Search the site

Overview

Social work is now establishing itself as a global profession. Our MSc Social Work course 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.

Our course offers a challenging and stimulating range of learning opportunities that will equip you with the key attributes necessary to work effectively in a varied, global working environment.

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.

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.

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.

Academic Requirements

You will normally have an existing Honours degree at 2:1 or above in a relevant social science discipline. Consideration will be given if you do not meet this criteria but have extensive practical experience. You are particularly encouraged to apply if you have more than 6 months experience of working in the social care sector.

Our course is professionally recognised by the Scottish Social Service Council (SSSC) and core to this recognition is that all applicants can demonstrate that they have literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to the Scottish Standard Grade 2 in both English and Mathematics. In addition, all applicants are strongly advised to provide information about modules studied at Undergraduate level in your application.

You must demonstrate that you can study at the required level.

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.

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

If you meet these initial requirements you will be invited to take part in a group interview that will be co-facilitated by service users/carers/employers.

offers of study

Note that offers to study will only be made after all elements of the application have been considered and may be subject to further review for the application to the register for social work students by the SSSC.

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for most courses

For applicants whose first language is not English, the University sets a minimum English Language proficiency level. The qualifications below must have been gained within two years of the start of your course.

General English language requirements at UWS: International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic module (not General Training)

  • overall score 6.0
  • no sub-test less than 5.5

Common equivalent English language qualifications

All stated English tests are acceptable for admission for both home/EU and international students for this programme:

  • CAE (Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • CPE (Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English): 176 overall; no sub-test less than 169
  • Trinity College London Integrated Skills in English: ISEII with the minimum of a Pass in all sub-tests
  • PTE Pearson Academic English: An overall score of 54 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5). An overall score 61 with no element below 51 (for programmes that require IELTS 6.5 with no element below 6.0)

 

IELTS Score Exceptions (DBA, Certificate of Higher Education, PhD, etc.)

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 less than 6.0

For Health, Nursing & Midwifery courses that lead to professional registration with the Nursing & Midwifery Council, applicants are required to have an IELTS score as follows:

  • overall score of 7.0
  • no sub-test 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

 

TOEFL IBT

TOEFL IBT*: 78; no sub-test less than:

  • Reading: 17;
  • Listening: 17;
  • Speaking: 17;
  • Writing: 17

* Please note that TOEFL is still acceptable for admission to this programme for both home/EU and international students.
For international students, the Home Office has confirmed that the University can choose to use TOEFL to make its own assessment of English language ability for visa applications to degree level courses. We therefore still accept TOEFL tests taken in the last two years for admission to this programme.

 

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE)

West African Senior School Certificate of Education (WASSCE) including acceptance of WAEC Scratchcard*

  • C6 or above in English

*UWS will accept a WAEC scratchcard confirming that an applicant has achieved C6 or above as evidence of meeting English language requirement from Nigeria if the student graduated within the last 5 years. After 5 years applicants would be required to provide the WAEC Certificate.

 

Pre-sessional courses

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 score of 4.0 in all elements (10 month course), or 4.5 with no score below 4.0 (7 month course).

Course details

Our MSc in Social Work 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.

Two years of study culminate in a dissertation that will allow students to explore their chosen area of social work practice in considerable depth.

Teaching & Assessment

The modules selected for inclusion in our course have been carefully chosen to reflect the changing requirements of professional social work practice.

In year 1 you will study:

  • Social Work Theory
  • Application in Practice 1
  • Applied Law for Social Work Practice

In year 2 you will undertake:

  • An assessed Practice 2
  • Dissertation
Students Sitting in UWS Building | UWS Compliance | University of the West of Scotland

What students say about this course

The thing I like most about UWS is how dynamic my course 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

Postgraduate Tuition Fees

Scottish campuses non-lab-based 2018/19

Scottish & EU

£5,500 per year of study

English, Northern Irish & Welsh

£5,500 per year of study

Channel Islands & Isle of Man

£5,500 per year of study

International (Non-EU)

£10,600 per year of study

More on current & future tuition fees

Additional Costs & Sources of Funding

The cost of attending university is an investment in your future career.

In addition to tuition fees and living expenses, some courses involve extra costs like study materials, field trips, equipment and uniforms.

Fortunately, there is a great deal of financial support available to help students meet the cost of their study. This ranges from:

  • statutory government loans to pay for tuition fees
  • scholarships for Scottish, EU and International (non-EU) students
  • bursaries to help towards living expenses

The sections below provide details of additional costs that your course may involve along with any financial support that may be available.

You can also find additional information in our Postgraduate Money, Fees & Funding section.

Additional Costs

Students on certain degrees will incur some additional costs not covered by their tuition fees. These could be for things like specialist equipment, study materials, work placements, graduation, membership of relevant organisations or costs related to carrying out fieldwork.

For students on course with an element of fieldwork, there may also be extra costs for travel and accommodation.

Please contact the course leader for details of the additional costs associated with this course.

Tuition Fees & Living Cost Support

Tuition Fees & Additional Costs

Tuition fees are calculated based on where you are from and what you are studying. Some courses also involve additional costs, such as mandatory field trips, equipment or studying abroad.

Find out how much it will cost you to study at UWS as a postgraduate student.

Funding for Scottish Students

Scottish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for English, Welsh & Norther Irish Students

English, Welsh and Northern Irish students studying at postgraduate level at UWS are entitled to various funds and support towards tuition fees and living costs.

Find out more.

Funding for EU Students

EU students studying at postgraduate level of UWS may be eligible for SAAS funding, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find our more.

Funding for International Students

There are several scholarship and incentive schemes available to international students studying at postgraduate level at UWS, as well as support to meet the costs of childcare and various sources of additional funding.

Find out more.

Other Financial Support

Discretionary & Childcare Funds

UWS administer a range of discretionary and childcare funds. These are designed to support students who are experiencing financial difficulty or struggling to meet the costs of childcare.

Find out more.

Benefits & Tax Credits

Becoming a student can have an impact on your entitlement to certain benefits. It may mean you are no longer eligible to claim a benefit you have been receiving, or your new income from student funding may affect the amount you are able to receive.

Find out more.

Additional Financial Support

If there isn’t a statutory source of funding for you or your course, or you are in need of additional financial support, you may wish to consider more alternative sources of funding such as trust funds and scholarships.

Find out more.

Money & Debt Advice

Choosing to become a student can have a big impact on your budget and you may need to reassess your spending to account for a reduced income. We’ve put together some guidance to help you manage your money and make the right financial choices for you and your family.

Find out more.

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 create a profile; you don't have to complete the application in one session - you can complete it in stages by saving each section and return to complete it at a later date.

You will need to upload documents with your applications, which may include transcripts and degree certificates.

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.

Before you begin your application, it is important to read the Postgraduate & Post-Experience application step-by-step guide for a smooth process.

 

An ATAS certificate is not required for overseas students applying for this course.

Get in touch

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

UWS Research Students | Researcher Development & Concordat | University of the West of Scotland

Research at UWS

With cutting edge facilities, specialist knowledge and world-leading and internationally excellent expertise, we aim to develop research outputs that have a tangible, early and positive impact on society across the globe.

Discover

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.