MSc Social Work (including PgDip professional qualification)

Course contact

Geraldine Graham
0800 027 1000 (freephone UK) / +44 141 849 4101

Qualifications and durations

MSc / 2 years


Start date(s)

  • September

Tuition Fees

Additional costs
Please note that for some programmes of study there may be additional costs involved which are not included in the tuition fee advertised. These could be, for example, for study materials, fields trips or equipment. Programme leaders will be able to provide detail of any additional costs.
The MSc in Social Work at UWS builds upon a long tradition of providing social work education dating back over 40 years. Social work education at UWS has a reputation second to none for promoting excellence in practice.
We will expect you to be an enthusiastic learner who shares our passion for active learning.

Applicants will normally have an existing honours degree at 2:1 or above in a relevant social science discipline. Consideration will be given to applicants who do not meet this criteria based on experience and individual merit. Our regulator, The Scottish Social Service Council require all applicants to demonstrate that they have literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to the Scottish Standard Grade 2 in English and Mathematics. International qualifications will be accepted providing that they provide equivalent credits to that specified within the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework. A satisfactory academic reference will be required in all cases.

All applicants must demonstrate that they have an understanding of the social work role and that they have the potential to become a social worker. Applicants who have 6 months or more experience of working in social care are particularly encouraged to apply. The ability to use IT facilities, including word processing, Internet browsing, online learning technology and the use of email are essential skills required for this programme.

Applicants who meet these initial requirements will be invited to take part in a group interview that will be co-facilitated by service users/carers/employers. During this group interview candidates will be assessed on their ability to work in groups with others, communicate their ideas effectively and the extent to which their views and arguments are consistent with an appropriate value base. Those International applicants who meet the minimum requirements and who are unable to travel to Scotland for the group discussion will be asked to participate in an interview by video link.

Offers are made after all elements of the application have been considered and will be conditional on a further review of application to the register for social work students (SSSC). In addition to the requirement to join the Protecting Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG Scheme) which is managed and delivered by Disclosure Scotland. For more information please refer to
This programme is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Upon successful completion of the Postgraduate Diploma component of the degree, graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the SSSC or other social work regulators throughout the United Kingdom. Students will be encouraged to complete the full Masters when they achieve the professional component of the programme.

This MSc offers a challenging and stimulating range of learning opportunities that will equip graduates with the key attributes necessary to work effectively in an increasingly globalised and pluralistic working environment. This MSc is based on two years of study culminating in a dissertation that will allow students to explore their chosen area of social work practice in considerable depth.

Social work is now establishing itself as a global profession. In keeping with this the curriculum fully reflects the differences, debates and tensions within global social work concerning the manner in which practice should be conducted and the way in which the profession should develop.

Year 1

 Social Work Theory: Application in Practice: this module provides an opportunity for students to develop an analytical and critical understanding of the theoretical frameworks, research, policy and practice approaches informing current social work practice in the community.

 Assessed Practice 1: 85 days of practice placement under the supervision of a practice teacher

Students who complete the above two modules will be eligible for the Pg Certificate (not a professional qualification)

Applied Law for Social Work Practice: this module begins with an introduction to the functions of law in social work. Students will gain an understanding of sources of law, such as statutes, regulations and case law. There will be an exploration of what it means for social work to be a legally mandated profession and how the law

Year 2

Assessed Practice 2: 85 days of practice placement under the supervision of a practice teacher

Students who complete the above four modules will be eligible for the Pg Diploma (which is the SSSC-accredited professional qualification)

Students who complete the above four modules and dissertation will be eligible for the full MSc.
UWS graduates enjoy excellent reputations with employers, working in local authority social services; the voluntary or independent sectors; and in health or education. Careers also involve children and families, community care or criminal justice. Students will undertake placements in both years of their MSc programme. Practice learning is assessed through portfolios produced by the students in which they are required to demonstrate what they have achieved and understood while engaged in direct social work practice. Students are supervised by qualified practice teachers. The Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) component of this degree is accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Upon successful completion of the PgDip degree graduates are eligible to apply for registration with the SSSC or other social work regulators throughout the United Kingdom.
The thing I like most about UWS is how dynamic my programme is, and how passionate the lecturers are. We constantly have outside speakers in from a huge range of agencies and professions to give us an insight into the job and this has been extremely beneficial to my learning. Each of my placements has been totally different and this has allowed me to observe and participate in different sides to social work and understand the role, task and purpose of social work more clearly. It’s so helpful to put our knowledge and theory into practice and actually use the skills we’ve been learning.
Kiara Mayne, Social Work student