Postgraduate Diploma Online

Social Work

The Open University UK

17 months
Tuition fee
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The  Social Work programme at The Open University UK is a professional qualification, combining academic and practice-based learning. 


The Social Work programme at The Open University UK will enable you to apply for registration as a qualified social worker with the relevant regulatory body for your nation. 

The subject matter is interdisciplinary, derived from psychology, sociology, social policy, law and social work studies. You may claim the diploma as a discrete qualification, or as an embedded award within the MA in Social Work.

Key features of the course

  • Approved as a social work qualifying award in England by Social Work England (SWE) and in Scotland by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC)
  • Includes two substantive work-based practice placements supervised by a practice educator
  • Equips you to engage in critical and reflective professional practice, according to the Standards for Social Work Education and Codes of Practice and Conduct for the nation in which you train

Career relevance

On successful completion of the diploma, you will become eligible to apply for registration as a qualified social worker in England or Scotland. This is a broad qualification spanning children and families, adults and mental health social work and prepares you to work in a range of settings including local authorities, healthcare providers and the private, voluntary and independent sector.

Programme Structure

Modules included:

  • Developing social work practice
  • Advancing social work practice

Key information


  • Part-time
    • 17 months

Start dates & application deadlines


120 alternative credits



Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA
Lower Second Class

Other requirements

General requirements

Applicants will be required to have an honours degree with a minimum 2:2 classification in any discipline together with a proven record of experience of engaging directly with Service Users in a professional setting. Candidates’ experience will be considered individually on application but we would normally expect a minimum of one year's experience – either paid or voluntary – in a setting such as a local authority or a health or social care provider in the private, voluntary or independent sector.

Applicants who do not meet the work experience requirement but hold a 2:1 classification in a cognate discipline will also be considered. Relevant subjects include:

  • Health and Social Care
  • Nursing
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Psychology
  • Sociology/Social Studies
  • Law/Legal studies
  • Teaching/Education

Tuition Fee


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Check the official programme website for potential updates.

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Social Work
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