Postgraduate PDip

Step up to Social Work

Step up to social work is an intensive, 14-month, full-time programme run by the Department for Education. If you want to become a social worker but do not have a degree in social work, you can train through this programme.

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The Kent and Medway Regional Partnership has opened recruitment round for 20 aspiring social workers to start this programme in January 2024.

Students can expect to learn through a combination of academic study and real social work experience in either Kent or Medway Local Authority. On completion, the Postgraduate Diploma will enable graduates to register and practice as a social worker, making a difference by nurturing relationships with families during difficult times and by protecting children.

Do you have what it takes to ‘Step Up’ to social work?

Social work is both a challenging and rewarding career through which you can make a real difference for vulnerable children and families. You will need to build relationships with families facing difficult times, show a lot of patience and be a good listener. You will also need good observational skills, analytical thinking and sound judgement to make the right decisions and protect children. Social work regularly tests resilience, stamina, and resolve - all of which you will need to succeed. Social work can be life changing for those you support.

This is a unique opportunity to earn while you learn, as the Department for Education provides funding via a tax-free bursary payment of £19,833, over the duration of the programme, and payment of University fees for successful applicants. This will allow you to change or start a new career in social work and be able to continue to pay your bills and fund your living costs while you are studying. The programme runs once every two years, dependent on government funding, so if you are interested, make sure you don’t miss out on your chance to apply.

Fees and funding

For details of when and how to pay fees and charges, please see our Student Finance Guide.

For students continuing on this programme, fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* 

Your fee status

The University will assess your fee status as part of the application process. If you are uncertain about your fee status you may wish to seek advice from UKCISA before applying.

General additional costs

Find out more about general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent. 

Please note that students will be required to travel between their home and placement, and will need to have business insurance.

Step Up to Social Work is funded by the Department for Education.

If your application is successful, you will:

  • train through a combination of academic study and hands on social work experience in a local authority
  • receive a bursary of £19,833 to support you during your training.

We have a range of subject-specific awards and scholarships for academic, sporting and musical achievement.

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Next steps

Ready to apply?

Recruitment to Step Up to Social Work is managed by the Kent and Medway regional partnership, and applications to Step Up to Social Work must be made through a central Department for Education application portalPlease note that applications must be made by noon (UK time) on Monday 3 April.

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