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PGDip Step Up to Social Work

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: 14 Months
  • Start Date: January 2022
Step Up to Social Work is a 14 month post graduate intensive full-time qualifying programme. The course will start in January 2022 as part of the 7th cohort funded by the Department for Education, however applications for this date have now closed.
 Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work enabling you to register and practice as a social worker.
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Application guide

Advance in your career with one of our professional courses. Read our Application Guide for everything you need to know about applying to BNU – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.  

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Professional Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding to study for a professional qualification, there’s a lot to consider. Come along to our Professional Open Day to meet the course team and get all your questions answered.

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Life at BNU

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first and will support you every step of the way. You can benefit from our state-of-the-art facilities, impressive industry links, and valuable networking opportunities, helping you to enhance your skills and bolster your career prospects.

Why study this subject?

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.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

The following local authorities as part of the Berkshire Regional Partnership will be running the course in partnership with Buckinghamshire New University:

  • Bracknell Forest Council
  • Brighter Futures for Children (Reading)
  • Slough Children’s Services Trust
  • West Berkshire Council

and as part of the programme you will be based at one of the local authority partners within the partnership for your placements.

What facilities can I use?

  • Highlight key facilities and specialist equipment, as appropriate
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  • Link to facilities section

What will I study?

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.

If you would like to discuss this programme further, please contact Annie Duffin, Step Up Programme Officer at

Further information

For more information please visit:

Apply for Step Up to Social Work – GOV.UK (

Application is through the Department of Education website (and not the Buckinghamshire New University website). The application window is now open until 7 April 2021.

Related documents

Step up to Social Work Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

Application have now closed for this programme and the Department of Education are unable to accept any further applications.

If you would like to discuss this programme further, please contact Annie Duffin, Step Up Programme Officer at

This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. Please refer to the Programme Specification at the bottom of the Course Details tab for the full breakdown of core and optional modules, as well as the credits needed to complete your degree. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.


Sociology, Psychology and Social Policy

Putting the Law into Practice

Developing Social Work Skills for Practice

Practice Learning 1

Inter Professional Practice

Practice Learning 2

Research Methods for Social Work

Preparation for Intervention with Service Users

Advanced Skills for Professional Development L7 20

Advanced Skills for Professional Development L7 10

What are the tuition fees

Students will receive a bursary from DFE of £19,833 for the duration of the course. This may be subject to change.

Contact our partner at Bracknell Forest Council: Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:

0330 123 2023

What are my career prospects? 

Once you’ve successfully completed the course, you’ll be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work enabling you to register and practice as a social worker.

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.


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Chris Sallans
  • Lecturer
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Thomas Toscano
  • Associate Head of School
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Daisy D’Silva Toscano
  • Senior Lecturer
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