Key Information


2 years

Typical Offer

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Brayford Pool

Academic Year

Course Overview

Social work provides an opportunity to ensure fair and just treatment for those who might not be able to do so for themselves and can be a hugely rewarding career for anyone with an interest in safeguarding the human rights of others.

This programme is designed to provide the professional knowledge and skills needed to qualify and practice as a registered social worker. Through an integrated learning approach, students are supported to develop as competent, confident, analytical, and reflective practitioners who can work safely and effectively in complex, challenging environments to make a difference in the lives of people and society.

Interprofessional learning is at the core of this programme, enabling students to learn, develop, and collaborate with students from other disciplines in health and social care, including Nursing, Occupational Therapy, and Physiotherapy students. Students may take advantage of the excellent research environment and opportunities available to build on links between social work practice and research to undertake their own real-world research study. The programme benefits from strong international links providing chances for focused teaching and study visits further afield.

Each year, students will have the chance to undertake practice placements, supervised and assessed by a practice educator. These allow students to apply the theory and practice of social work in varied and challenging settings with a focus on health and social care.

Why Choose Lincoln

Interprofessional learning

Accredited course

Placement opportunities

Benefit from a number of research partnerships, including The NHS, and the National Institute for Health Research Network

Opportunity to engage in exciting research projects

A focus on professional and personal development

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How You Study

This programme takes a student-centred approach to study through active participation, self-directed learning, and research, and the model of joint learning with other professionals is fully embedded within the teaching strategy. This is supported by a wide range of structured, planned, and additional teaching.

The University aims to support students in their learning and to produce independent, enquiring, and knowledgeable graduates and social work practitioners.

To support learning and accommodate a range of styles, the School's approaches to teaching and learning are diverse and include:
- Fostering interprofessional learning to collaborate with and learn alongside other health and social care students, including Occupational Therapy, Physiotherapy and Nursing students.
- The involvement of service users, carers, and practitioners to promote the application of theory, knowledge, and values into practice.
- Utilising the School's excellent simulation resources to enable skills development within a safe and supported learning environment.
- Peer-learning opportunities such as knowledge exchange presentations, on-line discussion boards, and collaborative group-based learning.
- The active use of research to inform practice is embedded within each module, offering the opportunity to incrementally support development as a research informed practitioner.
- Examining global and international perspectives on social work to further develop understanding and capacity as a professional social worker.

Placements in social work and health organisations are a key feature of this course. Over the duration of the programme, you will spend 170 days on placement, which will include 70 days on your first placement and 100 days on the second placement. Placements are generally located across partners in Lincolnshire, North Lincolnshire, and North East Lincolnshire. Students will be expected to travel across the county as necessary to attend their allocated placement. At least one of the placements will take place in a statutory setting.

Students are usually required to be at the University three days per week during teaching time, and expected to allocate one to two working days per week for independent study, research, preparation, and to complete assessed work.

Students are likely to incur additional costs for travel to practice placements on this course and are expected to hold a valid Driving Licence to enable them to drive in the UK while undertaking their practice placements (unless a disability/medical condition prevents them from doing so). For further information on driving in the UK please see:


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Assessed Practice One 2024-25SOW9064MLevel 72024-25Assessed 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'. Students are assessed by a suitably qualified Practice Educator.CoreAssessed Practice Two 2024-25SOW9065MLevel 72024-25In 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. 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 ‘End of Last Placement’ criteria. Students are assessed by a suitably qualified Practice Educator.CoreContemporary Issues in Statutory Social Work Practice 2024-25SOW9034MLevel 72024-25This 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?CoreDissertation (MSc Social Work) 2024-25SOW9037MLevel 72024-25The Dissertation provides the opportunity for you to develop the skills of independent enquiry and undertake primary practice-focused research.CoreEssential Interprofessional Practice 2024-25HEA9432MLevel 72024-25This module has been designed to provide students with the opportunity to develop essential knowledge and understanding about the structure and function of health and social care in the UK. The module will support students in making the transition to Master's level study and assist them in the development of key skills such as critical evaluation, reflection, and using evidence to underpin practice.CoreHuman Rights, Justice and Wellbeing: A Global Social Work Perspective 2024-25SOW9066MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreReadiness for Practice in Social Work 2024-25SOW9067MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreSafeguarding: Research Informed Practice 2024-25SOW9032MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreSocial Policy Issues Through the Life Course 2024-25SOW9068MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreThe Legal Context of Social Work Practice 2024-25SOW9069MLevel 72024-25This 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.CoreTheory, Assessment and Methods 2024-25SOW9028MLevel 72024-25This 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.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

Research Areas, Projects, and Topics

Students can benefit from the excellent research partnerships across the School of Health and Social Care. These include:

  • An innovative and large-scale international education and practice development project funded by the European Union.
  • A range of local and national partners to support the development of social work practice and social work education. Locally-funded evaluations of service provision and service enhancement are being developed and carried out, with the goal of enhancing practice delivery.
  • The National Health Service (NHS), the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) network, and other academic institutions linking closely with key external contexts such as Best Research for Best Health, the NIHR, and the Cooksey Review of health research funding. Additionally, collaborative research funded by the Department of Children, Schools and Families (DCSF; budget-held elsewhere) is being revised prior to a programme of national dissemination.

Additionally, there are a number of Individual research projects currently being undertaken at programme level that highlight the School’s commitment to embedding research within social work practice. These include:

  • Projects focusing on child and adolescent well-being, enabling young people to prepare for independent living when leaving care.
  • Projects centring on developing practice include exploring practitioners' expectations of the role of practice educators, along with developing a bank of resources to support practice education.
  • Emphasis on utilising a collaborative approach that draws together practitioners and researchers in co-producing research and training materials.


This programme has satisfied all the professional qualification requirements set by the professional regulator (Social Work England). Upon successful completion of the programme students will be eligible to apply to register as a qualified social work practitioner with Social Work England.

A logo which says Social work England and has a spiral behind it

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 students promptly - usually within 15 working days of the submission date.

Career Development

Postgraduate study is an investment in yourself and your future. It can help you to further or completely change your career, develop your knowledge, enhance your salary, or even prepare you to start your own business. Postgraduate students at the University of Lincoln benefit from inspirational teaching combined with high-quality facilities and learning spaces, great industry links, and unique research opportunities, all of which are designed to help you stand out from the crowd and make the most of your time with us. Graduates from the programme 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.

Why Postgraduate Study?

How to Apply

Postgraduate Application Support

Applying for a postgraduate programme at Lincoln is easy. Find out more about the application process and what you'll need to complete on our How to Apply page. Here, you'll also be able to find out more about the entry requirements we accept and how to contact us for dedicated support during the process.

How to Apply
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Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

A minimum of a 2:2 degree with relevant prior experience (including voluntary) in social care, education, or health. This programme also requires GCSE English Language at grade C or above (or equivalent).

We do not specify a minimum length of time in social work since we are most interested in how you reflect upon your experience. If you have studied outside of the UK and are unsure whether your qualification meets the above requirements, please visit our country pages for information on equivalent qualifications.

International Applicants
We welcome international applications although our places are very limited.
All international applicants require IELTS 7.0 with a minimum of 5.5 in each element for students whose first language is not English. Applicants must provide a valid IELTS certificate at the point of application.
Students who have completed a UK degree within 5 years of their proposed enrolment at the University will not be required to provide IELTS.
For information regarding other English language qualifications we accept, please visit the English Requirements page

For further advice on IELTS and the support available, please contact the International College by email at

International applicants need to obtain a recent criminal record certificate from their home country and ensure this is still valid by the date of enrolment in addition to the DBS requirements detailed below. A list of admissible certificates can be found on the UK Government website; please see:

Other requirements include:

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.

You must declare all spent and unspent criminal convictions including (but not limited to) cautions, reprimands, final warnings, bind over orders or similar and details of any minor offences, fixed penalty notices, penalty notices for disorder, ASBOs or VOOs.

Further information can be found at
If you would like further information about entry requirements or would like to discuss whether the qualifications you are currently studying are acceptable, please contact the admissions team on 01522 886097, or email

Course Fees

You will need to have funding in place for your studies before you arrive at the University. Our fees vary depending on the course, mode of study, and whether you are a UK or international student. You can view the breakdown of fees for this programme below.

Course Fees

The University offers a range of merit-based, subject-specific, and country-focused scholarships for UK and international students. To help support students from outside of the UK, we offer a number of international scholarships which range from £1,000 up to the value of 50 per cent of tuition fees. For full details and information about eligibility, visit our scholarships and bursaries pages.

Course -Specific Funding and 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:

Eligible students may be able to apply for an NHS Student Bursary for Practice Placement Expenses. Please see:

Course -Specific Additional 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.

As students will be expected to travel across the county as necessary to attend their allocated placement, they are likely to incur additional costs for travel to practice placements on this course and are expected to hold a valid driving licence to enable them to drive in the UK while undertaking their practice placements (unless a disability/medical condition prevents them from doing so).

For further information on driving in the UK please see:

Funding Your Study

Postgraduate Funding Options

Find out more about the optional available to support your postgraduate study, from Master's Loans to scholarship opportunities. You can also find out more about how to pay your fees and access support from our helpful advisors.

Explore Funding Options
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Academic Contact 

If you have any questions about this course then you can speak to the Programme Leader. 

Dave Callow


Postgraduate Events

To get a real feel for what it is like to study at the University of Lincoln, we hold a number of dedicated postgraduate events and activities throughout the year for you to take part in.

Upcoming Postgraduate Events
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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.