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Social Work MA

Social work involves working with some of society’s most vulnerable citizens.  As a social worker you can have a significant impact on the lives of the vulnerable people that you work with. 


Thank you for your interest in studying Social Work MA at De Montfort University (DMU).  

DMU has a 30 year history of delivering social work education at undergraduate level. The MA course, which has recently been approved by the Health and Care Professions Council uses this experience to offer social work qualification at postgraduate level.  

Successful completion of this programme provides eligibility to apply for registration with the HCPC.  

We are accepting applications at this time for admission in the next academic year (2018/19).

For more information, please contact the Health and Life Sciences Admissions team, at hlsadmissions@dmu.ac.uk or call +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.

You can also find out more about our postgraduate degree programmes by booking your place at our next Postgraduate Open Day, or speak to staff and students from the Faculty of Health and Life Sciences at one of our Online Chat events. 


Reasons to study Social Work at DMU

  • You will be able to develop your professional skills by transferring theory into practice in the 170 days on placement

  • We have strong links with the local statutory and voluntary sector to ensure good quality and supportive placement experiences

  • The course has been developed to provide the academic teaching before placements to ensure that you feel equipped for practice learning

  • You will be taught by experienced social work practitioners and researchers, ensuring a rich learning experience

  • Service users, carers and current social work practitioners are involved in our teaching

At DMU, we are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study.

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  • UK/EU
  • International

Key facts for UK/EU students

Institution code: D26

Course code: L50080

Duration: Two years full-time

Attendance: You will be required to achieve a minimum of 70% attendance. 

Start date: Proposed September/ October 2018 

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:
2018/19 full-time - £5,150

Social work bursaries and student loans

There will be a reduced and restricted number of bursaries available for post graduate social work students through universities in England. Further information is available on the NHS Business Services Authority

This funding route could be subject to change so do check the situation with NHS Business Services before application. Any social work bursaries awarded to DMU will be allocated to students on a competitive basis. 

Students who have not been successful in gaining a bursary may be eligible for a student loan for study depending on their circumstances.     

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course and DMU accommodation costs.


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Institution code: D26

Course code: L50080

Duration: Two years full-time

Attendance: You will be required to achieve a minimum of 70% attendance. 

Start date: Proposed September/ October 2018

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding: 
2018/19 full-time fees £13,600

How to apply: All students can apply to study at DMU directly using the DMU Online Portal.


Find out more about course fees and available funding.

Find out more about additional costs and optional extras associated with this course and about DMU accommodation costs.

Please visit dmu.ac.uk/international for more information or call us on +44 (0)116 2 50 60 70.


Entry criteria

Current admission criteria are being reviewed as part of the validation process and subject to final approval.

Typically, you need to already have a 2:1 degree and a minimum of 6 months full-time relevant paid or voluntary work experience, or equivalent (approximately 800 hours), within the social care sector.

Applicants who hold a 2:2 degree (in any subject) will be considered if they also hold an award at postgraduate level and have 6 months (approximately 800 hours) relevant experience. Related voluntary work as well as other relevant life experiences (e.g. informal care giving) will also be considered as part of this experience.

Applicants who hold a 2:2 degree but do not have a postgraduate qualification will be considered if they have at least 12 months full-time equivalent (approximately 1600 hours) relevant applied social work/care experience. Related voluntary work as well as other relevant life experiences (e.g. informal care giving) will also be considered as part of this experience.

English language requirements:

All applicants must hold at least a GCSE grade C in English Language and Maths or agreed equivalent on admission.

For students whose first language is not English an IELTS score of 7 is required.

Prior learning:

We aim to ensure that applicants are suitable for the programme. We will consider prior certificated learning against modules on the programme where this can be shown to match modules. However, we do not accept prior experiential learning against any module on the programme. 



Within your application (and interview – if selected) you will have to explain your motivation to undertake social work as a career and evidence an initial understanding of the profession.

Applicants will be asked to confirm their competence in I.T. skills before being offered a place.

DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check: Yes

As part of the admissions process, applicants are required to go through our processes for the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS), statutory social service intervention declaration and health declaration. Any criminal record declaration will be managed in accordance with the programme’s DBS process in a timely manner, with the aim of confirming an applicant’s suitability for the programme prior to enrolment.

More information

Contact hlsadmissions@dmu.ac.uk if you have any questions over entry and admissions criteria. Or for more information, please see the university's Students Admissions Policy.

Structure and assessment


Course modules

Teaching and assessment

Registration as Social


Proposed Modules

  • Children and Families Social Work
  • Social Work with Adults
  • Social Work Theories and Methods
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Understanding Professional Practice in Social Work
  • Research Methods
  • Placement One
  • Placement Two
  • Research Dissertation  

Teaching and assessment

There will be a variety of teaching methods e.g. formal lectures, student led learning, problem based learning, self-directed study and e-learning within the course.

With on-going assessment being informed by essays, group presentations, case studies, skills exercises, a placement portfolio and other methods. In your final year you will complete a dissertation.  

You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support you with your academic learning.

The Social Work MA has 170 days practice based learning. You will be assessed as being ready for direct practice before your first placement by participating on skills days related to social work practice.

We have strong links with placement providers which produce high quality placements supervised by practice educators. Placements are normally within the Leicester City or Leicestershire geographical area. Placements are full-time work-based learning commitments.       

Teaching and learning is structured around the relevant professional standards for social work – the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC) Standards for proficiency for Social Workers in England http://www.hcpc-uk.org.uk/  and the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for Social Workers https://www.basw.co.uk/pcf/. The standards will inform your academic and placement based assessment.  


Teaching contact hours

During teaching semesters it is envisaged there will be three days teaching per week. 


Registration as a Social Worker

The title of Social Worker is legally restricted. As a result only suitably qualified and registered persons can describe themselves as such. Only successful completion of the whole MA Social Work degree (including both placements) will confer your eligibility to apply for registration as a qualified social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). 

The HCPC has standards in relation to conduct, performance and ethics and standards in relation to health for graduates who apply to register as social workers and registrants.

The same expectations are applied to students on the programme in relation to their conduct and suitability. As part of ensuring this, applicants are asked to complete a declaration form in relation to previous convictions as well as their suitability for the programme and there is an expectation that students will inform the team of any changes in their circumstances.

Facilities and features

Health and Life Sciences facilities

Investment of £12 million in Health and Life Sciences has developed our first-class teaching and learning facilities to help you develop your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

Library services

We have 1,500 study places and 650 computer workstations across four sites on campus. These give access to more than half a million publications, an extensive range of DVDs, e-resources and thousands of electronic journals. 

The main Kimberlin Library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year (other than in exceptional circumstances).

Award-winning staff are on hand to help and there is a café for study breaks. We offer a range of workshops, drop-in and one-to-one sessions, and our Just Ask service provides email and telephone support.

Learning zones

Our comfortable and well-equipped study areas provide a range of environments to suit your needs.

Originally set up in our main Kimberlin Library, the learning zones proved so popular that more were created in the Eric Wood Building and Greenhouse. These flexible spaces are ideal whether you are working as a group, practising a presentation or working quietly on your own.

They feature workstations with power supplies for laptops, plus bookable syndicate rooms with interactive whiteboards and DVD players. Eduroam wi-fi is available across all campus locations.

Opportunities and careers



As part of the university's commitment to enhancing the personal and career development of our graduates. We offer an Alumni scholarship programme. For more information visit Health and Life Sciences Alumni Scholarships > 


Graduate careers

This course is vocational - up to half of the course is spent on placement in social work settings. The Social Work MA aims to produce capable and competent students ready to enter the profession and make a difference to service user’s lives.

The qualification is generic so you will be able to work across a range of adult and childcare settings in both the statutory and voluntary sector.  



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50% off selected PG courses

We are committed to helping our graduates enhance their careers and personal development through further study, which is why we offer the Vice-Chancellor’s 2020 Scholarship. This gives DMU graduates a tuition fee discount of up to 50 per cent on selected full-time and part-time postgraduate courses, based on academic achievement and merit. Find out more.


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The perfect way to find out more about DMU is to attend one of the postgraduate open evenings or events that take place all year round. If you can't visit the university in person, you can also sign up for one of our online chats. Find out more.


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De Montfort University (DMU)’s growing reputation for research which benefits society has been confirmed with the publication of the REF 2014 results. Find out more.

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