MA Social Work

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Social work requires a skilled, knowledgeable and creative approach to support and protect some of the most vulnerable people in society at all stages of their lives.

Our MA in Social Work is offered through a two year full-­time, or four year part­-time route. It is approved by the regulatory body for the profession, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). On successful completion of the programme students will be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with the HCPC.

The teaching of social work is long-established at the University with taught sessions taking place on the main campus, centrally located in the historic, bustling city of Canterbury. The MA Social Work programme has three main integrated areas of learning ­ the study of academic subjects, development of skills, and practice placements. It is generic, enabling those completing successfully to work in a range of settings meeting the diverse needs of service users, families and carers. The programme will provide you with the opportunity to build on your previous experience and educational studies to develop the skills and knowledge required for effective social work practice. The programme is flexible, providing for study through a full­time or part­-time route with the option for students to change their route, subject to agreement. The minimum commitment for part-­time students is two days a week.

“I have felt so supported by the academic team and I honestly can't thank you enough.

My placement has been amazing and I had such a supportive PE, I could not have asked for better. I have been very lucky with all of my placements and I feel I have been able to make the most from them all and grasp every opportunity.

CCCU has been a huge part of my life for the last 5 years and in that time so much has happened and changed.”

Zoe, MA Social Work student

Employment opportunities

On successful completion of the programme students will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Social work is a respected professional qualification and there are a range of opportunities in different fields. The programme is a generic course enabling graduates to work in a full range of settings, for example in statutory social work for local authorities, private or voluntary agencies, in research or policy development. A high percentage of our graduates gain employment with local employers. Continuing professional development is a requirement for all professionals and the opportunity to progress to supervisory and managerial roles is reflected in the Professional Capabilities Framework (British Association of Social Work).

Programme Structure

The programme will enable you to meet the requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) of The British Association of Social Work and the Knowledge and Skills Statements for Social Work which have been designed to ensure that by the end of the programme students can practise effectively using a range of knowledge, a strong commitment to social justice, application of professional values and recognition of the diverse needs of members of society. The programme integrates theoretical and practice learning through modules, skills and practice placements. Development of professionalism, the ability to apply critical reflection and analysis and the flexibility to work in changing contexts and organisations are key areas of achievement required for successful completion of the course. 

At the end of the programme both the part-time and full-time route will enable students to gain 180 credits in a range of subject areas alongside practice learning and skills development. This includes the 60 credit research project, an extended module which is introduced early within the programme and continues through the duration of the period of study. Students who do not complete this module may exit the programme with 120 credits, an award of a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work and eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Module Information

Full­-time students study four modules in their first year and three in their second year. The extended research module takes place throughout the two years. Students who do not complete this module may exit the programme with a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work which is an eligible award to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

Part­-time students study four modules in Year One, two modules in Year Three and one module in Year Four. The extended research module is started in Year Two and undertaken over three years.


  • Foundations of Social Work Practice (20 credits)

  • Working with Individuals, Groups and Communities (10 credits)

  • Critical Perspectives in Sociology, Social Policy and Social Work (10 credits)

  • Developing a research proposal (20 credits)

  • Law, rights and ethics (20 credits)

  • Safeguarding (20 credits)

  • Developing critical practice (20 credits)

  • Dissertation module (40 credits)

Skills and Practice Learning

Skills of assessment and intervention will be developed and taught throughout the programme, in the classroom and through practice placements. Full time students will undertake 30 skills days over the two years of the programme, 70 days practice learning in Year One and 100 days practice learning in Year Two. Part-­time students will undertake 30 skills days over the four years, 70 days of practice learning in Year Two, and 100 days across Years Three and Four. Placement experience includes work in at least two settings, working with a variety of service user needs, e.g., children, young people and families, people with mental health needs and vulnerable adults. 

The Learning Experience

The Social Work team has developed successful relationships with regional practice­ based educators and placement providers in order to offer students a wide range of placement opportunities. Qualified practice educators support and assess students on placement to promote their capability and confidence in developing and applying knowledge for effective practice. Teaching of skills is provided through dedicated skills workshops, delivered by academic staff, service users and experienced practitioners.

Classroom teaching takes place through whole group lectures, seminars and small group work and is delivered using resources such as PowerPoint, audio­visual material and case studies. Skills workshops enable students to practice developing skills of assessment, communication and intervention, reviewing their development through learning tools such as video recorded work.

Embedded throughout the programme is a focus on the experiences of those who use services so that students can gain valuable understanding of the impact of distressing circumstances and professional responses on the lives of service users and their carers. Service users contribute to teaching and assessment throughout the programme and are part of the varied teaching and learning approaches of the programme. Core teaching is delivered by academics with substantial practice experience across a range of service user groups and who maintain their knowledge and expertise through research, writing for publication, consultancy and teaching experienced practitioners undertaking post­qualifying courses.

Learning is assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, group and individual presentations and completion of practice portfolios. Prior to starting their first placement, students are required to demonstrate their readiness for practice through shadowing an experienced social worker. In addition to structured teaching sessions, further learning activities are recommended: post­graduate study requires students to be self­directed in their learning in order to deepen their knowledge and achieve a high level of critical thinking and reflection. There are a range of learning resources available including the substantial library facilities and web­based support.


2019/20 tuition fees for this course

Full-time  £5,950 £12,420
Part-time  £2,975  N/A

Alumni of Canterbury Christ Church University are eligible for a 20% discount on this course, subject to terms and conditions.

Tuition fees for all courses which last more than one academic year are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

There will be an annual inflationary increase in tuition fees for this course where the course lasts more than one academic year. For further information read the 2019/20 Tuition fee statements and continuing fee information.

Government loans of up to £10,906 are available for some postgraduate Master’s courses for students starting their course from 1 August 2018. Loans are subject to both personal and course eligibility criteria.

The rules around course eligibility mean that in some cases it may depend on how you are studying (full-time or part-time) as to whether you can apply for a postgraduate loan. To check whether your course is eligible, you can  email the Student Fees Team or call 01227 923 948.

Read more about  postgraduate masters student loans.

A non-means ­tested NHS bursary may available for full-­time and part-­time students, subject to eligibility requirements and bursary numbers agreed for the university by the Department of Health and Social Care. (Please note that this information may be subject to changes in the future by the Department of Health and Social Care and you are advised to seek current information at the time of your application).

Students may self-fund their course or a sponsor may fund or part-fund. Bursaries, scholarships and fee discounts may also be available.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students are expected to meet.

Costs applicable to all students

Text books Own purchase text books
Travel to other sites Where travel to other sites is required, this will be payable by the student
Library Fees and Fines Where students fail to return loaned items within the required time they will be responsible for the cost of any library fees and fines applicable
Printing & Photocopying The cost of printing and photocopying undertaken by students to support their individual learning are payable by the student
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire / photography are additional costs payable by the student

General principle policy

The University’s general principles policy for additional course fees are set out here

CategoryIncluded in the tuition feeAdditional cost to student
Field trips (including trips abroad and trips to museums, theatres, workshops etc) No, if the trip contributes to the course as an optional module. Yes if the trip is optional.
Travel and accommodation costs for placements  No

Travel and accommodation costs for professional placements within the Education and Health & Wellbeing Faculties.

Travel and accommodation costs for other work placements. 
Text books No Own purchase text books.
DBS / Health checks No Yes
Professional Body registration No Yes
Travel to other sites (e.g. travel to swimming pool for lessons) No Yes
Clothing / Kit Yes, where the clothing / kit is essential for Health & Safety reasons. Yes, where the clothing is kept by the student and not essential for health and safety reasons.
Learning materials Essential learning materials (excluding text books) in connection with the course. Additional materials beyond the standard provision essential for the course or where the costs are determined by the student’s area of interest and the outputs are retained by the student.
Library fees and fines No Yes
Printing and photocopying No Yes
Social events No, unless the event forms an essential part of the course. Yes, unless the event forms an essential part of the course.
Graduation ceremonies It is free for the student to attend the ceremony itself. Guest tickets and robe hire/ photography are additional costs payable by the student.

Candidates must show the following:

  • be able to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English
  • basic ability to use ICT including word processing, internet browsing and use of email
  • all successful candidates will be subject to Occupational Health, Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and suitability clearance

Please contact the Programme Director, Isobel Drew at isobel.drew@canterbury.ac.uk if you require further details about current entry requirements.

Apply for the MA Social Work via UCAS here. Please note that the programme is listed on UCAS as 'Social Work (Postgraduate Entry)'.


Full-time study

Apply via UCAS


Full-time study

Need some help?


For advice on completing your application please contact the Course Enquiry Team:

Email:  courses@canterbury.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1227 928000
Tel:+44 (0)1227 928000  (0)1227 928000


Contact our International Team

Fact file

UCAS course code

  • L508

UCAS institution code

  • C10


  • Two years full-time
    Four years part-time

Entry requirements

  • An honours degree at 2.1 or above in a relevant subject discipline.

    An honours degree at 2.1 or above in an unrelated subject and demonstration of significant social work related experience at an appropriate level, gained either in a paid or voluntary capacity, or experience as a service user/carer.

    If your degree classification is less than 2:2, this will not preclude consideration of your application as a range of factors are taken into account for admission to the programme.



Last edited 06/08/2019 09:46:00

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Last edited: 06/08/2019 09:46:00