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*Please note this course is closed for 2018 entry. We are accepting applications for 2019 entry.

  • Complete the training necessary to register as a social worker
  • Two placements matched to your aptitude and experiences
  • Opportunities to learn from service users, carers, and professionals

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

You cover the key knowledge base of 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. You 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.

You complete two practice learning placements – 70 days in the first year and 100 days in the second year. Each placement is matched to your needs, aptitude and experiences. On completion of the course, you 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.

Core modules include Introduction to Professional Social Work, The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work, Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions, Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice, Social Work Risk and Assessment, and Social Work Practice in Contemporary Society.

Masterclasses offer 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. Service Users and Carers contribute to your learning throughout the programme.


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


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.


Suitable for applicants from:

UK, EU, World

Work placements

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.

Learning and teaching

Start date: September

Teaching takes place: Daytime

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. Service users and carers contribute to the learning of students throughout the programme.

The MSc Social Work programme is a professional training programme that demands a high level of commitment and full attendance. For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures section.

Workshops and seminars develop some of the underpinning research skills. Students are part of ongoing online and face-to-face discussions with tutors and other students and are equipped to present aspects of research in a range of ways.


King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester.


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.
Our validated courses 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.

We ensure 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 can be found by attending an open evening or contacting our teaching staff.


We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.

Further information

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

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.
    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

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.

Course enquiries and applications

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

International students

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by emailing our International Recruitment Team at or calling +44 (0)1962 827023

Visit us

Explore our campus and find out more about studying at Winchester by coming to one of our open evenings.

Level 1 (Level 7)

Modules Credits

Introduction to Professional Social Work Pass/Fail
The Legal and Professional Knowledge Base of Social Work 10
Professional Social Work: Methods and Interventions 10
First Practice Placement 30
Human Growth and Development 10

Year 2 (Level 7)

Modules Credits

Social Work in Contemporary Society 10
Research Methods and Evidence Informed Practice 10
Social Work Risk and Assessment 10
Dissertation 60
Second Practice Placement 30

Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing, for full-time students entering the programme in Year 1. Optional modules are listed where applicable. Please note the University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. For further information please refer to the terms and conditions at
The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed above.

Course Tuition Fees

UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man

Fee | £6,900p/a

Total Cost | £13,800

International Students

Fee | £12,950p/a

Total Cost | £25,900

Additional course costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Disclosure and Barring Service

A Discloure and Barring Service (DBS) clearance check is required when applicants accept their offer for a place on the course. The indicative cost is £44.

Students are also required to register for the DBS update service during the length of the programme. The indicative cost of this is £13 per year.

Business Insurance

Business Insurance will be required if students are using their own transport, travelling to and from placement and whilst on placement.

Scholarships, bursaries and awards

There are a restricted number of bursaries available for Social Work programmes which are administered by the Department of Health - for further details please go to

The University receives a limited number of Bursaries for post graduate students each year.

Students who start the programme after January 2018 and do not complete the entire programme at the University because they have recognised prior learning (RPL) are not included on capping lists and are therefore not nominated for social work bursaries by the University of Winchester. 

Entrants from 2016, bursaries will be allocated using the following criteria:

Primary Criteria for allocation of Social Work Bursaries to MSc Social Work intake

Each applicant is assessed and given a score at the end of the MSc Social Work selection process. In accordance with the Widening Participation and Lifelong Learning Strategy, it is considered proportionate and reasonable that the following applicants are given an additional 20% added to their original selection score:

  • applicants who have a former relevant care leaver status, who are under the age of 25 years old and who were ‘looked after' by the local authority for at least 13 weeks since the age of 14, which ended after the age of 16 (as per the Children [Leaving Care] Act 2000);
  • applicants who have been privately fostered up to the age of 16; and/or
  • applicants who have been the subject of a Special Guardianship Order and were ‘looked after’ immediately prior to the making of the order.

This will be subject to written confirmation of the applicant’s status and a letter of support from their Local Children’s Services Department.

Bursaries will be allocated according to the total score and applicants with the highest score will be given the highest priority.

There are occasionally late applicants for the MSc Social Work Programme and applicants that apply too late to attend the last organised selection interview date will be given the lowest priority for a bursary because it would be unfair to compare their interview scores to those attending the organised interview days as the two experiences may be slightly different and late applicants are not always subject to identical selection tasks.

Secondary Criteria for allocation of Social Work Bursaries to MSc Social Work intake

Where scores are equal after the primary criteria have been applied, priority will be given those with the highest degree classification using a points system.  If that is equal then a judgement will be made based on the most relevant experience.

We have a variety of other scholarship and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards section.

Key course details

UCAS code
Full-time: 2 years Part-time: 3 years
Typical offer
Normally a first or higher second-class Honours degree
King Alfred or West Downs, Winchester