Social Work (Postgraduate Certificate / Postgraduate Diploma / MA)

social work student working

Study mode



Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham

This course balances an interactive study programme with practical work experience in a social care setting, enabling you to become qualified as a generic social work practitioner. This will allow you to practise in your chosen field of children and families or adults, and across a range of areas including statutory, voluntary, private and independent sector.

The course has been designed in partnership with agencies and service users, to allow students to gain the skills and experience required to qualify as a social worker. It is delivered in blocks of teaching, followed by periods of practical work experience allowing students to consolidate their study in a real-life setting. You will be supported by a team of committed teaching staff, who are registered social workers with experience in a range of professional settings.

The placements you undertake will be in different service areas, to broaden your perspective and experience, and you will benefit from the university’s good industry connections. On graduating, you will have a clear understanding of social work and will have demonstrated your skills and values in social care settings. On completion of the programme you will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Social Worker.


  • Law and Policy
  • Skills for Social Work
  • Practice Placement (year one: 70-day placement; year two: 100-day placement)
  • Balancing Rights and Risks
  • Dissertation (optional)

Study style

On the course, the learning experience is dynamic, interactive and experiential. You will learn about all areas of social work practice with adults and children, acquiring your knowledge with a variety of learning styles. With emphasis on experiential learning, your study will include working in small tutorial groups, simulations, role play and group work.

The course is assessed in a variety of ways, including assignments, exams and group presentations.

Course modules

Take a look at the course map for a breakdown of modules that you'll study to complete the course.

Entry requirements

  • At least a 2.1 honours degree or equivalent in a related subject, or a relevant level 6 qualification
  • At least three months' work experience in a social care setting, contributing to some understanding of social work
  • GCSE Maths and English and grade C or above or an equivalent numeracy and literacy qualification
  • An enhanced DBS
  • EU and international students need IELTS 6.0 overall (no less than 5.5 in any band) or equivalent.


Fees - 2019/20 Academic Year
Home and EU Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £9300
Postgraduate Diploma £6200
International Students
Full-Time Fees
Masters £14800
Postgraduate Diploma £9870

The fee displayed is the total course fee for full-time or part-time study. Please refer to the Tuition Fee and Bursary Policy for payment methods and timescales.


HCPC-registered social worker

student with client

A fast track to professional qualification

This is an intensive fast track programme, which means you can obtain a professional qualification in short period of time. Successful completion provides eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

students meeting

Put learning into practice

This programme is structured to allow students to put learning into practice. Through our established connections you will have the scope to gain industry experience through a range of placements, across a variety of settings.

student in library

Excellent employability prospects on qualification

Upon completion, our students practice in a range of fields and for a variety of employers, including those in statutory, voluntary, private and independent sectors.