Working with complex needs in contemporary social work practice (M45)

Course overview

This course offers social workers the chance to develop core social work skills at an advanced level. It recognises the complexity with which social workers need to attend in 21st century social work and the emotionally distressing and challenging nature of the work.  This course is taught in modules and students may take up to five years to complete the course.  To find out more about this course, please contact us.

This course is offered as a credit accumulation model to give you maximum flexibility so that you can enrol onto individual modules as stand-alone credit-bearing CPD.

The modules are all optional meaning that you can pick those which interest you the most. However, you can only undertake the BIA module if you are a social worker working in a relevant setting. In order to receive the PgCert or PgDip, you will need to enrol onto the award programme  To gain the full PgDip, you will need to successfully complete four taught modules from the list below.   If you successfully complete two modules you may finish your studies at this point and take a Postgraduate Certificate as an exit award.

Through a series of seminars, lectures, reflective group discussions and case study groups, the following mdules will be taught:

  • Strengths-based approaches in contemporary social work practice
  • Reflective Supervision and Leading on Practice
  • Best Interests Assessor*
  • Using observation in social work
  • Policy, Power and Activism

* Please note that you can can only undertake the BIA module if you are a social worker working in a relevant setting.

Social work and social care programmes at the Tavistock and Portman are among the most established and respected in the UK, and delivered within a working NHS clinic.

The primary aim of this new course is to provide you as a social worker with validated, credit bearing, CPD to allow for your professional development.  This course has been carefully developed to give social workers from adult, child and mental health disciplines the environment to study together and learn with practitioners from other fields.

This course is for you if you are a social worker, or work in the social care field, and wish to increase your CPD through a course that will provide you with theoretical frameworks and reflective, experiential learning that allow you to engage with the complexities of your role.  You will also develop your capacities to work effectively in often, challenging environments.

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

  • hold a first degree classified at 2:2 or above or equivalent
  • have at least two years post graduate experience in the field of social care, or for social workers, post qualifying social work experience.
  • be a currently registered health or social care practitioner (social work, nursing, occupational therapy or psychology).
  • have at least two years' post-registration experience.
  • have relevant knowledge, experience and practice capability within a health or social care setting.
  • are currently employed in a suitable setting for the duration of the programme.


£ 1,460 per module which is an annual fee of £4,380


£2,920 per module which is an annual fee of £8,760

For more information about how Brexit may affect your fee status, please see Brexit information for EU & EEA and Swiss Nationals

Please note that course fees are subject to a 3% or CPI uplift each year, whichever is greater.

We are happy offer a range of ways to pay your fees, as well as some funding for specific courses. 

Postgraduate Diploma
Course length:
2 years
Adults and children
Admission status:
Course lead:
Sylvia Smith

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Skills for Care have endorsed us as a ‘Recognised Provider’ for our social work and social care courses.