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    Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Logo
  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date

    See Course

  • Course Duration

    2 years full time

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    14 December 2018

Course content

Course overview

  • Gain a nationally and internationally recognised professional social work qualification and become eligible to register as a qualified social worker with the HCPC.
  • Study at the UK's sixth best university (2017 Academic Ranking of World Universities).
  • Learn through methods involving service users, carers and current social work practitioners.
  • 100% of our students say our staff are enthusiastic about social work (Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2015/16).
  • Gain practical experience during 170 days of high-quality placements through our membership of the Greater Manchester Social Work Academy.
  • Learn from teaching staff who actively undertake research in health and social care.


For entry in the academic year beginning September 2019, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MA (full-time)
  • UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500 
  • International students (per annum): £18,500

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

Additional expenses

Travel costs for placements during the programme across Greater Manchester and the wider north west region can be expensive and should be included in your cost calculations. The Transport for Greater Manchester website can help you estimate possible public transport travel costs to different sites.


The University provides all successful home applicants a £1,000 bursary towards their tuition fees.

The government has previously provided student bursaries for pre-qualifying social work students resident in England. This bursary provides a contribution towards tuition fees, nominal living expenses and transport costs for placements.

The Department of Health will set an annual cap on the number of social work bursaries to be offered in each academic year for students undertaking social work qualifying courses. The number of bursaries available may be less than the number of places available. We will provide the NHS Bursary Services Authority (BSA) with a shortlist of those applicants who should be considered for a bursary.

For information on how the applicants will be shortlisted for a bursary please read the criteria for shortlisting (PDF, 264KB). For further information on social work bursaries, please visit the NHS BSA website.

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health offers an alumni bursary of £1,000 towards tuition fees for successful applicants who are commencing one of our postgraduate taught Master's programmes in 2018.

Entry requirements

English language

International students must demonstrate English proficiency through a secure and approved testing system.

We ask for English language proof if you are from non-majority English speaking countries (a list of majority English speaking countries, as defined by the UK Home Office, can be found here ).

Specifically, we require a minimum of:

  • IELTS overall score of 7 or above with no element below 6.5, or
  • TOEFL minimum of 600 (paper-based); 250 (computer-based); 100 (internet-based), or
  • GCSE English grade C (a Grade 4 in the newly reformed GCSEs in England) or above, or
  • evidence of equivalent learning that is accepted by the University.

See further information about requirements for your country .

Relevant work experience

We require relevant work experience in a voluntary or employed capacity.

This might include work with social welfare and community groups, children or young people, older people, disabled people, or those with mental health problems.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply through UCAS before the January deadline. Applications made directly to the University will not be considered.

Advice to applicants

Applicants must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS) and are encouraged to apply early (before the January deadline). Applications made direct to the University will not be considered.

How your application is considered

In addition to our academic and work experience entry requirements, the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) is used to assess personal statements and guide the selection process.

For more information, please read the Professional Capabilities Framework criteria.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Tel: +44(0)161 306 5806 Email: 

See the HEOPS standards of medical fitness to train guidance (PDF, 70KB) for more information.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

All students must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check including checks against the lists of those barred from working with adults and children. Satisfactory clearance from the DBS is a requirement for this course.

See further information about DBS checks (PDF, 21 KB) including the process used in the case of positive disclosures.

Coursework and assessment

We use a range of assessment methods to accommodate different learning styles and learning outcomes.

These include using simulated visits and assessments, essays, case studies and group presentations.

You will be assessed for your readiness for direct practice (ARDP) prior to commencing your first practice placement, and will be assessed at the end of your first and final practice placements.

Course unit details

Year 1

You will learn about what social work is and develop necessary practice skills. You will explore the context social work operates in, including the legal framework and professional safeguarding responsibilities.

You will take:

  • Introduction to Social Work;
  • Social, Political and Organisational Context for Social Work;
  • Law for Social Work Practice;
  • Understanding Life Course Trajectories for Social Work Practice;
  • 20 days of professional skills development;
  • a 70-day placement.

See a typical first year timetable .

Year 2

Learning in the second year provides an in-depth understanding of the processes that govern and inform social work processes and interventions with a range of service user groups.

You will take:

  • Safeguarding Children, Adults and Their Families;
  • Foundations of Research;
  • Social Work Interventions with Adults, Families, Children and Young People;
  • 10 days of professional skills development;
  • a 100-day placement;
  • a dissertation.

Accrediting organisations

As well as regulating individual social workers and students, the Health and Care Professions Council(HCPC) regulates the content and performance of social work courses.

Visit the MA Social Work page on the University of Manchester website for more details!




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