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Study a graduate program in health and social work

What will I study in a graduate health and social work?

Do you have a strong interest in people and communities, and a desire to use your expertise to help out the people who need it most?
Undertaking a graduate health and social work program will see you taking on a balanced amount of practical and theoretical work. You will receive practical training that will equip you to go out into communities and work after the conclusion of your postgraduate course.
It is likely that you will decide to focus on one particular area. This areas could include working with youth offenders, older vulnerable people, young children or at risk women.
Graduate health and social work courses will give the practical experience, teamwork and communication skills that are needed to work with some of the most vulnerable people in society, as well as teaching you how best to deal sensitively with those in difficult situations.

Length of program

Graduate programs in social sciences vary in length depending on where you choose to study. Postgraduate courses generally last the following duration in these countries: 

  • UK – 1-2 years
  • US – 1-3 years
  • China – 2-3 years
  • Canada – 1-2 years

Entry requirements

To get accepted onto a graduate social work program you will have to have previously studied a bachelors degree in social work or a similar subject. 
Because of the nature of graduate social work programs and that they involve working with the public, and with children and adults who may be vulnerable, it is likely that you will be required to undergo a criminal records check. 

In all cases you will be required to have completed at least some work experience in the area of social work that you will specialise in.

Career development

Your options with a graduate social work program are wide. You may decide that you would get the most out of working with children in care, or in the homes of disabled or vulnerable adults. There are a wide variety of at risk groups that you could choose to work with, whether this is in a hospital, a private facility or for a local council or authority.

Alternatively you could decide to work for a larger organisation or a government department in policy making, giving advice on how decisions will go on to affect the groups that you work with.

Leading on from policy making, research is also a popular option for those who have undertaken graduate social work programs later on in their careers.

Fees and funding

Fees for graduate programs will vary depending on where you decide to study. As a rough guide, you should expect to pay the following:

  • UK - £1,300 - £20,500
  • USA - $9,800 - $38,200
  • Germany  - €2,000 - €3,000 (per semester)
  • China – RMB 12,000 – RMB 28,000

What to do next

If you would like more information about studying a graduate program in health and social care, fill out our Free Application Service and we'll get in touch with information tailored to your needs, including some great courses in this area.