Master of Social Work (MSW)

Admission requirements

Admission to the MSW in Social Work is dependent on the following factors:

  • Applicants must have obtained a bachelor’s degree in Social Work at exit level 8.
  • Applicants must be registered as a social worker or student social worker with the South African Council for Social Service Professions (SACSSP) and must hand in proof of registration.
  • Applicants with a foreign MSW qualification have to apply at the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) for an evaluation of their qualification. The purpose of this evaluation is the recognition of foreign qualifications in terms of the South African National Qualifications Framework (NQF).
  • Foreign students must apply for registration at the SACSSP as social workers or student social workers, in terms of section 17 of the Social Service Professions Act, 1978.
  • A minimum of 60% is required for admission to the University of the Free State.
  • Applicants must have achieved at least 65% for the MSW qualification.
  • A minimum of three years of social work practice experience is required for application for selection.
  • Applicants must have an advanced working knowledge of social work research methodology. Applicants are advised to study the following textbook:
    De Vos, AS, Strydom, H, Fouché, CB, and Delport, CSL. eds. 2011. Research at grass roots: for the social sciences and human service professions. 4th ed. Pretoria: Van Schaik.

Selection procedure

  1. Applicants have to sit for the TALPS test (a test of academic literacy for postgraduate students). Please note: this is an ICELDA test; it is NOT a test of the University of the Free State.
    Procedure for the arrangement/registration of a TALPS test: A test booking must be made by sending an email to, indicating your intention of writing the test. A registration form and details will then be sent to you by the TALPS administrator.
  2. Applicants must submit an electronic or hard copy of their dissertation or mini-dissertation of the previous qualification.
  3. Applicants must compile an annotated bibliography of 10 journal articles (not older than five years) on their topic of choice. See the addendum below for the criteria to compile the annotated bibliography. The annotated bibliography should be submitted to the Postgraduate Coordinator, Prof Sandra Ferreira (, two weeks before the envisaged date of the preliminary examination.
  4. Applicants must pass a preliminary examination of their proposed conceptual framework and research methodology. The preliminary examination will take place in the form of a one-hour oral presentation of their research proposal. The date of the preliminary examination must be arranged with Prof Sandra Ferreira (


  1. Complete the application form for admission to the University of the Free State as well as the Postgraduate Fillable Form. Send this form with the application fee and documentation to the address as indicated on the form.
  2. The following documents must be completed and sent to Professor SB Ferreira, Department of Social Work (34), PO Box 339, Bloemfontein 9300:
  3. An internal application form of the Department of Social Work
  4. Signed departmental rules and work agreement
  5. Signed supervision agreement


  • You need to contact beforehand the Coordinator: Postgraduate Studies, Professor Sandra B Ferreira at
  • If possible, you will be placed with the supervisor of your choice.
  • If your application is successful, you will be expected to attend workshops presented by the Postgraduate School that will aid you in your research study.
  • After completion of your research report, you will be invited to do a presentation on your research findings to the social work community.

Closing date for applications: 30 September.

Prof Sandra B Ferreira


T: +27 51 401 2240 or

Marizanne Cloete: +27 51 401 2592

Katlego Mabulana: +27 51 401 2495
Juanita Hlongwane: +27 51 401 3269

Humanities photo next to contact block

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful, to better understand how they are used and to tailor advertising. You can read more and make your cookie choices here. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.