Social Work - MSc

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say Where this course can take you How to apply

Why study this course?

Our Social Work MSc degree is accredited by Social Work England. Once you've successfully completed the course, you can then join the Social Work England register that all qualified social workers must register with to practise in England. 

Our course is rooted in the principles of equality and social justice. It covers a wide range of social work subjects, helping you to become a reflective and resilient practitioner who can work in a variety of settings. This may include working with children, families, older people or individuals with mental health problems or learning disabilities.

London Met was the 2017 “preferred provider” of the North East London (NEL) commissioning panel, which represents the Social Work Development Partnership of five local authorities. This demonstrates the excellence of teaching you can expect on our Social Work MSc.

More about this course

The focus of this professionally-accredited Social Work MSc programme is to help you develop practical skills that are necessary for a successful career in the health and social care sector. Training is based on up-to-date research, academic theories, policy and legislation. You’ll develop knowledge in a number of relevant subjects including the application of law, assessment and planning, human growth and development, research evaluation, safeguarding vulnerable adults and children, as well as social work theory.

Crucially, we’ll ensure that you understand how to apply your academic knowledge, skills and theory to the real world of social work.

In your final year, you’ll write a dissertation on a topic of your choice. This is achieved through your own independent study. You’ll be free to combine research and evidence, current policy, practice and theoretical perspectives.

You’ll be taught by a team of senior lecturers who are registered as social workers. Alongside our senior lecturers, we invite service users, carers and practising social workers to contribute to your learning.

You’ll be encouraged to interact with this dynamic mix of teachers. We welcome your questions and contribution of ideas and experiences to classroom debates.

In year one you’ll undertake supervised practise within two different placement settings for a duration of 70 days and 100 days in year two. To prepare for these placements you’ll undertake 20 days of skills training prior to the placement and a further 10 throughout the remainder of your course.

If you successfully complete all modules but not the dissertation module, you can be awarded our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. This option will also allow you to register with Social Work England

As the 2017/18 “preferred provider” of the North East London commissioning panel, we’ve been commissioned to train existing social workers as Practice Educators to supervise students while on placement.

A key role of Practice Educators is to support your development of practical skills. This will make you more effective in a diverse range of social work settings.


You’ll be assessed through a variety of methods including essays, exams, oral presentations, group work, a portfolio and two periods assessed practice placements. You’ll also undertake supervised social work placements within at least two different practice settings over a minimum of 170 days during the course, as well as undertaking 30 skills days.

Professional accreditation

The Social Work MSc is accredited by Social Work England. You must successfully complete and pass all your assessments to register as a social worker with the organisation.

If you successfully complete all modules apart from the dissertation module, you can gain a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work. This option will also allow you to join Social Work England register.

The course is also compliant with the Professional Capabilities Framework as defined by the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Once registered with Social Work England, you’ll be eligible to join BASW, which will further boost your employability.

Fees and key information

Course type
UCAS code L508
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

You will be required to have:

  • a second class honours degree (2.2) or above
  • GCSE English Language at grade C/grade 4 or above, or Functional Skills English at Level 2 (or equivalent)
  • employers references are needed to demonstrate a minimum of 12 weeks previous experience (at the point of application) either in a paid or voluntary capacity of working directly with vulnerable people normally within a social care or health context
  • an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for the Child and Adult Workforce that's registered with the DBS Update Service

If you’re shortlisted, you'll be invited to attend an interview day. On the day, you'll undertake a test, participate in a group exercise and have an individual interview.

As part of the admissions process, you'll need to complete a criminal convictions, health and personal circumstances self-declaration check; present your original qualification certificates and your passport.

International students and English language requirements

Due to statutory requirements, we are not able to offer sponsorship under the Student visa route for this course. We will be happy to consider those falling into this category for an alternative suitable course on request. Overseas nationals may be considered for admission who already hold an alternative visa in a suitable category or have been granted permission to remain in the UK indefinitely, but please note that an additional international enhanced police check will be required.


There may be an NHS bursary available for applicants. Recommendation for the bursary is based on how well you perform in your interview and test. Find out more about the bursary.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday afternoon

    This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work practice through:

    • The introduction of key concepts and foundation knowledge of need, risk, support and care for children and adults, and the role of the social worker.

    • Promoting an understanding of legislation, policy and practice guidance related to assessment and support/care planning and learning from inquiries and serious case reviews.

    • Providing an opportunity to comprehend and reflect on models and theories of assessment and support/care planning for children and adults and to develop practitioner skills in a context of social work ethics and values.

    • Promoting the involvement of children and adults in social work processes and the development of skills in the empowerment of service users.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday morning
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    This module provides opportunities for students to:
    • Develop practice skills in an environment that is risk-free for service users and students.
    • Develop abilities, skills and understanding of the generic role of a social worker to achieve readiness for practice across a range of different service user groups
    • Develop basic communication skills in-line with the Readiness for Practice criteria and PCF domain.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    To develop effective social work knowledge, skills and values through critical examination of and reflection on sociological and psychological theories of child development and evaluate their application through observational skills.
    To critically analyse and develop a comprehensive understanding of ‘normal’ child developmental milestones within the context of diverse cultures, contested ideas and relevant legislative and policy frameworks.
    To gain insight to the lived experience of adults who use services in order to emphasise, as well as to explain, critically analyse and evaluate, specific difficulties encountered because of ill-health, impairment, disabling contexts and the support people who use services values
    Develop understanding of the significance of ethics and anti-oppressive theory and practice

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    This module provides opportunities for students to:
    • Develop their understanding and recognition of the role of professional social worker, learning through involvement and interaction with service users and services, the professional responsibilities and behaviours appropriate to this level of training.
    • Develop their understanding of the importance of awareness, reflection and limitation as well as maintaining professional boundaries.
    • Recognise problems and concerns as they arise and with support and guidance, understand how to address these.
    • Demonstrate their knowledge of procedures relevant to the practice agency/service.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module provides opportunities for students to:
    • Identify and critically analyse the main statutes, regulations and guidance relevant to social work.
    • Analyse case-law relevant to social work and critically evaluate the law as it applies to children and families and vulnerable adults.
    • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the law within the context of anti-discriminatory practice

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday morning

    This module aims to explore social work and multi-agency practice interventions applicable to children and adults in need and at risk of harm. Students will critically examine how these are informed by theory, research and the voices of children and adults. Knowledge of inquiries and serious case reviews inform learning and concepts of prevention and protection are central to the module. Understanding thresholds and the application of professional judgement underpin best-practice models.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    To provide students with an opportunity to learn social work theory, applied to different social contexts in order to promote effective, ethical and anti-oppressive social work practice.

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Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday afternoon

    This module provides opportunities for students to prepare for effective social work practice through the following:
    • Placing the child or adult as central throughout the social work assessment, investigation, intervention and review processes.
    • Exploring the complexities of effective social work to protect children and adults in the context of anti-oppressive practice.
    • Emphasising social justice and a human rights approach to the subject in relation to current legislation, policy and practice guidance
    • Critically analysing theory and research as applied to the practice of proactive protection.
    • Critically analysing the role of multi-agency working together in protecting children and vulnerable adults
    • Critically reflecting on the professional role with an emphasis on professional dangerousness
    • Ensuring an understanding of the importance of professional accountability and whistleblowing

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Monday morning

    This module provides opportunities for students to:

    • Develop students’ understanding of different approaches to research
    • Enable students to evaluate different methodology and research methods
    • Enable students to engage critically with research evidence and how findings relate to social work
    • Facilitate students’ understanding and develop their ability to analyse the relationships between theories, research, ethics and policy and practice outcomes.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start)

    The Practice Learning 2 module provides the opportunity for students to:

    • Develop their knowledge, values and skills in relation to working with service users in more complex situations.
    • Develop an understanding of, and an ability to apply ethical principles and relevant legislation whilst working alongside professionally qualified social workers in a setting, and with a service user group that contrasts with the first placement setting and service user group.
    • Consolidate the skills and knowledge developed in their first placement and in University based teaching modules.
    • Prepare for professional practice in social work under supervised conditions.
    • Demonstrate knowledge of Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) (BASW), Standards of Proficiency (HCPC) and the Knowledge and Skills Statement (KSS) (DfE and DoH)

    By the end of their final placement students are expected to be practising at the level that will be required of a newly qualified social worker.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Monday afternoon

    This module provides the opportunity for students to:

    • Advance their knowledge and understanding by the undertaking of a sustained and detailed dissertation that critically examines and evaluates an aspect of social work theory, policy and/or practice of particular interest to the student and approved by their supervisor.

    • Select and apply the principles of social research to inform their chosen methodology

    • Apply appropriate skills of analysis and critique existing research in the exploration of current issues relating to social work theory, policy and practice.

    • Reflect critically on the process of developing and executing a sustained piece of work.

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What our students say

“I come from an IT background. The teaching on social work theories, human growth and development and anti-oppressive practice has been excellent in helping me understand social work concepts”.
Franck Omombo, final year student on our Social Work MSc

Where this course can take you

You will be qualified to practise social work (subject to the requirements of registration with Social Work England) and be eligible to become a member of the British Association of Social Workers. This is of major importance to your career as a social worker.

Because of the diverse topics taught on this course, you'll have the benefit of being able to work in multiple fields of social work.

Our graduates have taken up posts in both statutory and non-statutory settings and with different care groups. These include working with children and families, mental health settings, working with older people and supporting those with learning disabilities.

Additional costs

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

How to apply

Applicants can choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. 

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

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