MSc Advanced Social Work with Children and Families

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Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law
Awards available MSc , PG Certificate (Postgraduate Certificate), PG Diploma (Postgraduate Diploma)
Course length Two to five years part-time
Part-time study available Yes, part-time only
Open to international students Yes
This part-time programme does not meet UK government requirements for student visas. International students holding non-student visas may be eligible for study.
Number of places 50
Start date The majority of students will start in September 2016. However, this is a modular programme and it may be possible for students with prior learning to start at other times. Please contact the Programme Director to discuss the available options.

Programme overview

This is a part-time programme providing continuing professional education for registered social workers who are currently working with children and young people, their families and carers.

The programme leads to one of three awards and is organised so that you may have the opportunity to continue on and register for the MSc, whether you enter at Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma level.

The programme is normally accessed by qualified social workers as part of their employment with local authorities or voluntary/independent sector organisations in the South-West. However, we also welcome applications from appropriately qualified and experienced practitioners or managers from elsewhere. It is managed in partnership with local employers.

Fees for 2016/17

Full time fees


Part time fees


Fees quoted are per annum and subject to annual increase.

Funding for 2016/17

Funding is normally provided by students' employers.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

The programme is timetabled so that you study on a part-time basis, and access to units is modular.

Postgraduate Certificate students must take three units, normally including at least two of the four core units. If only two core units are taken as part of the Postgraduate Certificate, the remaining 20 credits are taken from the optional units (a total of 60 credit points).

Postgraduate Diploma and Masters students must take all four core units and two of the optional units (a total of 120 credit points).

You will undertake research methods training before accessing the Dissertation unit. This is normally achieved through successful completion of the research methods unit, Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences.

Successful completion of the dissertation leads to the full Masters award (a total of 180 credit points).

Core units

  • Child Development, Health and Wellbeing
  • Contemporary Law and Policy for Child Welfare Services
  • Assessment, Risk and Decision-Making
  • Social Work with Children and Families with Complex Needs

Optional units

You will be able to choose from a range of optional units, including those listed below. Please note that not all optional units are available every year.

  • Advanced Practice in Communication and Direct Work with Children
  • Advanced Practice with Looked-after Children; Adoption, Fostering and Kinship Care
  • Inter-professional Working and Integrated Services
  • Leadership and Management in Social Work
  • Philosophy and Research Design in the Social Sciences
  • Researching Child and Family Welfare
  • Supervision and Assessment of Professional Practice (Practice Educator Stage 2)
  • Dissertation

Entry requirements

Professional social work qualification (or equivalent) and current registration with the HCPC. An honours degree (or equivalent qualification demonstrated through experience in the field), and a demonstrated ability to study at postgraduate level.

As part of the application, you will be asked to submit a personal statement of 550-700 words.

As this is a practice-focused programme, students are required to be in practice in some capacity throughout their time on the programme.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Selection process Online application form
English language requirements Profile B
Further information about English language requirements
Admissions statement Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.
How to apply
Application deadline:

1 September 2016


All students on the MSc in Advanced Social Work with Children and Families are qualified and experienced social workers, currently employed in a variety of children and family settings. The programme is aligned with the Professional Capabilities Framework and has been designed to provide high quality continuing professional development (CPD) for social work practitioners and managers. Successful completion of the programme will support professional registration and enhance opportunities for career progression.

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, and the support we offer to international students.

I chose Bristol because of its outstanding academic reputation. It's reassuring to be taught by people who truly love their subject - their passion becomes contagious.


REF 2014 results

  • 38% of research is world-leading (4 star)
  • 42% of research is internationally excellent (3 star)
  • 18% of research is recognised internationally (2 star)
  • 2% of research is recognised nationally (1 star)

Results are from the most recent UK-wide assessment of research quality, conducted by HEFCE. More about REF 2014 results.

Get in touch

Senior Postgraduate Admissions Administrator Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 6785 Email:

Heather Ottaway Programme Director Phone: +44 (0) 117 954 6726 Email:

School for Policy Studies
University of Bristol
8 Priory Road
Bristol BS8 1TZ


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