Social Work

Social Work MA

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: To be confirmed
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: n/a
International full time annual tuition fee: £14,450

Course type



Nursing and Allied Health

Study mode

Full Time (2 years)

About your course

Qualify as a social worker on this Masters Social Work course offered by Liverpool John Moores University and recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council. The course trains you to cater for all service users in many settings.

  • Masters degree available to study full time (two years)
  • Study for the qualifying award for social work, recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Develop the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as a qualified social worker in a range of settings
  • Learn from experienced social work practitioners
  • Benefit from two key work placements
  • Enjoy a wide range of teaching and assessment techniques
  • This course will only run subject to minimum numbers

Read about Joe Vanlint - winner of the Silver Social Worker of the Year Award 2017.  The awards recognise students who perform above expectations in both their practical placements and in their understanding of the theory behind social work practice.

This course will enable you to work as a fully qualified social worker.

The learning journey that was provided by LJMU and the teachers, for me, was second to none. Each lesson was structured, at a pace that was manageable, and each teacher was fully prepared to answer all questions posed, in fact actively encouraged us to question, think outside the box, and clarify back to check for learning.

Jackie Costello

Introduction to the School

The innovative training delivered by LJMU's School of Nursing and Allied Health provides you with the skills, confidence and competence to provide first class support to the individuals, families and communities you will work with.

Our courses meet the needs of the current health and social care agenda plus the growing demand from this ever-evolving sector for increasingly skilled healthcare professionals. They will enhance your existing skills, develop specialised knowledge and expertise and improve your long-term job prospects.
All of our courses are also informed by the latest research, ensuring they are at the forefront of developments in the field. Indeed, in the 2014 REF, 68% of LJMU’s health -related research was considered world leading or internationally excellent.

The School works with key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally. We have key contacts in sectors such as:

  • health and social care, with health authorities including Merseycare NHS Trust, St Helens and Knowsley Hospitals NHS Trust, Royal Liverpool and Broadgreen University Hospitals NHS Trust and the North West Ambulance Service
  • education, with the City of Liverpool College; Alexian Research Centre, Germany; Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands; University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia
  • the charity, community and voluntary group sector

Why study this course at LJMU?

This programme will give you the skills, confidence and ability to:

  • work with people in a caring and professional manner
  • assess situations for change
  • write concise and coherent reports
  • make convincing spoken and written presentations of ideas
  • summarise and present data
  • work individually and as part of a team
  • produce solutions to problems

It is geared to training and supporting knowledgeable and skilled practitioners, who are aware of the importance of service users, and to giving them a genuine voice and choice in the services available to them. Underpinning all aspects of the training is a commitment to ethical and anti-oppressive values.

"The course enables you to develop the values, skills and knowledge necessary to practice as capable and critical social workers.

The social work team - in partnership with practice educators, service users and practitioners - will help you develop and integrate your theoretical and practical understanding of social work and of the contexts within which Social Work takes place.

In choosing to be a Social Worker you have selected one of the most challenging, interesting and stimulating professional public service careers. We will do all that we can to help you achieve your ambition.”

Andrea Newman, Programme Leader

Programme outline and structure

Collectively the knowledge and work-experience secured through the course will enable you to use the regulatory guidance and standards set out by the Health and Care Professions Council.

The course is designed to balance academic learning and the development of social work skills. There is a strong emphasis on integrating practice and theory, with the purpose of producing theoretically informed and highly competent practitioners. The curriculum is mapped against the QAA benchmark for Social Work 2008, the Standards of Proficiency (HCPC) 2012 and the Professional Capabilities Framework Guidance on Conduct and Ethics.

This is a full time course. In year one, there will be up to four days on-site study per week and in year two, this will be reduced to three days. Year one has a 70 day full time placement and year two has a 100 day full time placement with additional time to complete your dissertation. Independent learning hours vary from module to module.

On joining the programme, you will be appointed a personal tutor to oversee your progression and provide you with a reference when your studies are complete.
Formal Teaching takes place predominantly in Tithebarn Street in the city centre. This vibrant location offers everything you could possibly need during your studies. The resident Avril Robarts library, for example, is open 24/7 during semesters and has computer rooms, learning spaces and on site catering facilities.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.

Level 7
  • Contemporary Social Work Practice
  • Social Work Practice: Knowledge and Skills
  • Law and Social Policy for Practice
  • Poverty, Inequality And Social Justice
  • Introduction To Research Methods
  • 70 day placement (year 1)
  • Social Work: Specialist Module
  • Dissertation
  • 100 day placement (year 2)


Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.   

Academic Framework reviews are conducted by LJMU from time to time to ensure that academic standards continue to be maintained. A review is currently in progress and will be operational for the academic year 2016/2017. Final details of this programme’s designated core and option modules will be made available on LJMU’s website as soon as possible and prior to formal enrolment for the academic year 2016/2017.

Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

You will mainly be taught by registered social work practitioners who are also expert teachers, researchers and writers. Tutors have good practice connections in the local area ensuring that course content is always informed by the latest practice.

Staff use a wide variety of teaching and assessment methods. Interactive lectures involve a range of student-centred learning approaches, including small group work, role-play, discussion and case studies. Specialist IT and online resources are also used. Practical sessions involve live enactments to enhance communication and interpersonal skills and you will present your work both individually and in groups.
The course benefits from Liverpool’s diverse and vibrant culture. The city’s excellent art galleries and museums, for example, offer ample opportunities for critical reflection, with the world renowned International Slavery Museum used to explore the roots of oppression.

In addition to this, the varied life stages and experiences of the students themselves create a rich learning environment for all.

You will be continually assessed via essays, group and individual presentations, self-assessment questionnaires and practice learning reports.

The research project, completed as part of the dissertation module, offers the chance to make a real impact.

Staff research interests

Course tutors have wide-ranging research interests which influence learning on the Social Work MA.

Specialist areas of interest include:

  • Race and gender inequalities
  • Social work values
  • Anti-oppressive perspectives, principles and values
  • Working with children and young people in the community
  • Citizenship power and inequality
  • Political engagement
  • Critical social work practice
  • Poverty and social exclusion
  • Values, power and ethics
  • Assessment in adult social care
  • Eligibility criteria

  • Safeguarding adults
  • Working with adults who self-neglect
  • Motivation and social work staff
  • Teaching and learning methods
  • Mental health service delivery
  • Participatory approaches to evaluating small scale community projects
  • Inclusive practice with young people
  • Access to domestic abuse services for women from minority communities
  • Power and inequality

Entry requirements (Home)

We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate:

  • a social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind
  • concern about issues such as child and elder abuse, social exclusion, crime, poverty, physical and mental health and the desire to do something about them
  • a desire to enter a profession that works to support problem-solving in human relationships and promotes social change
  • an ability to reflect on their personal life experiences and how this has led them to social work as an area of study and possible career

We welcome applications from people who are considering a career in social work or other allied professional areas.

You should have:

  • an Honours degree (minimum 2:2) in social sciences or a related subject area
  • a minimum of 500 hours prior experience either paid or voluntary in the social welfare field
  • English and Mathematics key skills/GCSE Grade C or equivalent

We will also consider the following Level 2 qualifications in place of English Language and Mathematics GCSE grade C or above: Key Skills, City and Guilds, OCR (via Learn Direct) and ALAN.

All applicants will be considered by the Recruitment and Selection Panel. If shortlisted, you will be invited to an interview which will assess comprehension and communication skills, commitment to personal and professional values and the potential to develop professional knowledge and skills.

As with professionally qualified social workers, trainee social workers must be physically and mentally fit. You will be asked for information about this and you may be asked for permission to approach your doctor.

Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS)

Any criminal convictions, police cautions and disciplinary matters, including those that are spent must be declared. A DBS check will be made when you join the course.

A criminal conviction or a period of ill-health will not automatically debar you from the course as decisions are made on an individual basis. If there is anything about this that you wish to discuss, please do not hesitate to contact us.

UCAS course codes

UCAS code name: LJM Institution code: L51 Course Code: L508

This course will only run subject to minimum numbers.

Entry requirements (International)

LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence. For the MA Social Work you must have an IELTS score of 7. 

If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for guidance. Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team for further details before making your application.  In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our international website

For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU’s International Admissions Team.

Application and selection

Extended personal statements

Prior to submitting your application we require to you submit an extended personal statement. Failure to submit this, prior to submitting your application form, will result in your application being unsuccessful. Read this document for more information about what's required in your statement.

Incomplete application forms will not be accepted and we are unable to accept amendments, so please take care to ensure you have completed all relevant parts of the UCAS application form.

We shortlist applicants based on current qualifications, predicted grades, references and UCAS personal statement and extended personal statement. The assessment process for social work candidates is directed by the Health and Care Professions Council Professional requirements. 

Will I be interviewed?

Yes, shortlisted applicants will be invited to a selection process consisting of a short written test, observed group work and interview.


7.0 (Minimum of 7.0 in each component)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Currently postgraduate social work students whose LEA is in England, Wales or Scotland receive an annual Bursary and may have their fees paid by the NHS Business Services Authority. Details of Bursaries will be provided once students have accepted a place on the programme. 

Help with your living costs

You can receive a range of financial support to help meet living costs while completing your studies at LJMU on the MA Social Work course through the NHSBSA.

  • Basic Grant: All eligible students can receive a non means-tested Basic Grant of up to £3362.50
  • Means-tested Maintenance Grant: You will also be eligible to apply for a further means-tested Maintenance Grant of up to £2608

How to apply for your NHS funding

Once you have applied to study at LJMU, you can apply for your NHS funding via their online application system.

This application will check you meet the residency criteria and whether you are entitled to receive the non means-tested Basic Grant as well as the means-tested Maintenance Grant.

As part of the application process you will need to provide details of your household income. Once you have completed this application, you can apply for any additional allowances you may qualify for, e.g. the childcare grant and Parents Learning Allowance.

Please note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify this information at any time.

Graduate employment

Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career, enabling you to make a positive difference in the community.

This course enables individuals from a wide variety of backgrounds to work as fully qualified social workers, in a range of settings, catering for all service users.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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