MA Social Work / Application and selection

Year of entry: 2024

How to apply

Apply through  UCAS  

Applications made directly to the University will not be considered.

Advice to applicants

Applicants must apply through the Universities and Colleges Admissions System (UCAS) and are encouraged to apply early (ie before the 26th January deadline) however we remain open for applications throughout most of the year. Applications made direct to the University will not be considered.

How your application is considered

The MA course will enable you to meet Social Work England's Professional Standards by the time you graduate. Your potential to meet the Professional Standards, therefore, will be considered as a key element in our recruitment processes. In your application form and during your interview you will be expected to have some understanding of the role of a contemporary social worker alongside what may be expected of you in professional settings. We will also explore your potential to meet the core values of the profession and your ability to treat people with dignity and respect.

You will be expected to be aware of the importance of working effectively across diverse communities and of promoting social justice.

In addition to our academic and work experience entry requirements, the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) is used to assess personal statements and guide the selection process.

The PCF was developed by the Social Work Reform Board. It provides a framework for continuing professional development within the social work profession.

There are nine inter-related domains within the PCF which, viewed holistically, help us to understand the social work role. Social work is a complex activity that cannot be properly understood by viewing its contributory elements in isolation from each other.  

For more information, please read the Professional Capabilities Framework criteria.

Skills, knowledge, abilities, interests

Personal statements, submitted as part of your UCAS application, should demonstrate some understanding about social work practice today, detailing your pre-course experience, and that you have the potential to meet the Professional Standards as set out by Social Work England. Your application is the first part of the process to becoming a social worker, which will lead to extensive current and ongoing training.

Interview requirements

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited for interview before any decision on an offer is made. 

The interview days normally run between December and July each year. Interviews take place online where you will be interviewed by a member of staff and other stakeholders within the programme.

The interview process consists of an online interview. Full information about the interview will be provided if you are shortlisted.

Please note that employers/practitioners, and people with lived experience of sociel work are involved in the assessment of candidates.

Before enrolling on the course you will need to demonstrate that you have basic IT skills (eg the ability to use word processing packages, email and search for relevant information on the internet). These skills are required to support both your academic study and your practice placements.

International applicants

We are able to conduct interviews for international students online via Zoom.

Fitness to practise / health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening and a DBS self declaration (followed by an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check, which will be completed during Welcome Week).

For further information about the process used in the case of positive DBS disclosures, see  DBS checks  (PDF, 21 KB).

Health screening will comprise the completion of a health self-declaration by the applicant, which will determine the health assessments required.

If necessary, a detailed Occupational Health questionnaire may also need to be completed and an appointment with the University's Occupational Health Department arranged. 

To be admitted and continue on the programme, students must be deemed medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department.

If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course, please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process. 

Tel: +44(0)161 306 5806 Email:


Please note vaccinations are not mandatory for this course but we do highly recommended having them before you start your first placement. Please click here for more information.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

All students must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check including checks against the lists of those barred from working with adults and children. Satisfactory clearance from the DBS is a requirement for this course.

See further information about DBS checks (PDF, 21 KB) including the process used in the case of positive disclosures.


If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.