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Social Work BA (Hons)

  • Level(s) of Study: Undergraduate
  • UCAS Code(s): L500
  • Start Date(s): September 2023
  • Duration: Three years full-time
  • Study Mode(s): Full-time
  • Campus: City Campus
  • Entry Requirements:
    More information

Introduction:

Course accreditation

  • SWE logo

This Social Work England (SWE) approved degree will prepare you for the role of a social worker. It has been designed to enable you to progress into employment and integrates both academic and practice work-based modules.

Do you want to make a difference to people's lives? Then our Social Work degree is for you. You will gain the knowledge and skills that could really change someone's life.

Why choose this course?

  • We work closely with employers in the statutory and independent sectors to ensure our course content retains a focus on the people entitled to use the services. It also helps to ensure that you are ready for professional practice when you qualify.
  • Teaching is carried out by staff from a range of professional backgrounds and is underpinned by research, providing you with a great balance between academic and applied educational experiences. Throughout the course, we provide a strong emphasis on professionalism, values and the links between social work theory and practice.
  • You'll complete assessed placements, which will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience of being a full-time social worker in a range of different workplaces.
  • 100% of BA (Hons) Social Work students would recommend NTU.

Learn from our experts

You'll be taught by an expert team of enthusiastic staff who are qualified professionals and come from a range of professional environments in social work and the health and social care sector. They are widely published in their field and the course content is informed by their specific research interests, which ensures you have an up-to-date and relevant learning experience.

What you’ll study

This Social Work England (SWE) approved degree will prepare you for the role of a social worker. It has been designed to enable you to progress into employment and integrates both academic and practice work-based modules.

You'll undertake an assessed placement which will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience of being a full-time social worker in a range of different workplaces. These form an integral part of the assessment process and are arranged and assessed by the University in partnership with social work organisations. Evidence-based practice and research underpin work in the social work arena, so you will explore what works in practice settings.

Core modules

Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice

This module aims to equip you with the skills and capabilities in preparation for the assessed placement in Year Two. The module includes 30 practice skill days, which are assessed; 10 of these days are on a shadowing or observational basis within an agency context, culminating in a readiness-to-practise interview and a portfolio of evidence to reflect the skills acquired. Reflective practice, social work values, and interpersonal and communication skills feature highly in this module.

Reflective Assessment and Intervention Strategies

Develop a comprehensive understanding and knowledge base of the critical elements of social work practice, in particular assessment and intervention. A combination of large group teaching, directed study, and workshops using interactive exercises will enable you to understand and apply relevant theories, methods and models to typical situations that require social work intervention. You will develop an understanding of the legal and policy frameworks that inform social work practice, as well as the historical context to social work professional development, social work ethical and value base. Anti-oppressive practice will be incorporated throughout the module as well as the importance of drawing upon evidence, including research, to inform social work practice.

Life Course Development in Social Context

You will be introduced to the nature and principal features of human development in contemporary social, material, and political contexts. There will be a strong emphasis on the bio-psychosocial features of child development and early family life as the foundation for later trajectories. A life-span development framework will be used throughout – representing human growth and development as the interplay of biological, psychological, social and historical factors – to explain unfolding events in the individual life course. Theories relating to key developmental processes of social work concern (e.g. attachment, transition, and loss) will be illustrated using a chronological account of the human life course. An understanding of increasing diversity in adult life will be developed by exploration from a sociological perspective of social change, political economy, and current events. You will therefore begin to develop a broad appreciation of the nature, causation, effects and lived experience of social problems such as mental health issues and family breakdown. Major influences on the adult life course, such as changing family structures, non-normative events and ageing processes, will be used to develop your understanding of the later life course.

Core modules

Practice Placement (One)

You'll complete an 80-day placement, and will carry responsibility for a range of work in order to demonstrate meeting the required learning outcomes according to the Professional Capabilities Framework and Knowledge and Skills Statements. A Practice Educator will provide supervision and support, and will assess you during your placement. You will also receive support from your personal tutor.

Engaging with Professional Social Work Practice

Building upon the knowledge and skills you will have acquired in Year One, you will develop your ability to adopt an enquiring and analytical approach to knowledge in social work, and build the skills for systematic enquiry and critical thinking in practice. You will also build your personal skills and aptitude to engage within practice settings, and meet the personal challenges these present.

Legal and Statutory Responsibilities

You will be equipped with the knowledge to know when statutory powers and duties should be used to prevent, or protect people from, harm; and how legislation can help ensure entitlements are met and rights promoted. Students will be taught to be confident and skilful in order to make complex decisions informed by the social work principles of equality, human rights and social justice.

Social Policy

You will explore contemporary social issues, welfare provision and socio-economic factors contributing to the social problems encountered by service users and their families. Studying social policy from the perspective of social work practice will enhance your understanding of the impact of social policies on marginalised and excluded groups.

Core modules

Practice Placement (Two)

In Year Three the placement increases to 90 days and must include a focus on statutory tasks. A Practice Educator will provide regular supervision and support to enable professional development and assess your practice according to the Knowledge and Skills Statements and Professional Capabilities Framework. Your personal tutor will also provide you with support.

Safeguarding: Working with Risk and Complexity

A module in which the specialist skills and knowledge required for safeguarding vulnerable children and adults are enhanced and consolidated. Students will explore a range of topics and practice-based scenarios / issues including the assessment and management of risk and working with complexity. The module will support students' professional confidence and equip them with core skills and knowledge to undertake their safeguarding responsibilities as qualified practitioners.

Working with Individuals, Groups and Families

Apply a more in-depth and critical social work perspective, with an emphasis on holistic interventions and systemic thinking. The module will enable you to manage risk and safeguard adults, children and families from abuse and harm. The module links with the final practice placement to provide a context for you to complete a final in-depth project, and will generate expertise in an area that is likely to be valued by potential employers.

Don’t just take our word for it, hear from our students themselves

Student Profiles

Floss Salter

Social Work

I love being a student at NTU. The student life is great and there are so many opportunities to have fun and meet new people.

Fee Steane

Social Work

The sky is the limit! When I started the course, I never imagined myself being so involved but I have grown in confidence, grabbing any opportunity I can.

How you’re taught

To provide you with a first-class learning experience and to guarantee you have an opportunity to make the most of your time at university, you'll receive contact time through a diverse range of delivery methods.

Structured teaching will be delivered through a combination of traditional lectures, seminars, and workshops. The smaller group seminars and workshops provide opportunities to develop:

  • problem-solving skills
  • group working
  • analysis
  • debating skills
  • presentation skills
  • the ability to discuss a wide range of views effectively.

Tutorials with staff

As the relationship between students and tutors is an important one, you can expect to have lots of direct contact and support through seminars and one-to-one tutorials. At these sessions you'll have the opportunity to:

  • discuss and gain feedback about your work.
  • ask questions about the projects you're working on.
  • raise any difficulties you are experiencing relating to your work, your personal circumstances, or your university experience.

During your time on the course you will also have the support of a personal tutor, who will work with you on both academic and work-based learning throughout your degree.

Independent study

Independent study is an important part of this course. Throughout the three years of your course, the scheduled contact hours you receive will gradually decrease as you develop the skills required to undertake an independent study or dissertation in your final year. You'll still have regular contact with your tutors, and if necessary ad hoc tutorials can be arranged.

Virtual learning environment

You'll also use our virtual learning environment, NOW, which is a flexible web-based system that allows you to have 24-hour access to module learning materials and reading lists. It allows you to discuss work with tutors and other students, and submit coursework electronically from anywhere in the world.

Learning from experts

You'll be taught by an expert team of enthusiastic staff who are qualified professionals and come from a range of professional environments in social work and the health and social care sector. They are widely published in their field, and the course content is informed by their research interests, which ensures you have an up-to-date and relevant learning experience.

How will I be assessed?

The majority of your work will be assessed through coursework-based essays, reports and presentations. You'll also be assessed using formal examinations and online tests. The Assessed Practice Learning Periods form an integral part of the assessment process, and are arranged and assessed by the University in partnership with social work organisations.

In response to student feedback, the University have introduced a policy ensuring marked work is returned to you electronically within three weeks of submission.

Contact hours

  • Year 1 lectures/seminars/workshops (25%), independent study (68%) and placement (7%)
  • Year 2 lectures/seminars/workshops (17%), independent study (54%) and placement (29%)
  • Year 3 lectures/seminars/workshops (12%), independent study (44%) and placement (44%)

Staff Profiles

Geraldine Brady

Professor

School of Social Sciences

Research which contributes to providing evidence which can influence the development of socially just policy and practice approaches, with a particular focus on:  children and young people’s marginalisation and inequality in…

How you’re assessed

  • Year 1 coursework (66%), written (17%) and practical (17%)
  • Year 2 coursework (66%), Written (17%) and practical (17%)
  • Year 3 coursework (100%)

Careers and employability

Our Social Work graduates get jobs:

The job titles below give an indication of the careers our recent Social Work graduates are following:*

  • Social Worker
  • Child Protection Social Worker
  • Mental Health Social Worker
  • Children and Family Social Worker
  • Community Forensic Mental Health Social Worker
  • Community Care Officer
  • Mental Health Practitioner / Social Worker
  • Befriender
  • Support Worker
  • Refuge Support Worker
  • Adult Social Care Advisor (Local Authority)

Excellent work experience opportunities

You'll undertake an assessed placement, which will give you the opportunity to gain valuable experience of being a full-time social worker in a range of different workplaces. These form an integral part of the assessment process, and are arranged and assessed by the University in partnership with social work organisations.

In Year One you'll complete 30 practice skills days, which are incorporated into the Preparing for Professional Social Work Practice module – including a readiness-to-practice interview and 10 practice skill days in local agencies on a shadowing or observational basis.

In Year Two you'll complete 70 placement days, and then 100 days in your final year. We will endeavour to arrange your final placement in the setting you hope to work in after you qualify.

We have well-established partnerships with local social work agencies that provide opportunities for experience in a variety of settings, primarily in Nottingham, Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

Your career development

You'll graduate with the confidence, experience and ability to make a difference to people's lives.

Social work is very demanding and carries a lot of responsibility. It's also a regulated profession. All social workers must register with the regulator and agree to abide by a code of practice. On completing the degree you may be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England (SWE), and you will need to abide by a code of ethics and behaviour in relation to the profession. In addition, many employers will be offering an Assessed Year in Employment to newly qualified social workers.

Please be aware that an aegrotat award certificate allowing a student to obtain their degree despite illness etc., or any other exit award granted to students who do not complete the course, does not confer eligibility to apply to Social Work England (SWE) register or for annotation of an individual’s current registration.

The course has an excellent employability record, and many of our students enter the profession by working in services for children or adults. Opportunities may also exist in social services departments, the private and independent sector, educational welfare, services such as guidance-providing agencies, careers services, and youth justice.

Our Employability team

We have a dedicated Employability team located on the City Campus. The team are well placed to give you specialist guidance and practical help that will really make a difference to your prospects once you do graduate.

Campus and facilities

With ever-increasing pressures of public accountability upon social workers, our Social Work degree has recognised the need to ensure that you are prepared for all kinds of scrutiny in the professional environment. In conjunction with Nottingham Law School, which has authentic court rooms based in the Chaucer building, we are now testing our students in their court report skills by having them present to expert panels in the mock court rooms.

As a Social Sciences student you will have easy access to the fantastic facilities in the Chaucer and Taylor buildings, including:

  • lecture theatres and teaching classrooms
  • open access PCs and secure wireless points
  • study areas and social spaces
  • Chaucer café, serving drinks and light snacks
  • our School of Social Sciences reception, providing you with easy access to our helpful and friendly support staff.

IT resources

Our IT resource rooms and PC clusters are distributed across the City Campus, with PCs providing access to:

  • Microsoft Office
  • email
  • web browsing
  • networked file storage
  • high-speed online printing services

The University’s main resource room in the library is available 24 hours a day.

Book and library resources

In our library you will have access to an extensive and diverse range of books and periodicals that focus on specialist areas within Criminology. The library's OneSearch system provides access to all our:

  • electronic resources
  • journals
  • books.

We have a liaison librarian who is available to give you detailed help in finding and using print and electronic resources. They can also help you with things such as Harvard referencing and research skills.

City location

The location of the City Campus also means that you have easy access to:

  • sports facilities
  • shops
  • student accommodation
  • music venues
  • cafés.

Entry requirements

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.
  • We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations. Please see our website or UCAS Course Search for more details.

    If you are working towards your GCSE English Literature or English Language and / or Maths or equivalent qualification, please ensure you mention this on your application form.

    Personal statement

    In addition to the entry requirements listed above, you will need to submit a personal statement demonstrating:

  • an understanding of the role of a social worker and current social work issues
  • an insight into the statutory and regulatory aspects of social work and social work training
  • your social care work experience (paid or unpaid), and how this relates to social work
  • the length of time spent gaining relevant experience, and how this makes you suitable for social work training.
  • Other requirements

    You will also need to:

  • undertake an interview with a lecturer and practitioner or service user, a written test, and a group task
  • complete an enhanced-level Disclosure and Barring Service check
  • provide a satisfactory health declaration
  • declare any personal involvement with Children's and / or Adult Services by completing a Character Conduct form
  • confirm the ability to use a range of IT facilities including email, internet, and word processing.
  • There may also be other recommendations, such as a vaccination programme, before any placements can be undertaken.

    Interview dates

    Interview dates for 2023 entry are TBC.

    Interview dates may be subject to change and will be confirmed to successful applicants when they are invited to interview.

    Important information

    Social Work at NTU has a limited number of places available to ensure that you receive a good quality placement experience. In exceptional circumstances this may result in the course becoming full before you have completed the admissions process. In this situation we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for the following year’s entry.

    Other qualifications and experience

    We consider equivalent qualifications and combinations, please see UCAS course search for details and use our calculator to help you work out how many UCAS points your qualifications relate to.

    We may also consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or beyond the beginning of a course where applicable, for example, into year 2. Our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy outlines the process and options available for this route.

    Contextual offers

    As well as assessing your application and qualifications, we use contextual data and information to make offers for this course. Depending on your circumstances, we may make you an offer up to two grades below the standard entry criteria. Find out how we assess your application.

    Getting in touch

    If you need any more help or information, please email our Admissions and Enquiries Team or call on +44 (0)115 848 4200.

We accept qualifications from schools, colleges and universities all over the world for entry onto our undergraduate degrees. If you’re not sure how your international qualification matches our course requirements please visit our international qualifications page.

For this course, you will need one of the following:

  • A-levels – BBB; or
  • BTEC Extended Diploma – DDM; or
  • 120 UCAS Tariff points from three A-levels or equivalent qualifications; and
  • GCSEs – English and Maths grade C / 4.

We also consider equivalent qualifications and combinations.

If you are working towards your GCSE English Literature or English Language and / or Maths or equivalent qualification, please ensure you mention this on your application form.

In addition to the entry requirements listed above, you will also need to:

  • demonstrate in your application your motivation to do the course
  • outline the length of time spent gaining relevant social care experience and the type of social care experience you have in your application, either paid or voluntary, that specifically demonstrates your suitability to practise Social Work
  • demonstrate an understanding of the role of a social worker and current social work issues
  • take part in an interview with a lecturer and practitioner or service user, and complete a written test and a group task
  • be familiar with the Professional Capability Framework's entry level requirements
  • to complete an enhanced-level Disclosure and Barring Service check (formally known as a Criminal Records Bureau disclosure)
  • provide a satisfactory health declaration
  • declare whether you have had any personal involvement with Children's and / or Adult Services by completing a Character Conduct form
  • confirm the ability to use a range of IT facilities including email, internet and word processing.

There may also be other recommendations, such as a vaccination programme, before any placements can be undertaken.

International qualifications

We accept qualifications from all over the world – check yours here:

Interview dates

Interview dates for 2023 entry are TBC.

Interview dates may be subject to change and will be confirmed to successful applicants when they are invited to interview.

Undergraduate Preparation (Foundation) courses

If you don’t yet meet our entry requirements, we offer Foundation courses through our partner Nottingham Trent International College (NTIC), based on our City Campus:

English language entry requirements

You can meet our language requirements by successfully completing our pre-sessional English course for an agreed length of time, or by submitting the required grade in one of our accepted English language tests, such as IELTS:

Advanced standing (starting your undergraduate degree in year 2 or 3)

You may be able to start your undergraduate course in year 2 or 3 based on what you have studied before.  This decision would be made in accordance with our Recognition of Prior Learning and Credit Transfer Policy.

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

Important information

Social Work at NTU has a limited number of places available to ensure that you receive a good quality placement experience. In exceptional circumstances this may result in the course becoming full before you have completed the admissions process. In this situation we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for the following year’s entry.

Fees and funding

Preparing for the financial side of student life is important, but there’s no need to feel anxious and confused about it. We hope that our fees and funding pages will answer all your questions.

Additional Costs

Your course fees cover the cost of studies, and include loads of great benefits, such as the use of our library, support from our expert Employability team, and free use of the IT equipment across our campuses.

Library books

Most study modules will recommend one or more core text books, which most students choose to purchase. Book costs vary and further information is available in the University’s bookshop. Our libraries provide a good supply of essential text books, journals and materials (many of which you can access online) – meaning you may not need to purchase as many books as you might think! There may also be a supply of second-hand books available for purchase from previous year students.

Field trips

All essential field trip costs will be included in your course fees. There may be the opportunity to take part in optional field trips, which do incur additional costs.

Placements

If you're undertaking a placement year, you'll need to budget for accommodation and any travel costs you may incur whilst on placement. Many of our placement students do earn a salary whilst on placement which can help to cover these living costs.

Print and copy costs

The University allocates an annual printing and copying allowance of £20 depending on the course you are studying. For more details about costs for additional print and copying required over and above the annual allowance please see the Printing, photocopying and scanning information on the Library website.

Getting in touch

For more advice and guidance, you can contact our Student Financial Support Service.

Tel: +44 (0)115 848 2494

Social Work Bursaries

The government revised how bursaries are paid for students studying social work. There is no guarantee that students studying social work will receive a Department of Health Bursary. If bursaries are awarded to universities, there is usually a limited number. Therefore the university nominates students to receive a bursary for their second year and third year based on academic and practice performance in the first year, which can take into account attendance and scores achieved during the recruitment process. We therefore cannot guarantee that all students who commence on this course in September 2018 will receive a bursary for Years Two and Three of their studies.

For more details about student social work bursaries, please visit NHS social work student bursaries.

Tuition fees 

Mode of study

International tuition fee

Full-time

£15,600

Please note the fees shown are for 2022 entry.

Tuition fees are payable for each year that you are at the University. The level of tuition fees for the second and subsequent years of your undergraduate course may increase in line with inflation and as specified by the UK government.

Scholarships

We offer scholarships of up to 50% of your tuition fee. You can apply for your scholarship when you have an offer to study at NTU.

Living costs

Get advice on the cost of living as an international student in Nottingham and how to budget:

Paying fees

Find out about advanced payments, instalment plan options and how to make payments securely to the University:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

How to apply

Ready to join us? Then apply as soon as you can. Just click the Apply button at the top of the page and follow the instructions for applying. Make sure you check the entry requirements above carefully before you do.

Writing your application and personal statement

Be honest, thorough and persuasive in your application. Remember that we can only make a decision based on what you tell us, so include all of your qualifications and grades, including resits or predicted grades.

Your personal statement is a really important part of your application. It’s your chance to convince us why we should offer you a place! You’ve got 4,000 characters to impress us. Make sure you use them to show how your skills and qualities are relevant to the course(s) you’re applying for. For more hints and tips, take a look at our page on how to write a good personal statement.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Important information

Social Work at NTU has a limited number of places available to ensure that you receive a good quality placement experience. In exceptional circumstances this may result in the course becoming full before you have completed the admissions process. In this situation we will offer you the opportunity to be considered for the following year’s entry.

You can get more information and advice about applying to NTU on our Your Application page. Good luck with your application!

You can apply for this course through UCAS. If you are not applying to any other UK universities, you can apply directly to us on our NTU applicant portal.

Application advice

Apply early so that you have enough time to prepare – processing times for Student visas can vary, for example.  After you've applied, we'll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Writing your personal statement

Be honest, thorough, and persuasive – we can only make a decision about your application based on what you tell us:

Would you like some advice on your study plans?

Our international teams are highly experienced in answering queries from students all over the world. We also have members of staff based in Vietnam, China, India and Nigeria and work with a worldwide network of education counsellors.

The University's commitment to delivering the educational services advertised.

Keeping up to date

After you’ve applied, we’ll be sending you important emails throughout the application process – so check your emails regularly, including your junk mail folder.

Good luck with your application!