The Master in Social Work (Hons) is a professional qualification which entitles you to apply to register as a social worker: a challenging and rewarding career.
This four-year course with an integrated Masters year provides an advanced alternative to standard three-year BA Social Work degrees. You'll gain a Masters-level qualification which is highly valued by employers. You'll have opportunities to gain experience on placements in three diverse social work settings and receive a broader grounding in the social sciences.
Through a carefully tailored programme of coursework and placements you'll gain the knowledge and skills required to lead in the development of a rapidly changing and fast paced profession. The course's integration of research, theory and practice means you will be a critically reflective social worker, able to make informed judgements based on sound analysis, often in unpredictable circumstances.
You will develop professional skills and knowledge to improve the lives of vulnerable people. Service users and carers contribute directly to our teaching, giving you an unparalleled insight into the complexities of social work. You'll gain the ability to face complex and difficult human situations with confidence, creativity, compassion and integrity. You'll learn to work alongside people and to incorporate principles of social justice into your everyday practice.
Join a thriving department, internationally recognised for its teaching and research excellence and gain a solid foundation from which to begin your professional journey.
I am pleased to have chosen York to start my journey. I can’t picture myself at a different university. Even after just a few months it already feels like home.Vanessa, MSocW Social Work.
York is in the UK Top 10 for Social Work in the Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2020 and Complete University Guide 2020.
Current demand for professionally qualified social workers is strong in the statutory and voluntary sectors.
You'll hear from people with first hand experience to enhance your learning as you prepare for practice.
This course follows the British Association of Social Workers Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF). Throughout your four years you'll focus on the PCF's nine key domains:
Three placements, including two which provide statutory social work experience, will cultivate a wide range of essential skills and ensure that you are well-prepared for the realities of social work in different sectors. You will spend 200 days on placement, and complete 30 skills days which are integrated into modules throughout the course.
We have close relationships with international organisations and offer placements around the world. Recent destinations have included Uganda and the USA.
In your first year you'll study four core modules which introduce fundamental social and sociological theory.
In addition to the above you will also need to complete our online Academic Integrity module.
This module covers some of the essential skills and knowledge which will help you to study independently and produce work of a high academic standard which is vital for success at York.
This module will:
The four core modules of your second year will introduce more practical elements, building on Year 1's theoretical foundation. You'll develop essential skills for social work, which you'll have a chance to refine on placement with a voluntary organisation or independent social care agency. You'll also learn how to evaluate and develop service provision, and carry out practice-related research.
In the first half of Year 3 you'll prepare for your first statutory placement with a range of core modules which ensure you're ready for practice. You'll explore the ethical, legal and policy contexts for social work, which will equip you to manage the competing pressures of social work.
The placement begins in the Spring Term and lasts for 70 days, alongside a module designed to support your professional development.
Autumn Term and Spring Term
Spring Term and Summer Term
This counts towards the 200 days of practice which you must complete before you can register as a social worker. You'll spend 70 days at a social work agency as well as five Skills Days at the University, developing specialist techniques for working with families, groups, parents, and refugees and asylum seekers.
You'll work with a qualified social work practice educator who will support and assess you throughout the placement. Your placement is a chance to develop and follow your own professional interests, with guidance from our academic staff.
As part of your fourth year you'll undertake your final statutory placement. This will take 100 days and will contribute 60 credits toward your course. You'll also choose a module that will allow you to study a particular branch of social work in more depth.
Throughout the year you'll work on your Masters dissertation. This is a 16,000-word extended essay based on your own original research. You'll work with your supervisor to choose a topic which interests you and design an empirical study or systematic literature review to explore your research question in depth.
You'll also choose an option module to focus your studies and practical skills in a specific area of social work.
Placement II (60 credits)
This counts towards the 200 days of practice which you must complete before you can register as a social worker. You'll spend 100 days at a social work agency, developing skills for career-long learning, self-care and leadership.
Dissertation (60 credits)
The dissertation will allow you to demonstrate your skills in research as well as applying insights from the taught modules and your placement experience.
Examples of recent dissertation titles include:
Choose one of the following modules:
Please note, modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Every course at York has been designed to provide clear and ambitious learning outcomes. These learning outcomes give you an understanding of what you will be able to do at the end of the course. We develop each course by designing modules that grow your abilities towards the learning outcomes and help you to explain what you can offer to employers. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
When I visited York it just clicked. The course structure, the variety of modules and the emphasis on group work all appealed to me.Phil, Social Work student
You will require a DBS check to take part in this course. You will pay £40 at the beginning of your course and a £13 update fee in subsequent years.
You will be responsible for travel costs to placements but can apply for an NHS Bursary to meet these costs (British citizens only). Some agencies may reimburse travel costs.
Course books will be available to you from the Library either in print or online format - new copies, if you wish to buy them, usually cost around £30. All other teaching resources will be available online.
UK/EU or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK, EU or international student.
For more information about tuition fees, any reduced fees for study abroad and work placement years, scholarships, tuition fee loans, maintenance loans and living costs see undergraduate fees and funding.
We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2020/21 throughout the year.
The NHS offers bursaries for students studying social work in years 3 and 4 of their degree, subject to eligibility and availability.
You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.
“Students from all backgrounds achieve consistently outstanding outcomes”
The TEF Panel, Office for Students, June 2018
Our Gold Teaching Excellence Framework award demonstrates our commitment to the delivery of consistently outstanding teaching and learning for our students.
You’ll study and learn with academics who are active researchers, experts in their field and have a passion for their subjects. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace. Find out more about our approach to teaching and learning.
Your lectures, seminars and tutorials will be delivered by enthusiastic and knowledgeable academic staff who are experienced practitioners. Guest speakers with specialist expertise, including service users from our Service User and Carer Participation Advisory Group, provide unique insights into social work practice.
You will develop your knowledge and understanding with focused and guided reading and group work. For some modules you'll undertake online activities to support your learning beyond the classroom. Throughout your degree you'll participate in regular professional development group sessions, developing social work knowledge and skills.
You'll meet with your personal supervisor at least once each term. This is a member of teaching staff who will provide academic and personal support. While on placements you will receive specialist support from a practice educator or work-based supervisor who will manage your induction on the placement as well as guide you through your time there.
In order to qualify as a social worker you must spend 200 days in practice learning. This comprises 30 days on placement in Year 2, 70 days in Year 3 and 100 days in Year 4. In addition over the course of Years 3 and 4 you'll participate in 30 skills days, offering insight into a variety of social work settings.
We are part of the Yorkshire Urban Rural Teaching Partnership, working closely with local councils and the University of Huddersfield. The partnership collaborates to develop, inspire and sustain highly-skilled and confident social workers to improve outcomes for children, adults, families and communities.
In your first year, you can expect:
|Lectures||4 hours per week|
|Seminars||4 hours per week|
These figures are based on an average student in an average week. Your contact hours will vary throughout the year due to your module choices, non-compulsory classes, exam periods and changes to scheduled activities.
Outside your timetabled hours, you'll study independently. This may include preparation for classes, follow-up work, wider reading, practice completion of assessment tasks, or revision.
In the UK, full-time students are expected to spend 1,200 hours a year learning. That's about 40 hours of classes and independent study each week during term time. Everyone learns at a different rate, so the number of hours you spend on independent study will be different to other students on your course.
You will be based in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work which is based on Campus West. Most of your contact hours will be in Campus West, with some additional teaching on Campus East.
You will undertake three placements with agencies based predominantly in York and North Yorkshire. You will be responsible for arranging travel to and from your placements.
Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.
Most of your modules will be assessed by written assignments and presentations. We'll provide you with feedback on assignments within four weeks of submission. Types of assessment in this course include:
Your placements are assessed by your social work practice educator. They'll assess your competence to practice by observing your interaction with services users and by reading your report. They'll also use feedback from services users and your colleagues when assessing your placement.
You'll also submit work that won't count towards your final grade. The feedback you receive will allow you to discover your academic strengths and identify areas for improvement.
The small cohorts allowed much more room for discussion and a very supportive atmosphere. The variety between lectures, seminars and workshops - often with specialist agencies - allowed us to understand real practice applications. I thoroughly enjoyed my time studying at York.Esther, Social Care Manager (Social Work, 2017)
After completing the Masters in Social Work you'll be able to apply to register as a social worker in England. Some of our students choose to go on to further study, often progressing to a PhD.
As well as registering as social workers, graduates from our department go on to work in a range of areas, including:
The Masters in Social Work will help you develop a range of transferable skills that are highly valued by employers, including:
|Access to Higher Education Diploma||21 credits at Distinction and 24 credits at Merit or higher|
|BTEC National Extended Diploma||DDM|
|Cambridge Pre-U||M2, M2, M2|
|European Baccalaureate||75% overall|
|International Baccalaureate||31 points overall|
|Other international qualifications||Equivalent qualifications from your country|
We also require grade 4 (C) or better in GCSE Maths and English (or a recognised equivalent)
Meeting the following additional criteria may qualify you for an alternative offer.
|Widening participation||If you successfully complete one of the following programmes, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer: Next Step York, Realising Opportunities. More about widening participation.|
|Contextual offers||If you have experience of local authority care or live in an area with low progression to university, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer. More about contextual offers.|
|EPQ||If you achieve C or higher at EPQ, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
|Core Maths||If you achieve B or higher in Core Maths, you may be eligible for an alternative offer up to one A level grade (or equivalent) below our typical offer.|
If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:
|IELTS||7.0, with a minimum of 7.0 in each component|
|PTE Academic||67, with a minimum of 67 in each component|
|GCSE/IGCSE/O level English Language (as a first or second language)||Grade C|
|C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency||185, with a minimum of 185 in each component|
|TOEFL||96 overall, with a minimum of 24 in each component|
|Trinity ISE III||Distinction in all components|
|Duolingo||Minimum overall score of 130|
For more information see our undergraduate English language requirements.
You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.
The length of course you need to take depends on your current IELTS scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.
After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.
To apply to York, you will need to complete an online application via UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).
We welcome applications from people from a range of different backgrounds. If you have a non-traditional educational background and want to know whether you would qualify for entry then please contact our admissions tutors for an informal discussion.
Before we offer you a place we'll invite you to an interview. You'll have the chance to learn a little more about our Department as well as look around the campus. We look for applicants who have some understanding of the role of a social worker as well as the motivation to become a social worker.
Get in touch if you have any questions
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