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  • Study Type

    Full time available

  • Subject Areas

    Social Work

  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    Full-time: 1 year

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    08 March 2017

Course content

This practical, work-based course will give you the chance to achieve a nationally recognised professional qualification in Social Work together with a postgraduate academic award.

You will acquire the systematic and independent ability to critically evaluate both current theoretical understanding and practice, and develop skills to apply knowledge-informed and evidence based practice in your workplace.

You will also have the opportunity to undertake a piece of supervised original research.

Intermediate qualifications available:

• Postgraduate certificate – 60 credits at Masters level

Why choose this course?

• Study and evaluate the power structures in society which create inequalities, and acquire an awareness of the tools and techniques which can be used to counter them
• Explore your own and others’ practice and current research in the discipline
• Develop a deep and systematic understanding of the applied social sciences, including sociology, social policy, law and ethics, and the way these disciplines inform social work knowledge and practice
• Gain a critical awareness of current issues in the practice of social work, and learn the approaches required to address them
• Benefit from opportunities to develop the skills of initiative, resourcefulness, critical reflection and emotional literacy that you will need in order to develop creative and sympathetic solutions to human problems.

Visit the website: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/courses/postgraduate/next-year/professional-social-work-practice

Course detail

The Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Social Work Practice (Step Up to Social Work) course is an innovative work-based course, commissioned by two regional employer partnerships to provide high quality work-based education and training for aspiring social workers.

Funded by the Department for Education, students on this course will receive a bursary and will be fully supported by a Local Authority Children’s Services Department.


• Developing Professional Social Work Practice
• Ethical Perspectives on Law and Society
• Advanced Skills for Critical and Reflective Social Work Practice
• Research Informed Child Care Practice


Your academic learning will be assessed using a range of methods including reflective assignments, case studies, group and individual presentations, research tasks and examinations.

Assessments are designed to integrate theory and practice throughout the course and the variety of assessment methods develops academic and professional skills in writing concisely and drawing on your knowledge with confidence, for different purposes and audiences.

Your practice learning will be supported by practice educators and assessed at each stage through observation of direct work, critical and reflective learning logs and reports contained in a portfolio of practice evidence.

Assessments throughout the course are designed to provide a range of opportunities for you to develop increasing confidence and autonomy and ultimately demonstrate your knowledge and skills in all areas necessary for competent practice as a newly qualified social worker.


Graduates achieving the Postgraduate Diploma will be eligible to apply to enter the HCPC Professional Register as qualified social workers and to work in a wide range of statutory, private, voluntary and independent organisations providing services to vulnerable and disadvantaged individuals, children, families, groups and communities.

They will also be eligible to progress to the Masters stage where they would be supervised to undertake a piece of original research of relevance to their practice area, alongside their full-time employment.

Post-qualifying (PQ) level study is also available to qualified social workers in a range of settings, allowing graduates to engage in continuous professional development and demonstrate their fitness for continuing registration.

Students who complete the Master of Professional Social Work Practice will also be well-placed to progress on to one of the School of Applied Social Studies Professional Doctorate (DProf) awards in due course to enhance their own knowledge and career development as well as being able to make a distinctive contribution to their profession.


For information on available funding, please follow the link: https://www.beds.ac.uk/howtoapply/money/scholarships/pg

How to apply

This course is not open to direct application - apply via the Department for Education http://www.gov.uk/guidance/step-up-to-social-work-information-for-applicants

Visit the PgDip Professional Social Work Practice page on the University of Bedfordshire website for more details!





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Recipient: University of Bedfordshire

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