Social Work BA (Hons)
What makes Social Work at Worcester special?
If you want an in-demand career that lets you make a real difference in the world, there’s never been a better time to become a social worker.
Worcester’s BA (Hons) in Social Work delivers a professional qualification combined with an academic degree, giving you the skills, knowledge and experience to succeed. During your training, you will divide your time between studying and supervised work placements.
We seek to include service-users, practitioners, carers and managers from across the social work arena throughout the course, ensuring your learning experience is firmly rooted in the real-world dynamics of the profession.
- Accredited by the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC), leading to eligibility for the HCPC register – a requirement for practicing social workers in the UK
- A rich and varied learning experience with simulation and assessed practice complimenting more traditional learning techniques, as well as the provision of a Practice Educator, whose role is to supervise your placements to help you consolidate your learning
- Opportunities to study overseas
What qualifications will you need?
UCAS tariff points
Candidates should possess the following/or be in process of obtaining:
- The minimum age is normally 18 years old at the start of the course
- At least 4 GSCEs Grade C/4 or above, including Maths and English.
- 112 UCAS tariff points
- At least 3 months relevant social care experience, whether paid or voluntary.
Social Care experience:
When completing the UCAS application form, candidates should indicate why they wish to pursue a career in social work. This relates to the requirement for practice experience which should have involved settings either working alongside social workers or with people affected by social work decisions. Candidates can find waged and unwaged practice experience with a range of agencies working with children, young people or adults who are vulnerable. This may, for example, be work with children’s centres, adults who have a physical or learning disability, people with mental health issues or older people with incapacity issues or dementia. There may be opportunities in residential work, supported housing and day care services. This work experience will help candidates decide whether social work is for them and also begin to develop their understanding of social work as well as introduce them to the underpinning values of the profession.
Candidates may also have relevant lived experience as service users and carers which may support their application.
Applications from mature applicants are particularly welcomed, where they will be assessed on their ability to benefit from and be successful on the course via a range of range of alternative qualifications and experience. This is often demonstrated through the achievement of a level 3 qualification in a relevant area. Please contact the Admissions tutor for more information.
- Satisfactory occupational health check
- Satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check
- Confirmation of the ability to use basic IT facilities
- Where English is a second language, IELTS Level 7 will need to be evidenced
The interview process will check the candidate’s ability to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English.
Given that students will be allocated placements in rural areas, access to a car or supported mobility arrangements for the duration of the placements is essential. The ability to meet this requirement will be checked at interview. Candidates with additional support needs should contact the admissions tutor prior to interview to ensure the correct support and necessary reasonable adjustments are available at interview.
Successful candidates will be required to complete the university’s suitability documentation and an occupational health check as well as obtain an enhanced DBS statement.
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What will you study?
Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative.
The first year of the course requires students to undertake 30 days of Skills development training and to undergo an assessment of 'readiness to practice'. In addition students will study academic modules which will begin to provide the underpinning knowledge needed to practice as a social worker:
In year 2 students will build on their knowledge to enable them to engage with 70 days of practice and start to implement what they have learnt with service users.
In year 3 students will have the opportunity to specialize in either children and families or adult work in the Practice Realities module, which runs alongside 100 days of placement, and the Independent Study.
Diane from Herefordshire Home-Start (voluntary sector) discusses student practice placements.
Vicky Bailey, BA Social Work student
"My seventy day placement in an adult setting offered me a safe environment to develop a deeper knowledge of theories, law and reflective practice, whilst learning about social work on a practical day to day level. I took part in assessments, reviews, care plans and multi agency working and dealt with diverse groups of people. Both supervisors and practice educators provided positive learning and offered experience, support and knowledge while at the same time allowing me the scope to build on my own learning needs and with that the confidence in my own abilities. Team members also provided a great deal of their own knowledge and shadowing opportunities. All in all, my second year placement was a completely enjoyable experience and I believe it offered me everything that I needed to progress to year three."
Teaching and Assessment
How will you be taught?
Teaching and Learning
The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support through the personal academic tutoring system, enables you to reflect on, progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will enable you to flourish and be successful.
You are taught through a combination of formal lectures, seminars, group work tasks and interactive skills workshops. Lectures by both academic staff and current practitioners provide you with expert knowledge and contemporary theory relating to social work practice, while seminars and group work tasks enable you to develop your understanding of topics in greater depth, as well as learning from your peers. Skills workshops offer opportunities for practical application and rehearsal of core social work skills, whilst receiving feedback from practitioners and service user and carer colleagues.
In addition, meetings with personal academic tutors are scheduled on at least 4 occasions in the first year and three occasions in each of the other years of a course.
You have an opportunity to undertake a total of 170 days of Assessed practice learning on placement during your second and third years of study. During your placement, you will receive support from a Practice Educator / work based supervisor and University Tutor.
In a typical week, you will have around 15 - 16 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on the optional modules selected and in the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study. Typically, class contact time will be structured around:
- 8-10 hours lectures
- 4 – 6 hours seminars and workshops
In years 2 and 3, you will also undertake practice placements, which you will be required to attend on a full time (35 hours a week) basis. In year 2, this will take place in Semester 2 for 70 days. In year 3, this will take place across both semesters for 100 days.
In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 22 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve reading journal articles and books recommended by module leaders, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library and online, preparing coursework assignments and presentations and preparing for examinations.
You will be supported in your independent learning by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources.
You will receive teaching from a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are matched closely to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior social work academics with practice expertise from a range of practice contexts in the statutory and voluntary sectors, experienced practitioners from our partner social work agencies and service users and carers from the University IMPACT group, who have a wide range of experience of using social work and social care services.
A range of contemporary social work research and development activity informs the team’s teaching. In addition, 90 per cent of course lecturers are Fellows of the Higher Education Academy and hold a higher education teaching qualification. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles.
The course provides opportunities to test understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessments, which are graded and count towards the overall module grade.
Assessment methods include written essays and reports, group and individual presentations, open book examinations, assessed skills simulations, placement portfolio and assessment of direct practice, extended independent study.
The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory and optional modules taken, but a typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:
- Group presentations
- Skills portfolio
- Assessed Skills simulation
- research reports
- open book exam
- Practice portfolio
- Direct observations of practice
- Individual presentations
- Practice portfolios
- Direct observations of practice
- Independent study of 8000 words.
You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.
We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.
Laurie-Mo from Worcestershire County Council (statutory sector) discusses student practice placements.
Where could it take you?
On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply to join the HCPC register and seek employment as a qualified social worker in a variety of organisations in the statutory, voluntary and independent sectors.
The programme works closely with Worcestershire and Herefordshire Councils to enhance employment opportunities on completion of the degree.
To date students qualifying from the University have demonstrated a good record in gaining employment.
Request or download a prospectusRequest now
How much will it cost?
Full-time tuition fees
UK and EU students
The standard tuition fee for full-time UK and EU students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £9,250 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2019/20 will be £12,400 per year.
For more details, please visit our course fees page.
Every course has day-to-day costs for essential books, stationery, printing and photocopying.
As part of the course you will need to travel to placements and will therefore need to pay any associated costs. You may be able to reclaim these travel expenses depending on your individual circumstances.
Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience, and our welcoming student communities are great places to live and study.
We have over 1,000 rooms across our halls of residence. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £102 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £165 per week (2019/20 prices).
For full details visit our accommodation page.
How do you apply?
Applying through UCAS
Social Work BA (Hons) - L500
UCAS is the central organisation through which applications are processed for entry onto full-time undergraduate courses in Higher Education in the UK.