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How to qualify as a graduate social worker

How to qualify as a graduate social worker

Everything you need to get started on your path to entering the social care sector, from entry requirements and qualifications you need to become a graduate social worker, to information on available funding.
A recognised qualification is now essential for gaining employment in this field.

A recognised qualification is essential for gaining employment in social work, but don't worry if you don't have an undergraduate degree in the subject. Numerous universities in the UK offer the social work degree as a postgraduate level course, which on completion will allow you to register with the Health and Care Professions Council as a qualified social worker. As a social work student you'll receive a thorough training to enable you to practise effective delivery of services and protection for service users and carers.

What postgraduate courses involve

Most postgraduate social work degree courses are full time and take at least two years to complete, with part-time options mostly being related to employment-based schemes aimed at those already working in the field.

On a postgraduate social work degree course academic theory and practice skills are effectively integrated. Academic study typically includes the teaching of key areas such as human growth and development, mental health, disability, assessments, communication skills, law and partnership working. The course will include placements facilitated by course providers, who will make sure that support mechanisms such as appropriate training and assessment are in place.

Entry requirements

Course providers normally ask for a good undergraduate degree, occasionally in a social science or related subject, and some relevant work experience. Application requirements vary, but in England candidates may be expected to have 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including maths and English, and 2 A levels.

Applications and funding

Most universities process postgraduate applications for social work through UCAS, and applications should be in by mid-January to guarantee consideration for a place in September the following year. Postgraduate social work students may be eligible for a social work bursary. All social work bursaries are handled by the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA).

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