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Frequently Asked Questions

For help and guidance when considering applying for the MA in Social Work please refer to these questions and answers

What is taught on the course?
The course follows the guidelines set out by the Health and Care Professions Council and the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education. It is full-time for 24 months, and consists of 623 hours of structured academic teaching or tutor contact time, 30 days of professional skills development, and two practice learning placements of 70 and 100 days. You will study a mixture of lectures, workshops, seminars and experiential activities across all teaching to engage with a range of learning styles and methods. This includes collaborative group work and inter-professional learning opportunities. Practice learning placements are delivered across a wide range of established, high profile contacts which offer you excellent placement opportunities in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.

What are the entrance criteria?
You will normally have a 2:1 degree in any subject, or equivalent international degree level qualification.
You must also have GCSE (or equivalent) in both Mathematics and English at grade C or higher. If English is not your first language you will be required to submit an English Language test equivalent to an IELTS score of at least 7.0 with no less than 6.5 in any one section of the test.

I don’t have a first or a 2.I. Can I still apply?
The minimum requirement for entry is normally a minimum of a 2.I degree. In some cases, under exceptional circumstances we may consider applicants with a high 2.2. If you think this applies to you, a transcript and supporting academic reference should be provided with your application.

I don’t have my degree result yet – can I still apply?
Yes you can apply. However any offer of a place will be conditional on gaining the minimum degree requirement.

I don’t have Maths or English at grade C – can I still apply?
Yes you can apply, however any offer of a place will be conditional on your gaining Maths or English at the required level before the end of August and before you take up your place. There are many companies and institutions which offer short courses in Maths and English – if you don’t have the qualifications it is worth contacting one of these course suppliers or your local adult education college to sit the exam(s). However it is absolutely vital that you check with the admissions team that the qualification is equivalent – some are not.

I completed my formal Education abroad – can I still apply?
Yes of course, we encourage applicants from other countries as long as your qualifications are equivalent to the entry standards set out. Check out the guidelines listed: International Entry Requirements: What's my degree score equal to?

Note that we will need to see Transcripts (that is a breakdown of marks for each module of your degree). You may need to ask the awarding University for a copy of your transcript and this sometimes takes time.

Do I need Social Work experience?
You do not require formal experience working within a Social Work environment. Your professional and voluntary experiences will be taken account of at the interview stage however, and it is recommended that you seek out opportunities to develop your understanding and experience of social work and social care practices.

How do I apply?
All applications are made via UCAS (Universities & Colleges Admissions Service). Please visit the UCAS website for further information.

When is the best time to apply?
The best time to submit your application through UCAS is in the autumn/winter (from October - January). We start to consider the new applications as they arrive in October onwards for the following year.

Application form – what do I put on?
Take the opportunity when filling in the form on UCAS to tell us about yourself. In particular, be sure to include:
• A clear and well written personal statement
• Your degree result
• Your volunteering and employment history
• GCSE Maths result (or equivalent)
• GCSE English result (or equivalent)
• An academic reference if you have finished university in the last three years. If you finished university before this, a current employer’s reference is acceptable
• Any other relevant information

Personal Statement – what do I need to say on my UCAS form?
Every personal statement will be different, but we expect you to write honestly and clearly about the reasons why they want to embark on a career in Social Work. Check your spelling and grammar. Think about any relevant experience that you have gained and how it has motived you to apply for the course.

I only have photocopies of exams certificates – will this be OK?
No, we need to see original hardcopies of all supporting documentation; this includes exam certificates, passports, driving licences etc. You may have to go to the awarding institution or exam provider to get a re-printed certificate. Please bear in mind this may take some time.

The Admission Cycle
October – UCAS opens to new applications
Late November/December – Interview days begin
January 15th – UCAS closing date
April/May – Final interview day
End of August – For candidates with offers, all conditions need to be met and paperwork completed

Full admissions cycle

Can I submit a late application?
Yes you can, although please bear in mind that the official closing date for applications is January 15th. To guarantee consideration of your application please submit your UCAS form before the closing date.

I can’t contact my personal reference provider. Should I delay applying?
No, put your application through. We will need you to provide a personal reference as soon as possible though.

Clearing – are there ever places offered through clearing?
Sometimes – if people have dropped out of the course, there will be spare places available. Check our website for information on clearing.

When can I expect to hear from the Department?
We try to reply to successful candidates within 6-7 weeks from receipt of application. Unfortunately, owing to the large volume of applicants, we cannot reply individually to all failed applicants or offer feedback.

What happens after I have submitted my application?
On the basis of your UCAS application, you will be entered into the selection process, or contacted by our postgraduate admissions team to be informed that you have been unsuccessful.

If you are entered into the selection process, you will be contacted by email to request an extended personal statement. Information about what you should do in writing this statement will be provided. If your extended statement meets the required standard you will be invited in to a selection day.

When do you run selection days?
We normally hold selection/interview days from late November through to April, with all places generally confirmed by the end of May. The selection days are usually held on Wednesday afternoons.

Is there a choice of selection days?
Normally candidates are given a choice of at least two dates, and we encourage candidates to book the earliest dates they can.

What if I can’t make it to the selection day I have booked?
Please let us know so that we can offer your place to another candidate. You may be able to re-book on a later date. If you fail to attend the selection day, but haven’t given us any prior explanation we will withdraw your application.

Selection days – what can I expect if I get invited to a Selection Day?
If you are invited to a Selection day interview here at the University you will go through the selection process which includes:

• A written test
• An interview
• Group discussion of a set topic

• You will need to bring along your original certificates for your degree, Maths and English at grade C. You will also need to provide proof of identity such as a passport and a driver’s licence – a list of acceptable documents will be given pre-interview to those who have been invited.

Selection day Interview – how can I prepare?
To prepare yourself for the selection day written test, group discussion and interview, you are encouraged to think about your past experience and what motivates you to want to be a Social Worker. It is also useful to do some preparation, such as reading current social work periodicals, Community care, and the Guardian Social Care Network. You should also familiarise yourself with the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) set out by the British Association of Social Workers. This outlines the standards expected of entry level candidates to social work courses.The PCF can be found here

Do you interview everyone first and then make offers?
No, offers are made as we go along – candidates who are invited to the selection day are informed usually within a few weeks if they have been offered a place. If you are keen to study here we advise candidates to put their application in on time and choose an early interview date.

How will I be informed?
By email. Candidates are encouraged to check their email and let us know if they change their email address.

Bursary – will I be eligible?
Bursaries are administered through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHS BSA)
Please read through the NHS Bursary information to check if you will be eligible to apply.

Note that although the University may support your application, the NHS BSA makes the final decision who receives the bursary.

Bursary - How do I apply for the Bursary?
Apply online through the NHS Business Services Authority.

Note that you will only be allowed to apply once you have received confirmation of an offer.

Bursary – I don’t think I am eligible
If you are not eligible for the full bursary, you may still be able to apply for a bursary to cover travel costs to placements – please check directly with the NHS BSA. You may also be able to apply for a career development loan (see below)

Does the University choose who receives the Bursary?
The department is asked by the NHS Bursary Authority to provide a list of candidates who will be supported in their application. This list is compiled and sent at the end of the interview process, when applicants have confirmed their places on the course. However, the number of bursaries available is limited and set by the government, not the University.

Will the University apply for the Bursary on my behalf?

No, the candidate has to apply directly to the NHS Bursary Authority.

The Department will forward on a shortlist to the NHS BSA confirming which students are being supported in their bursary application – but the student needs to make his/her own application.

Can I self-fund?
Yes, we accept self-funded students.

Can I get funding from anywhere else?

You may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Loan, this is similar to the funding available for undergraduate students and available for students who are self-funding. More details of the Postgraduate loans can be found on the Warwick student funding website.

As a self-funder, you may be eligible to apply for a Career Development Loan. Professional and Career Development Loans are bank loans to pay for courses and training that help with your career or help get you into work. Loans are usually offered at a reduced interest rate and the government pays interest while you’re studying.
For further information check out the website.

Working – can I work at the same time?
The course is a full-time programme of study for two years and is very intensive. Taking paid work during term time is strongly discouraged.

How and when do I apply for a Disclosure and Barring check to be done?
You will only need to apply for a DBS check once you have been offered a place following the interview. To find out more please check the Warwick DBS website.

When does the course start?
The course starts October 2019. (Induction may take place in the week commencing 25 September 2017. There is only one start date per year.

Parking - will I be able to Park on Campus?
All parking is pay-and-display or pay-on-foot here at the University. For more information, visit the University's Car Parking pages.

Placements – where will these be based?
Practice placements are arranged for students with our partner agencies in the local area around the University. This area includes Coventry, Warwickshire, Solihull and Birmingham. Occasionally, students may access placements in different areas, although this cannot be guaranteed.

Placements – Transport
As students are out on practice placements primarily across the Birmingham, Solihull, Coventry and Warwickshire area, access to a car and a valid driving licence are useful.

Travel to the University
If you are not intending to relocate, you can travel to the University by train, bus or car. Please visit the University's Travel Directions page for more information.

Timetable - how many days will I be at the University?
Teaching is scheduled Monday – Friday 10am to 4pm. Wednesdays are normally given over to Private Study, although occasionally a tutorial may be arranged for this time. In the first year, there will be a 70 day Practice Placement and in the second year a 100 day placement. There will also be skills day workshops as well as formal lectures and seminars.

Have a look at our example timetable for more detailed information about how the course is taught.

Please note: Due to the timing of the placement days (70 and 100), there is no Easter Vacation for MA Social Work students, however, there are four weeks vacation over the Christmas and new year period. Students will be issued a full timetable on arrival, this year plan is to be used as a guide only.