Barriers to Postgraduate Qualifications among Social Workers

  • James Mmadi University of Limpopo
  • Sello Levy Sithole University of Limpopo
Keywords: social workers, postgraduate qualifications, barriers, continuing professional development


This article describes factors that militate against social workers’ endeavours to undertake postgraduate studies. The study adopted a qualitative research paradigm, where a sample of 10 participants was interviewed at Driekop in the Limpopo province of South Africa. The Maintaining Professional Competence model guided the study. A content thematic analysis was used to make sense of the findings. The findings demonstrate that social workers’ aspirations to further their studies beyond their bachelor’s degrees are constrained by impediments, such as a lack of motivation, the poor image of the profession, heavy workloads, family commitments, financial constraints, and poor scholarly habits. Recommendations are suggested to deal with the barriers that surfaced.

Author Biography

James Mmadi, University of Limpopo

Department of Social work 

Masters student