Social work (post-qualifying) credit-bearing short course

Why choose this course?

If you are a qualified social worker or healthcare professional, this programme enables you to study individual postgraduate modules on a standalone basis as short courses for continuing professional development (CPD), or gain academic credit towards a postgraduate award or towards continuing professional development (CPD).

This is a flexible approach through which you can develop your skills and knowledge, and gain academic credit towards an Advanced Social Work MA.

All modules include application of learning to professional practice. All modules can be taken as 'free standing' modules.

  • Postgraduate Certificate: students must pass 60 Level 7 credits
  • Postgraduate Diploma: students must pass 120 Level 7 credits
  • MA: students must pass 180 Level 7 credits (including the Capstone Research Project)
Mode Duration Start date
Part time Dependent on modules selected September
Part time Dependent on modules selected October
Part time Dependent on modules selected January
Part time Dependent on modules selected March
Main location Kingston Hill

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • These modules incorporate recent changes in social work education and regulation; these include the Chief Social Workers' Knowledge and Skills Statements and responds to the requirements of Social Work England.  
  • Kingston University has a strong teaching partnership with organisations across South West London and Surrey to ensure you will be kept up-to-date with current practice. 
  • You can build modules to gain a qualification.

What you will study

You can choose from a variety of modules. There are specialist modules for social workers and allied health professionals, who want to develop their knowledge and skills. Social work practitioners can also build their academic credits towards a Masters in Advanced Social Work. There are also specific modules for practice education. 


List of modules

Best Interest Assessor

30 credits

On the successful completion of this module, you will be awarded the title of BIA which will allow you to practise as a BIA, and undertake assessments to determine if a person is deprived of their liberty and if that deprivation is lawful and appropriate.

Safeguarding Across the Life Course

30 credits

This interdisciplinary module aims to address current issues in safeguarding by providing students from different disciplines and agencies opportunities to learn together and develop a better understanding of collaborative approaches to safeguarding those at risk across the life course.

The module will take a holistic safeguarding approach and promote local authorities' national agenda a ‘Think Family' approach, referring to the need for children's, young people's, and adults' practitioners to identify wider family needs which extend beyond the individual they are supporting.

This module is taught over 5 days and will promote joint learning with all students attending days 1 and 2. On days 3 and 4 you will be able to take the option to explore a child- or adult-specific safeguarding topic, then return to the wider group on day 5 to share your learning and present ideas for formative feedback on your assignment plans.

The assignment requires you to undertake a 3,500-word essay to demonstrate how you have applied the knowledge gained from this module to a case from your practice. This will enable you to demonstrate your understanding and consider how you can embed the learning gained from this module into future practice.

Individual Work-based Learning Project

30 credits

This module provides an opportunity for students to undertake, under academic supervision, work-based projects and gain credit for this work. The work-based learning approach assumes self-directed and autonomous learning. The module develops the student's own critical reflection skills and to work as a mature self-directed student. Learning outcomes and the method of working will be agreed jointly by the student, module leader / academic supervisor and workplace mentor. The assessment strategy is based upon the principle that work based activities can be used to generate critical reflection and learning outcomes which are consistent with M level academic attainment. The assessment submission can take a variety of forms such as reports, essays, discussion documents, and practice analysis.

Coaching and Mentoring in Professional Practice

30 credits

This module aims to equip students to mentor, coach and assess colleagues at post-registration levels. It promotes critical evaluation of theoretical, professional and policy approaches to mentoring, coaching and holistic assessment of professional practice. The knowledge, understanding, values and skills necessary for mentoring and assessing professional practice in social work and related settings are examined. Students are assisted to develop strategies and techniques to enhance their skills in mentoring, coaching and assessment of professional colleagues in different contexts in practice settings. Students are required to mentor, coach and assess colleagues as part of the practicum for this module.

  • Level: 7
  • Credits: 30
  • Code: SW7044
Practice Education Stage 1

30 credits

This module equips registered social workers to undertake the responsibilities of a Stage 1 Practice Educator (Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Students who complete this module successfully will be able to supervise, teach and assess social work degree students up to, but not including, the final assessment prior to qualification. At this stage, they may contribute to the last placement but not take full responsibility for assessment or act as the practice educator on a day-to-day basis. Students undertaking this module are required to undertake a practicum which entails acting as a Stage 1 practice educator to a degree in social work student on a first placement (70 days).

This module is only available to registered social workers with two or more years' more post-registration practice experience. It is targeted at social worker/experienced social worker level.

Practice Education Stage 2

30 credits

This module equips registered social workers to undertake the responsibilities of a Stage 2 Practice Educator (Practice Educator Professional Standards (PEPS) of the British Association of Social Workers (BASW). Students who complete this module successfully will be able to supervise, teach and assess social work degree students up to and including the last placement and to work with ASYE candidates. In effect, these practice educators will have the authority and capability to recommend, on the basis of appropriate evidence, that the social work students are fit to practise at the point of qualification. The module includes practice assessment.

This module is only available to registered social workers with three years or more post-registration practice experience and who have completed Practice Educator Stage 1 or equivalent. It is targeted at experienced social worker level.

Final Research Project (Capstone) (Advanced Social Work MA only)

60 credits

This module is required for students undertaking studies at masters level and is normally taken after achieving PG Diploma Level. The module will provide students with the experience of utilising principles of research and academic writing and thus demonstrate the intellectual skills learnt on the course. Students are expected to critically review research and to evaluate the evidence underpinning their own practice. The module will provide students with the opportunity to implement the knowledge and skills developed during the previous modules by conducting research focused on a topic of their choice related to their area of practice with the support of a research supervisor. The module will enhance students' presentation and publication skills as the assessment includes writing an abstract, oral presentation and writing an article suitable for publication in a peer reviewed journal.

Entry requirements

Depending on the module, applicants will be need to either qualified social workers or health and social care professionals.

Recognition of prior learning

Applicants with prior qualifications and learning may be exempt from appropriate parts of a course in accordance with the University's policy for the assessment of prior learning and prior experiential learning. 


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirements. For this course it is Academic IELTS of 7.0 overall with special conditions in all elements. Please make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we'll consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements may be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from one of the recognised Majority English Speaking Countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Country-specific information

You will find more information on country specific entry requirements in the International section of our website.

Find your country:

Teaching and assessment

This course offers a flexible professional development pathway to assist qualified social workers in meeting capabilities and standards of practice that are consistent with the role of experienced and advanced practitioners.

It incorporates core elements relating to social work education and professional regulation, such as the Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Work (PCF) and standards for continuing professional development set by Social Work England and the Chief Social Workers' Knowledge and Skills Statements.

Guided independent study (self-managed time)

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking and preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS – the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.

How you will be assessed

Assessment can include presentations, essays, critical reviews, online quizzes, posters, portfolio of practice, assessed practice, projects and a 'capstone' project that will enable you to produce an account of original research that is suitable for publication in a refereed journal.

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows, though depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose:

  • 100% coursework

Please note: the above breakdown is a guide calculated on core modules only. Depending on optional modules chosen, this breakdown may change.

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Your timetable

1 - 3 days a week depending on module choice.

Who teaches this course?

Every member of the teaching staff has substantial practice experience in social work. In addition, many are actively involved in social work research, presenting regularly at conferences and publishing in books and journals. In addition, our course teams draw on the wealth of experience provided by our professional contacts and service users and carers who feed into the design of our courses and provide teaching and supervision to enrich your learning.

We have strong links with the NHS, education and healthcare providers and social services, and we also offer classic postgraduate programmes alongside research and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities.

Fees for this course

2024/25 fees for this course

Fees for 2024/25

Practice Education Stage 1 (SW7010) 30 £1,994 (*free for partner agencies)
Practice Education Stage 2 (SW7011) 30 £1,994 (*free for partner agencies)
Final Research Project (SW7016) 60 £3,427
Individual-based Learning Project (SW7025) 30 £1,994*
Best Interest Assessor (BIA) (SW7035) 30 £1,994*
Safeguarding Across the Life Course (SW7038) 30 £1,994*
Mentoring and Coaching in Professional Practice (SW7044) 30 £1,994

*Discounted price is available for selected partner agencies. Contact us for more information.

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.


Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.


Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

Social Work Skills Lab

The skills lab is a purpose-built facility where social work students have the opportunity to learn and to practise key social work skills.

Social workers undertaking continuing professional development courses develop their assessment and intervention skills and other skills such as mentoring, teaching and providing reflective supervision.

What's available?

The skills lab is divided into several sections including:

  • a seminar/case conference room for a maximum of 20 people;
  • a simulated living-room and front door to assist in developing skills relating to home visits;
  • five interview rooms simulating work environments;
  • a control room with two-way mirror and viewing monitors; and
  • all rooms have fitted cameras and microphones so that activities can be recorded.

A flexible, creative space

The skills lab has been designed to be a multi-functional space which allows flexible use. The furniture is all portable and can be changed according to the simulated activities required.

The small rooms can be used for practising communication skills and simulating supervision sessions.

The large room can be used as a teaching or seminar room and can be set up as a simulated case conference room or duty desk.

Participants have the opportunity to engage in creative skills development activities and benefit from live supervision and feedback from the recorded material.

Where this course will take you

These modules offer a flexible professional development pathway to assist qualified social workers in meeting capabilities and standards of practice that are consistent with the role of experienced and advanced practitioners.

The skills and knowledge gained through these modules will assist practitioners at these levels in undertaking diverse roles such as team leader, workforce development manager, service manager, principal social worker, and other senior leadership and management roles. These modules also offer a route to undertaking further research and scholarship, potentially leading to doctoral studies.

Links with business and industry

We are involved in a unique teaching partnership with seven local authorities and two voluntary sector agencies, including Achieving for Children, Croydon Adult and Children's services, Kingston Adult services, Merton Adult and Children's services, Sutton Adult and Children's services, Richmond & Wandsworth Adult services, Wandsworth Children's services, NSPCC and Welcare, Surrey Children's services, South West London and St George's Mental Health Trust.

Practising social workers are involved in teaching, bringing theory to life with their front-line experiences.

People with lived experience and carers contribute to assessment and quality assurance on our programme.

Course changes and regulations

The information on this page reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. To improve your student experience and the quality of your degree, we may review and change the material information of this course. Course changes explained.

Programme Specifications for the course are published ahead of each academic year.

Regulations governing this course can be found on our website.