Skip to main content
We are looking for motivated and talented graduates with the potential to become registered social workers.
In this two-year programme, you will be taught by social work academics who have teaching, research and practice expertise spanning the range of specialist social work fields.
The depth and breadth of academic expertise and experience is a major strength of the programme. This prepares students to become social workers in their chosen areas of specialist social work practice, equipped with a broad range of theory and evidence.
The programme is underpinned by a psycho-social and life-course approach, encouraging critical thinking and anti-discriminatory practice in response to the needs of people and communities.
The Masters of Social Work is accredited by Social Work England. On successful completion of the programme, you will be eligible to register as a social worker with Social Work England, the professional regulator.
We provide social work education in partnership with a diverse range of local authorities and voluntary sector organisations. A key arrangement with social work employers involves a partnership called 'Developing Together'. This provides strong and mutually supportive relationships between the university and social work employers. Experienced social workers and people with lived experience of social care contribute to your learning and development over the duration of the programme. We have a state of the art innovative skills lab to help you to learn and develop practice skills, preparing you for field learning in two practice placements.
The Masters of Social Work at Kingston has an international perspective, attracting students from countries outside of the UK. We have a track record of educating students from the United States, who have gone on to work as licensed social workers in the US.
|UCAS code||Mode||Duration||Attendance||Start date|
|L508||Full time||2 years||3 days a week (University days), 5 days a week (placements)||September 2021|
|L510||Part time||3 years||1.5 days a week (University days), 5 days a week (placements)||September 2021|
If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.
Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2021/22. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.
You will gain the core knowledge, skills and values required for social work practice. On this programme you will learn about effective approaches to work with children and their families and adults at risk (including older adults, and mental health social work practice). You will study legal, policy and ethical frameworks for social work practice; human development; social work methods of assessment and intervention.
A specialist practice interest module provides you with the opportunity to undertake an in depth study in a chosen area of special interest and can be taken in a national or international setting.
This module runs throughout the first year and focuses on readiness for direct practice. It is an interactive module which includes skills workshops and a high level of involvement from service users, carers and practice educators from partner agencies. Students learn about the role and tasks of social workers and develop professional skills in verbal and written communication. They have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on written work and on their communication skills. Service users and carers provide simulated interviews in the Practice Learning Suite.
The focus of this module is to enable students to develop theoretical foundational knowledge of social work assessment and intervention methods, informed by psychological and sociological theories, and research. This module will further enable students to develop core skills to analyse and explain situations, draw hypotheses about potential outcomes, and select intervention methods to achieve desired outcomes. The module will enable students to develop skills in communication and knowledge in building, maintaining and sustaining relationships as well as critical reflection and analysis in order to evaluate interventions' effectiveness. Learning will involve applying concepts from theory and research in lectures, interactive workshops, and role plays in the skills lab, investigatory experiences and through formative and summative assignments.
This module will enable students to gain an understanding of human development that is underpinned by the value of difference and diversity. A life course perspective will inform the content of the module, incorporating key theoretical frameworks and research findings. There will be a critical focus on the interaction of social, political, cultural, economic and environmental influences on people's lives. Ideas of normative development, including key milestones in childhood and adolescence, will therefore be underpinned by a critical understanding of structural inequalities, which may affect individual development and perpetuate the difficulties experienced by particular groups and communities. Relevance to social work will be highlighted through case studies, targeted reading, and facilitated discussions. Experiential and reflective learning will be promoted through a structured child observation task and reflective seminars.
This module aims to enable students to build on their core skills and deepen their knowledge of diverse practice contexts by developing a critical understanding of the factors that impact on provision of social work services. In this module, students will develop an understanding of key contemporary issues in social work and gain awareness of how these developments underpin the provision of social work services, and the implications when applying social work theory. Learning will involve applying concepts from theory and research in lectures, interactive workshops, investigatory experiences and through formative and summative assignments.
It provides an introduction to law, ethics and policy for social work. These three framework areas are central to an understanding of the role played by social workers involved in making judgements and decisions that affect the lives of people using social work services. The module will introduce students to the three frameworks, highlight links between these frameworks and provide opportunities to apply them to problems and situations encountered in practice.
Progression to Stage Two modules requires 120 credits at Level 7 including a pass in level 4 module and satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health clearance. Students exiting the programme at this point who have successfully completed 120 credits at level 7 are eligible for the award of Post Graduate (PG) Certificate in Applied Social Care Studies.
This module is a practice placement of seventy days, undertaken in an agency within the statutory or voluntary sector. Students will be provided with relevant learning opportunities and supported and supervised by practice learning staff. By the end of their placement, students will be expected to evidence their practice against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at the standard required for students at the end of their first placement.
Progression to Stage Three modules requires 150 credits at Level 7 including passes in Level 4 and 5 modules and satisfactory DBS and Occupational Health clearance. Students exiting the programme at this point who have successfully completed 150 credits at level 7 are eligible for the award of Post Graduate Diploma (PG Dip) Applied Social Care Studies.
This module provides students with the opportunity to undertake an in depth study in a chosen area of special interest that has relevance to social work. Students are encouraged to undertake an in-depth organisational study focusing on the provision of services. Potential areas of study are specialist therapeutic interventions, rights, justice, promoting the wellbeing of service users, service user engagement; social work in allied health settings, social work and supra national organisations, management and quality assurance of services. These studies can be taken in a national or international context which will enable students to draw comparisons between different modes of service delivery and evaluate these.
The module is a practice placement of one hundred days, undertaken in an agency which offers statutory interventions. Students will be provided with relevant learning opportunities and supported and supervised by practice learning staff. By the end of their placement, students will be expected to evidence their practice against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at the standard required for students at qualifying level.
This capstone project aims to enable students to select research and analyse an area of inquiry that has relevance for social work. Students are expected to, through scholarly endeavour; contribute to existing research and social work knowledge concerning the topic selected. Following selection of the topic, students should read widely and build up a relevant literature review of research and publication in the area. This literature review should then be linked to relevant implications for the social work profession. Through attendance at taught sessions, students will be able to classify research according to its epistemological position and methodological approach, and therefore identify the advantages and disadvantages of a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods in the social sciences by critically analysing research featured in a range of social work literature. On successful completion of the module, students' projects that meet Kingston University guidelines for electronic publication will be published in a Year book.
The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.
GCSE at grade 4 or above (or grade C or above for GCSEs taken before 2017) in five subjects, including English Language and Mathematics or equivalent qualification e.g. Functional/Key skills level 2 in numeracy and literacy. Non-native speakers who do not have the equivalent of GCSE English at grade 4 (formerly grade C) or an equivalent (e.g. Functional Skills Level 2 Literacy) require an Academic IELTS score of 7.0 or equivalent overall.
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.
You will be invited to attend a selection day prior to being offered a place. The selection process includes a written test, a role play and a series of mini interviews. Overseas applicants may undertake this process using video conferencing.
Admission is subject to occupational health screening and Disclosure Barring Service (DBS) enhanced check including checks against the Adult and Child Workforce Barring lists if you are offered and accept a place on the course.
You will become equipped with the core knowledge, skills and values required for social work practice. On this programme you will learn about effective approaches to work with children and their families and adults at risk (including older adults, and mental health social work practice). You will study legal, policy and ethical frameworks for social work practice; human development; social work methods of assessment and intervention.
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 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.
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.
This course is validated as a full time programme. You will attend university 3 days a week and undertake independent study 2 days a week.
Contact hours may vary depending on your modules.
Assessment typically comprises of individual and group presentations, essays, exam, case studies, portfolio, feedback, practice assessment and final capstone project.
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:
We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.
This course is delivered by the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education. It is a unique partnership between Kingston University and St George's, University of London. This means you benefit from the experience and facilities of two complementary institutions.
Kingston University has a long-established reputation for high-quality, vocationally relevant education. St George's, University of London combines teaching and research excellence in areas directly applicable to healthcare sciences.
The combination of academics, expert practitioners, service users, carers and alumni give the Faculty a uniquely dynamic environment in which to further your studies and your career. We also have strong links with the NHS, education and healthcare providers and social services. Postgraduate research students may also contribute to the teaching of guest lectures.
We offer classic postgraduate programmes alongside research and continuing professional development (CPD) opportunities.
If you require a Tier 1-5 visa to reside in the UK (this includes a Tier 4 student visa), you will not be able to enrol on a part-time programme at the University.
Important: international students from outside of the European Economic Area (EEA) are required to pay a deposit in order to receive a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) from Kingston University. This applies to all full-time postgraduate taught masters courses.
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which 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, 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, or be required to, buy your own copy of key textbooks.
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 residences. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses.
In the majority of cases coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees.
Travel costs are not included but we do have a free bus service which links the campuses and halls of residence.
Visit our Fees and funding page to find out about the student funding options available to help you fund your postgraduate studies.
Bursaries may be available for some full-time students following the qualifying Master of Social Work (MSW) programme.
The Department of Health has a bursary scheme for students taking the Master of Social Work programme, but not all students receive bursary funding. The Department of Health requires the university to rank students for bursary funding, and we do this on the basis of the scores obtained in the written test and interviews which are part of our selection process. This is a Department of Health scheme, and may be subject to change.
For more detailed information please go to the NHS bursary website.
Kingston University is pleased to offer a 10 per cent discount on full-time and part-time postgraduate degree course tuition fees (including PGCE courses) to our alumni. Visit our Alumni discount page to find out more.
If you are an international student, find out more about scholarships and bursaries.
If you are starting a course at Kingston, you will be able to apply for a loan of up to £10,000 to study for a postgraduate masters degree.
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.
The skills lab is divided into several sections including:
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.
On completing the course you will be eligible to apply to the Social Work England to register as a social worker. Employment opportunities are available in:
Good career development opportunities and post-qualifying training and awards are now an established part of the social work profession.
This course is designed to give suitable graduates a professional qualification in social work. On successful completion, you gain a Master of Social Work (MSW), and you will be able to apply to join Social Work England's register of social workers.
There are always interesting activities taking place at Kingston and exciting opportunities to take advantage of. Here are some examples of what you could be involved with if you study this course.
The Department of Social Work and Social Care is delighted to present its annual conference and evening seminar series.
We host an annual social work research conference, which:
We also run a series of seminars, running either every month or every other month at the Kingston Hill campus. They include a distinguished keynote speaker and a presentation. The seminars are free and open to:
For more information and booking, contact Rick Hood via Rick.Hood@sgul.kingston.ac.uk.
Key stakeholders representing agencies, service users and carers support the Social Work MSW. This helps to ensure your studies are up to date and relevant to the current and future needs of the workplace. You will benefit from:
Please note that placements are arranged with our partner agencies, which are all geographically close to the University. The maximum travelling time to placements will normally not exceed two hours each way from the University.
Many of our staff in the Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education are research active, often in partnership with NHS Trusts. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.
Social work research activity focuses around several key areas:
We conduct much of our social care research and consultancy either in partnership with or on behalf of the social service, voluntary sector and probation agencies.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.
Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from the pandemic.
Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.
In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.
In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.
We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.
We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.
If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.
Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available to you.
The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.
In the event that a further lockdown is enforced in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.
Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.
‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.
Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.
In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.
Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.
No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.
Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.
As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.
If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.
The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.
There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.
There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2021/22.
We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.
Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.
In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments made before students are sent on a placement.
Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.
No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct result of the pandemic.
Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.
The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.
International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.