Taught course

Social Work

University of Portsmouth · School of Health and Care Professions

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree in a relevant subject or a degree in an associated discipline (Anthropology, Criminology, Critical Thinking, English, Health & Social Care, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, R.E, Sociology, Social Policy, Theology). Applicants with a lower classification (second-class) will be considered on an individual basis, considering relevant experience and academic achievement.
Applicants must also have relevant work experience, more than 3 months in voluntary or paid employment in a health, education or social care environment.

All applicants must have an acceptable GCSE qualification in English at grade C/4 or above.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.
Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

Successfully shortlisted applicants will be invited to a staged, holistic and multidimensional selection day which has been designed in accordance with Social Work England's standards. The assessment day will commence with all shortlisted applicants completing a written task, which is assessed as a pass or fail. In accordance with Social Work England standards, the written element will assess applicants command of English, ability to analyse and present written information, motivation to become a social worker, knowledge of the social work profession and relevant policies and legislation and ICT skills. Applicants who pass the written assessment will be invited to attend an individual interview on the same day. If successful, applicants will be required to declare if they have been subject to any disciplinary procedures of fitness to practice by any other regulator, professional body, employer or educational establishment.

International applicants must provide a satisfactory police check/certificate of good conduct from their home country (with a certified English translation if necessary), before admission to the programme can be confirmed.

All offers are subject to Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance and Occupational Health clearance.

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

Months of entry


Course content


This two-year Master’s degree in Social Work will equip you with the skills and experience you need to become a professional social worker and make a real difference in the lives of children and families, mental health patients, people with disabilities or vulnerable adults.

The course combines theory and practice, and you’ll be supported by passionate industry experts with many years of social work experience. You’ll learn about the latest legislation, planning and policy, and put it all into practice in professional settings, with real people.

You’ll undertake two separate work placements – one in your first year and one in your second year.

The NHS bursary for postgraduate social work students can help with the cost of your fees, your living costs, and includes a contribution towards your placement travel expenses.

When you successfully complete the course, you'll have the skills and knowledge you need to apply to register as a social worker with the professional regulatory body, Social Work England.

Course highlights

  • Our staff are current and recent social work professionals
  • Take part in skills days – full-day workshops with professional social workers to help prepare you for your placements
  • Practise your skills in our Simulation Centre which features a realistic flat, bedroom and hospital ward where you'll prepare for home visits and care-giving in hospital and care home settings
  • Work closely with our Social Work Inclusion Group – local social services users from a variety of backgrounds that help our students understand the needs of different individuals and communities
  • Develop your critical and analytical skills with a dissertation project on a subject in your own area of interest
  • Undertake two placements in professional practice settings which could be schools, supported living facilites, hospitals or health centres

When you graduate from the MSc Social Work degree course, you'll have the knowledge and practical skills to work in any branch of social work.

As a newly qualified social worker (NQSW), there are a number of opportunities open to you. Most local authorities in England operate a scheme for newly qualified practitioners, called the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). This provides intensive supervision and guidance in your first year as well as a protected caseload.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:
  • ASYE (Approved and Supported Year in Employment) Social Worker
  • Independent Domestic Violence Advocate
  • Senior Case Worker
  • Social Worker

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

The course is approved by Social Work England

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566