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MA Social Work

Course Description

This social work training programme aims to educate and train individuals to be reflective, research-minded practitioners who are able to work critically and professionally and in accordance with the principle of anti-discriminatory practice. Graduates who successfully complete this programme are eligible to apply for Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) registration.

The professional and academic elements are closely integrated throughout the programme. There are 170 placement days, with the working week divided between time in placement and time in the University.

This MA Social Work degree programme aims to provide high quality post graduate social work education and training to equip students with a beginning capability to work in any agency employing social workers in the United Kingdom. It also confers eligibility to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as a social worker upon successful completion of the prescribed programme of study. Although the statutory sector is the major employer, increasingly social workers are being recruited into the voluntary and private sectors, whether as commissioners or providers of services and whether in field, residential or day services. The programme seeks to encourage the personal responsibility of students to function as independent learners and to develop a critical and reflective appreciation of the role of social work in society.

The curriculum provides teaching in both academic and practice elements, which at Brunel University London are fully integrated. It is designed to ensure that learning occurs in an incremental way, with learning outcomes that develop across levels enabling students to demonstrate progression in professional knowledge, skills and values through two years of study. Specifically, the programme aims to:
prepare students for critical and reflective professional practice according to the HCPC’s approval standards of education, and The College of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework;
equip students to practise ethical, innovative and effective social work practice that actively promotes social justice in a diverse society;
integrate learning in academic and practice elements of the programme so that students have a holistic understanding of social work in variety of professional contexts;
enable students to identify, understand and critically appraise evidence and research which can inform social work practice;
enable graduates to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council and apply for membership of The College of Social Work (TCSW) and the British Association of Social Workers (BASW).

The programme is transitionally approved by the Health and Care Professions Council.
Students enjoy first-rate facilities in the new Mary Seacole Building.
We are one of the leading providers of university-based social work and social policy research in London and have attracted funding from, amongst other sources, the ESRC, the AHRC, Nuffield Foundation, the Rowntree Trust, the European Union, the Department for Education and Skills and the NHS.
Students benefit from close links with social care providers in local government and in the voluntary sector.
Service users and carers are crucial to our work, and our BEEC (Brunel Experts by Experience Committee) enables them to be involved at all stages of the MA, from interview to assessment.
Recent groundbreaking research into personalisation, service user involvement, Family Drug and Alcohol Courts, youth and religion, and the experiences of older people, amongst other areas, feed into our taught programmes, making them highly relevant and up-to-date. We have four active research centres, members of which include the authors of best selling books on citizenship, community care and child protection.
We have a long-standing commitment to mature applicants and students from ethnic minorities. Anti-discriminatory practice has been at the core of our education and training philosophy for some years and this emphasis is evident in the teaching of this programme.
Brunel University London has a long history of securing a range of quality placements across London and surrounding areas. We have substantial experience in working across the statutory and independent sector and have strong partnership links.

Visit the MA Social Work page on the Brunel University London website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Jeanette Banks

1944.jpg After working as an unqualified social worker for London Borough of Ealing for 3 years, I was extremely lucky to qualify for a work secondment to the MA in Social work course at Brunel. The two year course offered at Brunel provided me with background knowledge in a huge variety of subjects including law, psychology, linking practice to current research findings and ethical considerations. Along with the academic knowledge, the two practice placements provided me with unprecedented opportunities to see social work in practice in very different settings, namely end of life and palliative, and dementia social work. This direct experience has improved my confidence in working with other professionals. Completing my own research was challenging but also taught me determination and persistence. My dissertation tutor, Rachana Patni, supported me through the process tremendously, encouraging me to ‘find my own voice’. This piece of advice continues to help me daily now I am currently employed full time as a social worker in a Community Mental Health team. This course permitted me to understand the values and ethics of working as a social worker in a world of limited resources, and to uphold these values when working with vulnerable people in need.


Brunel launches scholarship scheme for first class graduates - No. of awards TBC

Brunel University is offering scholarships covering 15 percent of tuition fees to holders of first class degrees from any UK university who choose to pursue postgraduate studies at Brunel.The scholarships are available to any student who has an unconditional offer to study a taught Master's course, including full-time, part-time or distance learning courses, starting in September 2013.The offer extends to those who earned their first degrees at UK university institutions overseas. For these students, the scholarships could be worth up to £2,250 a year.In addition, graduates who earned first degrees at Brunel are now being offered a 15 percent discount off the tuition fee for any taught postgraduate course, up from 10 percent. This discount is available to Brunel graduates who are paying all their fees themselves.Professor Julia Buckingham, Brunel’s Vice-Chancellor, said: “It is important that we do what we can to encourage high quality students to take their studies to the next level. These scholarships and discounts will help to remove any fears they may have about the cost of a Master's degree.”

Value of Scholarship(s)

offering scholarships covering 15 percent off fees to holders of first


Available to high calibre PG students and our alumni who wish to undertake further PG study. It is available to both Home/ EU and International students.We offer a discount of 15% off the fees for anyone who has obtained a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.
Whilst Brunel has always offered a reduction in PG fees for Brunel alumni we intend to further incentivise Brunel students to take up postgraduate education by increasing the discount to 15%.
These two discounts are not exclusive and therefore a Brunel alumnus who has a first class undergraduate degree can receive both.

Application Procedure

Scholarships are open to all students with first class honours degrees from a UK university, who have an unconditional offer to study a taught Master's programme at Brunel University (including MBA, MRes and CPE/Graduate Diploma in Law) and who are not being funded either partly or in full by the National Health Service, or the Teacher Development Agency.For further details, please contact the Brunel University Press Office:
[email protected],

Further Information



Postgraduate Academic Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

In order to attract high calibre students and encourage them to undertake postgraduate study we intend to offer a discount of 15% off the fees for anyone who has obtained a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Discount of 15% off the fees


Those entering a Brunel postgraduate taught course with a first class undergraduate degree from a UK University, either in the UK or abroad.

Application Procedure

Automatic - part of the Brunel postgraduate taught application process

Further Information


Entry Requirements

We normally require a First class or 2.1 Honours degree or an equivalent internationally recognised qualification. We will consider applicants with at least a 2.2 Honours degree in a related subject (eg Education; Sociology; Social Policy; Politics; Psychology; Law; Health and/or Social Care).

Course Fees

UK/EU students: £7,000 full-time. International students: £16,500 full-time

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Recipient: Brunel University London

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