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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.

 

Overview

Overview

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

Register your interest

Enter your details below and we will keep you up to date with useful information about studying at the University of Worcester.


Louise Lyson Graduate Story Profile Image

Louise Lyson

Louise graduated with First Class Honours in Social Work

During her studies, Louise developed a service supporting families experiencing child to parent abuse (CPA).  “As a mature student with children and dyslexia I was happy to just pass, so getting a first was amazing,” she said. “It has boosted my confidence and shows other students that have specific learning difficulties that anything is possible.” 

It was during a placement for her degree at the Sandycroft Centre, that Louise was given the opportunity to develop a service to help people affected by a specific form of domestic abuse.  The Eve Project was created to encompass the many different forms of domestic abuse women, children and families experience. Within this, Louise has set up a Child to Parent Violence and Abuse service. 

Now Louise has a role as family social worker and CPVA (Child to Parent Violence and Abuse) lead at The Sandycroft Centre. She works there three days a week building up the support service, while studying for a Master’s in Understanding Domestic and Sexual Violence at the University of Worcester.  

tina young profile image

Tina Young

“Coming to university as a mature student certainly does have its challenges and to come away with a First Class Honours feels amazing. I will most definitely be back to complete a Master’s degree in the future.

“The University of Worcester has such a good reputation, combined with having friends who have completed their degrees there and having such a positive feeling about the university when I went to the Open Day,” she said.

As the pandemic began to take hold, she was coming to the end of her degree and writing her dissertation. “All of my tutorials had to take place online, which initially I was worried about as I was writing such a big piece of work,” she said. “However, my lecturers/tutors were all amazing and I knew they were only a video call away.”

Charlotte Grimason

Charlotte Grimason

A student, who graduated with First Class Honours, has spoken about how her experiences of growing up in foster care have increased her determination to succeed. "It felt that having the status of a ‘looked after child’ automatically gave people the view that I wouldn’t succeed in life. I also felt a lot of determination to prove everyone wrong and that started with obtaining my GCSE’s, then A levels and progressing into university.”

Once at university, Charlotte made the most of her opportunities, enjoying several work placements and even a year abroad in Malta. Her final year dissertation, which looked at the outcomes for looked after children, also gave her encouragement. Since completing her degree, Charlotte has gone on to secure a job as a children’s social worker, where she is determined to play her part in ensuring the next generation of looked after children have a chance to discover their own rich potential.

Entry requirements

What qualifications will you need?

120
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 
  • 120 UCAS tariff points (for example, BBB 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

Interview 

Selected candidates will be assessed using the ‘Point of Entry’ Level on the Professional Capabilities Framework which can be found on the website www.basw.co.uk. 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:

Modules

  • 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.

Modules

  • 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.

Modules

  • 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.

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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.

Feedback

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

Peter Ayling

My background is in social work practice with children and families including child protection, children in care, fostering and adoption, child and adolescent 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 enthusiastic about supporting the emotional development and wellbeing of children and 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 enjoy being involved in the training of talented and committed future social workers.

kay-wall

Kay Wall

Kay's passion is working with, and for, adults and children who have offended, in particular giving them a voice. She has a keen interest in the needs of service personnel and in particular discharges from the military.

Kay is the only part-time tutor at the university, which allows her 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 Asamoah

Diane is the course leader for the Social Work Continuous Professional Development programs. She currently lectures on the BA(Hons) Practice Realities module, MA Complex practice, supporting students to prepare for Social Work employment, PEPS 2 and Practice Leadership for Strength Based Practice.

She looks forward to supporting students with an understanding of the skills needed for current Social Work practice.

dr-peter-unwin

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.
Careers

Where could it take you?

Employability

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.

Two students are walkng next to each other and smiling

Careers and Employability

Our Graduates pursue exciting and diverse careers in a wide variety of employment sectors.

Find out how we can support you to achieve your potential.
Charlotte Grimason and Alizah Pervez

Alizah Pervez and Charlotte Grimason

Lifelong friends Alizah Pervez and Charlotte Grimason have both achieved a First-class honours Social Work BA (Hons)

Alizah commented: “Achieving a First Class Honours degree is an indescribable feeling and is a significant achievement that will remain with us…It is amazing to have completed this journey together and to both have achieved such high levels of success.”

Charlotte decided to study at Worcester following attending an Open Day and feeling that “there was a healthy balance between professionalism and open understanding.”

The pair applied to complete their first placement abroad and travelled to Malta together to work in adult mental health for five months. “It was an experience neither of us will forget” said Alizah.

Costs

How much will it cost?

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

* subject to changes in the government regulated fee cap.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2022/23 academic year is £13,400 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

* subject to changes in the government regulated fee cap.

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.

Accommodation

Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Traditional Hall' at £108 per week to 'En-suite Extra' at £184 per week (2021/22 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply