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Our courses

Find out about the courses on offer, what we look for in an applicant, what our graduates go on to do and the unique strengths of Social Work at Royal Holloway, with Dr Frank Keating, below:

Social Work overview  Social Work strengths  Social Work applicants and employability 

Films courtesy of PostgraduateSearch.com|

The department has taught programmes at postgraduate and post qualification levels including the MSc Social Work. We work in partnership with local authorities and voluntary agencies to provide professional courses across health and social care settings that reflect the increasing multi disciplinary nature of social work.

Applying from overseas? Find out more about making sure your visa is correct.

The department runs a long established MSc in Social Work as well as a successful post-qualifying Graduate Diploma in Work with Children and Families and an MSc in Advanced Practice for qualified social workers.

MSc Social Work

The MSc Social Work programme leads to the professional qualification awarded by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC).

It is an accelerated rpgoramme of study, run in close partnership with local agencies based in London boroughs and neighbouring counties, that leads to a professional qualification in Social Work.  It combines class-based academic and practice oriented teaching with two field work placements.

Applicants require a 2:1 first degree (a 2:2 may be considered if the applicant has considerable experience and an aptitute for working with vulnerable people and children), English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent) at grade C as well as six months full-time or 12 months part-time social work related experiences at point of application. We welcome applications from international, employment-sponsored and self-funded students.

Students may be eligible for an NHS bursary.

Find out more about MSc Social Work.

MSc/Postgraduate Diploma Advanced Practice (with Advanced Award in Social Work)

This MSc programme builds upon the long-standing partnerships that the department has with employer agencies and service user groups and has four optional pathways:

  • Children & Families
  • Adults
  • Leadership & Management
  • Professional Education

The programme is delivered via a part-time modular approach which offers flexibility to suit the needs of social workers wishing to continue their professional development. It provides professionally and academically rigorous postgraduate training for experienced workers in social care and health services, and will lead to qualifications at Masters level.

Students are able to exit at different stages throughout the programme e.g. at Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma levels.

Applicants will normally have a social work or other professional qualification in a relevant dicipline at degree or Masters level. However, applicants with a DipHE (e.g. DipSW) and at least two years practice experience are able to apply.  All applicants must be currently involved in practice or management work in a social care or health setting.

Find out more about MSc Advanced Practice.

Career opportunities

The MSc in Social Work qualifies graduates for careers in statutory and voluntary social work. Qualified social workers can continue their professional/academic development through taught post qualifying programmes or research opportunities within the department. It is also a solid basis for further academic research and training such as a PhD.

The department offers MPhil/PhD places within all of its research groups. Students may study on a full- or part-time basis. A research degree normally commences in September but we accept students throughout the year, and therefore students may begin their study at any time during the academic year.

The department is committed to its MPhil/PhD students to train the researchers of the future. We currently have MPhil/PhD students researching into a range of health and social care topics reflecting the research specialisms of Departmental staff.

We welcome MPhil/PhD applications from suitably qualified candidates who have a keen interest in pursuing research in Sociology, health, and social care. For further information, please contact our Director of Graduate Studies, Dr Frank Keating.

Current MPhil/PhD topics


Title (& grant awarded)

Supervisor (1st/2nd)



 Dr Frank Keating, Professor David Denney

Michelle RAITHBY

   Professor David Denney, Professor Tony Evans

Jacinta Hofstetter


Dr Frank Keating

 Stephen Joseph  

 Dr Frank Keating


Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and   adaptation in Israeli Arab & Jewish adolescence(Thomas Holloway/   One-to-one charity)

Professor Toni Bifulco


Power and Child Protection Practice   (Thomas Holloway)

Professor Tony Evans Professor   David Denney (CS)


Exploring the factors affecting the   management of post-operative pain in children. (SWan)

Dr Alison Twycross (SGUL)
  Prof Paula Nicolson
  Prof Jon Gabe (CS)

 Zakia Ahmed


 Dr Frank Keating

 Shabana Warne



 Melanie Hamilton-Perry


 Professor David Shemming

 Alice Cook


 Professor David Shemming

 Cosmas Mulonda


 Dr Frank Keating, Miss Anna Gupta

 Natalia Sali


 Professor Tony Evans

 Emma Holland



 Tellington Nyamuerera



 David Mwanza



 Stefan Brown



Doctorate in Professional Studies

The Professional Doctorate has been developed to equip practising health and social care professionals with leadership skills appropriate to their particular field. It will enable candidates to advance professionally by undertaking and supporting original research and implementing advanced practice. The approach is critical and reflexive. It uses adult learning models and is underpinned by social science perspectives.

Download the information leaflet.

Print the full course specification for the Doctorate in Professional Studies.

The College offers a range of financial support that is targeted at those from low income families, mature students and care leavers, along with a package of scholarships for the most academically gifted. Of course, many students will be eligible for both.

To see all scholarships, please see here.

In addition, the Department of Social Work invites applications for two research scholarships tenable for three years full-time, six years part-time (subject to satisfactory progress), to undertake research within the department. Applicants should have at least a 2.1 in their first degree or equivalent or a Masters degree.

The Jo Campling Bursary was established in memory of Jo, an alumna of Royal Holloway, who worked as a Social Policy academic and subsequently as a publisher and is widely known for her significant contribution in promoting and developing social work publishing. The bursary is to be awarded to PhD students studying topics related to Social Care and will provide £5,000 a year over three years or £2,500 a year over six years, and can cover either fees or maintenance.  Preference will be given to applicants in financial need.

The College Research Scholarship offers a PhD/Professional Doctorate tuition fee waiver at the Home/EU rate for up to three years (full time) or six years (part time). The scholarship is awarded on the basis of academic excellence.

Information on the department’s Research Foci can be found here.

Applications for these scholarships are particularly welcome from people interested in research in the following areas:

  • Decision-making for children in care proceedings and in the looked-after system
  • BME and Mental Health
  • Asylum seekers- justice and well being
  • Professionals and policy implementation
  • Professional judgement and discretion
  • Cultural competence in social work education.

Information on how to apply for a research degree in the department is outlined here.

You should indicate on your application that you would like to be considered for one of the scholarships.

Your application should include, in addition to the online form:

    A brief research proposal [around two pages of A4]

    English language qualifications, if your first language is not English

    Academic references

    Your CV

These documents can be uploaded directly onto the online application system. 
Deadline for 2016 applications to be announced.

The department welcomes applicants for all of the above scholarships. For Masters scholarships, those with a 2.1 or 1st in their first degree and/or relevant work experience are particularly encouraged to contact us. For PhD scholarships, candidates are generally expected to have a good Masters degree. A decision will be made about the allocation of these studentships by the end of July.


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