MSW Social Work

Year of Entry 2024/25
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Social Work

Full-time Social work

Create positive change and impact in the lives of vulnerable children, young people, adults and communities, promoting ethically sound professional judgements as a social worker.

Everything you need to know...

  • Pound sign

    What is the fee?

    Home: £20,620 for the course
    International/EU: £34,410 for the course

  • Time

    How long will I study?

    2 Years

  • Location

    Where will I study?

    Collegiate Campus

  • Checkmark

    What is the UCAS code?


  • Date

    When do I start?

    March 2025

Course summary

  • Study contemporary knowledge, legal responsibilities and duties of social workers.
  • Apply ethically sound professional judgements to social work practice situations.
  • Undertake practice placements in a range of social work areas and settings which meet Social Work England (SWE) standards and guidance.
  • Develop problem-solving and shared-decision-making skills to address complex social work practice issues – required for your registration as a social worker.

Over two years you’ll expand your knowledge and practice skills, integrating legal frameworks which impact upon individuals and communities within local and global social work interventions. Through direct practice you’ll develop social work expertise to analyse and interpret research, evidence and statute effectively – presenting an appropriate course of action and recommendations in an anti-oppressive, rights-based manner in the multi-cultural context of the UK. 

Accredited by
  • Social Work England

This course was approved by the previous social work regulator, the Health and Care Professions Council. From 2 December 2019, responsibility for the approval of courses transferred to Social Work England. This course remains approved by Social Work England. This means that people qualifying from this course can apply to become a registered social worker.

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How you learn

Our courses are designed around a set of key principles based on engaging you with the world, collaborating with others, challenging you to think in new ways, and providing you with a supportive environment in which you can thrive. We take a global approach to social work – both individually and with student project groups – encouraging collaboration, professional curiosity, problem-solving skills and critical reflection.
You’ll explore case studies and real-world examples with practitioners and people with lived experience – intellectually challenging social work problems at national and global levels. You’ll develop evidence-based solutions, portfolios of evidence and transferable employability skills – preparing you to successfully register as a professional who makes ethically sound assessments and research-informed decisions.
You learn through:

  • Lectures and seminars
  • Specialist lectures from social work practice, carers and experts
  • Interactive workshops
  • Learning through reflection on practice
  • Professional portfolio
  • Presentations
  • Use of digital technologies
  • Directed learning
  • Independent learning

Course topics

On this course you’ll integrate the underpinning knowledge base of social work practice, contemporary policy and legal frameworks which affect individuals and communities. You’ll learn to exercise initiative to address global social work practice issues, preparing you to register as a social worker.

You’ll utilise practice skills required in a contemporary employment setting within professional social work standards/guidance from Social Work England (SWE), and codes of ethics from the British Association of Social Work (BASW). These include planning and implementing tasks, adaptability, autonomy, leadership and reflective practice.

During your final year you’ll undertake a research project in a field of social work practice – with the potential to disseminate your research project further afield and within practice partnership forums.

Course support

You’ll be supported in your learning journey towards highly skilled, graduate-level employment through a number of key areas:

  • Industry-specific employability activities such as live projects, learning in simulated environments and networking opportunities
  • Individual and group course support from academic advisers, a research supervisor and colleagues
  • Placement support from a practice educator (a qualified social worker) and an onsite work-based supervisor and placement tutor
  • Reinforcement and enhancement of topics, writing and study skills covered in prior study
  • Activities to build transferable and employability skills, reflecting on your own experiences and learning
Graduate view
Katie Bell

‘Being able to learn on the job and go on placement is a great opportunity to meet different people from the profession, and develop a deeper understanding which you don’t get from a textbook.’

Katie Bell, MSW Social Work

Course leaders and tutors

Chrissie Edmonds
Chrissie Edmonds
Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Chrissie Edmonds currently occupies a range of roles across the department, including Module Leader for the BASW and MSW, Placement Tutor for students whilst on prac … Read more

Applied learning


Practice-based learning is a core element of this course. We work in partnership with five statutory sector, local authority social work providers, three NHS Foundation Trusts, and third sector organisations. It’s through working in partnership with these provider organisations that we’re able to allocate your placements. While our dedicated placement team manages the placement finding process, academic staff are key in supporting you in your placement application.

Practice learning is supported in a number of ways:

  • Allocation of a suitably qualified Practice Educator (PE)
  • Where the PE is based offsite, a trained work-based supervisor is also allocated.
  • Allocation of a named member of academic staff to act as placement tutor
  • Learning agreement processes that check learning expectations including your supervision, provision of work opportunities, building of evidence against the practice standards of the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) (BASW, 2018) and explaining key aspects of the procedures
  • Midpoint review meeting conducted by the placement tutor
  • Concerns meeting where indicated

Handbooks for practice learning and regulations, plus supporting information

There are two placement modules which are assessed in a different way to other modules. To meet the regulations of the Professional Capabilities Framework (BASW 2018), your practice capability and evidence must be passed by your practice educator in these two placements. You’ll be assessed through direct observations, supervision discussions, reflective journal submissions, feedback from people with lived experience and colleagues, and your own written work.

Networking opportunities

You’ll have extra-curricular career-focused activities from job fairs to employer events, volunteering and leadership awards, and training to assist with professional development. As a department we celebrate international social work with a global audience, so you’ll be able to engage in a range of online international activities and events.

Our student Social Work Society, our Global Majority Student Group and the Diverse Voices Conference are opportunities for you to come together and share experiences with other students and academic staff. From the point of student recruitment to assessment, our colleagues with lived experience and employer partners enhance your student experience and create real links to practice. You’ll have many opportunities to learn with and from students across the college, representing a range of health and social care professional groupings.

Field trips

A range of experiences are built into the course to develop your skills in connecting theoretical knowledge to real-world applications. As a department we value the importance of learning from diverse experiences, broadening your professional understanding and becoming a culturally competent social worker. Through the Turing Grant Scheme, we have a range of active partnerships across Africa, Europe and India, offering volunteering visits to community development or refugee agencies.

Future careers

Social work is an in-demand profession with a protected title. Our MSW is a professionally approved course which prepares you to become a newly qualified social worker. We have an excellent record of graduate employment – there are many aspects of employability skills designed into the modules and practice learning.

Previous graduates of this course have gone to work in:

  • Local authority children and families social work teams
  • Local authority adult social work teams
  • Safeguarding roles
  • Mental health low/medium secure units
  • Community mental health teams
  • Third sector organisations, like NSPCC, Womens Aid, Fostering Sector agencies

The course considers the Knowledge and Skills Statements for both adults and children's workforces. This provides key knowledge in preparation for your Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE).

Where will I study?

You study at Collegiate Campus through a structured mix of lectures, seminars and practical sessions as well as access to digital and online resources to support your learning.

Collegiate campus

Collegiate Campus can be found just off Ecclesall Road, a bustling student district.

Collegiate Campus map | Campus facilities 

Collegiate Campus map

Collegiate Crescent
S10 2BP

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Students outside Collegiate Library
Collegiate library

Collegiate Library can be found just off Ecclesall Road. It's open 24 hours a day, every day.

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Equipment and facilities

On this course you’re based at our Collegiate Crescent campus, which includes:

  • Our £13 million purpose-built Robert Winston Building
  • Specialist facilities, including a courtroom and simulated spaces
  • A 24-hour library and learning centre
  • Electronic tools and platforms for academic and professional work
  • Employment-based databases and client record system
Learn more about your department

Health and Social Care Facilities Tour

Learn what it's like to study health and social care at our Collegiate Campus from our adult nursing student Alex.

Entry requirements

All students

Normally five GCSEs at grade C or above, including English language or literature or equivalent*, plus

• an honours degree recognised in the UK at 2.2 or above in any subject, together with relevant personal or professional experience of social care

You may also be able to claim credit points which can reduce the amount of time it takes to complete your qualification at Sheffield Hallam. Find out more

GCSE English equivalents are

equivalency test from

International and European Union entry qualifications

If you are an international or EU student, please visit our international qualifications web page to see the country specific academic qualifications we accept.


If English is not your first language you will need an IELTS score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in all skills, or a recognised equivalent. If your level of English language is currently below IELTS 7.0 we recommend you consider an appropriate Sheffield Hallam University Pre-sessional English course which will enable you to achieve the required level of English. Please note that the Health & Care Professions Council (HCPC) require IELTS 7.0 with no element below 6.5 for registration.

Helping your application succeed


Experience of interacting with members of the public from a range of backgrounds in different settings is essential when applying to a health or social care course. This is so you will have an understanding of the diversity of the population who access health and social care.  It is important to be able to understand and explain how your experiences relate to the activities and qualities which are required for the profession at your interview.


You must provide a reference from a current or recent employer or educational institution with your UCAS application.


If you are shortlisted, we will invite you to an online interview. To confirm your identity on the day please bring a valid form of photo ID with you, preferably a passport or photo driving licence.

View our interview guidance to ensure you understand the interviews process and how you can prepare for this.   

Course enrolment - professional requirements

Before enrolling you must fully declare the following information on the pre-admission declaration forms provided during the admissions process:

  • unfiltered criminal convictions, cautions, reprimands or warnings. For further information on unfiltered offences please see the Disclosure and Barring Service website.
  • involvement in disciplinary proceedings during paid or voluntary employment or education establishments
  • involvement with safeguarding proceedings, social services or related organisations
  • enrolment on a health or social work professional course at another University

In addition

Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service Criminal Record Check

  • you will be required to undertake an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) criminal record check prior to or during the enrolment week of your course. This will be provided by the University free of charge.
  • you will need to present valid identity documents (PDF) (PDF, 38.1KB) as part of the application process
  • if you have lived outside of the UK for more than six consecutive months in the last five years you must provide an overseas criminal record check. Further information on obtaining an overseas criminal record check.
  • where your DBS Enhanced Disclosure certificate contains any recorded information you must present this to the Professional Issues Team within ten working days of receipt of the certificate.

Occupational Health Screening

You will need to undertake occupational health screening to determine your suitability to undertake the course. This will be provided by the University free of charge. As part of this assessment you are expected to provide all relevant, truthful and accurate information to ensure a safe environment for yourself and service users.


You must undertake a programme of immunisations as required by the Department of Health and meet the immunisation and immunity requirements of placement providers. This will be provided by the University free of charge. Please obtain details of your immunisation history from your doctor so you can submit this during your Occupational Health Screening.

Pre-course Day

After completing the above professional checks, if you reside in the UK it is important for you to make every reasonable attempt to attend a Pre-Course Day event to undertake the next stage of the professional requirements for your course. The pre-course day is also a good opportunity to meet fellow applicants on the health & social care courses who will be starting their studies at the same time as you, as well as some current students and teaching staff. We will look forward to welcoming you on the day.

Other professional suitability information

Your full enrolment on your course will be confirmed when the Professional Issues Team have verified that your Enhanced DBS Disclosure (and overseas criminal record check where relevant) indicates that you are suitable to work with vulnerable groups including children and clearance from your health screening has been received. 

If your personal circumstances change in relation to any of the professional requirements, from when you apply to the end of your course, please tell the Professional Issues team immediately by calling 0114 225 5637 or emailing

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 Health and Care Professions Council standards of proficiency and take part without disadvantage both in University and on placement.

You can contact our disability coordinator on 0114 225 2588 to explore any issues you may have, or you can contact our university disabled student support team on 0114 225 3964 (voice and Minicom).

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.


Please note the University will only admit students who are aged 18 or over at the point of enrolment.

Additional information for EU/International students

If you are an International or non-UK European student, you can find out more about the country specific qualifications we accept on our international qualifications page.

For details of English language entry requirements (IELTS), please see the information for 'All students'.


Important notice: The structure of this course is periodically reviewed and enhanced to provide the best possible learning experience for our students and ensure ongoing compliance with any professional, statutory and regulatory body standards. Module structure, content, delivery and assessment may change, but we expect the focus of the course and the learning outcomes to remain as described above. Following any changes, updated module information will be published on this page.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

Evaluating Research Methodologies
Credits 20
Law, Policy, Rights And Justice
Credits 20
Social Work Practice Placement One
Credits -
Theoretical Perspectives, Values And Ethics For Social Work
Credits 40
Final year

Compulsory modules

Creating Original Practice
Credits 40
Evaluating Complexity In Practice
Credits 20
Fields Of Social Work Practice
Credits 40
Social Work Practice Placement Two
Credits -

Fees and funding

Home students

Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £20,620 for the course. The tuition fee displayed above is for the full course. If the full course is more than one year in duration, the fee will be divided into annual payments which will then be rounded. This may mean the total fee you pay is slightly higher than the fee stated above. If you take a break in study or have to re-take part of the course, you may also be charged an additional fee and will be notified of this at the time. Our tuition fee for UK students starting full-time study in 2024/25 are: Year 1: £18,905 Year 2: £1,720.

If you are studying an undergraduate course, postgraduate pre-registration course or postgraduate research course over more than one academic year then your tuition fees may increase in subsequent years in line with Government regulations or UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) published fees. More information can be found in our terms and conditions under student fees regulations.

International students

Our tuition fee for International/EU students starting full-time study in 2024/25 is £34,410 for the course which includes placement costs.

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Postgraduate student loans

Up to £11,222 available for Home students on most masters courses.

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Additional course costs

This link allows you to view estimated costs associated with the main activities on specific courses. These are estimates and, as such, are only an indication of additional course costs. Actual costs can vary greatly depending on the choices you make during your course.

Additional costs for Social work courses (PDF, 331.7KB)

Legal information

Any offer of a place to study is subject to your acceptance of the University’s Terms and Conditions and Student Regulations.


How do I apply?

Apply now via UCAS

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Why not come to our next open day? Open days are the perfect place to talk to staff and students, visit our campuses and get all the information you need. Alternatively, feel free to ask us a question.

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Why choose us?

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We are Gold rated in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for the outstanding quality of our teaching and student outcomes

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95% of our UK graduates are in work or further study 15 months after graduating (2020/21 Graduate Outcomes Survey)

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We are one of the largest training providers of health and social care in the UK, giving you access to cross-discipline learning

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