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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.

Our course 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.




Key features

  • Accredited by Social Work England, leading to eligibility for the Social Work England register - a requirement for practising social workers in England
  • 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

University of the Year - Finalist 2020

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Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

UCAS tariff points

Entry requirements

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. Functional Skills Level 2 Mathematics is accepted as an alternative. Please note that Functional Skills Level 2 English is not accepted 
  • 112 UCAS tariff points (for example, BBC at A Level)
  • At least 3 months relevant social care experience, whether paid or voluntary, supported by reference

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.

Other information

Other conditions

  • 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


Selected candidates will be assessed using the ‘Point of Entry’ Level on the Professional Capabilities Framework which can be found on the website The interview day has 3 exercises: a written exercise, a group exercise and an individual interview. Service users and carers, practitioners and academic staff will be part of the interview process.

The interview process will check the candidate's ability to communicate clearly and accurately in spoken and written English.

Additional Information

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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Course content

What will you study?

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, service users and carers. 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.

Year 1

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:


  • The Context of Practice
  • Theories and Interventions in Social Work Practice
  • Skills Development
  • Life Course Development
  • The Ethics and Values of Social Work

Year 2

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.


  • Law and Policy for Social Work Practice
  • Managing Risk in Social Work Practice
  • Understanding Research in Practice
  • Practice 1

Year 3

In year 3 students will have the opportunity to specialise in either children and families or adult work in the Practice Realities module, which complements final placement, and the Dissertation.


  • Dissertation
  • Practice 2
  • Practice Realities

Practice Placements

Diane from Herefordshire Home-StartĀ (voluntary sector) discusses student practice placements.
Teaching and assessment

How will you be taught?

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.

Contact time

In a typical week, you will have around 15 - 16 contact hours of teaching. In the final year, you will normally have slightly less contact time in order to do more work on your Dissertation. 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.

Independent self-study

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.

Teaching staff

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 and a Dissertation.

A typical formal summative assessment pattern for each year of the course is:

Year 1

  • Group presentations
  • Essays
  • Skills portfolio
  • Assessed Skills simulation
  • reports

Year 2

  • essays
  • research reports
  • Practice portfolio
  • Direct observations of practice

Year 3

  • Essays
  • Individual presentations
  • Practice portfolios
  • Direct observations of practice
  • Dissertation of 8000 words.


You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate.

We commit to providing you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet The Team

You will receive teaching from a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are matched closely to the content of the modules on the course.


Peter Ayling

My background is in social work practice with children and families including child protection, looked after children, fostering and adoption, child mental health.

I have also been involved in therapeutic work with children for the last 15 years as a social worker and play therapist and am committed to supporting the emotional development and wellbeing of children and to ensuring that children's views and wishes about their lives are heard and acted on.

I believe in the importance of the social work profession for our society and am excited to be involved in the training of talented and committed social workers for the future.


Kay Wall

I am an ‘old crock’ Probation Officer when probation services were provided by qualified social workers. Consequently, my predominant passion is working with, and for, adults and children who have offended, in particular giving them a voice.

A personal interest is in the needs of service personnel, in particular on discharge from the military.

I am only a part-time tutor at the University, which allows me to continue to work alongside young people attending the Youth Offending Service, and supervise students in the workplace as a practice educator.


Diane Asamoah

Diane currently lectures on the BA (Hons) Practice Realities module and MA Complex practice, supporting students to prepare for Social Work employment. She previously had a joint role with Worcestershire County Council and University of Worcester. At the council, she worked as the Principal Social Worker for Adults where she had the opportunity to develop Adult Social Care by working on staff heath checks, overseeing quality assurance and improvement of social work practice, promoting social work practice events, evaluating the 3 Conversation model implementation and delivering bespoke legislation training.


Dr Peter Unwin

I have enjoyed a long and varied career in social work, specialising in safeguarding, foster care and service user and carer (SUAC) involvement. I began my career in residential care in South Africa in the days of apartheid and this era of oppression fired me up with a strong sense of social justice. I went on to qualify as a social worker in the UK and moved into senior management and inspection roles with local authorities.

Practice Placements

Laurie-Mo from Worcestershire County CouncilĀ (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 Social Work England 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.

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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 2020/21 is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international (non-EU) students registering in the academic year 2020/21 is £12,700 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

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 £105 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £169 per week (2020/21 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply