Master Of Social Work (MSW) In The UK: Universities & Course Details

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  • MSW In UK a full-time degree may take 1.5 to 2 years to complete
  • International students interested in pursuing MSW In UK need to pay tuition fees of 17,400 GBP to 39,990 GBP
  • Entry Requirements include scores on English language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE
  • The Annual Salary of a newly appointed Social Worker is 22,000 GBP, while with experience, it can go up to 40,000 GBP.

MSW In UK is aided through a set of assessment, learning, supervision, and integrated teaching strategy for social sciences. Different approaches to the course, including assignments, workshops, lectures, seminars, medical experience and practical work, along with mental health practice learning, are used to help students build competence in the technical and non-technical understanding of the social work sector. Different modules of the programme of study help in strengthening the learning plan by boosting the critical thinking of students for emotional intelligence and adjusting how they function according to changing environments.

A full-time degree in MSW in the UK can take 1.5 to 2 years to complete. One can pursue various degrees, namely Masters (MA), Master of Science (MS), or Master of Research (MRes). For international students, the tuition fees for social work in the UK range from 17,400 GBP to 39,990 GBP. Students need to factor in additional costs of living, food, library, labs, medicine and sports when considering the MSc in Social work in the UK. Below are some key things to keep in mind if you are planning to pursue MSW in the UK:

  • It might seem a little heavy on the pocket, but MSW in the UK can be pursued with the help of scholarships available for international students planning master’s from the UK.
  • You will be evaluated on the scores of English language proficiency tests like IELTS, TOEFL, PTE and so on while applying.
  • Some universities may want to gauge if you have any prior work experience while applying for the course.

With a master’s in social work in the UK, postgraduate students are allowed to take up work as licensed social workers, both as a freelancer or with charitable and corporate agencies. The average annual salary of a newly appointed social worker with NHS is 22,000 GBP, and with experience, it can go up to 40,000 GBP.

Highlights of Studying MSc in Social Work in the UK

  • Part of the Critical Occupation List to manage the growing demand
  • Employment rates as high as 98% in various industrial sectors
  • Possible to get admissions with or without IELTS or TOEFL
  • Starting tuition fee of 17,400 GBP in top-ranked institutions
  • Amazing career opportunities by placement cells in a variety of MSW universities
  • Post-study work permit for jobs in the UK available for 2 years
  • 20 hours (per week) on working days and 40 hours on holidays are allowed for part-time work (when you are studying at college)
  • Full-time work permit for dependents joining the students who are studying in the UK
  • Financial assistance via scholarship(s) of up to 100% in select universities

Top Universities for Masters in Social Work in the UK

Following are the top universities offering MSW In UK, as per the QS News World Ranking, 2021.

University of Edinburgh

Masters in Social Work (MSW), Duration: (1.9-year)

Course fees: £39,990

University of Manchester

MA Social Work, Duration: (2-years)

Course fees: £38,000

University of Bristol

MSc Social Work, Duration: (2-years)

Course fees: £38,400

University of Birmingham

MA Social Work, Duration: (2-years)

Course fees: £36,900

University of Nottingham

MA Social Work, Duration: (2-years)

Course fees: £38,340

University of York

MA Social Work, Duration: (2-years)


University of Bath

MRes in Social Work, Duration: (1-year)

Course fees:£17,400

University of Sussex

MA in Social Work, Duration: (1.10-year)

Course fees: £33,920

Royal Holloway University of London

MSc Social Work (2-years)

Course fees: £33,600

University of Dundee

MSc in Social Work (1.10-year)

Course fees: £33,275

Entry Qualifications for Social Work in the UK

  • The main entry requirement for Social work in the UK is a minimum of a second class honours degree in Social work.
  • Students who have substantial professional experience can also be considered for a master’s in Social work in the UK.
  • To study Masters in Social work, entry requirements in the UK include a minimum of 50% marks.

Note: It is important to note that requirements for MSW in the UK are subject to change every year.

English Language Requirements for Social work in the UK

  • For non-native English speakers, examinations like IELTS, TOEFL and PTE test the English language proficiency of the students.
  • For most social work master’s courses, a minimum IELTS score of 6.0 or a TOEFL score of 79 is required.
  • Few universities also have specific band scores requirements.

Masters in Social Work in the UK Without IELTS

While IELTS is one of the most important prerequisites for a student’s application for admission to a master’s in social work, in the UK, several UK universities relax this eligibility criterion. The IELTS score is completely waived off if the following requirements are fulfilled. These include: assessment of the student’s 10+2 English language scores and telephonic interviews are also conducted for testing the English language proficiency of the students. MSW In UK without IELTS is possible with a minimum of 60% in the 12th English language examinations (subject to change every year).

Study In UK Without IELTS

UK Universities Without IELTS For MSW in the UK

  • University of Bath – MRes in Social Work
  • University of Bristol – MSc in Social Work
  • University of Bristol – MSc in Social Work Research (social policy)
  • University of Edinburgh – Master of Social Work
  • University of Dundee – MSc in Advanced Social Work Studies
  • University of Dundee – MSc in Social Work
  • University of Sussex – MA in Social Work
  • University of Sheffield – MA in Social Work
  • Nottingham Trent University – MA in Social Work
  • University of Strathclyde – Master of Social Work

Documents Required for Masters in Social Work in the UK

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

  • SOP
  • Letter Of Recommendation
  • Completed Admission Application Form
  • Academic transcripts from recognised educational institutions, along with their English translations
  • Proof of English language proficiency
  • Resume
  • A Copy of Passport

UK Student Visa

After receiving the acceptance letter from MSW Universities in the UK, as a next step, students will be required to apply for a UK student visa or a Tier-4 visa. 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 even longer during peak times, such as for the September intake. However, to ensure you’re getting the visa, the following requirements must be met:

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

Apart from the above, there are some one-time additional costs for an international student planning to do masters in social work in the UK, which includes one-time payments on the visa application fee, admission application fee as well as exam registration fee.

Student Visa For UK from India 2022

Scholarships for Masters in Social Work in the UK

Scholarships for non-EU applicants in the UK can be segregated into three major categories:

  • Partial: Covering a specific part/percentage of the tuition fees
  • Complete: Referring to the entire or 100% tuition fee
  • Others: This could Include travel and living costs along with the tuition fees

Some of these scholarships are offered at various universities offering master’s in social work in the UK are as follows:

  • University of Edinburgh: Chevening Scholarships (full scholarship), UNESCO Scholarships, Inlaks Shivdasani Foundation (full tuition fees)
  • University of Manchester: Manchester Alumni Scholarship Schemes, awards £3,000, GREAT Scholarships (varying amount)
  • University of Bristol: Think Big Postgraduate Scholarships, awards £5,000, £10,000 or £20,000, Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries, awards £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), Equal Access Scholarships (£10,660 plus full fee waiver); York Graduate Research School Scholarships for Overseas Research Students (approx £15,000 per year, plus fee waiver)
  • University of Bath: Dean’s Award for Academic Excellence (£5,000)
  • 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 offers 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 (up to £5,000), Humanitarian Scholarship (up to £38,500).

UK Scholarships For Indian Students 2022

MSW With Placement in the UK

Master in Social work with placement in the UK addresses the need and supply of qualified professionals in the field and for preparing students for a boost in their early careers. MSc Social work with work placement in the UK is designed for twenty-four months, where students are taught modules successfully, and they complete the course before the dissertation phase.

Universities offering master’s in Social work with internships in the UK generally have the responsibility of offering support and guidance to the students. During the placement, students undertake internships for social care and social work practice within partner medical institutions of the university they studied at.

In some universities in the UK, the eligibility for being considered for placement is completing the masters in Social work successfully with at least 50% scores. The program has one year of theory and one year of internship (which is not compulsory to complete the degree). The fees for the second academic year would be a few thousand pounds extra from regular courses without the internship.


MSW in the UK is a decision of a lifetime as the country offers great courses from some of the topmost universities in the world. MSW from the UK presents numerous exciting learning experiences to students and more. In addition to that, many cities in the UK are considered the most international student-friendly cities, among which London, England, is considered to be one of the top ones on the world list.

The bottom line is that UK cities offer the best student-life balance to international students and are looked up to in terms of affordability and desirability. If you are ready to take the first step, further information to go for an undergraduate or master’s course from the UK is just an email or a click away on LeapScholar.

Frequently Asked Questions 

1. What are the starting salaries for MSW in the UK?

Ans. To be a social worker, a degree in the field would put you in a better position for a strong starting salary. Depending on your position, you can expect an annual salary between 16,371 GBP and 25,111 GBP, according to popular job websites/portals. If you become a certified social worker, your chances to draw a bigger salary increase.

2. Is MSW a sought-after course in the UK?

Ans. The Social work industry is growing rapidly in the UK, and pursuing a degree in this field is a good idea and also a great investment because the returns are very high.

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An International Higher Ed professional with 7+ years of experience studying, working, and living across three geographies, currently on a mission to share his journey as an International Student.