Postgraduate study

Social Work, Master of MSW

Awards: MSW

Study modes: Full-time

Accreditation

Placements/internships

Programme website: Social Work, Master of

Our Master of Social Work (MSW) programme is a professional postgraduate qualification for those looking to practise as qualified social workers.

The MSW qualification is recognised by the Scottish Social Services Council and The Health and Care Professions Council, and those who successfully complete the programme are eligible for registration as a social worker.

You’ll gain a fundamental understanding of the theory and practice that underpins all work in the field, splitting your time between theoretical learning on campus and practical work in various learning environments.

The programme is approved by the Scottish Social Services Council, complies with the Scottish Requirements for Social Work Training and enables you to meet the Standards in Social Work Education and the Key Capabilities in Child Care and Protection. It is also recognised as a professional qualification in social work across the world, including the United States and Canada.

Accreditation

Successful completion of our MSW programme qualifies you to practise as a social worker.

You will study over two years, with periods of practice learning in both years. You will complete six courses in your first year and three in your second year, at the end of which you will present your dissertation.

First year courses:

  • Social Work in Communities
  • Social Work with Individuals and Families
  • Understanding Care and Control in Social Work
  • Working with Self and Others 1: Skills, Theories & Methods
  • Doing Social Work Research
  • Professional Social Work Practice 1

Second year courses:

  • Working with Risk, Trust and Complexity in Social Work
  • Professional Social Work Practice 2
  • Dissertation

You have periods of practice learning in both first year and second year.

Many of our MSW graduates go on to work across a range of diverse settings in social work practice, training, research, government and in the public, private and voluntary sectors.

You will also develop a range of highly transferable skills, such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, is preferred. Applicants holding or predicted less than a 2:1 degree (or equivalent) with additional qualifications and/or substantial relevant experience may also be considered.

You must be able to demonstrate knowledge and experience of social work and a sound motivation to train as a social worker through a period of paid or voluntary work in a social care/social work settings or any settings that allowed you to work with people in need. You will normally have at least six months of work experience at the time of applying.

We may also consider your application if you have other voluntary or work experience and can demonstrate an ability to transfer your learning and experience, and to manage complex relationships in personal or work contexts. You must be able to demonstrate this in your personal statement.

Protecting Vulnerable Groups

All successful applicants will be required to join Disclosure Scotland's Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) Scheme before starting the programme. In addition, all applicants who don't live in the UK, or who have spent more than a year abroad, will need to provide equivalent verification from the relevant national authority.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)

  • Trinity ISE: ISE III (with a pass in all four components)

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 08/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 08/05/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Undergraduate Admissions Office
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU

Further information

  • Undergraduate Admissions Office
  • 57 George Square
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9JU