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Different course options

Study mode

Full time


21 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Social Work

Course type


Course Summary

This course, unique to the UK, provides an opportunity for you to qualify as a social worker while at the same time engaging with debates around the importance of human rights and social justice in the context of social work practice.

Building on the success of our existing Social Work programmes and the global reputation of the University's outstanding human rights research, we’ve designed a new postgraduate approach to social work education. Our Social Work students will not only acquire the necessary skills and knowledge to practice as social workers, but they will also have the opportunity to learn about the importance of human rights in an inter-professional manner, alongside students and tutors from the University's Law Clinic. Moreover, through our work with the United Nations, governments, human rights organisations and corporations all over the world, we bring a global outlook to our teaching.

We’ve blended theory and practice throughout to nurture you from a trainee social worker to a confident professional practitioner. You will explore the fundamental principles of human rights and equality, and examine how these doctrines will underpin your practice. You will also cover topics including:

  • Service users autonomy
  • Social justice and values
  • Equality and diversity
  • Safeguarding and protection
  • Evidence-based relational practice

We are ranked among the top 200 departments in the QS World University Rankings (2018) and we are top 20 in the UK for research excellence (REF 2014, mainstream universities, THE 2014).


An introductory module exploring the knowledge and understanding that underpins the effective practice of social work. The module examines a variety of social science theories, models and perspectives used by social workers to understand the lives of the individuals, groups and communities whose interests they serve. These are organised around the practice themes of Strengths based approaches, relational and solution focused social work, leadership and human rights.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

You should have: a 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) in any discipline. Applications from students with a 2:2 or equivalent will also be considered where applicants also have significant vocationally relevant experience; Hold GCSE Maths and English grade C/4 or above, or equivalent at the time of application; Have some paid or voluntary work experience in health or social care in a relevant social care or child care/education setting; successful performance at interview and sucessfully pass an English language assessment. You must also have one satisfactory reference (either academic or professional).

University information

The University of Essex is a hub of innovation and stereotype-breaking success. It offers students a fantastic academic experience, and a fresh way of thinking about some of the key challenges faced by society today. The university delivers an impressive selection of postgraduate courses at a number of levels, including master’s programmes, doctoral degrees, research positions and short courses for continued professional development. The...more

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