Postgraduate Factfile: Social Work MA

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Course at a glance

Mode of study: Full Time (2 years)
Start date: September
Expected Intake: 30
  • Qualifying award for social work, recognised by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)
  • Delivers the necessary knowledge and skills to practice as a qualified social worker in a range of settings, catering for all service users

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Course overview

The MA in Social Work degree provides a sound basis for continuing professional development and is designed to enhance your professional skills and competency by adding value to your existing knowledge and experience.

Completing this master’s programme will give you the skills, confidence and ability to deal with people in a caring and professional manner; to assess situations for change; to write concise and coherent reports; to make convincing presentations (both spoken and written) of ideas; to summarise and present data; to work individually and as part of a team, in producing solutions to problems. Your computer literacy will also be enhanced.

The programme 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 offered on this course is a commitment to ethical and anti-oppressive values.

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.

In your first year you will be introduced to social work theory and its application to working with people. This will be supported by the study of other disciplines, including: law, social policy, inequality and social justice. You will have the opportunity to develop skills in communication, assessment, intervention, planning and review and demonstrate your ability to work directly with service users. In addition to a 70 day placement, you will also complete 5 modules: Contemporary Social Work Practice, Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills, Law and Social Policy for Practice, Poverty, inequality and social justice and Introduction to research methods. 

During your second year, you will complete a further two modules: Social Work: Specialist module and your Dissertation.  You will also undertake a second 100 day professional placement enabling you to further develop your social work practice skills.

The course is delivered by the Faculty of Education, Health and Community, which offers excellent educational and professional training facilities tailored to development of effective practitioners in health and social care.

Your tutors are actively involved in research and publishing in their areas of expertise. They also take an innovative approach to training and draw on a wide variety of methods of teaching and assessment that facilitate student learning.

How will I be assessed?

Progress is assessed mainly by continuous assessment. A range of formative and summative assessment tools are used on the programme such as essays, group and individual presentations, self assessment questionnaires, completion of a practice learning reports. 

Introduction to the School

Whatever your area of interest and career ambitions within the health and social care professions, the innovative training delivered by Liverpool John Moores University’s School of Nursing and Applied Health will provide you with the skills, confidence and competence to provide first class support to patients entrusted in your care.

Based within the Faculty of Education, Health and Community, the School works with a wide range of health and social care organisations to design, deliver and evaluate a dynamic suite of postgraduate programmes. So regardless of the course you want to study, you can be confident that it meets the needs of the current healthcare agenda plus the growing demand from this ever-evolving sector for increasingly skilled healthcare professionals.

Our extensive and wide-ranging portfolio of cutting-edge postgraduate courses will enable you to enhance the skills you have already acquired within the field of health and social care, develop specialised knowledge and expertise and enhance your long-term job prospects.

Professional links

We work collaboratively with key stakeholders locally, nationally and internationally in:

  • health and social care, such as 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, including City of Liverpool College, Alexian Research Centre, Germany, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands, University College Thomas More, Belgium and KPY University, Malaysia
  • charities, community and voluntary groups

Such links ensure that our degrees remain professionally relevant and enable you to forge useful contacts within the health and social care sector.

Employment and careers

As a postgraduate student you will be able to take full advantage of the extensive range of advice and guidance available in our World of Work Careers Centre, including our Ready for Work training courses, which cover everything from interview skills to preparing for assessment centre tests.

LJMU also has a dedicated Centre for Entrepreneurship, offering business advice and start-up funding, to students and graduates interested in setting up their own companies or working freelance.

Map of UK

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

English for Postgraduate courses bursary

A bursary will be available for students who must complete the six week English for Postgraduate Studies course to improve their IELTS score by 0.5 prior to enrolling on their postgraduate taught or research degree at LJMU.

This bursary take the form of a tuition fee waiver, which will be deducted from your tuition fee when you enrol on your degree programme. You do not need to complete the online scholarship form in order to receive this bursary. Please note: If you are awarded this bursary you are not eligible to apply for an international scholarship.

English language requirements

Entry requirements

Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career.

We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate:

  • A social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind.
  • Are concerned 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 to promote 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.

Applicants should:

  • Hold a degree to classification level 2:2 in social sciences or related subject area
  • Have a minimum of 500 hours prior experience either paid or voluntary in the social welfare field
  • Have achieved 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 applicants will be asked to attend for 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

Application and Selection

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.

Prior to submitting your application we require to you submit an extended personal statement (please see guidelines at Failure to submit this prior to submitting your application form, will result in your application being unsuccessful.

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

Social work is an exciting, intellectually stimulating and emotionally challenging career. We are seeking to recruit people who demonstrate:

  • A social conscience coupled with a lively and critical mind 
  • Are concerned 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 to promote 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.
  • In addition, applicants are also required to have undertaken a minimum of 500 hours paid/voluntary work in the social care and  welfare field. A detailed record of how you meet or intend to meet the required 500 hours relevant work experience is requried within the personal statement. 

Please note: Due to the volume of applications, amendments will not be accepted once an application has been submitted; therefore applicants are advised to make sure each section is completed correctly prior to submission.

Fees information

The Social work bursary is administered by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Although it is administered by the NHSBSA it is not an NHS bursary. The bursary is made up of income and non-income assessed components. If you are accepted onto the MA Social Work and are from England and will be studying in England your annual tuition fees will be paid by the General Social Work Council (GSWC) through the NHSBSA and you may be eligible for help with your living costs.

Help with your living costs

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

  • Basic grant: In 2013/2014, all new eligible students will be eligible to receive a grant of up to £3362.50 non-means-tested Basic Grant.
  • Means-tested Maintenance Grant: You will also be eligible to apply for a further means-tested Maintenance Grant of up to £2608.

For more information on the NHS grants, go to:

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 then 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, for dependants such as the childcare grant and Parents Learning Allowance.

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

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. For information on financial support available, please refer to the following


How to apply

Further information

Please contact the Faculty of Education, Health and Community on:

tel: 0151 231 5829
web: Faculty web site

If you have any queries relating to LJMU or university life in general please contact:

Course Enquiries
tel: +44(0)151 231 5090


  • Code name: LJM
  • Institution code name: L51

All applicants should apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) system at

If you need help or advice on your individual application, you should contact your careers adviser or call the UCAS Customer Service Unit on 0371 468 0468, open Monday to Friday, 08:30-18:00 hrs (UK time)

If you are calling from outside the UK and are unable to use the number above, please contact them on +44 330 3330 230

International applicants can find further information on applying on this page.

Please Note: The University reserves the right to cancel, suspend or modify in any way the information contained in this leaflet.

Page last modified by Marketing and Corporate Communications on 19 September 2014.
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