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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. University & program search

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  2. Application guidance

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  3. Visa & travel advice

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Our team of advisors is ready to support you at every step of your study abroad journey.
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Social work study abroad programs

Social work undergraduate programs

Bachelor's in social work

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    Social Work (3rd year admission) - BSW Thompson Rivers University, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    11,836 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,080 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work (3rd year admission)
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    Social Work - BSW University of Central Florida, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    22,478 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,478 USD

    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - BSW George Fox University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    36,750 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 36,750 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - BSW Lakehead University, Canada

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,527 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 23,604 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - BSW Stockton University, USA

    Program type
    Bachelor's
    Duration
    4 years
    Annual tuition fee
    21,605 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 21,605 USD

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Social Work
See all bachelor's 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
    31,409 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 40,017 CAD

    Start date
    September
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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, January, June
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See all undergraduate certificates in social work

Social work graduate programs

Master's in social work

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    Social Work - School Social Work - MSW California State University, Monterey Bay, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    15,600 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 15,600 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Social Work - School Social Work
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    Social Work - Standard Program - MSW Arizona State University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    26,518 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 26,518 USD

    Start date
    January, May, August
    Show program overview about Social Work - Standard Program
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    Social Work (Women's Studies Specialization) - MSW Lakehead University, Canada

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    17,586 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 22,406 CAD

    Start date
    September
    Show program overview about Social Work (Women's Studies Specialization)
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    Social Work - MSW Florida A&M University, USA

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    25,868 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 25,868 USD

    Start date
    January, August
    Show program overview about Social Work
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    Social Work - MSW Edge Hill University, UK

    Program type
    Master's
    Duration
    2 years
    Annual tuition fee
    18,116 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,250 GBP

    Start date
    September
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See all master's degrees in social work

Doctorate in social work

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

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

    Fee in university's local currency 23,620 USD

    Start date
    January, May, September
    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
    18,047 USD

    Fee in university's local currency 13,200 GBP

    Start date
    January, September
    Show program overview about Social Work and Social Care
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.