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Mental Health

Faculty of Health Sciences

MA in Social Work

Postgraduate - Taught MA

Open for admission in 2023/24

Start in September

Qualification Full time
MA 2 years

About the course

Social work is a challenging, rewarding and varied career with opportunities to change people’s lives by working with them when they most need support.

Taught by experts with real-world practice experience, you’ll gain insight into issues like homelessness, substance abuse, disability and mental health as well as into policies relating to social welfare and the safeguarding of adults and children.

  • Many UK students receive support from the NHS Social Work Bursary Scheme which can help significantly with study and living costs.
  • This programme is accredited by Social Work England which means you can apply to register as a qualified social worker on graduation.
  • Our strong relationships with a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies mean that we can provide you with high-quality placements.
  • We are one of the founding members of the Humber Social Work Teaching Partnership, giving you access to the biggest employer of social work practitioners in the area.

Social workers operate within the context of relationships to support individuals, groups and communities to realise their potential. You’ll be an advisor, counsellor and listener, engaging with service users and their families, whilst liaising closely with organisations such as the police, NHS, schools, probation and the voluntary sector.

What you'll study

You'll study thought provoking and challenging core modules throughout year one which will provide a strong foundation to progress onto your first placement. You'll also complete 30 skills days over the duration of the programme as required by Social Work England.


Throughout your study, you will undertake two placements of 70 and 100 days in duration. We have a wide range of statutory and voluntary placements available throughout the Humber region, which provide stimulating and supportive opportunities to integrate theory and practice.

Year 1

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Readiness for Practice

    This innovative module is co-delivered by practitioners and people with lived experience in order to prepare you for social work practice. You will be supported to get ready for direct practice emotionally, practically and analytically with an emphasis on developing the requisite knowledge and skills for safe, effective and compassionate practice. Students will be expected to develop an understanding of professional behaviour and standards as part of the module and will undertake a panel interview to establish if they are ready to progress to direct practice.

  • Child and Family Social Work

    You will learn about the entire spectrum of social work with children, young people, birth parents and alternative families from family support to child protection. You will also explore young offenders; looked after children and care leavers; fostering and adoptive families.

  • Human Development Across the Lifespan

    Study child, adolescent and adult development, focusing on attachment, separation and loss. With a strong theoretical underpinning, this is a thought-provoking and interesting module helping you understand the developmental lifespan in context of social work practice.

  • Social Work with Adults

    This exciting module focuses specifically on social work with adults in the community and explores social care for disabled people and people with long term health needs, alongside their family and carers. We will also introduce you to adult protection including the harm and abuse of adults.

  • Social, Political and Organisational Context for Social Work

    You will be introduced to the social work profession and the major disciplinary, theoretical and conceptual frameworks which underpin social work. It will provide an understanding of the landscape of social work practice and social work service users through social, political and organisational discourses, perspectives and structures.

  • Critical Approaches to Mental Health

    ​You will study the social, political and economic contexts within which contemporary mental health and distress is situated. You'll also examine the legislative framework which governs the understanding and management of mental health problems. 

  • Specialisms in Practice

    ​Develop specialist knowledge in social work practice, exploring themes of substance use, domestic abuse and loss. Utilising contemporary research and practitioner input, this is an innovative module ensuring you are equipped and ready for practice.​

  • First Placement

    Taken with a social work agency or organisation, the first 70-day placement is exciting and challenging. This experience will help you develop and refine your knowledge and skills.

Year 2

All modules are subject to availability and this list may change at any time.

  • Social Work Research and Dissertation

    This module provides an opportunity for you to select a topic of your own choice, carry out a library-based research review and examine the research methods, ethical procedures and dilemmas involved in social work research.

  • Last Placement

    You will undertake a 100 day Practice Placement, which will be in a contrasting setting to your first placement and which will include some statutory work. There are also specialist opportunities such as palliative social work. You are assessed with the same Practice Capability Framework, but need to reach the Domains at a higher level for last placement.

Where you'll study

Blended between Hull Campus and work placements. 

The location below may not be the exact location of all modules on your timetable. The buildings you'll be taught in can vary each year and depend on the modules you study.

Click to view on Google Maps
Hull Campus

Click to view directions on Google Maps

Fees and funding

  • Home£6,100/year

Many UK students receive support from the NHS Social Work Bursary Scheme.

UK students can take out a Master’s Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs (if they do not receive a bursary – students cannot receive both). For 2022 entry, they provide up to £11,836 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Find out more about Postgraduate Loans.

  • International£10,000/year

International applicants may need to pay a tuition fee deposit before the start of the course. Visit our tuition fee deposit page for more information.

Please see the terms and conditions for International fees 2022/23

Graduate Studentship

The University of Hull is pleased to offer graduates progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate taught study a £1,000 studentship towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Find out if you’re eligible by visiting the University of Hull Graduate Studentship page.

International Scholarships and Bursaries

For a list of all scholarships and bursaries for international students, please visit the International Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships to help you with your studies.

For more information, please visit the Scholarships and Bursaries page.

Work with leading experts and benefit from real-world experience to prepare for a career as a confident and compassionate professional.

Our strong relationships with a wide range of statutory and voluntary agencies mean that we can provide you with high-quality placements.

MA Social Work graduates are eligible to apply to register with Social Work England as qualified social workers.

Many UK students receive support from the NHS Social Work Bursary Scheme.

UK students who aren’t able to access the NHS Social Work Bursary can take out a Master’s Loan to help with tuition fees and living costs. They provide up to £11,222 for full-time and part-time taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Find out more about Postgraduate Loans.

Entry requirements

A first or a 2:1 degree or international equivalent in any subject. Applicants with a 2:2 may be considered in certain circumstances. In addition, you must have at least GCSE grade C in English Language and Mathematics (or equivalent, such as Functional Skills Level 2 English or Functional Skills Level 2 Maths).

Experience working in a helping capacity would be an advantage. 

For guidance on which alternative qualifications are acceptable please contact

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to a Selection Day and will complete a number of assessments as part of our selection process including an interview and written test.

We offer places to applicants whose qualifications, experience, references and quality of application (including the personal statement) persuade us of their excellence.

We are required by our regulatory body to check that applicants are suitable to undertake social work training. All students who are invited to a Selection Day must complete a confidential self-declaration form outlining any and all previous convictions and cautions (including those 'spent') and any medical or health conditions that may affect their ability to undertake academic or social work practice tasks.

In order to ensure our students have a rich learning and student experience, most of our programmes have a mix of domestic and international students. We reserve the right to close applications early to either group, if application volumes suggest that this blend cannot be achieved. In addition, existing undergraduate students at the University of Hull have a guaranteed ‘Fast Track’ route to any postgraduate programme, subject to meeting the entry criteria (excluding Social Work).

International students

Application deadlines
  • ATAS programmes - 29 April 2022
  • All other programmes - 15 August 2022

Your deposit should be paid by 25 August, you should accept any offer by 29 August and your CAS must be issued by 5 September.

Language requirements

If you require a student visa to study or if your first language is not English you must provide acceptable evidence of your English language proficiency level.

This course requires academic IELTS 7.5 overall with 7.0 in each skill. See other English language proficiency qualifications accepted by this University.

If your English currently does not reach the University's required standard for this programme, you may be interested in one of our English language courses.

Visit your country page to find out more about our entry requirements.

Future prospects

As well as social worker, you could pursue a range of other careers, such as mental health practitioner, drug practitioner, community worker, welfare rights advisor, youth justice officer and housing officer. 

Some graduates choose to embark upon postgraduate study to enhance their skills in therapeutic practice or research, and some return to the University of Hull to complete doctorates in social work.