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MSW Social Work


Location • Collegiate Campus
Subject area • Social work

Subject to re-approval This course has just been updated and is due to be re–approved by the University to ensure it continues to meet the highest academic standards.

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You must have some experience of delivering care in a professional or voluntary capacity and a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution.

You must normally

• hold at least a first degree of 2.2 or above in a relevant subject, which includes psychology, sociology, social policy and public administration


• hold a professional qualification at degree level in areas such as teaching, nursing, occupational therapy, youth work or allied health/education professions

You also need to complete a personal statement to support your application. You do not need to confirm your research interests at this stage.

Professional requirements
You must meet the requirements for social work training, where you must
• have the appropriate personal and intellectual qualities to be a social worker
• mathematics and English at grade C or an equivalent qualification, such as Key Skills level 2 in English and Application of Number
• be able to make use of written materials and communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English. Non-native English speakers need to be proficient in English, typically shown by an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with no single element less than 6.0 and 6.5 in the spoken element.

If your English language skill is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider a Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve an equivalent English score.

If you do not have a suitable qualification in mathematics, Learn Direct offer on-line tests and support packages to assist with gaining a level 2 qualification in numeracy.

The interview
If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to an interview, and you should bring a passport or photo driving license with you. You can bring other forms of photo ID for the interview, but if you do, you will still need to present valid identity documents required by the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) at your pre-course day.

Course enrolment – professional requirements
Before enrolling, you must fully declare during the admissions process any
• unspent convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on convictions that must be declared see the Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) website.
• disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or educational establishments
• involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations

You also need to complete
• a DBS Enhanced Disclosure, and provide us with a copy of your DBS Enhanced Disclosure Certificate if requested. Enrolment also depends on the DBS check being deemed suitable for professional training.
• occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course and an approved programme of immunisation, as recommended by the Department of Health. Health screening and immunisation are provided by the University.
• a pre-course day

If you have a criminal record, it does not necessarily prevent you from taking this course. All applicants must be clear of any convictions or statutory supervision linked to a sentence of the court for two years by August 31 on the year of enrolment. Download our procedure for applicants with criminal convictions for more information.

If you are an overseas student, you must have been granted permanent leave to remain in the UK. If you have spent time abroad, you must provide a certificate of conduct, which must cover the years not spent in the UK. This is necessary when you apply for the enhanced disclosure required to work in the health and social care sector.

Students on this course are not normally tested for immunity and infection. However, some high risk placements may require you to complete immunisation as specified by the placement provider.

If you fail to comply with any of these requirements your offer could be withdrawn.

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements – from when you apply to the end of your course – you must tell the Professional Issues Team immediately by calling 0114 225 3995 or 0114 225 5786.

Work experience
You must demonstrate in your application, and at interview, an understanding of some of the challenges facing you as a social worker. This may include issues in social care or other areas including • education • health • criminal justice • childcare • community or youth work. You also need to demonstrate a commitment to valuing the culture and diversity of others.

You must have at least six months recent experience of working with service users and carers. This can be paid or voluntary work and we ask you to bring a reference to your interview.

If you have relevant life experience as a service user or carer this can be used to support your application. You should discuss this reflectively as part of your application form. Personal experience alone would not be sufficient for entry to the programme.

Accredited prior learning
Previous study or work experience can sometimes count towards your qualification. Successfully completing all or part of a higher education course may allow you on to the second or third year of a course. A smaller amount of credit, at higher education level, may count towards your qualification. We call this accreditation of prior credited learning.

We may also consider relevant work experience, provided it is at an appropriate level for your course. This is called accreditation of prior experiential learning.

Disability support
We strongly recommend that you tell us about any long term health conditions, learning difficulty or disability you may have. This is so we can assess whether we can deliver the course in such a way that you can meet the HCPC standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement.

The Disability Disclosure booklet provides information for students on health and social care courses and will help you understand the importance of disclosing your disability at the earliest possible stage. This is so you can be assessed for the support you may require to succeed on the course. You can contact our disability co-ordinator for social work and social care on 0114 225 5769 to discuss any queries you may have or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom).

Open day
As social work can involve psychologically and emotionally taxing work, we recommend that you come along to a University open day to learn more about the general expectations of the course.

You apply directly to UCAS for this course using the UCAS code L508.



Full-time – 26 months
Taught modules take place, on average, two days a week.

You must be available for and complete one day of self-directed learning for each taught University study day you attend.

Periods of practice learning require you to attend for five days week.

Starts January (this is subject to change depending on the course revalidation)

How to apply

You apply directly to UCAS using the UCAS code L508.

Fees – home and EU students

2014/15 academic year

Full-time – typically £9,000 a year
Part-time – typically £4,500 a year

Course fees apply to courses starting in the academic year given and may be subject to annual inflationary increase.

For further information on fees and funding see

Fees – international students

2014/15 academic year

Typically £12,150 per year

2015/16 academic year

Typically £12,400 per year

Course fees apply to courses starting in the academic year given and may be subject to annual inflationary increase.

For further information on fees and funding see


Includes • essays • examinations • practice-learning portfolios • group presentations • report writing.

You put together a number of portfolios as evidence of your personal and professional development. You can use them to demonstrate your specialist ability when you go on to post-qualifying study.

We involve service users and carers in teaching and assessment, including service user-led workshops.

Course enquiries

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Professional Recognition

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

After successfully completing the course you are eligible to apply to register with them to practise as a social worker.

Health and Care Professions Council

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