Course information


4-6 years part-time

Course overview

This programme can support you in developing your professionalism by enhancing your skills, expanding your knowledge and reflecting on values.

  • Do you see yourself moving into a more experienced, advanced or strategic social work role? If so, this programme can support you in developing your professionalism by enhancing your skills, expanding your knowledge and reflecting on values. They offer a whole range of modules designed to further your capabilities in all domains of the PCF, but they focus especially on practice education and professional leadership. In addition, many of the modules are designed to further your knowledge and skills outlined in the Knowledge and Skills Statement for Practice Supervisors of Social Workers in Child and Family Social Work.
  • Normally, practitioners take individual modules of this programme and apply through the Continuous Professional Development Framework. Please contact the programme convenor below for more information. If you want to achieve the MA or exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma, and you are supported by your employer to do so, then you should apply to this programme.
  • The MA Professional Leadership for Social Work is ideal for qualified social workers. All modules, except the dissertation, can be taken as standalone MA-level CPD modules.

Why study with us

  • We recognise that much of learning takes place in the workplace. All modules fully integrate practice with relevant theory/research and values.
  • We believe in strength in diversity and our teaching, lecturers, participants and experts by experience reflect this.
  • Participants can gain academic credit for developing their capability through work-based activities in either direct social work practice, practice education or management roles.
  • Access to university facilities, library and resources on and off campus.

All modules on the post-qualifying MA programme align with career development, from initial consolidation and early professional development to supporting social work students on placement (Practice Educator), to becoming a Practice Supervisor or Practice Development Educator. In essence, the modules support the enhancement of practice relevant to participants’ roles with a focus on professional leadership as defined by the PCF and are aligned with the different Knowledge and Skills Statements (KSS) for both Child and Family and Adult Social Work.


Find out about the staff currently teaching in the Department of Social, Therapeutic and Community Studies.

Contact the department

If you have specific questions about the degree, contact Rebecca Donnellan.

What you'll study

Compulsory modules

All students take the following modules:

Module title Credits
Research Methods in Professional Leadership for Social Work 15 credits
Research and Practice in Professional Leadership for Social Work 45 credits

Option modules

You make up the remaining credits from a range of modules, listed below. See links to the module outlines for details:

Module title Credits
Consolidation of Practice and Early Professional Development 30 credits
Enabling the Learning of Others 15 credits
Assessing and Teaching the Adult Professional Learner 15 credits
Designing Learning Opportunities for Teams and Groups 15 credits
Facilitating Learning in Teams and Groups 15 credits
Professional Supervision and Practice Assessment 15 credits
Reflective Practice Within and Across Organisations 15 credits
The Care Act and Social Work: Practice, Policy and Law 30 credits
Interpersonal Skills for Direct Work with Adult Service Users and their Families 30 credits
Work-based Learning Modules 1-4 15 credits (modules 1 and 2) or 30 credits (modules 3 and 4)

All modules except the dissertation can be taken as standalone Continuing Professional Development (CPD) modules. Find out more about taking our CPD modules.


Assessed by coursework, assignment, reports, case study, dissertation and portfolio. 

Download the programme specification.

Please note that due to staff research commitments not all of these modules may be available every year.

Between 2020 and 2022 we needed to make some changes to how programmes were delivered due to Covid-19 restrictions. For more information about past programme changes please visit our programme changes information page.

Entry requirements

Before you apply to undertake any of the post-qualifying social work modules at Goldsmiths, you need to complete an application form and get agreement from your employer. Talk to your line manager and your Practice Learning or Workforce Development Coordinator. Download the application form (Word document).

If you are in full-time employment, we recommend that you sign up to no more than 30 credits per year on the Continuing Professional Development programme (PG Credits - 270002A). If you complete the modules successfully you will get a Transcript of Record.

If you want to obtain the Postgraduate Certificate or the Postgraduate Diploma in Professional Leadership for Social Work and you do not want to take any further modules or if you have already obtained 120 credits at MA level and you wish to gain the MA award you can apply to this programme.

You may be able to transfer MA-level credits from other programmes (Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning) or gain credit for experiential learning via the submission of a portfolio (Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning). This is limited to 30 credits towards the PG Certificate, 60 credits towards the PG Diploma and 120 credits towards the Masters award. Talk to the programme convener to discuss your options early on.

Criteria for admission

The procedures for recruitment and selection adhere to the College’s general admissions policies including equality and diversity strategies and objectives. 

Normally applicants should:

  1. Hold a degree level professional qualification in social work;
  2. Be registered or be in the process of registering with the professional regulator as a social worker;
  3. Have passed the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) or can demonstrate post qualifying professional development to an equivalent level or above;
  4. Be able to demonstrate that they can meet the academic requirements of a post-graduate programme;
  5. Be working or intending to take up employment (usually in a paid, but exceptionally in a voluntary capacity) in a setting that will enable you to demonstrate competence in professional leadership for social work at the required level. 

Selection process

In the majority of cases, applicants will be selected and sponsored by your employing agency. However, we welcome applications even if you are not being sponsored by your employing agency, provided that you are in a position to demonstrate capability in professional leadership at the required level in your professional and academic work.

Admission will be via an online application process that asks for:

  • Details of professional and academic qualifications and experience;
  • A personal statement of 500 words in which applicants,
    • outline the skills, knowledge and values that you bring from your professional practice,
    • describe existing experience in professional leadership and
    • discuss what knowledge and skills you hope to gain from attending the programme;
  • Supply a reference from a line manager or equivalent recommending you for the programme and confirming that you will be able to demonstrate capability in professional leadership at the level that is required to complete the programme;
  • Supply a funding confirmation form with a commitment from your agency or yourself undertaking to pay the necessary fees.

The post-qualifying programme convener will advise applicants and students, assess and make decisions on all applications. A standard assessment schedule will be used to ensure transparent and consistent decision-making. In some situations, you may be asked to provide further information.

Interviews will not normally be held, but in some exceptions, you may be asked to attend an interview.

International qualifications

We accept a wide range of international qualifications. Find out more about the qualifications we accept from around the world.

If English isn’t your first language, you will need an IELTS score (or equivalent English language qualification) of 6.5 with a 6.5 in writing and no element lower than 6.0 to study this programme. If you need assistance with your English language, we offer a range of courses that can help prepare you for postgraduate-level study.

Fees, funding & scholarships

To find out more about your fees, please check our postgraduate fees guidance or contact the Fees Office, who can also advise you about how to pay your fees.

Additional costs

In addition to your tuition fees, you'll be responsible for any additional costs associated with your course, such as buying stationery and paying for photocopying. You can find out more about what you need to budget for on our study costs page.

There may also be specific additional costs associated with your programme. This can include things like paying for field trips or specialist materials for your assignments. Please check the programme specification for more information.

Funding opportunities

Find out more about postgraduate fees and explore funding opportunities. If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an application deadline.

How to apply

You apply directly to Goldsmiths using our online application system. 

Please see the 'Entry requirements' tab for information on the criteria for admission and selection process.

You'll be able to save your progress at any point and return to your application by logging un using your username/email and password.  

When to apply

We accept applications from October for students wanting to start the following September. 

We encourage you to complete your application as early as possible, even if you haven't finished your current programme of study. It's very common to be offered a place that is conditional on you achieving a particular qualification. 

If you're applying for funding, you may be subject to an earlier application deadline.

Find out more about applying.

Learning & teaching

A key feature of this programme is the consistent integration of practice and academic perspectives and this is reflected in both teaching and learning and assessment strategies. This enables students to demonstrate how they are meeting the appropriate Department for Education knowledge and skills statements for approved child and family practitioners and/or for practice leaders and practice supervisors and/or the Department of Health knowledge and skills statements for social workers in Adult Services.

What are the requirements for meeting the PEPS 1 and 2?

To meet the requirements of Practice Educator Professional Standards at stage 1 you will need to: meet the academic standards (pass) for module 1 (Enabling the Learning of Others) and meet the professional standards in your work with your student. For this you will need to have worked with a social work student (first placement), which is assessed by the university's tutor and to be observed by a PQ Assessor in your practice with the student.

To meet the requirements of Practice Educator Professional Standards at stage 2 you will need to: meet the academic standards (pass) for module 2 (Assessing and Teaching the Adult Professional Learner) and meet the professional standards in your work with your student or another learner. For this you will need to have worked with a social work student (final placement) or another learner, which is assessed by the university's tutor and to be observed by a PQ Assessor in your practice with the student. Please note that employers are responsible to keep track of whether their employees meet the PEPS.

To only meet the academic university requirements for modules 1 & 2, you must have worked with a student or another learner and have been observed at least one by a PQ Practice Assessor.

Can I take on a final year student on placement if I only meet the PEPS1?

A social worker who has met the requirements for PEPS 1 but does not meet the requirements of PEPS 2 (or is not in training to meet the requirements of PEPS 2) cannot work with a final year student.

If you are not in training to meet the requirements for PEPS 2 you can only work with a final year student, if you are supervised by a practice educator who meets the PEPS 2 requirements. This supervising practice educator acts as a long arm support by coaching you, by reading and signing off the reports on the assessment of the student.

What support can I expect?

Once you have started with the module you will receive a handbook for the CPD modules. This handbook lists all the relevant dates (see the chapter on curriculum). In the handbook, you can also find all the relevant information on your module(s), including module outlines, learning outcomes, assessment requirements, reading lists, additional support available to practice educators with a learning disability, etc. In addition, we offer an induction workshop, where you will be supported with your enrolment, receive information on the virtual learning environment (VLE) and be given an induction to the library. In relation to your assessment, we are running portfolio preparation workshops for some modules and are also offering sessions on how to upload your portfolio. You are entitled to 1 hour individual tutorial time per 60 credits, or 30 minutes if you are doing 30 credits. Tutorials can either be face to face, phone or via email. 


Our students have been successful in a range of areas, from postgraduate research to employment in local authority children’s services departments, adult services departments, independent sector and voluntary sector agencies such as NSPCC, Family Action, MIND.

Find out more about employability at Goldsmiths

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