1. Duration:
    2yrs Full-time
  2. Typical offer:
    UK 2.2
  3. Taught at
    Swansea University's main campus

Course Overview

This masters degree aims to;
• prepare students for employment as professionally qualified social workers
• lay the foundation for students’ continuing professional development
• reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales

Key Features


  • The Times Higher League Tables 2014 ranked the Undergraduate Social Work degree at Swansea joint 1st in the UK, and the Guardian League Table ranked social work in Swansea 1st in the UK in 2015.
  • the programme meets all the Care Council requirements and is now fully approved as a professional social work programme as defined in The Approval and Visiting of Degree Courses in Social Work (Wales) Rules 2012

Teaching and Employability:

  • 95% of Social Work students from Swansea University are employed in graduate level jobs within six months of graduating (undergraduate programme). Postgraduate–level students are expected to be in similar demand
  • the professional qualification is recognised in Wales, England, Scotland and Northern Ireland as well as other countries such as Australia
  • the programme operates in partnership with five local authorities in the South West Wales region: Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion
  • teaching from a wide range of practitioners from social work teams and agencies plus guest speakers from Welsh Government
  • a minimum of 200 days practice learning are undertaken
  • successful completion allows students to register as qualified social workers with the Care Council for Wales
  • applicants may be eligible for a student bursary from the Care Council for Wales which includes a contribution towards tuition fees


Disclaimer: Module selection options may change.


Social Work is about change and human growth through supporting the social care and welfare needs of individuals, groups and local communities.

Social work has been an established course at Swansea University for many years and combines a commitment to both academic excellence and practical learning. There are strong links between the Department and social services agencies in south and west Wales, and in local authority and voluntary sectors. 

The masters degree in Social Work lays the foundation for students’ continuing professional development. It also reflects the key themes of contemporary social work in Wales.

Qualifying students will be:

  • equipped to understand and work within the context of a profession whose nature, scope and purpose can be the subject of contested debate
  • able to critically analyse, adapt to, manage and eventually lead the process of required changes in social work, delivery of social services, and social care policy and law
  • prepared to promote bilingual service provision in Wales and to be able to critically reflect on the importance of the Welsh context as a cultural, social and historical landscape for social work practice

This qualification is also recognised by Care Councils in other UK nations.

Entry Requirements

  • UK degree (2:2 or above) in a social work/social science related discipline, plus Maths GCSE at grade A*-C or equivalent, e.g. Key Skills level 2 (QCDA) Numeracy or ‘Application of number’, and English or Welsh GCSE at Grade A*-C or equivalent, e.g. Key Skills level 2 (QCDA) Communication.
  • applicants will be required to demonstrate awareness and understanding of the Code of Professional Practice for Social Care. Applicants must register with the Care Council for Wales as a student Social Worker once accepted on to the programme
  • relevant employment/experience – minimum 210 hours social care work experience within the last 5 years. This may involve voluntary or paid work in social care with individuals, groups or communities
  • international applicants are required to have a minimum of IELTS 6.5, with a minimum of 6.0 in all domains, or a University approved equivalent, prior to starting the programme

How To Apply

Applicants are encouraged to click apply online as this will make it easier to track their progress.

International students should visit www.swansea.ac.uk/international/students/apply for more information.

Tuition Fees

Annual tuition fees for entry in the academic year 2017/18 are as follows:

UK/EU International
MSc (Hons) Full-time £6,600 £13,700

Tuition fees for years of study after your first year are subject to an increase of 3%.

You can find further information on fees and how to pay on our tuition fees page.

You may be eligible for funding to help support your study. To find out about scholarships, bursaries and other funding opportunities that are available please visit the University's scholarships and bursaries page.

Current students: You can find further information of your fee costs on our tuition fees page.

Additional Costs

Students are likely to encounter additional costs at university. These can include, amongst others:

  • buying stationery and equipment, such as USB sticks, etc.
  • personal copies of core texts (loan copies are available in the University library)
  • printing and photocopying
  • binding of research projects/ dissertations
  • a pre-course Disclosure and Barring Service Check
  • gowns for graduation ceremonies

Please note there are no mandatory additional costs specified for this course. 

Who should apply?

This course is suitable for:

  • postgraduate applicants who hold first degrees or postgraduate qualifications with a commitment and invested interest in social care and welfare provision
  • those who wish to qualify and register as social workers

Course Structure

The course is both academic and practice-based and students are required to undertake a minimum of 200 days practice learning across the two years. Half of the programme is devoted to supervised practice in social service agencies, where students learn through observation, rehearsal and performance. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

Students will undertake academic study based on Singleton campus during Semester 1 and then placement learning in a social care agency during Semester 2. 

During Semester 1 students can expect to be on campus a minimum of four days per week. Placement learning is full-time Monday to Friday, following agency hours. Students will undertake 200 days of practice learning across the 2 years. 

In Year One students undertake a 20-day observational placement followed by an 80-day ‘direct practice’ placement. 

In Year Two students undertake a 100-day ‘direct-practice’ placement. The social work placements take place in the local authorities of Neath Port Talbot, Swansea, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, and Ceredigion.

In Year Two students will be expected to complete a ‘desk-based’ research project and complete a dissertation with supervised support from a member of the teaching team.



Students are assessed on written essays, oral presentations, I.T. based exercises, reflective commentaries and portfolio work across the two years of study. Practice placements are assessed by a combination of written work, observed practice and personal assessments using the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Students will also be expected to complete a research dissertation and poster presentation in their second year of study (15,000 words approx.) with support from an assigned supervisor. 

Staff Expertise

All teaching staff members on the course are research active and involved in research activity at both national and international level which spans a number of interest areas including: looked-after children, sexuality and wellbeing, service user and carer involvement in education, asylum seeking children and migration, children’s rights and welfare, and social inclusion and care needs of older people.

The College’s health and social sciences research falls into eight broad themes:

  • Children and Young People’s Health and Well-Being
  • Health Economics
  • Health Services Research
  • History, Health and Culture
  • Mental Health
  • Nursing and Healthcare Practices
  • Philosophy, Ethics and Law in Healthcare
  • Social Science

Career Prospects

There are many possibilities for career progression in social work and for postgraduate and post qualification study. UK social work qualifications are also recognised in other countries.

Postgraduate Community

The College of Human and Health Sciences has a vibrant postgraduate community with students drawn from a variety of backgrounds and nationalities. The College is known for its friendly, welcoming and supportive environment, which combined with its extensive facilities, state-of-the-art technology and superb beachside location, helps to ensure that students benefit from an exceptional student experience. 


In addition, students have access to a wide range of excellent facilities and equipment for realistic workplace experiences find out more here  or take a virtual tour  of the college.