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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

How to study social work abroad

  1. Universities & programs

    Find the right program for you and your career aspirations

  2. Application assistance

    Be guided through your application process

  3. Visa & embassy guidance

    Maximise your chances of being granted a visa

  4. Enrollment & travel advice

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Speak to a personal advisor (free service)

Social work study abroad programs

Social work undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in social work

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    Social Work - BSW Greenville University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    27,580 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - BSW Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    35,736 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work (Downtown Phoenix Campus) - BSW Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,834 USD
    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - BA University of Kansas, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    26,960 USD
    Start date
    January, June, August
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - BSW University of Kentucky, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Tuition fees per year
    29,050 USD
    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about
See all bachelor's degrees in social work

Social work graduate programs

Master's in social work

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    Social Work - MSW Long Island University Post, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    44,100 USD
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - Advanced Standing - (Planning, Administration and Community Practice) - MSW Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    1 year
    Tuition fees per year
    26,518 USD
    Start date
    May
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - MSW RMIT University, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    30,720 AUD
    Start date
    February, July
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - MSW University of Dundee, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    22 months
    Tuition fees per year
    18,150 GBP
    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about
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    Social Work - MSW University of Newcastle, Australia

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Tuition fees per year
    31,070 AUD
    Start date
    February, July, September
    Show program overview about
See all master's degrees in social work

Doctorate in social work

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    Social Work and Social Care - PhD University of Gloucestershire, UK

    Program type
    Doctorate
    Duration
    3 years
    Tuition fees per year
    13,200 GBP
    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about
See all doctorates 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.