This course provides you with an integrated academic and professional course which develops the intellectual and practical skills necessary for professional practice as a social worker.

We promote an understanding of social work which is informed by social justice and human rights, a profession that acknowledges the links between 'public issues' and 'private troubles' and seeks to address both. We value social work practice that has prevention at its heart and recognises the importance of collective approaches, actively engaging with and learning from user movements.

Our course is taught by qualified social workers including world leaders in their research field, and academics who maintain close connections with practice. You'll experience inspirational contributions to teaching by people who have used social work services, as well as from practicing social workers.

You’ll enjoy the benefits of smaller class sizes (30 to 65 students) with creative approaches to teaching and assessment as well as detailed feedback on your progress. On your practice placements, you’ll be supported and assessed by Practice Educators who are qualified or undertaking their Practice Educator training.

At the end of your studies, you’ll qualify as a social worker who is knowledgeable, skilled, analytical and ethical in your approach to working with individuals, families, groups and communities.

Top reasons to study with us

#1 Joint 1st in the UK for Social Work (National Student Survey 2017)

#2 Contributions made by Unity, our Service User and Carer involvement group, significantly enhance learning about the perspectives of people who use social work services

#3 Successful completion will mean you’re eligible to be registered by the Scottish Social Services Council as a qualified social worker

Professional accreditations

Successful completion of this course will mean you’re eligible to be registered by the Scottish Social Services Council as a qualified social worker.

The MSc is awarded on satisfactory completion of a dissertation undertaken at the end of the Diploma course. Both degrees are recognised throughout the UK.

Course details

The taught course consists of nine modules which include two periods of assessed practice. All students have a personal tutor during the course. During Semesters Two and Four you’ll undertake a placement in full-time supervised practice. The dissertation period, during which empirical research is undertaken and written up, is three months (full-time) or six months (part-time).


The course is delivered through lectures incorporating small group discussion, student-led project work, and micro-skills teaching workshops.

The course is run in partnership with statutory and non-statutory agencies in Stirling, Falkirk, Clackmannanshire, Fife, Perth and Kinross, Edinburgh City, Midlothian, West Lothian, East Lothian and the Scottish Borders.

Your learning is greatly assisted by the contribution to teaching and practice learning of staff from local voluntary and statutory agencies. You’ll also benefit from contributions by service users and carers and from the range of research and teaching interests within the Faculty of Social Sciences, in which Social Work is located. Particular strengths include community care, criminal justice, children and families, skills teaching, values and comparative approaches.


A wide range of assessment methods is used:

  • essays
  • analytical accounts of practice
  • filmed assessment of practice skills
  • class presentations
  • an oral examination on social work practice
  • an assessment of the two practice learning opportunities

Classroom hours

You’ll attend classes on campus for three full days per module per semester, plus online participation.

We do have flexible options where you can attend a single master class (one full day), a single module, or up to two modules per semester part-time.

Course director

Sara Hitchin

+44 (0) 1786 467681


Fees - 2018/2019

  • Overseas: £13,650 (PGDip) for each year of study
  • Home/EU: £4,700 (PGDip) for each year of study
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Last updated November 14, 2018
This course is Campus based
Start Date
24 months
4,700 GBP
Overseas: £13,650 (PGDip) for each year of study / Home/EU: £4,700 (PGDip) for each year of study
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