Entry requirements

Normally a first or higher second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject (Childhood and Youth Studies, Social Sciences, Politics, Law, Health and Social Care, Teaching or other professional-based courses associated with working with individuals, groups and families). GCSE A*-C passes in English and Mathematics or equivalent. A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check on acceptance of the offer of a place. The cost is covered by applicants. Initial assessment of Fitness/Suitability to Practise and a self-declaration form must be completed by applicants. Prior social care experience in either a paid or voluntary capacity in a relevant setting is required.

Months of entry


Course content

MSc Social Work at Winchester is a generic professional qualification covering the main knowledge, skills and values essential for practising as a newly qualified social worker. Successful completion of this programme leads to eligibility to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Students cover the key knowledge base as applied to social work - social policy, legislation, aspects of psychology and sociology, social work theory, and social work methods and communication.

The course provides an introduction to the development of professional identity and the acquisition of professional values. Students discuss the complexities and importance of interprofessional working; develop an understanding of the importance of sociological and psychological perspectives across the life course; and gain a critical understanding of different types of interventions underpinned by legislation and social policy.

There is a key introductory module which enforces the concept of professional, reflective practice and professional boundaries. Following the core social work modules, students undertake a research module and a dissertation.

Students must also complete two practice learning placements - 70-days in the first year and 100-days in the second year. Each placement is different and matched to the student's needs, aptitude and experiences.

The final year consolidates earlier teaching, developing research and writing skills. On completion of the course, students have a good knowledge of risk and assessment, a clear sense of the opportunities and demands of being a professional social work practitioner, and the skills and knowledge required at a newly qualified level.


  • Introduction to Professional Social Work
  • The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work
  • Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions
  • Research in Practice
  • First Practice Placement
  • Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Risk and Assessment
  • Social Work in Contemporary Society
  • Writing for Publication
  • Second Practice Placement

The integration of subject specialists and outside speakers is a unique feature of the course - Master Classes offer students the chance to learn alongside external practitioners and there are strong links with partner agencies who provide both practice placements and contribute to the teaching and development of the course.

There is an increased emphasis on formative assessment, particularly in the early stages of module delivery. This enables students to practice and develop certain skills, and receive feedback, which helps support and improve their final summative assignments. The range of assignments are designed to meet individual student's varying learning styles and support the development of a range of skills required for practice.

Assessment formats include presentations (individual and group); facilitation of seminars; written assignments (essays, reports and case studies); portfolios; exams (a mixed approach); practical skills assessment; online assessment; and product outputs (academic posters/leaflet).

Practice is assessed through observation and reflection on practice, completion of a portfolio and written assignments. There are also opportunities for practical skills assessment including experiential learning and presentations.

Information for international students

If English is not your first language: IELTS 7.0 (with no element below 6.5) or equivalent approved test. International students seeking additional information about this programme can email International@winchester.ac.uk or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Fees and funding

UK students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £5,000 p/a | Total Cost | £10,000
International students
September 2017 Entry Full-time | £11,200 p/a | Total Cost | £22,400

Students studying MSc Social Work may be eligible for a bursary from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Qualification and course duration


full time
24 months

Further details of qualification

Teaching takes place: Daytime Work placement: In the first year, students are required to complete a 70-day practice learning placement. In the second year, students are required to complete a 100-day practice learning placement. Each placement is different and is matched to the student's needs, aptitude and experiences.

Course contact details

Course Enquiries and Applications
+44 (0) 1962 827234