Masters in Social Work in UK: Top Colleges, Fees, Admissions, Scholarships, Jobs

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    Sonal Vaid

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    Masters in Social Work in UK full-time degree may take 1.5 to 2 years to complete. The course with top universities in the UK is available as Master of Arts (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Research (MRes) variant degree type. For international students, the tuition fees for pursuing a master's in social work in the UK ranges from 17,400 GBP to 39,990 GBP. This estimates to 39.2 lakhs INR for Indian students. Here are certain things to keep in mind if you are planning to pursue masters in social work in the UK:

    With masters in social work in the UK, students can work as a licensed social worker either as a freelancer or with charitable and corporate agencies. According to, the average annual salary of a newly appointed social worker is 22,000 GBP, while with experience it can go up to 40,000 GBP.  

    Top Universities for Masters in Social Work in UK

    Following are the top universities offering masters in social work in the UK, according to the QS News World Ranking Ranking for 2021. The table below also details the duration and program fees for international applicants who wish to pursue the degree.

    University Program Total Program Fees (in GBP)
    University of Edinburgh Masters in Social Work (MSW) (1.9-year) 39,990
    University of Manchester MA Social Work (2-years) 38,000
    University of Bristol MSc Social Work (2-years) 38,400
    University of Birmingham MA Social Work (2-years) 36,900
    University of Nottingham MA Social Work (2-years) 38,340
    University of York MA Social Work (2-years) 36,480
    University of Bath MRes in Social Work (1-year) 17,400 
    University of Sussex MA in Social Work (1.10-year) 33,920
    Royal Holloway University of London MSc Social Work (2-years) 33,600
    University of Dundee MSc in Social Work (1.10-year) 33,275

    Why Study Social Work from the UK

    • Around 83.6% of social work graduates were placed in the relevant sector within six months of graduation.
    • Most of the graduates are employed by the legal, social, and welfare sector while the other sector hiring majority of the graduates is childcare, health, and education work.
    • According to the UK Shortage Occupation List 2019, Children and Family Services had a shortage of over 2,442 social workers, in the healthcare industry, Thus, students opting for masters in social work can easily get a job in the UK in the healthcare sector.
    • According to reports, there are 106,000 social workers in the UK in 2019.

    Admissions for Masters in Social Work in UK

    Applying to universities in UK requires students to complete their admission application online. 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 master's programs. However, applications can also be submitted via the respective university application portal.

    Masters in Social Work in UK: Eligibility

    • Bachelor's degree from a recognized institution with an average mark of 60% or above 
    • Studied English and Mathematics at the senior secondary level
    • Relevant work experience in relevant social care sector (required for some universities)
    • Proof of English language proficiency, with a minimum IELTS score of 7.0 (6.5 in some universities) or other equivalent scores

    Masters in Social Work in UK: Documents Required

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

    • Completed admission application form
    • Academic transcripts from all educational institutions attended with their English translations
    • Proof of English language proficiency
    • Resume
    • Copy of Passport

    UK Student Visa

    After receiving the acceptance letter from the universities in UK, students will be required to apply for a UK student visa or a Tier-4 visa.

    Required when: A tier-4 visa is required for courses with a duration beyond six months.

    The UK student visa processing time is around 3 weeks and may take longer in peak time.. To procure a UK student visa, the following requirements must be met:

    • Passport details
    • A recent passport size photograph
    • Acceptance letter from a recognized UK institution
    • Certificate of English language proficiency
    • Proof of sufficient funds: 1,015 GBP (outside London) or 1,265 GBP (London)
    • Proof of funds can be demonstrated with the help of bank statements, loan statements or scholarship letter

    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 to UK

    Given below is a table indicating the one-time costs for an international student planning to do master's in social work in the UK which include one-time payments such as visa application fee, admission application fee, exam registration fee. 

    Type of Expense Cost (in GBP)
    UCAS Application Fee 20 
    Visa Application Fees 348
    IELTS Fee 150
    TOEFL Fee 195- 200

    Tuition Fees for Masters in Social Work in UK

    The annual tuition fee at universities offering masters in social work in UK is approximately 16,800 GBP to 22,850 GBP. The cost of study for Indian students pursuing masters in social work from some of top teir universities in UK is as follows:

    University Program Fees for Indian Students
    University of Edinburgh 39.2 lakhs
    University of Manchester 37.3 lakhs
    University of Bristol 37.7 lakhs
    University of Birmingham 36.2 lakhs
    University of Nottingham 37.6 lakhs
    University of York 35.8 lakhs
    University of Bath 17.1 lakhs
    University of Sussex 33.3 lakhs
    Royal Holloway University of London 33 lakhs
    University of Dundee 32.7 lakhs

    Cost of Living in UK

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

    Type of Expense Annual Costs (in GBP)
    Accommodation 5,300
    Transportation 250
    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 offered at various universities offering masters in social work in UK are as follows:

    University Scholarships Awards
    University of Edinburgh Chevening Scholarships Full tuition fees
    UNESCO Scholarships Vary;]
    Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation Full Tuition Fees
    University of Manchester Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes £3,000
    GREAT Scholarships 2020 Vary
    University of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Scholarships £5,000, £10,000 or £20,000
    Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries £2,000
    University of Birmingham The Charles Wallace India Trust Fully-funded awards
    India Goa Education Trust Scholarships Full or partial Tuition Fee
    India Inlaks Scholarships Full tuition fees
    India Lady Meherbai D. Tata Education Trust Scholarships Up to Rs 6 lakh
    University of Nottingham Developing Solutions Masters Scholarship 50% or 100% of tuition fees
    South Asia Postgraduate Excellence Award £4,000
    University of York Academic 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 Bath Dean's Award for Academic Excellence £5,000
    Global Leaders Scholarship
    University of Sussex Chancellor'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 Scholarship Full tuition fees
    Royal Holloway University of London Royal Holloway Principal's Masters Scholarship £4,000
    University of Dundee Alumni Scholarship Up to £3,000
    Global Excellence Postgraduate Taught Scholarship £5,000
    Humanitarian Scholarship Up 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 the study.

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

    Some of the job opportunities in UK for masters in social work graduates are:

    Job Title Average Annual Salary (in EUR)
    Social Worker 42,500
    Mental Health Consultant 41,570
    Teacher 37,500
    Counselor 27,746
    Family Support Worker 24,406
    Child Care Service Manager 36,000
    Child, Family or School Social Worker 23,000
    Homeless Shelter Worker 27,000

    Some of the popular employers for masters in social work graduates in UK are depicted in the chart below with the average annual salaries offered.

    Popular Social Worker Employers 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 in UK can lead to a challenging but really meaningful career path.


    Ques. What is the cost of studying master's in social work in UK?

    Ans.  The cost of pursuing a masters in social work in UK ranges between 17,000 to 40,000 GBP. This is majorly the tuition fees of the complete program. You will additionally need around 6000-7000 GBP annually for living in the UK.

    Ques. What is the eligibility to pursue master's in social work in UK?

    Ans. For applying for masters in social work in the UK you must have a relevant bachelor's degree with around 60% WAM along with IELTS (6.5) and TOEFL scores (89). Some universities require the applicants to have some previous work experience before applying for master's in social work in UK. 

    Ques. What are the top universities for masters in social work in UK?

    Ans. Some of the top universities offering masters in social work in the UK include the University of Edinburgh, the University of Manchester, the University of Bristol, and University of Birmingham. 

    Ques. How much can you make with masters in social work in UK?

    Ans. A social work graduate can earn as much as 31,000 GBP at an entry-level. However, with an added experience you can earn up to 40,000 GBP or more. 

    Ques. Is work experience mandatory for admissions to masters in social work in UK?

    Ans. No, Some of the top universities offering masters in social work in UK require students to have experience in the relevant fields. However, it is not mandatory eligibility criteria for all the universities offering social work degrees in UK