Entry requirements

A first- or upper second-class undergraduate honours degree; six to nine months of relevant practice experience; GCSE Mathematics and English (or equivalent) at grade C or above. Requests for accreditation of prior learning (APL) will be considered on an individual basis. The Department of Social Work and Social Care will consider not only whether the applicant has accumulated the required number of credits at an appropriate level, but also the specific knowledge, subject content and learning outcomes required for the stage of our course to which they are applying. Applicants seeking APL will be required to show evidence of their prior learning. Early application is advised. All applications for the MA are made via UCAS (see below)

Months of entry


Course content

This course is practice based while being informed by the very latest research in the social work field. You benefit from a range of stimulating learning opportunities led by both academic faculty and expert practitioners.

Working within a supportive study environment, you develop crucial skills for independent and collaborative learning. You complete 200 practice development days, drawing on our excellent partnerships with local service users, carers and social work, social care and health agencies. Specialist placement and learning pathways give you experience of both children’s and adults’ social work.

The MA in Social Work is designed to enable graduates to register as social workers with the HCPC (Health and Care Professions Council). The course has been validated by the HCPC (the regulator for social work).

Assessing suitability for professional study

You must disclose information about any criminal convictions, cautions, warnings or reprimands prior to interview in accordance with Health and Care Professions Council guidance. Enhanced checks by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and a satisfactory health check are also required prior to commencement of studies.

Practice development

  • 170 days in two social work placements – the first for 70 days and the second for 100 days. The second social work placement prepares you to undertake statutory interventions. You are supported by a practice educator and a University tutor.
  • 30 days of Practice Development Workshops delivered by experienced practitioners and University tutors.

The course may lead to any one of four awards:

  • Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Care with satisfactory completion of all elements of the course except the placements and dissertation
  • MA in Applied Social Care with satisfactory completion of all elements of the course except the placements
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work with satisfactory completion of all elements of the course except the dissertation
  • MA in Social Work with satisfactory completion of all elements of the course. Only successful completion of the MA Social Work or Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work entitles you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a social worker.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

Teaching on this course is distinctive in that it links theory and practice by combining group learning methods with personalised support.

Year 1: Human Development and Social Relationships • Law and Social Policy • Research Methods and Dissertation • Social Adversity, Risk and Resilience • Theory, Methods and Values in Practice.

Year 2: Organisations and Interprofessional Practice • Theory, Methods and Values in Practice in Children’s/Adult Social Work.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/education-and-social-work/social-work-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 872595