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Study social work abroad

An in-depth guide to studying social work as an international student.

Social work degrees abroad

Social work is an academic discipline that is committed to human rights and social justice by helping those in need. You will learn how to work with vulnerable people across different ages and cultures, and how to build respectful and trusting relationships.

While studying a social work program you’ll cover a range of subjects including sociology, psychology, and law amongst others. Working in social work is a demanding and rewarding profession, that plays a crucial role in communities all over the world. If you have the drive and commitment to improve the lives of others, then social work could be the ideal program for you.

Social work is a popular program that is offered at universities all over the world, including the UK, US, South Africa, Canada and many others. By studying abroad, you’ll get to develop important skills like interacting with people from different backgrounds and cultures.

Social work program structure

There are a variety of degree qualifications you can study for in social work at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At bachelor’s level you can study for a BA, BSc or a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) over three or four years, depending on where you study.

If you study at bachelor’s level in the US, you can choose to study social work as a major or minor subject. To graduate, you’ll need to earn a certain amount of credits in social work modules.

Most postgraduate social work degree programs are offered as an MA or MSc over two years, but you can also study for a PhD over four years. In the US and some other countries you can study an MSW (Master of Social Work), and some universities also offer PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma) programs.

Social work programs are usually taught through student-led seminars, group workshops and lectures. You will also spend time on placement where you’ll be able to shadow professional social workers and interact with the local community. The program content will be unique to each program, but some of the main areas of study include:

  • Introduction to social work
  • Equality and diversity
  • Law and social policy
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Professional practice
  • Social work with children
  • Social work skills
Social work program structure

There are a variety of degree qualifications you can study for in social work at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. At bachelor’s level you can study for a BA, BSc or a BSW (Bachelor of Social Work) over three or four years, depending on where you study.

If you study at bachelor’s level in the US, you can choose to study social work as a major or minor subject. To graduate, you’ll need to earn a certain amount of credits in social work modules.

Most postgraduate social work degree programs are offered as an MA or MSc over two years, but you can also study for a PhD over four years. In the US and some other countries you can study an MSW (Master of Social Work), and some universities also offer PgDip (Postgraduate Diploma) programs.

Social work programs are usually taught through student-led seminars, group workshops and lectures. You will also spend time on placement where you’ll be able to shadow professional social workers and interact with the local community. The program content will be unique to each program, but some of the main areas of study include:

  • Introduction to social work
  • Equality and diversity
  • Law and social policy
  • Introduction to psychology
  • Professional practice
  • Social work with children
  • Social work skills

How to study social work abroad

  1. University & program search

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations
  2. Application guidance

    We'll get you to the right place to start your application
  3. Visa & travel advice

    Get help after application, all the way to your first day at university

Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
Our services are 100% free for students like you because we're funded by universities.

Social work study abroad programs

Social work undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in social work

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    Behavioral Sciences-Sociology: Social Work - BS New York Institute of Technology, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    41,440 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 41,440 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Behavioral Sciences-Sociology: Social Work
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    Collaborative Health & Human Services - Social Work - BA California State University, Monterey Bay, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    16,647 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 16,647 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Collaborative Health & Human Services - Social Work
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    Indigenous Social Work (Qualifying) - BA University of Regina, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    14,312 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 CAD

    Start date
    September, May, January
    Show program overview about Indigenous Social Work (Qualifying)
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    Social Work - BSc/BA Portland State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,709 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,709 USD

    Start date
    September, March, January
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - BSW Florida A&M University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,940 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,940 USD

    Start date
    August, January
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all bachelor's degrees in social work

Associate in social work

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    Social Work - AA Moraine Valley Community College, USA

    Program type
    Associate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    9,408 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 9,408 USD

    Start date
    August, January, June
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all associate degrees in social work

Diploma in social work

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    Social Work - Dip Bow Valley College, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate diploma
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    31,819 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 40,017 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all undergraduate diplomas in social work

Certificate in social work

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    Social Work and Human Services Paraprofessional - Cert Berkeley City College, USA

    Program type
    Undergraduate certificate
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    7,950 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 7,950 USD

    Start date
    August, June, January
    Show program overview about Social Work and Human Services Paraprofessional
See all undergraduate certificates in social work

Pathway in social work

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    Social Work (Pre-Social Work) - UGP University of Regina, Canada

    Program type
    Undergraduate pathway
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    14,312 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 18,000 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work (Pre-Social Work)
See all undergraduate pathways in social work

Social work graduate programs

Master's in social work

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    Advanced Social Work Studies - MSW University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Annual tuition fee
    23,730 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 17,275 GBP

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Advanced Social Work Studies
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    Social Work - MSW University of Regina, Canada

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    10,866 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,666 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - MSW University of Windsor, Canada

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,457 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,440 CAD

    Start date
    May, January, September
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - MSW Monmouth University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,000 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,000 USD

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Social Work
  • false

    Social Work - MSW University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,653 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 31,070 AUD

    Start date
    February
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all master's degrees in social work

Doctorate in social work

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    Social Work and Juris Doctor - MSW/JD Southern Utah University, USA

    Program type
    Master's/Doctorate
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,620 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,620 USD

    Start date
    September, May, January
    Show program overview about Social Work and Juris Doctor
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    Social Work and Social Care - PhD University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,132 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,200 GBP

    Start date
    September, January
    Show program overview about Social Work and Social Care
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    Social Work/Juris Doctor - JD University of Windsor, Canada

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,457 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,440 CAD

    Start date
    May, January, September
    Show program overview about Social Work/Juris Doctor
See all doctorates in social work

Diploma in social work

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    Social Work - PGDip/MSW Trinity College Dublin, Ireland

    Program type
    Postgraduate diploma/Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    23,793 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 19,996 EUR

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all postgraduate diplomas in social work

Future social work careers

Social work is a vocational degree, and most graduates go on to become practicing social workers in their local community. However, there are several different roles you could pursue, including:

  • Social worker
  • Care manager
  • Persistent offender coordinator
  • Family support worker
  • Housing adviser
  • Support worker

The skills you’ll acquire on a social work degree program like compassion, communication and teamwork are also easily transferable to other areas of work.

If you’re not quite sure what role you want to pursue after you’ve graduated, make use of your university’s career services, who can help you work out which path is right for you.