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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

+I am an international student, can I apply?

You may apply but please note: a) that the programme prepares you for registration as a social worker in the United Kingdom, b) all applicants considered for the MSW must attend an interview, although where this is not practicable an alternative form of remote interview may be arranged c) there are no university scholarships available for this programme. You may be able to obtain sponsorship from a Foundation or Trust.

If English is not your first language then an IELTS (or equivalent) score of 7.0 with no element below 6.5.