relevant experience and/or have work experience at a senior (management) level. Candidates already holding a master's qualification may also be considered. If you meet these criteria you can apply through UCAS. The selection process for an MA degree in Social Work at the University of Kent consists of two stages.

Stage 1: all applicants who are considered to meet the entry criteria for the programme are invited to attend the University to sit a written test. Those applicants who pass the written test are invited to return for the second stage of the process: an interview day.

Stage 2: the interview day is made up of two parts, an individual interview with a lecturer and a practitioner and an observed group discussion. At interview, each candidate is asked a number of (the same) questions covering issues such as motivation to undertake social work training and postgraduate study, expectations of the degree, background experience and awareness of the social work role, etc. Some previous experience of understanding people and possession of good communication skills help in interview. Candidates also take part in an observed group discussion with a number of other candidates. The group is asked to discuss a question relating to social work for around 30 minutes. The discussion is observed by a lecturer and two service users or carers. This selection process is in line with other social work courses and is also consistent with guidance from social work's professional and regulatory bodies.

Months of entry


Course content

Social work is about changing lives for the better. Designed as a route into professional practice for graduates, the Kent MA is taught by qualified social workers. You have access to placements across a range of settings, allowing you to develop your practice and research skills and apply knowledge to practice.

Our graduates become confident, competent practitioners and 89% of our recent graduates are in work/further study six months after graduation. Home/EU students may be eligible to apply for a Department of Health bursary for both years of study.

Course structure

The programme incorporates critical analysis and practice-based skills. This includes a two-day observational practice learning opportunity and a 70-day practice learning opportunity in Stage 1, with a further 100-day placement in Stage 2.

The majority of the Readiness for Direct Practice module (22 days) is taught in the autumn term of Stage 1. The remaining portion (eight days) is taught as part of practice placement preparation and as ‘recall days’ during both placements. These practice-based opportunities, along with your academic work, provide the basis for your professional development.

There is considerable emphasis on participative seminars and class sizes are generally smaller to facilitate this approach. The student body is a cosmopolitan mix of mature and younger graduates creating a rich and diverse learning environment. You are allocated an academic adviser to support and mentor you throughout the programme.

Teaching and Assessment

In addition to assessed work, linked to both taught modules and practice learning, you also complete a dissertation in a specific area of research in your second year.

Information for international students

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for academic purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Fees and funding

Please visit our funding web pages for the most current opportunities and application details.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
+44 (01634 888853