MSc Social Work
This two-year professional programme is designed for people who want to qualify and practise as a professional social worker. The programme leads to a nationally and internationally recognised professional social work qualification and graduates are eligible to register as a qualified social worker with Social Work England.
Social work is a demanding but highly rewarding profession, which is often in the public spotlight. As a qualified social worker, you will be able to work with both children and adults, helping them to be safe, cope with difficulties and take control of their lives again. You will support people to identify their strengths and build their self-confidence, help them to overcome times of crisis, and link with other services.
Working as a social worker requires an ability to appraise complex and difficult situations, drawing on social science research, social work theories and methods of intervention. To be considered for enrolment on this programme you will need to demonstrate an understanding of social work (this could be within the United Kingdom or internationally). Upon completion of the programme you will have a thorough understanding of social policies and a firm grasp of the legal powers and duties that underpin practice in England.
The MSc in Social Work combines university-based learning with two extended periods of supervised practice as a student social worker. Your practice placements will consist of at least 170 days of learning across two contrasting practice settings, together with 30 days of skills training. By completing this degree, you will be eligible to register with a social work regulatory body (eg Social Work England) and practise as a qualified professional social worker in a range of settings (including statutory, voluntary, private and independent sectors), and in a number of countries (contingent upon country-specific requirements).
You will develop an understanding of the structural and personal factors that lead to disadvantage, oppression and discrimination, and learn how to apply this understanding to your practice. You will develop values and skills as a reflective practitioner, appraising relevant evidence - including research - to evaluate your own and other people's work and to contribute to the development of policy and practice.
To explore the programme in more depth, view these videos which include interviews with students who have completed our programme.
More general information about the role and duties of social workers in the United Kingdom can be accessed through the British Association of Social Workers. BASW is the UK’s professional membership organisation for social workers.
Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content of our MSc in Social Work.
An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline. GCSE in English at grade A-C (or equivalent University standard literacy) and normally GCSE in Mathematics at grade A-C (or equivalent University standard numeracy). Applicants with a lower class of degree who have relevant experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.
We welcome applications from those who demonstrate motivation, capability and suitability towards developing the knowledge and skills required for professional practice. Evidence of this may come from relevant social work/social care experience in a professional or voluntary capacity, but this is not essential. We also welcome applicants who have lived experience of social care/social work involvement.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.
Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level B.
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.
Fees and funding
- UK: full-time
- £9,800 per year
- Overseas: full-time
- £22,000 per year
Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.
More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.
University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.
Funding for 2023/24
Each year, the NHS allocates a certain number of bursaries to students on our MSc in Social Work. Following interview, the University notifies successful students if they are being recommended for an NHS bursary. Our bursaries are restricted to students ordinarily resident in England.
If you are interested in being nominated for a bursary, early application to our programme is advised. For full details of eligibility criteria, students should contact the NHS Business Services Authority.
Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.
After successfully completing this master's degree, you will be eligible to register with Social Work England and practise as a qualified professional social worker.
- Enquiries Team
- +44 (0) 117 394 1649