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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

PGDip/MASocial Work

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Entry requirements: 2:2
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Up to: 20% alumni discountFind out more
Campus: Southampton City CentreView on Google Maps

Why study a social work master's degree at Solent University

Looking for a career change to social worker? You’ll work with some of the most marginalised groups in society, helping them to overcome barriers in order to lead a fulfilled life.

  • £0m
    invested in our campus estate and facilities in the last five years
  • 0th
    UK uni for sustained employment (Longitudinal Educational Outcomes, 2022)
  • This course is delivered by a team of qualified and registered professionals in close cooperation with people with lived experience of social work.
  • Offered as both a PGDip and an MA, the course offers a flexible path to a qualification.
  • The course is designed in partnership with social work practitioners, people with lived experiences and carers, ensuring you’re up to date with the latest developments in the field.
  • You will complete two significant periods of work experience, thanks to our partnerships with local authorities, as well as many other social care organisations.
  • Solent has been successfully delivering social work training for over 30 years and has a high employability rate. 
  • The course provides opportunities for optional international placement experience.

Course overview

Designed for those who already hold an undergraduate degree in something other than social work, this course is a gateway for those wishing to qualify as a social worker.

If you love the idea of working with people in a truly meaningful way, you can have a valuable career as a social worker providing help and support for individuals and families, and work closely with communities, health professionals and other agencies.

The course offers two routes to qualification:

  • PGDip - completed on an 18 months' full-time basis and students do not complete the final dissertation module to be awarded the PGDip.
  • MA - completed on a two-year full-time basis and students must complete the final dissertation module to be awarded the MA.

The two routes to qualification offer students a degree of flexibility. PGDip students could decide to continue with the MA by completing the dissertation module; MA students could decide not to complete the dissertation module and revert back to the PGDip route. This can be discussed and agreed upon with the course leader during your studies.

The course team’s strong links with our regional statutory, independent, voluntary and private sector partners within the industry, provides you with the opportunity to apply the theory you'll learn at university in work practice placements, enabling you to build the skills and confidence needed to be an effective social worker, as well as developing a professional network.

Your learning will include an exploration of the scope and complexity of social work and a holistic appreciation of the wide-ranging needs of people with lived experiences, and in need of social work. You will also explore the psychosocial and political processes that lead to marginalisation, isolation, exclusion and inequality, as well as critically evaluate evidence from a range of sources in order to make informed decisions and to evaluate welfare outcomes. 

Upon successful completion you will gain a professional qualification, meaning you’ll be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker. The qualification can also be used as a gateway to other careers for exaple, in leadership, teaching and management. 

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

Speak to a tutor

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Approved by:

Approved by Social Work England, logo

Course features

  • Apply direct

    You can apply direct to Solent University for this course

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

This course is for

This course prepares you for a wide range of social work, community care and leadership roles. You’ll need a non-judgemental attitude, an appreciation of diversity, self-awareness, flexibility, and openness to new ideas. In addition, you’ll be able to demonstrate relevant skills such as teamwork, empathy, active listening, negotiating and advocacy. Ideal candidates aspire to work with vulnerable members of the community. Applicants are diverse and typically come from a wide range of academic backgrounds.

What this course leads to

Social workers have opportunities to work with other professionals such as the police and doctors, to plan support and offer services to those in need of care and support.

If a social worker is successful in enabling change, it can mean that a child or vulnerable adult may achieve a new lease of life and positive possibilities for the future.

  • Professional social worker
  • Working with youth offenders
  • Health and education
  • Therapeutic practice
  • Community development
  • Mental Health

Meet the team

This course is delivered by a team of qualified and registered professionals in close cooperation with people with lived experience of social work. They have the experience, knowledge and expertise relevant to the content of the modules you'll be studying. This includes academic staff and qualified professional practitioners, whose specialisms include research, community development, adults, children and families, developing relationships, reflective practice and supervision, gender, diversity and ethnicity, as well as law and social work theory and methods.

The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Our vibrant campus brings state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning and elevate your student experience. Our award-winning teaching building, The Spark is centred around students and offers a stimulating study environment with flexible learning spaces.

Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.

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