Continuing Professional Development (CPD) in Social Work

Explore CPD opportunities to develop your professional knowledge and experience.

Supporting your professional progress

Our Continuing Professional Development (CPD) awards can help you to meet the requirements of re-registration or simply improve your understanding of key areas of social work practice, health and social care.

With our CPDs you can:

  • build on the knowledge you gained on your qualifying course
  • improve your skills and practice
  • learn in and from your study group, where you can develop your presentation skills along and your understanding of key issues
  • build up academic credits which can lead to a full academic award
  • study modules offered by Schools and departments across the university
  • take advangtage of learning opportunities developed by research and practice issues, from various contexts and perspectives - including serve users.

Our awards and modules have been designed for newly qualified and experienced social workers, senior practitioners and managers, as well as those working in children, adult and family contexts (including those in criminal justice, education and health). You are taught and assessed in partnership with academics, professionals and experts by experience.

Learning and teaching is critically reflective and informed by the very latest research. CPD-accredited learning gives you the critical frameworks you need to develop your practice and reflect on it from an informed position. All learning is evidenced and can support your professional registration and career aspirations.

Find out how to apply.

CPD modules

Current modules offered for 2023/24 include:

  • Dissertation (60 credits)
  • Work-based Research (45 credits)
  • Developing Innovation in Social Work and Social Care Organisations (30 credits)

    A core module for the PG Cert, PG Dip and MA awards in the Leadership, Management and Supervision pathway.

  • Observing, Communicating and Engaging with Children and Young People (30 credits)
  • Professional Learning Review: Extended (30 credits)
  • Risk & Decision-making (30 credits)
  • Practice Education 2 (15 credits)
  • Practitioner Research (15 credits)
  • Professional Learning Review (15 credits) 
    Extended version available worth 30 credits
  • Understanding and Engaging in Trauma-Informed Practice (15 credits) 
    Details below

Apply using our Social Work CPD Application Form (continuing students) [DOC 141.00KB] or Social Work CPD Application Form (new students) [DOC 170.00KB].

More information on our CPD pathways will be available soon, but please contact in the interim for further information.

Understanding and Engaging in Trauma-Informed Practice CPD (online)

Learn how to better facilitate safety and wellbeing throughout your organisations.

This is a Masters level, credit-bearing course, giving you 15 credit points, equivalent to a degree module at the University of Sussex. Course fees are £975.

Find out how to apply for our online Trauma-Infomed Practice CPD module.

You can also learn more Trauma-Informed Practice (TIP)

Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL)

If you have academic credits from other institutions, you might be able to bring these in to count towards your CPD award at Sussex. The credits must have been earned within the last five years.

When you apply for a CPD pathway with us, you will need to match up the learning outcomes of the modules you were awarded with the modules we currently offer, in order to identify the most relevant award to apply them toward. Up to 50% of previously earned academic credits from other institutions can be used towards a Sussex award.

A nominal fee is applicable.

Advanced standing

You need to apply for advanced standing (rather than APL) if you have previously-earned academic credits from the University of Sussex. These credits need to have been earned within the last five years and match the learning outcomes of current modules/awards offered.

If you wish to apply the academic credits from a previously earned award (eg. a Postgraduate Certificate) towards a higher award (a Postgraduate Diploma or an MA), the higher award will take the place of the lower once successfully earned.

There is no fee for advanced standing.

Further advice

For help or advice regarding APL or advanced standing, contact the CPD support team:


Our CPD modules fees for 2023/24 are:

  • 15 credits: £750 (£850 for Practice Education Stage 2)
  • 30 credits: £1,055 (£1,500 for Practice Education Stage 1 and 2 combined)
  • 45 credits: £1,585
  • 60 credit dissertation: £2,745

If you have any questions about CPD fees, contact

How to apply

To apply for a stand-alone module, or to register for a CPD pathway, complete the Social Work CPD application form for new students [DOC, 170KB].

If you are a returning student wishing to register for further modules towards an academic award, complete the Social Work CPD application form for continuing students [DOC, 141KB].


The School of Education and Social Work is based in Essex House at the University of Sussex campus. Find out how to get here.

Contact the School office:

More information