University of Bristol

Social Work Research

This programme is designed to build on the links between social work research and practice in a range of settings to develop the skills required by practice-based professionals and postgraduate students interested in carrying out social work and social care research. You will learn the skills researchers need in order to maximise the impact of their work in addressing real issues of concern with policy makers, managers, practitioners and service users in social work and care. The programme offers a unique combination of academic rigour, up-to-date practice content and relevant and transferable research skills development. Core units will draw on theories and research methods from across the social sciences - including economics, law and philosophy - providing you with a strong foundation with which to carry out your own research. Optional units build on the school's particular research expertise and will focus on the skills you will require as a social work researcher engaged with a variety of disciplines. For example, you may choose to study community development programmes in the context of poverty, interventions to tackle domestic violence, or programmes for young offenders. Other optional units focus on the wellbeing of particular groups such as children with disabilities, people with severe and long-term mental illness, or asylum seekers and migrants. We recognise that students will be joining with relevant, albeit varied, experience and there will be opportunities for you to draw on your own experiences as researchers, managers and policy advisers and to share these with other participants on the programme. A unique co-learning environment also allows students an opportunity to interact and share insights with other interest groups across postgraduate programmes. This programme does not include practical training or lead to a professional qualification in social work. If you want to study for a qualification in social work practice, please see the MSc in Social Work.

Course modules

The programme is delivered through a combination of intensive block teaching and weekly delivery so that it is as accessible as possible to postgraduate students, busy policy professionals and practitioners. The way units are designed allows students to accumulate credits flexibly and organise their patterns of attendance to suit their needs and circumstances. The MSc and Postgraduate Diploma consist of four core and two optional units. A dissertation of 10,000-15,000 words is required for the MSc. Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work Research (

Sponsorship information

The Faculty of Social Sciences and Law has an allocation of 1+3 and +3 ESRC scholarships.


Qualification Study mode Start month Fee Course duration
MSc Full-time September 2018 GBP 16,500 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
MSc Full-time September 2018 GBP 6,500 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years
MSc Part-time September 2018 GBP 3,250 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 2 Years
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Full-time September 2018 GBP 13,200 per Year 1 (International) 1 Years
Postgraduate Diploma - PgDip Full-time September 2018 GBP 5,200 per Year 1 (Home/EU) 1 Years

Campus details

Campus name Town Postcode Region Main campus Campus Partner
Clifton Campus BS8 1TH South West

Get in touch

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Key information

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator
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