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Masters in Social Work in UK: A Complete Guide for International Students

Komal Yadav Komal Yadav
Study Abroad Expert

Masters in social work in UK is offered mainly as a Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS) and Master of Research (MRes) in Social Work. A full-time masters in social work from UK universities takes 1.5 to 2 years to complete. After completing masters, students can work as a licensed social worker either as a freelancer or with charity and corporate agencies.

  • Duration of a part-time masters in social work from UK universities requires approximately 2 years to complete
  • Average tuition fees of masters in social work in UK is around £17,400 to £39,990.
  • A social worker in the UK earns up to £64,700 per year on average.

Why Study Social Work from the UK

As per the UK Visa Bureau, engineering, healthcare, arts and entertainment sector had a huge demand for employees in the year 2019. In the healthcare industry, Children’s and Family Services had a shortage of over 2,442 social workers, according to the UK Shortage Occupation List 2019. Thus, students opting for masters in social work can easily get a job in the UK in the healthcare sector.

Number of Employees Required in Healthcare Sector in UK

Top Universities for Masters in Social Work in UK

Following are the top universities offering masters in social work in UK, according to the QS News World Ranking Ranking for 2019:

UniversityQS News World University Ranking 2019Programs OfferedTotal Program Fees (in GBP)
University of Edinburgh20Social Work (MSW): 1.9 years£39,990
University of Manchester27MA Social Work: 2 years£38,000
University of Bristol49MSc Social Work: 2 years£38,400
University of Birmingham81MA Social Work: 2 years£36,900
University of Nottingham96Social Work MA: 2 years£38340
University of York148Social Work MA: 2 years£36,480
University of Bath172Social Work MRes: 1 year£17,400 (Full-Time)
University of Sussex246Social Work MA: 1.10 years£33,920
Royal Holloway University of London291MSc Social Work: 2 years£33,600
University of Dundee302Social Work MSc: 1.10 years£33,275

Admission Process for Masters in Social Work in UK

An undergraduate degree equivalent of bachelors offered in universities of UK with an average of 60% or above is required for admissions to masters in social work in UK.

Where to Apply: Most universities and colleges of the UK use UCAS as a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time or part-time masters programs. Students can either apply through this online application system or submit an application via respective university’s application portal.

Admission Eligibility for Masters in Social Work in UK

  • Bachelor's degree with 60% or above average
  • Studied English and Mathematics at senior secondary level
  • Relevant work experience (required for some universities)
  • Minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (6.5 in some universities) as a proof of English proficiency

Additional Documents Required

You must have the following documents at the time of submitting application for masters in social work in UK admissions:

  • Home address and contact information, including your email address and date of birth
  • Details of your qualifications, grades and years (this includes any qualifications you have not yet completed)
  • Details of your passport and upload a copy of your current passport

Cost for Studying Masters in Social Work in UK

Cost of studying abroad for an international student can be broadly divided into three categories: Pre-arrival Cost, Tuition Fee, and Cost of Living.

Pre-arrival Cost

Given below is a table indicating the one-time costs for an international student planning to do masters in social work in UK:

Type of ExpenseCost
UCAS Application Fee£20 (approx)
Visa Application Fees£348
Health Insurance£260
IELTS Fees£150

Tuition Fees for Masters in Social Work in UK

Annual tuition fee of universities offering masters in social work in UK is approximately between £16,800 to £22,850.

Tuition Fee of Masters in Social Work in UK

Cost of Living in UK

International student’s cost of living in the UK includes books & material cost, transportation cost, accomodation charges, etc. Following table suggests an average of minimum expenses required for studying in UK:

Type of ExpenseCost (yearly)
Utilities£500 - £750
Course Materials£400
Food and Household Items£1,500

Scholarships for Masters in Social Work in UK

Scholarships for international students in UK can be divided into three major categories:

  • Partial: Covering a specific part of tuition fees
  • Complete: Referring to the entire tuition fee
  • Others: Includes travel and living costs along with the tuition fees

Some of these scholarships are listed below:

University of EdinburghChevening ScholarshipsFull tuition fees
UNESCO ScholarshipsVary;
Inlaks Shivdasani FoundationFull TUition Fees
University of ManchesterManchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes£3,000;
GREAT Scholarships 2020Vary
University of BristolThink Big Postgraduate Scholarships£5,000, £10,000 or £20,000;
Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries£2,000
University of BirminghamThe Charles Wallace India TrustFully-funded awards;
India Goa Education Trust ScholarshipsFull or partial Tuition Fee;
India Inlaks ScholarshipsFull tuition fees;
India Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust ScholarshipsUp to Rs 6 lakh
University of NottinghamDeveloping Solutions Masters Scholarship50% or 100% of tuition fees;
South Asia Postgraduate Excellence Award£4,000
University of YorkAcademic Excellence Scholarships£2,500 to £15,000
GREAT Scholarships£10,000
Equal Access Scholarships£10,660 plus full fee waiver
York Graduate Research School Scholarships for Overseas Research Students£15,000 per year (approx), plus fee waiver
University of BathDean's Award for Academic Excellence£5,000
Global Leaders Scholarship
University of SussexChancellor's Masters Scholarship£3,000;
Sussex Graduate Scholarship£3,000
Dr. John Birch Music Scholarship£800
Sussex India Scholarship£3,000
The Asian University for Women ScholarshipFull tuition fees
Royal Holloway University of LondonRoyal Holloway Principal's Masters Scholarship£4,000
University of DundeeAlumni ScholarshipUp to £3,000
Global Excellence Postgraduate Taught Scholarship£5,000
Humanitarian ScholarshipUp to £38,500

Job Prospects for Masters in Social Work in UK

Social workers are experts who assist adults, children, families, and communities to enrich their lives. They protect and support human rights and wellbeing. Over 66% of social work graduates in the UK started working as social workers within six months of completion of study.

According to, a social worker with less than one year of experience can earn around £33,600 per year. With time and experience, the earnings can increase to over £98,900 per year.

Jobs after Masters in Social Work in UK

If you enjoy assisting others and want to develop an essential and gratifying career, a social work degree might be the best choice for you. Depending on your interests, you might work with children, old aged people, people suffering from mental health issues, or those struggling with family, financial, or addiction concerns.

If you are social-minded, kind, and want to change the world by helping others, a masters in social work can lead to a challenging but really meaningful career path.

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