Skip to content
social work banner

Social Work MA

Social Work is a rewarding profession which enables you to have a significant impact on the lives of some of society’s most vulnerable people. 

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU named best university for helping students build their careers Learn more


DMU has a 30-year history of delivering social work education at undergraduate level. This course uses this experience to offer social work qualification at postgraduate level with successful completion providing eligibility to apply for registration with Social Work England.   

The course is vocational and up to half of it is spent on placement in social work settings. The course aims to produce capable and competent students ready to enter the profession and make a difference to service users’ 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.   

You will benefit from a variety of teaching methods including formal lectures, student-led learning, problem-based learning, self-directed study and e-learning. Alongside this, the Social Work MA has 170 days of practice-based learning. 

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 and are full-time work-based learning commitments.


Key features

  • 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 in year one 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 directly involved in our teaching.
  • Benefit from a 30-year history of delivering social work education at DMU.
  • Study a range of modules including Children and Families Social Work, Human Growth and Development, Social Work with Adults, and Social Work Theories and Methods.



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

DMU Sport Scholarship
Find out more about the DMU Sport Scholarships worth up to £6,000.


View frequently asked questions

  • UK
  • EU/International

Institution code: D26

Course code: L50080

Duration: Two years full-time

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

The course is a full time course across the two years.  

Start date: September 2022

Application deadline for next intake: 29 July 2022

Location of study: De Montfort University Leicester UK

Fees and funding:

2022/23 tuition fees for UK students for the two year course will be £6,700.

Social work bursaries and student loans

Find out more about course fees and available funding.

There will be a restricted number of NHS Social Work bursaries available for postgraduate 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.     

This course is now closed to international students.


Entry criteria

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. Level 4/C in English at GCSE level is also required.

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 paid or voluntary work experience, or equivalent (approximately 800 hours), within the social care sector.

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 paid or voluntary work experience. 

Please note that references and a Disclosure and Barring Service check will be required prior to the commencement of study.

English language requirements:

If English is not your first language an IELTS score of 7 or equivalent when you start the course is essential with no component below 6.5. English language tuition, delivered by our British Council accredited Centre for English Language Learning (CELL), is available both before and during the course.

Please visit for more information.

 Interview: Yes

Applicants who meet the entry criteria will be invited to attend an interview with a member of the Social Work team and either a service user/carer or a local practitioner.

The Social Work programme selection process will consist of two parts. Firstly, you will be asked to complete a written task which, once submitted within the specified timeframe, will be reviewed, and scored. On successfully passing the written task, you will be invited to attend an interview.

Professional conduct during the event will contribute to the decision making regarding your application.

Interviews are currently being conducted remotely via Microsoft Teams.


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 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

Year One

  • Children and Families Social Work
  • Social Work with Adults
  • Values and Social Justice
  • Social Work Theories and Methods
  • Human Growth and Development
  • Understanding Professional Practice in Social Work
  • Research Methods
  • Skills Development days

Year Two

  • Placement One
  • Placement Two
  • Research Dissertation 
  • Skills Development Days

Note: All modules are indicative and based on the current academic session. Course information is correct at the time of publication and is subject to review. Exact modules may, therefore, vary for your intake in order to keep content current. If there are changes to your course we will, where reasonable, take steps to inform you as appropriate.

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.

On-going assessment is 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 which you will complete in your second year. 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 – Social Work England’s Professional Standards and Education and Training  Standards.  In addition, the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for Social Workers The standards will inform your academic and placement based assessment.

Teaching contact hours

During teaching semesters it is envisaged there will be three / four 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 Social Work England (SWE). 

Social Work England have Professional 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

Substantial investment has developed our teaching and learning facilities to help you expand your practical experience and theoretical knowledge beyond the classroom.

The 19th century Hawthorn Building has facilities designed to replicate current practice in health and life sciences, including contemporary analytical chemistry and formulation laboratories, audiology booths and nursing and midwifery clinical skills suites.

Purpose-built clinical skills areas allow you to practice in a safe environment. You will receive guidance and support from staff to ensure that you develop a precise and accurate practical ability in the clinical skills suites.

Library services

On campus, the main Kimberlin Library offers a space where you can work, study and access a vast range of print materials, with computer stations, laptops, plasma screens and assistive technology also available. 

As well as providing a physical space in which to work, we offer online tools to support your studies, and our extensive online collection of resources accessible from our Library website, e-books, specialised databases and electronic journals and films which can be remotely accessed from anywhere you choose. 

We will support you to confidently use a huge range of learning technologies, including Blackboard, Collaborate Ultra, DMU Replay, MS Teams, Turnitin and more. Alongside this, you can access LinkedIn Learning and learn how to use Microsoft 365, and study support software such as mind mapping and note-taking through our new Digital Student Skills Hub. 

The library staff offer additional support to students, including help with academic writing, research strategies, literature searching, reference management and assistive technology. There is also a ‘Just Ask’ service for help and advice, live LibChat, online workshops, tutorials and drop-ins available from our Learning Services, and weekly library live chat sessions that give you the chance to ask the library teams for help.

Learning zones

Our Learning Zones and The Greenhouse also provide space for group or individual work and study.

There are 1,600 study places across all library locations, more than 700 computer stations, laptops to borrow, free wi-fi and desktop power outlets.

You can also book rooms with plasma screens, laptops and DVD facilities for group work and presentations, secure an individual study room with adjustable lighting or make use of our assistive technology.

Opportunities and careers

Find the people who will open doors for you

DMU named best university for helping students build their careers Learn more


You will complete one 70 day and one 100 day placement during the second year of the programme. 

Our placements cover a wide range of opportunities in statutory and voluntary sector environments primarily within Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland. 

During the placement you will be supported by your placement tutor from the University and a practice educator from the placement organisation. 

Our placements offer a wide range of opportunities for students to develop their skills in applying theory to practice and developing their understanding of the relevant legislation.  Importantly, they also enable students to develop their communication and confidence.  


Career Opportunities

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.  





Take your next steps