Entry Requirements

What qualifications do you need?

We welcome Scottish, UK and international students and consider all applicants on an individual basis.

If you are applying with an EU or non-EU qualification, please check our Postgraduate Entry Requirements page which gives more information about country-specific entry requirements.

In Scotland, it is a legal requirement that all social work students gain and maintain registration with the Scottish Social Services Council. Successful registration with the Scottish Social Services Council also requires membership of the Protection of Vulnerable Groups Scheme (PVG). The University will also require you to undertake the PVG process for its own administrative processes. For further information see:



Applicants will normally have an existing Honours degree at 2:1 or above in a relevant social science discipline.

In exceptional circumstances consideration will be given to applicants who do not meet this criteria; this will be based on experience and individual merit. No applicant will be admitted with less than a 2:2 in a cognate academic discipline. 

The course is professionally recognised by the Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC), core to this recognition is that all applicants can demonstrate that they have literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to Scottish National Five in both English and Mathematics; this must be demonstrated at the point of entry to the postgraduate social work programme.

In addition, you are strongly advised to provide information about modules studied at Undergraduate level in your application.

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. International students must also have attained IELTS 7, as a minimum across all aspects. 

You must demonstrate that you have an understanding of the social work role and that you have the potential to become a social worker.

All applicants will be interviewed before being offered a place on this MSc.


Offers are made after all elements of the application process have been considered and will be conditional on a further review of application to the register for social work students (SSSC).


All academic degrees/awards at UWS are taught in English. For applicants whose first language is not English*, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. All English language qualifications must have been gained within two years of the start of your UWS course.

* applicants who are exempt from english language requirements include:

  • native speakers of English
  • Erasmus students (unless advised otherwise)
  • non-Erasmus students from EU partner institutions (your institution must provide confirmation of your English language ability in the absence of a formal qualification)
  • students whose previous degree-level study has been taught and assessed in English in what UK Visas and Imigration (UKVI) define as a majority English speaking country

In general terms, if you are applying to study a course at, or above, Year 1 (SCQF Level 7) bachelor’s degree level, then the UKVI’s minimum level of English proficiency is Common European Framework for References of Languages (CEFR) at B2 (Upper Intermediate).



At UWS, we define our general English language requirements using the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training) as follows:

Undergraduate (bachelor's - BA, BAcc, BEng, BSc etc.) degrees and postgraduate (master's - MA, MBA, MSc etc.) taught degrees

  • the CEFR equivalent requirement is normally an overall IELTS score of 6.0 (or equivalent), with a score of no lower than 5.5 in any of the four elements (listening, speaking, reading and writing)

Postgraduate research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA etc.)

  • the CEFR equivalent requirement is an overall IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent), with a score of no lower than 6.0 in any of the four elements (listening, speaking, reading and writing)

These are minimum requirements and some courses may require a higher standard for admission†.

† Exceptions to this level of IELTS scoring exist for some accredited or professionally-recognised courses (see IELTS Score Exceptions section below for more information). 




For our research degrees (MRes, MPhil, PhD, DBA, DProf) applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 6.5
  • no sub-test score of less than 6.0


For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council (BSc Adult Nursing, MSc Adult Nursing, BSc Mental Health Nursing, MSc Mental Health Nursing, BSc Midwifery and MSc Midwifery), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • score of at least 7.0 in reading, listening and speaking and
  • score of at least 6.5 in writing


Our BSc Paramedic Science degree leads to professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC); it has different IELTS requirements than other Health-related courses. Although it is not possible to apply for this degree directly as an international student, for applicants who meet SAAS residency requirements and for whom English is not their first language, then the following IELTS scores are required:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test score of less than 6.5


For our BSc (Hons) Applied Biomedical Science, BSc (Hons) Biomedical Science and MSc Advanced Biomedical Science degrees, which may lead to professional registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test less than 6.5


Our BA (Hons) Social Work and MSc Social Work degrees are professionally recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council and applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test score of less than 7.0


For our Certificate of Higher Education courses, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 5.0
  • no sub-test less than 4.5



In additional to IELTS, we also accept a number of alternative English language for application and admission to our courses for both home/EU and international students at bachelor's degree study at Year 3 (SCQF Level 9), and above. From Cambridge to TOFEL iBT qualifications the number of these qualifications is extensive.

Find out about non-IELTS English Language Tests



UWS has also reviewed a range of High / Secondary School qualifications studied by non-EU applicants that can be used as a basis of entry to a UWS. These range from Botswana GCSEs to USA High School Graduation Diplomas, the number of these qualifications is extensive.

Find out more about international English Language high-hchool qualifications



Applicants who do not meet the minimum English language requirements have the option to study one of our preparatory and pre-sessional English courses. The UWS courses available are:

    • 10-week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.0 with no element below 4.5.
    • 5-week pre-sessional - entry criteria UKVI IELTS 5.5 with no element below 5.5.
    • English Language for University Study - entry criteria UKVI IELTS with an overall score of 4.0, plus a score of 4.0 in all sub-tests (10-month course), or an overall score of 4.5, plus no score below 4.0 in all sub-tests (7-month course).

Find out more about our English language Courses.

Tuition Fees 2023-24

Use the Link below to download details of our full-time, part-time tuition fees for Bachelor, Masters, Research, and English Language pre-sessional courses for session 2023-24.

Tuition Fees

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for this course 2024/25


£7,500 Total cost of tuition

All other UK & Republic of Ireland

£11,750 Total cost of tuition

Channel Island & Isle of Man

£11,750 Total cost of tuition

International (all other EU plus Non-EU)

£15,500 Total cost of tuition

More on tuition fees and funding

How to apply

Postgraduate courses (MA, MSc, MEd, MBA, DBA, PG Cert, PG Dip, etc.) & some Post-experience courses (CertHE, BA, Grad Cert, Grad Dip, etc.)

All students should apply directly to the University through our online application system. Before you apply, you should check that you meet our entry requirements and you should have all your supporting documents ready.

The first stage of the process is to complete the initial application form. You will then receive a follow-up email with further instructions relating to your application including documents that you will need to forward to support your application, e.g. degree transcripts and certificates etc.

Most courses don't have a formal closing date, but they will close when they are full; apply early to avoid disappointment. There may also be funding deadlines that apply to you.

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) applies to all international students and researchers (apart from exempt nationalities) who are subject to UK immigration control and are intending to study or research at postgraduate level in certain sensitive subjects.

Students and researchers who are nationals of EU countries, the European Economic Area (EEA), Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland or the United States of America do not need an ATAS certificate.

An ATAS certificate may be required for certain taught postgraduate master's degrees for international students at UWS.

For the latest information on ATAS and details of eligibility and how to apply for a certificate check the UK Government's dedicated ATAS web pages.

Get in touch

Do you have a question about applying for this course? Get in touch. We are here to help!

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We will always try to make sure that we publish accurate course information but we do not accept responsibility for any mistakes or omissions. We will also try to make sure that we deliver our courses in line with our published information. However, we may not always be able to do so and you can find further information about this in our enrolment terms and conditions.