Step Up to Social Work

Step Up to Social Work is a hugely rewarding degree programme and could be your next career.


Step Up Poster


Social work is a challenging and rewarding career which can enable you to make a real difference to the lives of vulnerable children and families. You will need to build relationships with families facing difficult times, show patience and be a good listener. 

You will also need good observational skills, analytical thinking and sound judgement to make the right decisions to 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. 

The Step Up to Social Work programme is a unique opportunity to receive support whilst you train for a new career in social work. On the 15-month training programme, you will receive hands-on experience of working in real-life social work teams through placements in local authority settings whilst undertaking your qualification.

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

The Department for Education will cover:

  • the full cost of your university tuition fees on the programme
  • a tax-free bursary of £19,833 paid over the duration of the programme to support you during your training 

Key dates

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.

Entry criteria

We are looking for dedicated individuals who have experience of working with vulnerable children, young people, families or vulnerable adults and who can demonstrate their maturity and emotional resilience. We encourage applications from a diverse range of candidates and aim to have a workforce that represents the society we serve. 

You will need to have:

  • a minimum of 6 months full-time (or equivalent) experience of working with children, young people, families, carers or vulnerable adults, either in a paid or voluntary capacity
  • a minimum 2:2 degree qualification (level 6), e.g. an honours degree or a graduate certificate (in any subject). You must have completed your degree to apply for the programme
  • GCSEs in English or English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above, or the new grade 4 and above, or an approved equivalent

You will need to show all of your original certificates to us as part of the application and assessment process. If you cannot find these, you can order replacements online.

Programme Delivery

The programme is delivered locally through six North East London Boroughs (with Bromley) and includes The London Borough of Barking and Dagenham. The academic programme is delivered by London Metropolitan University.

Information & Applications

Applications are made directly to the Department for Education via their website.

Step Up to Social Work website

Step up to social work on GOV.UK



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