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Masters Degrees

Our Department has a strong tradition of interdisciplinary Masters training that prepares students for further study and a diverse set of career paths

How to Apply


Tab Content: MA Social Work

Applications for postgraduate social work are made online through UCAS. Please note that though the programme is at Masters’ level, it is listed on UCAS under Lancaster University’s Undergraduate options as ‘Social Work (Postgraduate Entry)’.


Candidates with appropriate qualifications will be invited to visit us on campus and undertake a group exercise, an individual interview and a written test. In addition, applicants must show an ability to use basic IT facilities, including word process, internet browsing and use of email. You will be required to declare that you have such an ability.

Criminal Convictions

All members of social work courses are required to apply for enhanced Disclosure from the Criminal Records Bureau, which will reveal details of any cautions or convictions. Whilst a caution or conviction may not be a barrier to accessing the programme, some agencies may refuse to provide placements to students with convictions. If they do this, we will be unable to offer a place on the course.

You will also be required to declare if you have ever been subject to any disciplinary action, or if you have ever been subject to an allegation involving child protection issues and/or the abuse or neglect of vulnerable adults.

Failure to declare is viewed very seriously and will normally result in students being asked to withdraw from the course.

Information for Disabled Applicants

Our disability policies and services ensure that disabled people are not disadvantaged in the admissions process and during their course of study. On applying for the social work programmes you do not have to disclose if you have a disability. However, it is recommended that you do, as the earlier we know about it the more time we have to prepare to support you.

If we know about your disability, we must consider whether reasonable adjustments may be necessary to facilitate your studying at the University. If they are, we must then consider whether, having made the adjustment, you will be able to meet the standards of proficiency for social work set by the HCPC. If the University is satisfied that reasonable adjustments are appropriate and that on completing the course you will meet the standards of proficiency (and you have been assessed as being suitable for the course) we would expect to offer you a place.

Tab Content: All other MAs

To submit an application, simply create an account on the My Applications website and then select ‘Create a new application’ from your homepage once you are logged-in.

Using your account on the My Applications website, you are able to submit applications for the programme(s) which you wish to study, upload supporting documentation and provide us with information about referees.

The supporting documentation screen will provide you with a list of required documents. These will usually include:

  • Degree certificates and transcripts of previous higher education (college/university) degrees or other courses that you have completed/for which you are currently studying. Note that, for transcripts in languages other than English, a certified English translation will be required
  • Personal Statement
  • References
  • For those for whom English is not their first language, copies of English language test results (Please note that an application can be made before these results are available, and if a place is then offered this will be conditional upon providing the appropriate results)


Tab Content: Current Lancaster students

If you are a current Lancaster student, or you have recently graduated from Lancaster, we can reduce the amount of information that you will need to provide as part of your application.

Go to the My Applications website and select the option for current students. We will submit an application for you using the information in your student record. If we need any further information we will let you know.

Tab Content: When to apply

MA Social work applications should be submitted through UCAS by 15 January. Later applications will be considered only at the University's discretion.

You can apply at any time of the year for other MA programmes, but if you wish to be considered for funding, are applying from overseas or require on-campus accommodation, we recommend you apply as early as possible.

Tab Content: Further information

My Applications website and applications to non-Social Work degrees

For questions about your application, please contact the Faculty admissions team:

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 510880

MA Social Work

Please get in touch with us if you have specific questions about our programmes or would like to speak with current lecturers or students about their experiences:

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 594098

All other MA Programmes

Please get in touch with us if you have specific questions about our programmes or would like to speak with current lecturers or students about their experiences:

Telephone: +44 (0)1524 593148

MA funding opportunities

  • Alumni Loyalty Scholarship

    Lancaster University will offer a reduction in tuition fees to all taught Master’s programmes for eligible alumni applicants, determined by the level of undergraduate award achieved. The value of the scholarship is as follows:

    • 20% fee reduction for 1st Class Hons degree holders
    • 10% fee reduction for 2:1 Hons degree holders

    Find out more about the scheme.

  • Faculty Studentships

    Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences is pleased to offer a number of Faculty Scholarships to outstanding UK, EU and Overseas applicants wishing to study for a Masters Degree followed by a PhD (“1+3”), or for a PhD degree within the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.

    Applicants wishing to be considered for these awards should complete the Faculty Scholarship application form and send it to Emma Taylor, the Sociology Postgraduate Coordinator on email by 17.00 GMT on Friday 1st March 2019. 

    All applicants must already hold an offer of a place to study in the Sociology Department before applying for a scholarship, and be due to commence their studies during the 2019-20 academic year.

    A variety of scholarships will be awarded ranging from fee bursaries to fee bursaries plus maintenance grants up to the value of £15,000.

    If you have any questions regarding this funding please contact the Emma Taylor, the Sociology Postgraduate Coordinator on email or 01524 593148 


    Download the application form:

    Faculty Scholarship Application Form 2019-20

    Please read the relevant terms & conditions before applying:

    Faculty Scholarship MA 2019 Terms and Conditions

    Faculty Scholarship 1+3 2019 Terms and Conditions

  • ESRC funding - North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP)

    Application deadline: 17.00 GMT on Monday 4th February 2019

    Lancaster University forms part of the North West Social Science Doctoral Training Partnership (NWSSDTP) which offers scholarships covering tuition and maintenance for a Masters plus PhD (1+3).

    The pathways available for 1+3 applicants within the Sociology Department are:

    • Criminology, Social Policy and Social Work (MA Social Research, PhD Criminology)
    • Social Studies of Science, Technology and Medicine (MA Social Research, PhD Sociology, PhD Science Studies)
    • Socio-legal Studies (MA Social Research, PhD Criminology, PhD Law)
    • Sociology (MA Social Research, PhD Sociology)

    Due to the competitive nature of this funding, usually only students with a first class UG degree or a distinction in their MA would be successful. 


    Funding applications are submitted to the Faculty of Arts and Social Science, however it is important that applicants inform the department and the relevant Pathway Representative of their intention to apply for ESRC funding as soon as possible.


    Full details of the studentships and application process are available on the Faculty website

  • University funding for Postgraduate students

    Peel Trust Studentship

    Funds of up to £2,500 per annum are available to postgraduate students. The award is based on academic merit and financial hardship. For details of how to apply, please see the student services website

    Other University funding

    Visit the Student Based Services website for details on other funding sources for applicants and registered students.

  • UK Government Postgraduate Loan Scheme

    The UK Government provides a loan for students undertaking Master programmes. More details can be found here.

  • Funding Opportunities - MA Social Work qualifications
    • For social work students ordinarily resident in England, there are bursaries available through the NHS Business Services Authority (NHSBSA). Information, including eligibility criteria can be found on the NHSBSA website, in their regular Bursary Newsletters, and in their 'Ask Us' section.
    • For Postgraduate applicants, we allocate on a first come first served basis, meaning that candidates who accept Lancaster University as their firm choice on UCAS are prioritised and ranked accordingly (in the order of the date the University offer was accepted).

    The social work bursary scheme is currently being reviewed and you should regularly check the NHSBA website to keep up to date with any changes that will be in place for your entry year.

    Travel costs may be incurred in getting to Social Work placements. The amount will vary depending on the location of the placement but students may be able to claim a placement travel allowance from the NHS or a contribution from the agency offering the placement towards the cost of travel. All Social Work students will need to pay for an enhanced Criminal Record Bureau check. Students also need to consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, photocopying, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits. Following graduation it may be necessary to take out subscriptions to professional bodies and to buy business attire for job interviews

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Visiting MA and PhD Students

We welcome visitors from other institutions, to learn, study and help enrich our collaborative intellectual community.

Visiting Students