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Social Work

PgCert | PgDip | MSc
PgCert | PgDip | MSc Social Work

The MSc Social Work course at Robert Gordon University focuses on the values, skills and competencies required for the practice of social work to the qualifying level set by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). It will give you the ability to positively impact society and improve the lives of individuals in an important profession.

The higher exit option (MSc) is an academic award based on research rather than a professional award, and offers a methodological underpinning for those seeking to move into research or training in social work.

Alternatively, as a PgDip graduate you will be capable of gaining employment in areas where a professional qualification in social work is required, including field work, group care, community care and hospital settings in the public, voluntary and private sectors.

This course has one study option

Mode of Attendance

  • On Campus

Mode of Study

  • Full Time

Start Date


Course Length

2 years and 3 months
Our Social Work course is designed to give you all the skills you need to flourish within your career.

The MSc includes developing your knowledge, skills and professional confidence, providing you with competence requirements in the context of specific social work disciplines. 

In two years, graduates can qualify with a Postgraduate Certificate allowing them to practice in the UK.

To graduate with a Master's in Social Work requires students to complete a dissertation. The Master's in Social Work is an academic qualification that is a useful for applicants who would like to work abroad.



Modules and delivery order may change for operational purposes. The University regularly reviews its courses. Course content and structure may change over time. See our course and module disclaimer for more information.

Detailed module information

Staff Delivering on This Course

Our school is the largest provider of social work education in Scotland, with an expanding social science teaching and research portfolio. We’re also proud to offer some of the most desirable Social Work Postgraduate courses in the UK. Our team of lecturers have strong practice and research backgrounds, and a passion for helping you to understand how to become a Social Worker. They’ll help you to achieve your best – whether that’s online, supervising your dissertation, or providing pastoral support. With small class sizes we get to know you as an individual throughout your course. Our teaching staff will provide you with a stimulating and enjoyable education as you gain a range of skills required to add value to society in a wide-range of career possibilities.

How long is a Social Work course?

This Social Work course can be successfully completed within 2 years and 3 months.

Independent Study

A significant portion of this course is underpinned by independent learning, and you will be expected to be responsible for managing your coursework, reading and other learning activities appropriately.


We aim to provide you with feedback within 20 working days of hand-in for all written exams, coursework and practical exams.


Academic Support

The Inclusion Centre advises and supports students who disclose a sensory or mobility impairment, chronic medical condition, mental health issue, dyslexia and other specific learning differences. Applicants are encouraged to arrange a pre-entry visit to discuss any concerns and to view the facilities.

Online Learning & Support

All undergraduate and postgraduate students, whether you are learning on campus or by online learning, benefit from using our collaborative virtual learning environment, CampusMoodle. You will be provided with 24/7 online access to your learning material and resources, along with the ability to interact with your class members and tutors for discussion and support.

Study Skills Support

The Study Support Team provides training and support to all students in:

  • Academic writing
  • Study skills (note taking, exam techniques, time management, presentation)
  • Maths and statistics
  • English language
  • Information technology support

Library Support

The Library offers support for your course, including the books, eBooks, and journals you will need. We also offer online reading lists for many modules, workshops and drop-ins on searching skills and referencing, and much more.



You will undertake two mandatory placements, one 80-day placement and one of 90-days.

You have the opportunity to apply to undertake the first placement overseas in a service setting that is negotiated with our partner universities. Students who have completed Study Abroad placements often reflect on the experience as being challenging and transformative in terms of personal and professional development.

Job Prospects

As a graduate of this course you will be capable of gaining employment in areas where a professional qualification in social work is required, including field work, group care, community care and hospital settings in the public, voluntary and private sectors.


What is needed for MSc Social Work?

Our entry requirements are as follows:

  • Applicants should hold the equivalent of a 2:2 undergraduate degree in a relevant discipline
  • Applicants with a lower degree classification and relevant work experience will be considered on a case by case basis
  • Scottish National Grade 5 or GCSE in Maths grade B or equivalent required. Applicants that do not have this will be offered the University’s numeracy test
  • Applicants are also required to show evidence of computer literacy for the European Computer Driving Licence. Whilst this is mandatory, this is not a requirement prior to the course starting, rather it is something that we measure throughout the course as students have to access teaching online, submit assignments online and also work with IT systems whilst out on placement.
  • Applicants from the UK and EU must submit their application via UCAS. International Applicants may submit their application via UCAS or direct to the University. Please note that within the personal statement section of the application, include: 
    • Your understanding of the social work profession in the UK (and in your home country if you are an applicant from outside the UK), 
    • Why you wish to study the MSc Social Work at Robert Gordon University, and 
    • How you plan to use this qualification in your future career plan.
  • All offers are subject to satisfactory Health Clearance, Disclosure and Barring Service/Criminal Conviction Check, a successful interview and passing our written test. 

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English should have an IELTS of 7.0 overall and 7.0 in each element, or an equivalent.

We accept a variety of in-country and secure English language tests, find out more:

Our Pre-Sessional English Programme (PSP) is available for students who have not yet reached the required English level and those who would like to improve their language competency.

Please note, some courses may require a higher standard of English than stated in this page. Contact for further information.


Tuition fees for this MSc Social Work course are as follows:

For Academic Year 2021/2022

  • Scottish Students - £4,750 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students - £5,640 per academic year
  • EU Students - £5,640 per academic year
  • International Students - £14,350 per academic year

For Academic Year 2020/2021

  • Scottish/EU Students - £4,750 per academic year
  • Rest of UK Students - £5,640 per academic year
  • International Students - £14,350 per academic year

Additional Costs

The following course-related costs are not included in the course fees:

Alumni Discount

Robert Gordon University is delighted to offer a 20% loyalty discount on course fees for all alumni who have graduated from RGU.

Student Funding

The School of Applied Social Studies receives an allocation of bursaries from the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC) for Scottish and EU students. The bursaries are allocated to applicants by the School of Applied Social Studies. Successful applicants will be notified by the school and advised of the application process.

Scholarships and Financial Awards

You may also qualify for a scholarship or financial award:


For new intakes course fees are reviewed and published annually for each mode of delivery. Tuition fees are fixed for the duration of a course at the rate confirmed in the offer letter.  For further information see:


Have a question about the course? Get in touch with our Student Admissions Service and we'll do our best to help.

Get in touch

Taking this course, you will have access to some of the world's best facilities. 

We've invested more than £100 million in the development of our campus, new facilities and new resources.

University Wide Facilities

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