MSc Social Work

MSc Social Work at Winchester is a generic professional qualification covering the main knowledge, skills and values essential for practising as a newly qualified social worker. Successful completion of this programme leads to eligibility to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

MSc Social Work at University of Winchester

Entry requirements

  • Normally a first or higher second-class Honours degree in a relevant subject (such as Childhood and Youth Studies, Social Sciences, Politics, Law, Health and Social Care, Teaching or other professional-based courses associated with working with individuals, groups and families)
  • Applicants with a lower second-class Honours degree, or those seeking to change fields where they can demonstrate an aptitude for the professional role and demonstrate an understanding of the role of social workers may also be considered
  • A GCSE A*-C pass in English and Mathematics, or equivalent, is required
  • A Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check is required on acceptance of the offer of a place. The cost of the DBS check is covered by applicants. For the latest costs please visit the DBS website at
  • Initial assessment of Fitness/Suitability to Practise, including relevant medical information; and a self-declaration form must be completed by applicants
  • Prior social care experience in either a paid or voluntary capacity in a relevant setting - community care, youth justice or another setting where caring or teaching is a feature in order to demonstrate an informed decision to embark on a career in social work

If English is not your first language: 

IELTS 7.0 (with no element below 6.5) or equivalent

Degree duration

Full-time only: 2 years

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Daytime

Course Tuition Fees and Additional Costs

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

September 2017** Entry Full-time | £5,000 p/a
Total Cost | £10,000

International Students

September 2017** Entry Full-time | £11,200 p/a
Total Cost | £22,400

Additional costs:

To find out what general costs are included or excluded in the course fees, such as textbooks and travel expenses, please click here

Accreditation: The programme is approved by the statutory regulator - the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Application process: All applications must be made via UCAS. Applicants will need to complete the registration process before creating their application online. Full details are available on the UCAS website:

Applications can be made via UCAS from the autumn of the year prior to entry and we encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible to avoid disappointment. The course code is L501 and our institution code is W76. The deadline for applications is 15 January. If you wish to apply after this date please contact us.

Work placement: In the first year, students are required to complete a 70-day practice learning placement. In the second year, students are required to complete a 100-day practice learning placement. Each placement is different and is matched to the student's needs, aptitude and experiences.

Funding: Students studying MSc Social Work may be eligible for a bursary from the NHS Business Services Authority.

Fact: Students have the opportunity to work in practice with experienced professionals who contribute to the student's development of professional skills, knowledge and values.

Fact: The course has a unique seminar programme that runs throughout the year.

Terms and Conditions

For more information about the University of Winchester's terms and conditions click here

**Please note the fees are indicative and subject to the approval of the University of Winchester Board of Governors. 


Students cover the key knowledge base as applied to social work - social policy, legislation, aspects of psychology and sociology, social work theory, and social work methods and communication.

The course provides an introduction to the development of professional identity and the acquisition of professional values. Students discuss the complexities and importance of interprofessional working; develop an understanding of the importance of sociological and psychological perspectives across the life course; and gain a critical understanding of different types of interventions underpinned by legislation and social policy.

There is a key introductory module which enforces the concept of professional, reflective practice and professional boundaries. Following the core social work modules, students undertake a research module and a dissertation.

Students must also complete two practice learning placements - 70-days in the first year and 100-days in the second year. Each placement is different and matched to the student's needs, aptitude and experiences.

The final year consolidates earlier teaching, developing research and writing skills. On completion of the course, students have a good knowledge of risk and assessment, a clear sense of the opportunities and demands of being a professional social work practitioner, and the skills and knowledge required at a newly qualified level.

  • Introduction to Professional Social Work
  • The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work
  • Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions
  • Research in Practice
  • First Practice Placement
  • Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Risk and Assessment
  • Social Work in Contemporary Society
  • Writing for Publication
  • Second Practice Placement

Lecturers have varied experiences and interests which they draw on to develop insights in the workplace and help students develop employability skills such as report writing and critical analysis.

The cohorts of students are small to enable the teaching team to provide the necessary challenge and appropriate levels of support to develop curiosity, autonomy and creativity in practice and learning.

The integration of subject specialists and outside speakers is a unique feature of the course - Master Classes offer students the chance to learn alongside external practitioners and there are strong links with partner agencies who provide both practice placements and contribute to the teaching and development of the course.

Attendance regulations

The MSc Social Work programme is a professional training programme that demands a high level of commitment and full attendance. Students are expected to attend all taught sessions unless prevented from doing so for valid reasons as full attendance supports both academic and professional development. Significant absences will affect a student's ability to undertake their duty of care to service users. 

The Programme team monitor attendance through the use of registers at each teaching session. Students sign into sessions and the register is passed to administrators who keep attendance records and alert module leads and tutors to non-attendance after three consecutive absences. Students must sign the register in the teaching session as attendance details cannot be altered after the session.

If a student is unable to attend a teaching session they must e mail the administrator and tutor to explain the reason for non-attendance and when they will return. It is the student's responsibility to catch up with missed work through reading and material supplied on the learning network.  Every absence must be notified to the programme administrators and certification of illness provided for absence beyond 5 days. 

Where a student is absent for three consecutive academic teaching sessions in a module, administrators will request that they contact the module leader to discuss any problems they are facing which is affecting attendance. If absences continue the tutor will arrange to meet with the student to discuss this further. Students are reminded of the links between academic attendance and achievement and that attendance is requested in references for employment and postgraduate study. Students will also be advised that if their attendance drops to below 50% (and concessions are not in place) they will only have access to support for assignments in taught sessions. Currently, there are no mandatory attendance requirement for academic teaching but frequent absence will be considered if issues arise regarding fitness to practice.

Attendance of 170 days in practice is mandatory and monitored by use of a placement register. Days lost to illness or other reasons must be made up before completion of placements. Work based supervisors/practice educators confirm full attendance at the final placement meeting and any unresolved issues relating to attendance will be discussed and managed through the intervention of tutors. 

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures library 


There is an increased emphasis on formative assessment, particularly in the early stages of module delivery. This enables students to practice and develop certain skills, and receive feedback, which helps support and improve their final summative assignments. The range of assignments are designed to meet individual student's varying learning styles and support the development of a range of skills required for practice.

Assessment formats include presentations (individual and group); facilitation of seminars; written assignments (essays, reports and case studies); portfolios; exams (a mixed approach); practical skills assessment; online assessment; and product outputs (academic posters/leaflet).

Practice is assessed through observation and reflection on practice, completion of a portfolio and written assignments. There are also opportunities for practical skills assessment including experiential learning and presentations.

At the University of Winchester validated programmes may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances. The University is committed to ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used in the programme you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day/Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Graduates may work with any service user or carer group across the profession, ranging from work in the statutory sector for both children and adults through to roles within the voluntary and independent sector.

Course Enquiries and Applications

Telephone: +44 (0) 1962 827234
Send us a message

International students seeking additional information about this programme can email or call +44 (0) 1962 827023.

Applications need to be submitted before the 20 May 2017. Late applications can be accepted throughout the remainder of the application year, for more information click here

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