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Department of Sociology

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

What do I need to be accepted on the programme?
As a postgraduate programme, we are looking for individuals who have the potential to become good social workers and the ability to study at Masters level. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and with diverse life experiences. The entry requirements for this Programme are:

  • Normally a minimum Upper Second class Honours degree (2:1);
  • Students must also have GCSE Mathematics and GCSE English grade C or above, or equivalent, at the time of application;
  • Relevant work experience in a voluntary or employed capacity;
  • Applicants for whom English is not a first language will be required to demonstrate evidence of English Language Competence equivalent to IELTS 7 with no element less than 6.5.

In exceptional cases, applicants holding a Lower Second class Honours degree (2:2) may be considered where there is evidence of extensive relevant employed work experience in a social care setting.

You will also be required to:

  • prepare a personal statement that offers evidence of having tested your motivation for social work through eg:

i) a sustained period in employment and/or volunteering in social care or a closely related field,

ii) personal experience of accessing social work services that have offered you clear insights into the roles of social workers,

iii) and showing how your experiences have informed your decision to apply for social work training.

  • attend an interview*;
  • demonstrate fitness to undergo social work training;
  • provide evidence that you do not have a criminal record that might restrict your opportunities to work with children or vulnerable adults. Candidates will be required as a condition of admission to undertake, or provide evidence of, a current DBS check.

*Candidates who are based overseas and cannot attend an interview in person may be interviewed remotely and should contact the admissions secretary if necessary to seek advice.

How to apply
The Admissions Tutor gives equal consideration to all applications received before the UCAS January deadline, in accordance with UCAS regulations and University policy. However, we start assessing applications and interviewing from November onwards, in order to meet the required timescales. It is, therefore, advisable to make an early application.

Applications must be made via UCAS

For further information about the Master of Social Work contact:
Social Work Admissions Secretary
Department of Sociology
Durham University
30 Old Elvet
Durham DH1 3HN

Tel: 0191 334 1473

List of FAQs

+How much previous experience do I need and in what fields of work?

The amount of experience necessary to have tested your understanding of social work, and motivation to undertake social work training varies depending on personal circumstances. Relevant experience may come through life experiences of accessing social work services or working in social care settings in the UK or abroad. As a rough guide it is recommended that applicants have at least six months experience.