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Social Work PGDip

Learn about the course below
September 2021
14 months full-time
£8,650 (UK/EU) *
£11,100 (INT) *
Course leader
Matthew Quaife

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

This course is no longer accepting applications for 2020 entry. The next entry is 2021.

The Post Graduate Diploma in Social Work is an academic and professional qualification where you will experience an integration of practice and research. Social workers have a key role in working with other professionals to offer support to some of society's most vulnerable citizens.

Why study PGDip Social Work at Middlesex University?

This innovative and accelerated postgraduate social work course offers the opportunity to engage with an intensive and immersive programme of teaching and learning integrating practice placements. Over the duration of the programme, you will develop into a competent and enthusiastic social work practitioner ready to engage with the rigours of this dynamic and exciting profession.

We have excellent relationships with local employers through our long standing stakeholder group and our new Teaching Partnership. As a result, some of your teaching with be co-delivered by practising social workers and service users.

This programme offers an accelerated route to becoming a professional social worker for highly motivated recent graduates or for career changers looking for new challenges and opportunities. You will be able to develop into an excellent and valued social worker with the capacity to work in all statutory social work settings and in a wide variety of private and voluntary workplaces in the UK and abroad. You will also be able to take advantage of high quality placements in both adult and children’s services including a final 100 day placement where you will undertake statutory interventions.

Course highlights

  • You will benefit from high levels of tutor contact time through extended teaching sessions, interactive workshop style seminars and e-learning resources
  • You will be taught by staff from within our Department of Mental Health, Social Work and Integrative Medicine, where prominent and pioneering research projects in the disciplines of social work and mental health is undertaken
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module, free printing and copying, 24 hour library services and access to a range of other valued resources

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What will you study on PGDip Social Work?

You will be studying a range of social work theories and will learn the skills to apply these in different practice contexts. This will include psychosocial perspectives, sociology, psychology and human development. There will be a focus on relationship based practice as well as systemic theories. You will study relevant aspects of legislation and the application of these in practice. The curriculum is mapped against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) Standards of Proficiency (SoPs)  and the Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) for both children and adults.

What will you gain?

You will undertake extensive skills training as part of your readiness for direct practice learning. This will include skills such as use of self, communication, managing conflict and a range of interventions. These will be applied in practice and greatly enhanced and developed throughout your two placements.

  • Modules

    • Social Work Theory and Readiness for Direct Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module aims to provide you with the core skills and knowledge to undertake practice competently and safely for your first practice placement. Subjects covered will include communication skills, use of self, and various Social Work interventions. Theories such as systems theory, social learning theory, attachment and many others will also be explored.

    • Law and Advanced Social Work Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      In this module, you will explore the key legislation, guidance and case law relevant to Social Work practice and will learn how to apply this effectively. You will have the opportunity to apply your practice experience to your knowledge of Social Work theory and social policy.

    • Understanding the Life Course (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will explore the life course from birth through to adulthood and on to end of life care. This will include observations of children and of adults to support you in understanding child development and factors that impact on the adult life course such as disability, mental health and ageing.

    • Social Work Research (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will introduce you to social research methods. You will explore how these can be applied in social work research and consider how you yourself might apply these to your dissertation

    • Practice Placements Module (30 credits) - Compulsory

      You will be supervised to undertake two practice placements. The first of these will be 70 days and the second, which will be in a statutory Social Work setting, of 100 days. On these placements you will supervised and supported by a practice educator. You will have the opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills you have learnt in practice with vulnerable adults, children and families.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.

How is the PGDip Social Work taught?

You will learn through research, reading and critical reflection, workshops, tutorials and class discussions. As part of the North London Social Work Teaching Partnership we have a range of academics delivering teaching as well as service users, carers and social work practitioners.

Due to the accelerated nature of the programme teaching blocks will be intensive and you can expect an immersive education experience. Holiday and study periods have been timetabled at regular intervals of the programme to ensure you can plan your studies. You should anticipate that the 14-month period of study will be focused and dedicated to your social work education. Please see below for an indicative programme flow chart. Please note that this is indicative only and dates are subject to change.

Please see below for an example programme timetable.

Term 1

DateTeaching blocks
September to December On-campus teaching
Christmas break
January to March 70 day placement. Plus teaching and study leave (one week)
March to April 100 day placement begins. Plus teaching

Term 2

DateTeaching blocks
Spring break (April)
April to August Continuing 100 day placement. Plus teaching
Summer break
August to October Final 100 day placement. Plus teaching


You will be assessed via a combination of formative and summative written assignments, group work, assessed role plays and reflective writing based on practice experience. Your practice will be assessed by your practice educator who will be supporting and supervising you throughout your placements. There are currently no examination assessments on the programme.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Admissions and Interview Advice
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the PGDip Social Work support your career?

Once qualified, our graduates have gone onto work as Social Workers in a range of settings working closely with vulnerable people from groups such as:

  • Senior citizens
  • Teenagers with mental health problems
  • Young offenders
  • Adults with learning disabilities, mental health problems or physical disabilities
  • People with alcohol, drug or other substance misuse problems
  • Refugees and asylum seekers
  • Children who are at risk of abuse or neglect

Our Social Work graduates have gone onto work in local authorities, charities, voluntary sector organisations and private/ independent sector organisations, with many finding employment with our placement partners within neighbouring London boroughs and beyond.

Dr Helen Hingley-Jones
Associate Professor and Director of Programmes (College-based programmes)

Dr Hingley-Jones has worked for many years as a child and family social worker, particularly with disabled children and their families. She is an active researcher and is the Research Degrees Coordinator for the Department.

Dr Lucille Allain
Associate Professor and Director of Programmes for Social Work

Dr Allain has a number of years’ experience in child and family social work and has published a range of books and articles focused on social work practice with looked after children; in child safeguarding and in social work education.

Edd Carter
Senior Lecturer

Edd leads the Law and Advanced Social Work Practice module. He has extensive social work practice experience of working in both Mental Health and Learning Disabilities services .

Other courses

Social Work MA

Start: September 2021

Duration: 14-months full-time

Code: L500

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