Taught course

Social Work MA

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

Entry requirements

A first or second class honours degree in a relevant subject as well as Maths and English (at GCSE Grade C or above or at level 4 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 2.

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.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, professional qualifications and relevant experience may also be taken into account when considering applications.

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. Home/EU students may be eligible to apply for a Department of Health bursary for both years of study.

Information for international students

Please see our International website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information. Due to visa restrictions, international fee-paying students cannot study part-time unless undertaking a distance or blended-learning programme with no on-campus provision.

English language entry requirements

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

The NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA) is responsible for the administration of social work bursaries. Please refer to the NHSBSA website for the latest available information including the eligibility criteria.

We do not receive confirmation of the number of MA bursaries we will receive until the summer prior to the programme starting. There are generally fewer bursaries than students registered. We are obliged to provide the NHS Business Services Authority with a ranked list of students. Students are ranked according to their scores during the selection process for the written test and the interview. We inform students where they are ranked as soon as we know the number of bursaries we will receive. Social Work MA students who receive a bursary in stage 1 of their programme, will also receive it in stage 2.

Students who do not receive a bursary, but meet the eligibility criteria, are currently able to apply to the NHSBSA for a Travel Allowance to help with placement-related travel costs.

Students who do not receive a bursary may also apply for the Postgraduate Loan from Student Finance England.

In addition, Kent offers generous financial support schemes to support eligible postgraduate students during their studies. Find out more on our funding web pages.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

School of Social Policy, Sociology and Social Research
+44 (0)1634 888853