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Social Work (Step up to Social Work)

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Please note that applications for Step up for 2022 have now closed.
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Social Work (Step up to Social Work)

PG Dip

The initial application deadline for this course is 1 June 2024. Further detail here.

Key information

Duration: 2 years full time

Institution code: R72

Campus: Central London

UK fees*: £9,000

International/EU fees**: £19,100

The course

Social Work (Step up to Social Work) (PG Dip)

Please note that this degree is a 14-month course and start dates are advised by the Department of Education, see below.

This 14 month programme is offered as part of the Surrey and South London Partnership, the Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work (Step up to Social Work) is a condensed programme of study that leads to a professional qualification in Social Work. It is similar in content to the MSc Social Work but does not include the dissertation requirement. The Step up to Social Work offers high calibre candidates the opportunity for fully funded course, wherein fees and a bursary are available for each place granted. Please refer to the Department for Education for more detail.

This course runs in close partnership with local authorities based in inner and outer London boroughs as well as neighbouring counties where you'll benefit from two fieldwork placements – experiencing the world of social work first hand, hearing from service users and carers' representatives. This practical experience informs and is backed up by College-based teaching.

The combination of a taught and practice curriculum breaks down barriers between practice, policy and research, meaning you will emerge from the course as a critically reflective practitioner who can work for the most vulnerable in society within an anti-oppressive framework.

For further information, see

Our department has a longstanding tradition of providing excellent social work education and training and has produced a wide range of research that has been highly influential in the development of social work practice.

On completion of the course you will have advanced knowledge of:

  • sociology, psychology, social policy and law and their application to social work practice
  • the contribution and application of social research to social work theories and practice
  • the range of statutory, voluntary and private welfare organisations within social work agencies and in health, housing and educational environments
  • the range of theories and methods needed for effective social work practice
  • the social and individual origins of a typical range of problems presented to social care agencies
  • values and ethics relevant to social work practice
  • the significance of inequalities and difference in working with organisations and social service users
  • the significance of cultural diversity and anti-discriminatory practice in working with organisations and social service users

Please refer to the following link for what Department for Education requirements and for the nationwide application process. Application are made through this route only.

From time to time, we make changes to our courses to improve the student and learning experience. If we make a significant change to your chosen course, we’ll let you know as soon as possible.

Core Modules

  • Practice Learning 1
  • Practice Learning 2
  • Human Development in the Social Environment
  • Social Policy for Social Workers
  • Theories and Knowledge for Social Work Practice
  • Law for Social Workers
  • Critical Social Work Interventions
  • Understanding and Working in Organisations
  • This module will describe the key principles of academic integrity, focusing on university assignments. Plagiarism, collusion and commissioning will be described as activities that undermine academic integrity, and the possible consequences of engaging in such activities will be described. Activities, with feedback, will provide you with opportunities to reflect and develop your understanding of academic integrity principles.


Optional Modules

Top up to an MSc level qualification is available, but requires additional funding. For further information please contact the Department of Social Work.

  • All modules are core

Assessment is carried out by a variety of methods including coursework, examinations and presentations. Students are also required to successfully complete one 70-day and one 100-day practice-learning placement.

Please refer to the following link for what Department for Education requirements and for the nationwide application process. Application are made through this route only:

International & EU requirements

English language requirements

All teaching at Royal Holloway is in English. You will therefore need to have good enough written and spoken English to cope with your studies right from the start. Find out what scores we require.

Country-specific requirements

For more information about country-specific entry requirements for your country please see here.

We'll prepare you for a career in statutory and voluntary social work. Once you're qualified as a social worker, you'll be able to apply for registration with the Health Care Professionals council. You'll also have the option of continuing your academic development through taught post-qualifying programmes, or research opportunities within the department. 

Home (UK) students tuition fee per year*: £9,000

EU and international students tuition fee per year**: £19,100

Other essential costs***: You will need to travel to and from placements and may wish to apply for an NHS bursary to help cover transport costs.

How do I pay for it? Find out more about funding options, including loans, grants, scholarships and bursaries.

* and ** These tuition fees apply to students enrolled on a full-time basis. Students studying on the standard part-time course structure over two years are charged 50% of the full-time applicable fee for each study year.

All postgraduate fees are subject to inflationary increases. Please be aware that tuition fees can rise during your degree (if longer than one year’s duration). This means that the overall cost of studying the course part-time will be slightly higher than studying it full-time in one year.

** This figure is the fee for EU and international students starting a degree in the academic year 2024/25. Find out more 

*** These estimated costs relate to studying this particular degree at Royal Holloway during the 2024/25 academic year, and are included as a guide. Costs, such as accommodation, food, books and other learning materials and printing, have not been included.

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