PgDip Social Work (Step Up to Social Work)

Professional Accreditations

The programme offers you a 14-month postgraduate diploma, enabling you to register as a qualified social worker upon completion. You’ll also have the opportunity to achieve a master’s degree in social work by undertaking a dissertation module at the end of the programme.

About the course

Step Up to Social Work is a fast-track, nationally recognised and fully funded social work training programme.

Designed to support highly skilled graduates into children’s social care, this 14-month programme will immerse you in the challenging world of social work and lay the foundations for your future career. If you’re interested in a career change, this programme will give you the tools to succeed.

You’ll gain hands-on experience throughout the programme from learning from, real-world experiences while on placement and from expert practitioners and academics in the classroom.

You’ll even have the opportunity to contribute to best practice in social work upon completion of the programme. The programme is one of the only Step Up to Social Work programmes in the country that funds its graduates to complete a research project and gain a Master’s degree, giving you the opportunity to develop your research skills and gain a higher qualification.

Step Up is employer-led, delivered by the West London Social Work Partnership on behalf of the Department for Education together with the University of Hertfordshire.  

Find out more about the Step Up to Social Work programme.

Why choose this course?

As part of the Step Up to Social Work programme, you’ll benefit from:

  • a bursary of approximately £19,000 to train and there are no tuition fees to pay
  • an immersive 14-month programme which qualifies you as a social worker enabling you to start working in your dream career
  • practice-led learning completing 170 days on placement in one of eight West London boroughs
  • real-world experience to ensure you are prepared with the knowledge, skills and experience to equip you for practice
  • 100% employment rates of our graduates within West London upon completion of the programme
  • the opportunity to complete a dissertation and gain a master’s qualification over the course of your first year in practice – now called ASYE.
  • 2nd in the East of England for Social Work (2023 Complete University Guide).

What will I study?

You’ll be taught in Central London by experienced academics in collaboration with experts by experience and practitioners in the field.

You’ll also complete 170 days on placement in a West London borough – a location which benefits from being at the forefront of improving outcomes for children and families. A number of innovative practice models are embedded across the region, including:

  • systemic practice approaches
  • strengths based models
  • and signs of safety.

This ensures you’ll learn the latest practices being used in the field. The West London boroughs also offer great opportunities for training and development and networking post qualification.

During the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, the teaching shifted online with live lectures, weekly journal clubs and pastoral groups.

Upon completion of the programme, you’ll have the opportunity to complete a dissertation and gain a master’s qualification over the course of your first year in practice.

  • Level 7
    Module Credits Compulsory/optional
    Legislative and Policy Context of Practice 30 Credits Compulsory
    Skills for Practice 1 0 Credits Compulsory
    Vulnerable Adults as Parents 15 Credits Compulsory
    Developing Practice Learning 1 15 Credits Compulsory
    Protecting Vulnerable Children and Building Resilience 15 Credits Compulsory
    Developing Practice Learning 2 15 Credits Compulsory
    Knowledge, Skills and Methods for Professional Practice 30 Credits Compulsory
    Skills for Practice 2 0 Credits Compulsory
  • Further course information

    Additional information

    Sandwich placement or study abroad year


    Applications open to international and EU students


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