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The only way to qualify as a social worker is by completing an HCPC approved undergraduate or post-graduate degree in social work.
There is a searchable register of approved courses on the HCPC website
All social work qualifying programmes will include a minimum of 170 days of practice learning, this is usually split over two placements (typically 70-day/100-day but this can vary). The placements must be with different service user groups (usually one placement working with children and families and one placement working with adults).
Useful websites for social work career information:
Courses in the local region
UEA (Norwich) – full time BA and MA programmes
University of Suffolk (Ipswich) – full time and part time BA programmes
Anglia Ruskin University (Cambridge, Peterborough & Chelmsford) – full time BA and MA programmes, part time BA programme
Open University – distance learning BA, Post-graduate Diploma and MA programmes
For Open University, applicants can self-fund the course, but they need to be supported by an employer who must commit to providing the required placement opportunities and releasing them for the 170 practice learning days. Applications can only be made via the supporting agency.
Funding – bursaries and loans
There are currently bursaries available to help students with the course costs, for more information go to:
It is also possible to apply for student loans for both BA and MA programmes, for more information go to:
Funded fast-track post-graduate courses
For graduates with an honours degree with a minimum of a 2:1 classification in any discipline there are a number of funded fast-track routes available nationally. Step up to Social Work is currently the only one of these that is available in Norfolk. All these programmes provide a recognised generic qualification although they are each aimed at a particular specialism.
Step up to Social Work
14-month post-graduate diploma in social work aimed at working in Children’s Services.
Step up starts every other year. Recruitment has just finished for the course starting in January 2018. The next opportunity to apply is likely to be in spring 2019.
Student’s course fees are funded and they receive a bursary of £19,833 for the duration of the course.
Fully funded 2 year MA in social work delivered in various locations around the country (not currently in Norfolk), aimed at working in Children’s Services.
Fully funded 2 year MA in social work delivered at various locations around the country (not currently in Norfolk), aimed at working in Mental Health.