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Social Work

UK Quality Assured
Social work is one of UEL’s flagship areas of study. Our acclaimed postgraduate courses will develop you professionally and academically, giving you the skills and experience you need to become a successful social worker or youth worker.
Cass School of Education and Communities
  • unique opportunity

    We are the only university in the country that runs a Social Work master’s course in conjunction with an NHS trust. The Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, with whom we have run the course since 2005, has a world-class reputation for training social workers. 
  • World-leading

    Social Work academics contributed to our excellent score in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework – the six-yearly evaluation of Higher Education research. Experts rated 59 per cent of our work as either ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’.
  • valued by employers

    Our students are highly valued by employers. For instance, 100 per cent of students who completed their Youth and Community Work MA in 2014 were working for youth work-related organisations within six months.

Why us?

We are one of the main social work training providers in London, with an excellent reputation for the quality of our teaching. Little wonder that our course is always oversubscribed.

We are endorsed by the College of Social Work and accredited by the Health and Care Professions Council to award professional qualifications in social work alongside academic degrees.

We have excellent links with local social work agencies and employers, many of whom offer jobs to our graduates. By studying with us, you will have a head start when it comes to finding employment in this rewarding field.



UEL Docklands Campus

Our academic staff are all professionally qualified and registered social workers, so they bring personal experience as well as in-depth knowledge to their lectures and classes. Our lectures are always lively, highly participative and interactive.

Our courses reflect the priorities and needs of contemporary social and youth work practice, which means we teach you what is relevant and current.

Learning By Doing


  • student carrying social work books

    Short course

    Advanced mental health policy and practice

  • Social work

    Best Interests Assessor - Deprivation of Liberties Safeguards (BIADOLS)

  • Students collaborating


    Post Qualifying Professional Practice

  • why us

    Post-qualifying social work - Consolidating social work practice with Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE)

  • psychology students

    Practice Educator Stage 1

  • social work

    Practice Educator Stage 2

  • Social Work student with book


    Social Work


I decided it was time to train for a formal qualification in order to widen my career options and have a better grounding in a professional discipline. One of the best things about the course is the small group learning and the time we get within it to reflect on our placements.

Rachel Owens , MA Social Work
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What we’re researching

Our Centre for Social Work Research (CSWR) generates knowledge in social work thinking and methods. It also helps and encourages more social workers to become involved in research to improve shared knowledge.

Our founding goal is to shed light on underlying processes in practice and policy-making. We also work to strengthen the evidence base for ‘relationship-based social work’. This places the client-practitioner relationship at the heart of practice.

Current research themes include relational approaches to people at risk of self-harm or suicide, safeguarding and child protection, social work and education as well as the transformation of welfare in the UK.

The CSWR is led by Professor Stephen Briggs, who teaches on the Social Work MA course. His current research interests include adolescent mental health, psychoanalytic approaches to suicide and self-harm, and infant observation and its application to understanding infant mental health.

Dr Jo Finch, Course Leader of the Social Work MA, is deputy director of the CSWR and a research specialist in the field of practice education (practice learning, assessment and suitability) with a focus on struggling or failing students. Her work has been published in the British Journal of Social Work and the European Journal of Social Work in Practice.

Paul Adams, Course Leader of the Youth and Community Work MA, is involved with a number of youth work organisations, including national government working groups. He is also a trustee of Y Care International - an international relief and development agency working in partnership with YMCAs throughout the world to help them respond better to the needs of the most disadvantaged young people.

why us