School of Sociology and Social Policy

MA Social Work – what is relevant work experience?

social worker in a meeting

Your work experience needs be:

  • in a social care setting
  • a minimum of 400 hours
  • face-to-face
  • paid, voluntary or placements
  • completed by the time you apply

Examples of where to get experience 

  • Local Authority child, adult or family services 
  • Charities such as Barnardo's, Mind, Refuge, Shelter, Women's Aid 
  • Residential homes
  • Nursing homes
  • Homeless centres
  • Addiction centres 
  • Youth or community centres 
  • Nurseries/schools/creches catering for special educational needs

How to tell us about your work experience

  • When we receive your application, we will contact you for details of your work experience if we are considering inviting you for interview 
  • We'll send you a questionnaire and the sooner you complete it and return it to us, the sooner we can process your application 
  • In preparation for this, please have to hand the following details:
    • Where you worked – the name and type of organisation 
    • What you did – the nature of your role there 
    • The start and end dates of your work 
    • Hours per week worked 
    • Whether your work was full-time or part-time

Hints and tips

It may help you to keep a journal throughout your work experience, so that you can record:

  • why you chose that specific setting for your work experience 
  • what skills you developed
  • what challenges you faced and how you overcame them 
  • your understanding of social care systems and environments 
  • how you could bring your experience to the role of social worker 
  • how your work experience has shaped and informed your career goals
  • any questions you'd like to ask about social work

Need more information?

Please contact us and we'll be glad to help you.

School of Sociology and Social Policy

Law and Social Sciences building
University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

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