Social work (M23)

Course overview

Delivered jointly with the University of East London, this course will equip you with the skills, knowledge and reflective capacity you need to practice as an effective social worker. Upon successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with the regulatory body for social workers, Social Work England. 

Want to hear more? Join this course information session at our virtual open day on Saturday 25 June. Book your place using our booking form here.

This course combines a distinct theoretical and practical approach with a focus on developing as critical reflective practitioners. The first term of your first year is spent at the UEL Stratford campus where you will gain a wide ranging introduction to theory and practice through The Fundamentals of Social Work Practice and Social Work Law modules. You will undertake a practice learning placement for 70 days in a voluntary, private or statutory agency. You will be supervised and assessed by a suitably qualified practice educator. From term two you will have a day of class-based learning at the Tavistock Centre to study human growth and development. As part of this module, you will undertake a 12-week observation of an infant or young child.

In your second year you will complete a 100 day social work practice placement starting in the autumn term. You will also complete your dissertation and study the Professional Development module, both of which support and develop your placement learning. As part of professional development you will participate in a week-long experiential group relations conference in either December or April.

This course will equip you with the skills and knowledge needed to practice as a reflective, capable, and effective social worker. Developed in collaboration with local employers, the course reflects the priorities and needs of contemporary social work practice and is approved by Social Work England. 

On this course, under supervision and guidance, you will complete two periods of assessed social work practice and be able to demonstrate attainment of nationally recognised standards in social work.

You will develop knowledge of the psychodynamic and systemic theories that inform social work practice and work within organisations. You will engage with the legal and policy framework for practice and extend your ability to assess and analyse complex human situations. You will learn how to evaluate theory and research (including writing a Masters level dissertation). Beginning to consider and conceptualise a range of relevant interventions and to review outcomes which will prepare you for your first year as a newly qualified social worker.

This qualifying course teaches you to work with a relationship-based approach to practice. It will enable you to acquire the capacity to work therapeutically and to cultivate communication, interpersonal and inter-professional skills with social work service users and other professionals, including through experiential learning.

What our students say

This course is ideal if you are a graduate committed to a future career in social work.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you have:

  • some experience of working with vulnerable people in a caring role and an understanding of how this relates to social work practice
  • a 2:1 degree classification in any subject; however, if you have a 2:2, plus a postgraduate qualification or extensive experience, you may also be considered
  • a current assessment of your potential health needs and the possible impact on fitness to practise. We therefore encourage you to complete a health and wellbeing self-declaration form at the interview, relating to health conditions that will affect your practice.


The assessment mode for this course includes formative assignments, a short on-line law test, written academic assignments and reflections on experiential learning such as the Group Relations Conference in the 2nd year.


Students will attend classroom learning for one day a week (or equivalent in term 1) with practice learning on the other days. 

There is some time allocated to self-directed learning.

Applications to this course are made via the University of East London.

MA / Master's
Course length:
2 years
The Tavistock Centre, London
Admission status:
Course lead:
Shantel Thomas

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