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Social Work


The MSc in Social Work is a highly innovative programme which offers you an opportunity to study and practice social work in a way which breaks down the barriers between theory and practice. We value the qualities and experiences which students bring to our programme and build on these to produce social work graduates equipped for 21st century social work practice.

Why study Social Work at Dundee?

The MSc in Social Work is delivered within the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education. This reflects the multi-disciplinary context in which social work operates as a profession.

The aims of the programme are to equip our graduates to:

  • Work with individuals, families, groups, organisations and communities
  • Function as an agent of change
  • Work for social justice
  • Act with a strong professional identity
  • Practise as accountable and autonomous professionals
  • Operate with confidence within their sphere of competence
  • Identify the need for and plan on-going professional development for themselves and their colleagues
  • Function competently in multi-disciplinary teams and settings
  • Practise in partnership with service users and carers
  • Demonstrate competence in all key roles of the Standards in Social Work Education

Carers and Users Group

The social work discipline has one of the longest standing and most innovative Carers and Users groups connected to the programme. This will provide you with crucial perspectives and experiences of service users and carers in the delivery and development of the programme.

An example of this is the award winning 'Community Care and the Caring Experience' module which offers you a unique opportunity to develop a relationship with a carer in order to examine and reflect upon the experience of caring and being cared for.

What's so good about Social Work at Dundee?

Research-led teaching

Our academic staff team are committed to sharing their practice and research expertise with students and facilitating each individual journey towards qualification. The staff team contains leading researchers in a broad range of areas including Criminal Justice Social Work, Child Protection, Relationship-based practice, Groupwork, Learning Disabilities and Leadership. This expertise underpins the programme content and the emphasis on the importance of research informed practice.

"The strength of your department and teaching really is something very special. I have studied at the University before, but I have never experienced such commitment and passion in one group of people, and I feel truly privileged to have been a part of it."
Rebecca Laing - MSc in Social Work Student 2013

Professional accreditation

The MSc in Social Work is professionally accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC).

Practice learning opportunities

The programme has links with a broad range of excellent agencies across the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. This provides students with exceptional practice learning opportunities.

Due to the geographical location of the University, you will be able to take advantage of practice learning opportunities across a range of locations including Dundee, Perth, Fife, Angus and Edinburgh. This adds a depth and richness to the opportunities available and broadens the networks that students can establish during their time on the programme.

Who should study this course?

This programme is intended for students who wish to qualify and register as a social worker with the Scottish Social Services Council and who wish to study on an innovative and engaging Master's level programme.

"There isn't a 'typical' undergraduate degree and work experience path that leads to the MSc in Social Work and so students bring a diverse range of knowledge and experience. What this means for me as a tutor is the opportunity to work with a diverse range of students and help them realise their academic and inter-personal potential."
Ann Hodson – Lecturer in Social Work, 2014

Teaching & Assessment

This course is taught by staff in the School of Education, Social Work and Community Education..

Our MSc in Social Work is organised in such a way that you move between campus based learning and practice learning at regular intervals. This helps you to engage with the applied nature of this programme and to critically use and evaluate knowledge in practice contexts.

The course begins in September and lasts for 22 months.

How you will be taught

The programme combines periods of campus based learning and practice learning within social work related agencies. The programme is built on adult learning principles and you will be encouraged to make links with the experience, knowledge and skills that you bring to the programme. Students are expected to be able to be self-directed in their learning whilst benefitting from the support and contributions of academic staff, professional partners and service users and carers.

The curriculum is delivered through a range of teaching and learning methods including:

  • Taught inputs for academic staff and practitioners
  • Problem solving and research tasks individually and in groups
  • Practice learning opportunities in a diverse range of social work related workplaces.
  • Tutor and peer support
  • Skills based role-play
  • Service user and carer perspectives

We are able through our partnership with the MSc in Social Work programme, not only to be involved, but importantly, to influence how you will be prepared with the knowledge, and skills, to recognise and deliver the services we all need."
John Dow (Carers and Users Group, 2014)

What you will study

The MSc programme is designed around 7 assessment-based modules:

  • Professional Decision Making - A (module 1a)
  • Community Care and the Caring Experience (module 2)
  • Integrated Social Work Practice – A (module 5a)
  • Professional Development of Self, Peers & Colleagues (module 4)
  • Professional Decision Making – B (module 1b)
  • Evaluating and Contributing to Policy Development (module 3)
  • Integrated Social Work Practice – B (module 5b)

How you will be assessed

The programme is assessed through essay based tasks. The emphasis is on the links between theory and practice and all assessments locate knowledge within practice contexts.


The MSc In Social Work provides graduates with the professionally required social work qualification and opens up employment opportunities across a broad range of social work roles in the statutory, voluntary and private sectors. The qualification is generic and equips graduates to work across the broad range of service user groups and practice contexts.

"Absolutely delighted that *all* of my MSc Social Work tutor group have got jobs!"
Jon Bolton, course tutor, 2012

Entry Requirements

EU and International students visit our EU and International webpages for entry requirements tailored to your home country.

You should have an Honours Degree of 2:2 or above.

English Language Requirement: IELTS minimum overall score of 6.0, with a minimum of 6.0 in the writing component and a minimum of 5.5 in the other 3 components.

English Language Pre-Sessional Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional programmes throughout the year and Foundation Programme(s) for both undergraduate and postgraduate students which start at the beginning of the academic year.  These programmes are all designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.  Successful completion of these programmes guarantees progression to various degrees at the University of Dundee as long as you hold a relevant offer.

The 30 week (one Academic Year) Foundation Programme(s) allow applicants who have not met our typical academic entry requirements, and require additional English Language support by up to 1.0 IELTS, to gain the necessary qualifications to enter the University of Dundee degree programmes in the following year.

The 24 week Pre-Sessional programme (March – August) provides additional English Language tuition for students who do not meet our minimum English Language requirements by up to 1.0 IELTS and the 10 week Pre-Sessional programme  (June – August) (October – December) provides specialist English Language tuition for students who are 0.5 IELTS below the requirement for their degree programme.

Fees and Funding

Academic Year Home/EU Overseas
2014-15 £3,800 £11,500

Sources of Funding

Scottish domiciled students
The Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) provide a number of postgraduate student bursaries which can help meet tuition fee, normal living costs and other expenses such as books and travel relating to practice learning.  If you have dependents you may also qualify for additional funding. 

If you accept an offer from Dundee and are eligible for an SSSC bursary we will advise you at the time whether we will nominate you to SSSC for a bursary as there are a limited number of bursaries available. SSSC will then contact you directly about your bursary application which involves you submitting information about your income, expenditure and family circumstances. Please note: nomination for a SSSC bursary is not a guarantee that you will be awarded funding and that there may be a funding gap between the bursary that you are awarded and the tuition fee rate set by the University.

More information is available:

There are a range of scholarships available to postgraduate students from a variety of backgrounds.  More information can be found on our Scholarships webpage.

Student Loans
Students can apply for a loan to the Student Loans Company. More information is available:

Career Development Loans
You may be able to apply for a Career Development Loan which are available to students studying in England, Scotland and Wales only. More information is available by telephone at: 0800 100 900.

Living Costs

  • Dundee is ranked as one of the most affordable places for students to live in the UK, and the cost of living is around 15% cheaper than the UK average.
  • Increasing numbers of students are successfully undertaking part-time work to supplement their income. You can get advice from our Careers Service, both about job opportunities and how to find a suitable study/work/life balance. EU and international students are also allowed to work up to 20 hours per week.
  • As a student in Scotland, you have free access to the National Health Service. Visits to doctors and hospitals, as well as prescriptions, sight tests and dental checkups, are available free of charge.

Your Application

Apply online at the UCAS website, course code L508

There are two stages to the application process. Stage 1 entails an initial assessment of the quality the UCAS application form. Applications which are deemed of a good standard will proceed to the Stage 2 written task which seeks a deeper understanding of the knowledge, motivations and values of applicants.

Programme Administrator

Alison Watson
School of Education, Social Work &
Community Education
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 381469 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 381469 (from outside the UK)

Fax: 01382 381511 (from the UK)
Fax: +44 1382 381511 (from outside the UK)


Admissions Contact

Undergraduate Admissions(Miss)
Admissions and Student Recruitment
University of Dundee

Telephone: 01382 384697/ 384029/ 388547 (from the UK)
Telephone: +44 1382 384697/ 384029/ 388547 (from outside the UK)