Routes into social work

Graduate Trainee Scheme (internal)

Our internal Graduate Trainee Scheme offers a payment to support employees when they take an MA in Social Work at the University of East Anglia.

The MA in Social Work is a 2-year full-time course and you will need to resign from your current role while you take the course. We'll provide successful candidates with a retainer of £6,500 per year for each year of the MA to help towards your costs and living expenses.

In return for the retainer payment, you will need to sign a contract confirming that you will return to work in one of our social work teams for a minimum of 2 years after you successfully complete the course and job interview. You will have your continuous service reinstated when you return to work for us.

MA in Social Work course information


  • You should normally have worked for NCC for at least one year, although applications may be considered from those who have less than one year’s service, depending on numbers
  • You will need to have at least one year’s experience of working directly with children, young people, families, carers, or adults in need of care and support. Ideally this experience would be in your current role, but some could be in a voluntary capacity.
  • You need to have a first degree completed in the last five years at grade 2:1 or above. If you fall outside of this time frame, you will need to show evidence of recent study. We may consider a 2:2 grade if experience is substantial and relevant.
  • You will need to have GCSE grade C/4 in English Language and Mathematics. We'll accept functional skills level 2 in Mathematics as an alternative to GCSE.

Financial information

In addition to the retainer we pay you, you may be eligible for an NHS Business Services Authority Social Work Bursary. (There are no guarantees that you will receive the bursary. It will be your responsibility to cover any shortfall of the UEA course fees from the amount awarded.)

You may also be able to apply for a Post-graduate Loan.

How to apply

Applications are open in spring/early summer each year. You will be asked to complete an application pack which will include an application form, declaration of suitability, a reference and an essay.

If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend an interview and group activity.

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