Social Work Practice - Master of Professional Social Work Practice

About the course

The Master of Professional Social Work Practice (Step Up to Social Work) course allows graduates holding the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Social Work Practice to progress to a full Masters award by undertaking a work-based research project.

This work-based course will enable you to gain the systematic and independent ability to critically evaluate current theoretical understanding and practice.

You will develop the skills needed to apply knowledge-informed and evidence based practice in the workplace, and have opportunities to undertake a piece of supervised research.

At the end of your studies, you will have achieved a nationally-recognised professional qualification in Social Work together with a postgraduate academic award.

  • Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Social Work Practice - Master of Professional Social Work Practice - University Square Campus, Luton

  • Apply Via - DIRECT ENTRY
  • Course level - Postgraduate
  • UCAS Code -
  • Campus Location - University Square Campus, Luton
  • Start dates - Feb
  • Duration - 2 Years
  • Attendance - Full time
  • Download Course Specifications

Why choose this course?

  • Study in both classroom and practice settings to develop the skills of communication, teamwork and leadership you will need to address a range of increasingly complex issues
  • Explore, understand and critically evaluate the power structures of society which create inequalities, and acquire an awareness of the tools and techniques which can be used to counter them
  • Develop the skills of initiative, resourcefulness, critical reflection and emotional literacy that you will need if you are to offer successful solutions to human problems
  • Gain a deep and systematic understanding of the applied social sciences that inform the knowledge and practice of social work, including sociology, social policy, law and ethics
  • Benefit from a critical awareness of current social issues and develop confidence in the approaches required to address them.

Unit Information – What Will I Learn?

  • Dissertation for Qualified Social Workers

Discover the School of Applied Social Studies

How will I be assessed?

Students progressing to the Master of Professional Social Work Practice award will design, carry out and evaluate original research in the workplace under the supervision of a member of the academic team, in order to demonstrate in-depth knowledge and understanding of a particular practice area.

You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will work closely with the student to support the development of their research topic. You will normally be expected to negotiate the research area with senior managers in their employing organisation.

Entry requirements

  • Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

This course is only open to graduates holding a PG Diploma in Social Work. This course does not currently allow for open access. Recruitment is governed by the Department for Education (DfE) and advertising and the initial application process is managed by the DfE. Standard University entry requirements apply but applicants must also meet the DfE and College of Social Work entry requirements as set out below.

International students are not eligible for this course unless they have indefinite leave to remain and access to public funds - and must have achieved IELTS Level 7 in order to be considered.

In order to be eligible for this course you must have a first degree (First Class or Upper Second Class honours) in any discipline, in addition, you must meet the Department for Education criteria of having experience of working with children, young people and families and demonstrate emotional resilience. As for any qualifying Social Work course all successful applicants must also have achieved at least Key Skills level 2 in English and Mathematics. This would normally be equivalent to grade C in the GCSE examination in English and Mathematics.

The initial recruitment process will be managed nationally by the Department for Education and applicants will then be shortlisted and interviewed locally by regional employers and their partner HEIs, in this case the University of Bedfordshire.

The selection process will require you to demonstrate substantial relevant experience and an aptitude to work with children and families in need, i.e. the appropriate personal qualities, values and skills to be a social worker (i.e. the Professional Capabilities Framework at entry level). It will include a written task, group exercise, role play and personal interview in accordance with the College of Social Work guidance on recruitment.

You will be required to declare any previous offences (including reprimands and formal warnings) and any previous disciplinary matters, and if selected, you will be required to undergo an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check to ensure your suitability for working with vulnerable groups. In addition you will need to complete a health declaration and give permission for contact with your GP, where necessary, to confirm your suitability for Social Work training and professional registration.

If you have relevant prior experience and /or certificated learning you may be able to claim RPL (Recognition of Prior Learning) in accordance with the University's published criteria and up to a maximum of 60 academic credits at M level.

How will this course enhance my career prospects?

By completing the Master of Professional Social Work Practice you will be well placed to progress on to one of the School of Applied Social Studies' Professional Doctorate (DProf) awards in due course to enhance you own knowledge and career development as well as being able to make a distinctive contribution to your profession. 

Further post-qualifying (PQ) level study is also available to qualified social workers in a range of settings, allowing graduates to engage in continuous professional development and demonstrate their fitness for continuing professional registration.

Students undertaking the Masters stage are currently engaged in a wide range of practice relevant research. By deepening their knowledge of a specific area of practice, students are able to demonstrate a commitment to their own professional development and provide their practice area with access to cutting edge knowledge.
Quote from a lecturer

Go Global

Whether you want to learn a new language, build networks, simply have the travel bug, or want to develop new skills and life experiences, our Go Global programme offers the opportunity to broaden your horizons, enhance your CV, and gain a truly international experience, all at the same time as studying towards your undergraduate degree. The Go Global programme is open to students from the UK and EU.

Travel to exciting destinations, including:

  • China
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • New York
  • Malaysia and Singapore

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Go Europe

Our International students meanwhile, can make the most of trips to a series of exciting European destinations. From France and Belgium, to Holland and Germany, there are plenty of places to visit, network and broaden your knowledge of the global market place, by seeing and experiencing it for yourself, first-hand.

At the University of Bedfordshire we ensure that your experience here is cultural, as well as academic. That’s why a whole host of opportunities are opened up to you, providing you with that all important experience to make you stand out from the crowd when it comes to getting graduates jobs.

Fees and funding


See UK/EU Postgraduate students for full information on fees and funding.

Alternatively if you have any questions around fees and funding, please email


A prompt payment discount is available if you pay the full fee before or at registration. There are also special scholarships available.

See Fees and Funding for International Students for full information.


Our flagship £34m Campus Centre is funky and functional. It brings together all our student services, social and learning spaces, and a 240-seat lecture theatre under one roof.

The Campus Centre building is connected to the rest of the University and the first floor acts as a one-stop shop for all students services.

Designed for work as well as play, the Campus Centre incorporates relaxed learning zones with Wi-Fi access.

It also features the Students' Union support services and executive offices alongside places to eat

Accommodation at Luton

Our contemporary en-suite accommodation features 852 fully-furnished flats, just part of our accommodation offering of more than 1,500 study rooms.

This exciting new facility includes:

  • state-of-the-art IT and AV equipment
  • informal and quiet learning spaces
  • two Harvard-style lecture theatres
  • a student lounge and cafe

Luton campus is home to the following departments:

  • Business
  • Media, Art and Design
  • Science
  • Computing
  • Law
  • Psychology
  • Social Sciences

Whatever degree you choose the facilities will be first class:

  • New facilities in the Computing and Media departments
  • Business facilities including pioneering Business Pods and a Law Moot Court
  • Dedicated laboratories for psychology, sport and exercise science, biomedical science and forensics
  • Multi-camera HDTV and radio studios
  • Art and design studios

Town centre location

The Luton campus is right in the centre of town next to a large shopping mall and within easy walking distance of the student halls, train and bus stations.

Directions to Luton campus

Luton is the largest town in Bedfordshire and is approximately 50km north of London.

It has excellent transport links to the rest of the UK and Europe, and central London is only a 30-minute train journey away.

Luton is has excellent transport links to other cities such as Manchester, Leeds and Milton Keynes. London Luton Airport is located just 2.5km from the Luton campus.

How to Apply

Bedfordshire University

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