Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree (minimum 2:2 classification or above) or other recognised equivalent qualification. English Language & Mathematics: Social work entrants must hold at least a GCSE grade C in English Language and Mathematics (O level grade C or CSE grade 1 are the equivalent). Key Skills Level Two qualifications are also acceptable. For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 7 is required. You will be required to declare that you have these qualifications: ability to write thoughtfully, insightfully and coherently about your motivation in applying for the course and understanding and commitment to the social work profession; relevant work experience; students must demonstrate (100 days or equivalent) relevant previous experience in social care or a related area. This could be paid or voluntary work; students yet to graduate should provide an academic reference on the application, indicating their predicted degree classification. Students who have already graduated can also provide a professional reference; all applicants must confirm prior to interview/offer decision making that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities, including word processing, internet browsing and the use of email, and may be asked to specify how these skills have been obtained.

Months of entry


Course content

Our Social Work MA aims to equip you with the knowledge, skills and values appropriate for work in a variety of social work settings. The teaching and learning on this course is delivered by qualified/registered Social Work academic staff who are actively engaged in research and who regularly contribute to academic publications, consultancy and direct practice.

Course content

Social workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in society at times of heightened stress. By the end of this course you will have been assessed against the Standards of Proficiency for Social Work and the Professional Capabilities Framework. Once you have qualified, you will be able to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) for registration. Competent practice is essential for the award and you will undertake 200 days of practice learning (placement and skills for practice) during the course. Practice learning through placement experience is undertaken in blocks of the course and skills for practice:

  • 30 days experiential skills for practice during Year one (in the University)
  • 70 days (in placement) during Year 1
  • 100 days (in placement) during Year two

Please note: As a student Social Worker you will be expected to travel efficiently and independently for all of your placements. Your placements will be within a 60 mile distance of the University of Northampton. Whilst on placement you will also be expected to travel effectively and independently. Being a holder of a current UK driving licence is desirable.

Year one

During this year your knowledge and skills for social work practice is developed and assessed. The value base of social work is emphasised and you will engage in teaching that is designed to support your learning and understanding of anti-oppressive, anti-discriminatory and anti-racist practice in a model that promotes relationship based practice. The Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice module is designed to develop your skills, knowledge and understanding about social work. This course is delivered by a range of qualified social work academics, service users and social work practitioners, which includes 30 days experiential skills. You will have an opportunity to undertake a five-day shadow placement with an employer provider in a social work setting. The first year is designed to prepare and assess your ‘readiness for direct practice’ prior to the 70 day placement.

Year two

You will develop your understanding of different service user groups and service provision in social work settings, building on the teaching and learning during Year one. The teaching will provide opportunities for you to work in small learning sets developing your reflective critical thinking skills. A module on diversity develops your understanding of the correlations between oppression, discrimination and inequality and how gender shapes organisations and service delivery. A 100-day assessed placement learning opportunity will be completed in a social work setting. During this final year you will also undertake research which is either empirical or literature based which is presented in a final dissertation.

Studying the Social Work MA will give you the opportunity to enrol onto the Developing Housing Practice module. This is a 10 credit level 7 module which, on completion, gives you partial accreditation with the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) which is equivalent to 10 credits towards postgraduate housing related training. This would be offered to you as an elective online module. There are a number of overlaps between housing and social work which include: vulnerable adults, people seeking asylum, safeguarding children, domestic abuse, hate crime, community safety and anti-social behaviours. This optional module would support your employability and will offer you a unique partial accreditation in housing-related training which complements social work.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Course Enquiries
01604 735500