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MSc Social Work

2 years School of Health and Social Care Lincoln Campus [L] Validated

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Applications closed for 2017 entry

Applications for MSc Social Work have now closed for 2017 entry.


Our MSc Social Work aims to provide high-quality Social Work education with an international perspective. It aims to develop reflective and competent social work practitioners who can practise safely, effectively and confidently in complex environments. The School of Health and Social Care has been validated by The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC) to deliver the MSc Social Work as a postgraduate professional award in Social Care.

Students will have the opportunity to undertake two supervised and assessed practice placements in social work or social care settings during their studies. These placements are designed to provide students with the chance to develop their professional knowledge, theories, values and practical skills. Please see the Features tab for more details on the potential costs associated with completing these placements.

This programme benefits from strong international links and may provide opportunities for international focused teaching and study.


This programme has satisfied all the professional qualification requirements set by the professional regulator (The HCPC). Upon successful completion of the programme students will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social work practitioner with The Health and Care Professionals Council (HCPC).

How You Study

The learning and teaching strategy adopted within the MSc Social Work derives from the University’s aim to produce independent, enquiring and knowledgeable graduates. We want to support you to enjoy learning and be enterprising, employable, self-aware and make a positive contribution to society.

Contact Hours and Independent Study

Due to the nature of this programme, contact hours will vary over the duration of the course depending on the individual module options chosen and the stage of study. Students are usually required to attend teaching sessions 3 to 4 days per week during teaching time. While completing the practice placement element, students are required to complete a full-time working week. The practice placement element comprises a total of 170 full days.

As a full time postgraduate programme, students are expected to allocate 1-2 working days per week for independent study, preparation and the production of assessed work. The composition and delivery for the course breaks down differently for each module and may include lectures, seminars, workshops, independent study, practicals, work placements, research and one-to-one learning.

How You Are Assessed

Assessment methods on this programme include written submissions, case studies, presentations, portfolios, a Readiness for Practice assessment interview, practice based assessment, in class tests and a dissertation,

The final dissertation involves primary research with practitioners and or service users to investigate key social issues or to evaluate existing services. Recent successful dissertation topics have included:

  • An evaluation of a regional befriending scheme for older people
  • The role of social workers in challenging child poverty
  • The experiences of kinship carers
  • The impact of rurality in delivering social work to young people with disabilities
  • Placing sibling groups for adoption.

Assessment Feedback

The University of Lincoln's policy on assessment feedback aims to ensure that academics will return in-course assessments to you promptly – usually within 15 working days after the submission date.

How To Apply

Applications for this programme should be made through UCAS.

Apply here:

Interviews & Applicant Days

Postgraduate applicant days provide an excellent opportunity for potential applicants to meet teaching staff, discuss the MSc programme and find out more about the social work profession.

Shortlisted candidates are invited to an assessment day – please see the FAQ file about the MSc Social Work on the right of this page for more information.

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree with relevant prior experience (including voluntary) in social care, education or health. This programme also requires a minimum of three GCSEs at grade C or above including English Language and Maths (or equivalent). These GCSEs must be obtained prior to submitting a UCAS application.

We do not specify a minimum length of time in social work since we are most interested in how you reflect upon your experience.

International Students will require English Language at IELTS 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in each element, or equivalent.

Shortlisted applicants will also have to pass screening processes in terms of professional suitability: DBS criminal record checks; health declaration; professional references. The University will pay for DBS checks.

It is important that you declare health issues or previous involvement with the criminal justice system to admissions staff so that an official decision about your suitability to practise can be made. These issues do not automatically prevent entry and will be treated sensitively and in complete confidentiality.

Key Contacts

Adrian Croft
01522 83 7034

+44 (0)1522 886644

Master's Level

Assessed Practice One (Core)

Assessed Practice One consists of students undertaking 70 days of assessed learning in an audited and approved practice learning setting. The practice placement is designed to provide a range of learning opportunities that are approved as meeting the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) 'End of First Placement Level Capabilities', the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students, the HCPC Standards of Education and Training and are informed by the HCPC Standards of Proficiency – Social workers in England. Students are assessed by a suitably qualified Practice Educator.

Assessed Practice Two (Core)

In Assessed Practice Two, students are required to complete a 100 day assessed placement in a practice agency that meets the threshold requirements expected by the professional regulator. The placement can offer students a contrasting learning experience from their first placement (Assessed Practice One) in terms of different settings, service user groups, ages or methods.

The practice placement provides a range of learning opportunities that are approved as meeting the Professional Capabilities Framework Qualifying Social Worker Level Capabilities (including offering a range of appropriate statutory interventions), the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) Guidance on Conduct and Ethics for Students, the HCPC Standards of Education and Training and the HCPC Standards of Proficiency – Social workers in England. Students are assessed by a suitably qualified Practice Educator.

Contemporary Issues in Statutory Social Work Practice (Core)

This module aims to encourage a critical analysis of contemporary, regulated professional social work within the United Kingdom as a political construct, commissioned to undertake a particular and ever narrowing range of roles, tasks, and duties. Students can engage in a critical evaluation of such political and policy dynamics, with a particular focus on statutory interventions and their legal basis, as well as the mechanisms and implications of how such services are commissioned and funded.

The module looks to encourage students to ask deeper critical questions about society, such as who decides what services are provided and how are these decisions made. How does the structure of society create vulnerable people, and can this ever change?

Dissertation (MSc Social Work) (Core)

The Dissertation provides the opportunity for you to develop the skills of independent enquiry and undertake primary practice-focused research.

Human Rights, Justice and Wellbeing: A Global Social Work Perspective (Core)

This module aims to examine contemporary, international, and European perspectives on welfare, social work and comparative social policy. Students have the chance to examine and analyse a range of social issues and their impact on social work practice. Drawing on a range of theoretical models and practice examples, students can explore the key themes of human rights, social justice, citizenship, economic and social well-being. The focus will be on supporting students to understand the principles and practice of complex working within and across geographical boundaries; to highlight working with cultural diversity and to examine the implications for social work practice.

Inter-professional Working (Core)

This module is designed to develop students’ awareness of contemporary approaches to inter-professional working across social work and a range of health and social care organisations. It seeks to support students in understanding and respecting their own role and responsibilities and those of other professionals in promoting inter-professional working.

A critical examination of how service users and carers can be engaged through inter-professional working arrangements will be an essential focus of this module. This module will provide students with the opportunity to critically examine and engage with the knowledge, legislation, policy, values and practice skills that define and support social work practice within and across organisations.

Readiness for Practice in Social Work (Core)

This module aims to introduce students to core social work processes and skills in order to prepare them for direct practice with service users, carers and others. In addition this module will look to determine, as part of the assessment, whether each student is ready for direct practice with service users.

The module will focus on supporting students to develop an understanding of the role and responsibilities of social workers in contemporary society, and the ethical and value base that are the foundations of professional practice. Students can engage in learning practical activities which aim to enable them to engage successfully, purposefully and in a partnership with service users. Students are expected to develop an understanding of practice processes, an understanding and expectation of professional conduct, the standards of practice and the values required for professional social work and their practice placement experience.

Safeguarding: Research Informed Practice (Core)

This module provides students with the opportunity to develop the knowledge and skills to identify and critically evaluate knowledge, evidence and research for and in social work practice. Students can develop an informed understanding of research, with a particular focus on the causations of vulnerability and the efficacy of various interventions and services.

The module also aims to equip students with the theoretical, generic and specialist methods and skills to carry out research with a focus on preparing them to undertake a guided, independent, evaluative, qualitative research study based on primary data collection and relevant to social work and social work practice.

Social Policy Issues Through the Life Course (Core)

This module explores the complexity of social policy issues relevant to contemporary social work practice. Students have the opportunity to develop an understanding of how to critically analyse social issues and policy responses by drawing on the theoretical and applied perspectives of life course development. A key aim of the module is developing an understanding how service user experiences of social issues and relevant policies vary over the life course. The constructed, contested and ever-changing nature of social issues, including debates over the aims and methods of policy and practice responses, will also be analysed and debated.

The Legal Context of Social Work Practice (Core)

This module aims to identify current legislative provision and assessment frameworks and consider their application in contemporary, regulated professional social work practice in England. This is designed to enable students to identify and understand the range of legal powers and duties relevant to the social work practice, including the relationship between agency procedures, legal duties and responsibilities. It will consider the legal provisions that govern and confers specific duties and responsibilities toward a variety of service user groups, including how this helps to ensure that entitlements are met and rights are promoted.

Theory, Assessment and Methods (Core)

This year long modules is designed to introduce students to theory, assessment and methods relevant to social work practice. Students are enabled to critically explore the range of theories and approaches that social workers use in their practice with service users, and their application to assessment and methods in and for social work practice.


As part of the programme students are expected to undertake two supervised and assessed placements in relevant social work or social care settings. This provides the opportunity to apply and develop students' professional knowledge, theories, values and skills in practice. Placements are broken down into one placement in the first year of 70 days and one placement in the second year of 100 days.

Students are matched to placements by a dedicated practice team and are supported by practice educators. These placements are usually in the Lincolnshire area.

Please note that students are expected to cover the cost of their own transport, accommodation and general living expenses while completing their practice placements.

Study Trips

Students on this programme may have the opportunity to take part in optional study trips or learning activities. Please note that students who choose to take part in these trips are expected to cover any additional costs incurred.

Career and Personal Development

Qualified social workers can be in demand in a broad range of settings. Our graduates have gone on to work in a broad range of social work settings including Children’s Services, Adults Services, Mental Health Trusts, and in a range of independent and voluntary sector organisations.

Social work is a profession regulated by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Successful completion of this MSc Social Work programme provides eligibility to apply for HCPC registration. Further information is available at

Other Costs

For each course you may find that there are additional costs. These may be with regard to the specific clothing, materials or equipment required.

With regards to text books, the University provides students who enrol with a comprehensive reading list and you will find that our extensive library holds either material or virtual versions of the core texts that you are required to read. However, you may prefer to purchase some of these for yourself and you will be responsible for this cost.

Programme Specific Funding & Bursaries

All candidates on the MSc programme who meet basic UK residency criteria will be able to apply for a Social Work Bursary to support their studies. The bursary provides a basic grant as well as means-tested allowances for a range of needs. For full details and information about eligibility, please visit:

Tuition Fees


   2017/18 Entry 2018/19 Entry
Home/EU £6,495 per year £6,820 per year
(including Alumni Scholarship reduction)
£4,547 per year £5,115 per year

(including Non-Alumni Scholarship 20% reduction)

£5,196 per year  N/A
International £12,154 per year £13,211 per year


For further information and for details about funding your study, scholarships and bursaries, please see our Postgraduate Fees & Funding pages [].

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.