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MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert Professional Development (Social Work)

Course Description

This Professional Development (Social Work) programme is linked to current trends in the social work profession, and offers qualified social workers the opportunity to consolidate, extend and develop their practice. Based on the principles of credit accumulation and transfer, you can negotiate your own programme of study and work towards a Professional Development (Social Work) award - from a BA (Hons) to a full Masters.

Course detail

The course is unique in that you can choose learning opportunities from within and outside UWE Bristol to maintain, improve and broaden your knowledge and skills and develop the personal qualities required for your professional life.

The emphasis is on work-based learning and we encourage you to think critically about your own practice in a wide range of situations. This includes those associated with inter-agency and inter-professional work - in the context of the BASW Professional Capabilities Framework, Knowledge and Skills statements and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Practice. You will also have opportunities to explore service user and carer perspectives in relation to service provision with the service users and carers involved in the programme. We work closely with you to help define and develop the best approaches to achieving your personal goals, through self-directed study and peer learning.


This programme is very flexible, and you will liaise with the programme leader and the relevant people within your organisation to develop a learning plan that supports your personal and professional goals.

Your learning is supported by a wide range of online learning materials and tutorials. The only compulsory module is the Work Based Learning Project, which will reflect your individual route.

Work-Based Learning Project

This requires evidence of work, research or volunteering. You will have an appointed supervisor to plan and guide your work to evidence how you have developed your social work practice. The extent of work involved in this module depends on the award route you take.

You also select from a range of modules relating to social work and professional practice, and can choose taught modules from a wide range of UWE courses as well as bringing credits obtained from other Higher Education Institutions that we will assess and, if appropriate, accredit to your award.


Teaching and learning methods depend on the modules you choose to study. As well as presentations and lectures from UWE Bristol lecturers, we also work with practitioners, researchers and managers with expertise in specific areas of social work. There are many opportunities for small group work and discussion to facilitate peer learning.

We work closely with social work agencies to design and deliver the course. Practitioners and managers are involved in teaching, assessing and quality assurance of the programme to ensure it reflects current developments and best practice in social work. Members of the social work service user and carer hub group contribute to the programme in a variety of ways.


Assessment for the work-based learning elements of the programme is through coursework, which typically comprises reflective essays and work-based projects. Assessment techniques reflect the practical and applied nature of the programme.

Careers / Further study

Students who successfully complete this course will enhance their opportunities for promotion and specialism.

How to apply

Information on applications can be found at the following link: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/study/applyingtouwebristol/postgraduateapplications.aspx


- New Postgraduate Master's loans for 2016/17 academic year –

The government are introducing a master’s loan scheme, whereby master’s students under 60 can access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. This is part of the government’s long-term commitment to enhance support for postgraduate study.

Scholarships and other sources of funding are also available.

More information can be found here: http://www1.uwe.ac.uk/students/feesandfunding/fundingandscholarships/postgraduatefunding.aspx

Visit the MSc / PG Dip / PG Cert Professional Development (Social Work) page on the University of the West of England, Bristol website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A professional qualification in social work e.g BA/BSc Social Work, Diploma in Social Work, Certificate of Qualification in Social Work. In order to be eligible to study though the scheme individuals should normally have been employed in the last 12 months, be self-employed or engaged in voluntary activity and have been working to an appropriate level in a social work role.

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Recipient: University of the West of England, Bristol
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