BA (Hons) Social Work

Approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC)

Course details

UCAS Course code L501

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There is a great demand for qualified social workers, so if you're looking to get involved, then we will ensure you enter the field at the top of your game. Ours is a challenging yet rewarding course that will build on your previous experience of social care to become a fully qualified and registered social worker. Our lecturing team will share their expertise of working with local employers and service users, giving you the insight needed to go on to an exciting career in the field.

It won't just be learning in the classroom. You'll take part in two placement sessions over the second and third years for 70 and 100 days respectively. These will allow you to gain real-world experience in social care, helping you develop the skills needed to stand out at interviews. We'll show you how to apply the theory you learn to the workplace, building on your knowledge and skills to enhance your abilities on the job. 

You'll learn how to combine theory with the specialist knowledge and skills need for a career in social work. You'll emerge confident and capable of handling all areas of social care, able to put your studies to practical use in everyday work. We also provide an 'Experts by Experience' module that will teach the importance of the service user / social worker relationship.

You will take part in two practice placements to give you proper work experience in the field. These will take place in the October of your second year for 70 days, and in your final year for 100 days. Every effort will be made to have placements local to the Cumbria area, although this cannot be guaranteed.

This is a full time programme usually involving three days a week of study at our Carlisle campus. Your timetable will vary with more and less intensive periods of study depending on the modules available. You will make full use of your independent study skills when not on campus by completing assignments. Some events on other campuses may need to be attended, though we try to keep these to a minimum.

Year one

  • HSWG4001 Social Work Theory into Practice I
  • HSWG4002 Case Study I
  • HSWG4003 Theory, Culture and the Individual
  • HSWG4004 Working with Experts by Experience from a Social Work Perspective
  • HWTS4001 Fundamentals of Professional Practice
  • HWTS4002 Developing Professional Graduate Skills for Health and Social Care Practitioners

Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 would receive a Cert HE in Social Care Studies. To progress to Level 5, students must have passed all Level 4 modules.

Year two

  • HSWG5001 Social Work Theory Into Practice II
  • HSWG5002 Case Study II
  • HSWG5003 Theory, Culture and Groups
  • HSWG5004 Social Work 1st Placement
  • HWTS5001 Using Evidence to Support Practice
  • HWTS5002 Working with Others

Students exiting at this point with 120 credits at Level 4 and 120 at Level 5 would receive a Dip HE in Social Care Studies. To progress to Level 6 students must have passed all Level 5 modules.

Year three

  • HSWG6001 Social Work Theory Into Practice III
  • HSWG6002 Dissertation
  • HSWG6003 Theory, Culture and Society
  • HSWG6004 Social Work Final Placement
  • HWTS6001 Using Evidence to Evaluate Practice
  • HWTS6002 Professional Practice in Context

Programme specification

For a detailed summary of all course content please read our programme specification for this course.

Download the programme specification (PDF)

2017 entry

104 -120 UCAS tariff points - to include GCSE's in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

Find out more about qualification options from the UCAS tariff table

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

2018 entry

104 -120 UCAS tariff points - to include GCSE's in English and Maths at grade C/4 or above (or equivalent).

Please check selection criteria for any additional entry requirements.

Selection criteria

  • Applicants must have some work experience in a social work/care setting before interview in order to show their full potential to the interviewing panel.

  • The academic requirements for entry to the programme apply to work-based students – those sponsored by secondment or traineeship schemes by their employer – and to students who apply independently. These requirements apply to students for whom English is a foreign language.

  • All places are offered subject to successful interview and numeracy test, as well as Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (DBS formerly CRB), medical fitness to practise and proof of qualifications.

Fitness to practise and health requirements

All offers of a place are subject to satisfactory health screening. Further information will be provided following the offer of a place.

Please note that Professional Bodies such as the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) have certain requirements regarding health and character status of applicants and their ability to meet the required core professional competencies and to practise safely without direct supervision. Please read the NMC and HCPC information to find out more. Please ask us for advice and/or support as early as possible in the application process if you have any questions about this requirement.

For more information about core competencies and medical fitness to train please click here. There are fitness standards provided here for most programmes of study: health professions, social work and teaching.

In some instances, an applicant may be invited to attend a professional practice panel to discuss any recommended reasonable adjustments, and whether or not core professional competencies are achievable.

In order to be admitted and continue on the course, students must be deemed as medically fit for both practice and theory by the Occupational Health Department. If you have any concerns about a health condition/issue and its impact on your ability to undertake the course please contact the Occupational Health Department as early as possible in the application process.

Disclosure and Barring Service check

If you are offered a place we require you to comply with an Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) background clearance check. Read the DBS policy.

Selection process

Offers for the course are made only following interview.

Selection process as follows:

  • Presentation outlining the structure of the course
  • Guided tour of campus and course facilities
  • Written exercise exploring the role of the social worker in relation to a case study.
  • Group exercise linked to the written exercise
  • Individual interview 20-30 minutes based on the applicant's personal abilities, understanding of the role of the social worker and values required by the profession.

This process is linked to the British Association of Social Workers for study requirements as outlined in the Professional Capabilities Framework.

Full-time courses

Apply online through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS); they will send your application on to us. Applications submitted after this date will be considered late and the course you have applied for might be full by this time; however, we will consider you for alternative suitable courses.

Their website provides all the information you need about universities, courses, locations, entry requirements and financial support. You are allowed to select up to five course choices. You need to use the correct UCAS campus and course codes as not all courses are offered at every campus. You will be asked for the following information when you apply online:

Institution code name: UoC

Institution code: C99

Campus location:

  • A Ambleside
  • B Brampton Road, Carlisle
  • E University of Cumbria at Energus, Workington
  • F Fusehill Street, Carlisle
  • L Lancaster
  • T University of Cumbria in London
  • Y University of Cumbria at Furness College, Barrow-in-Furness

Part-time courses

Applications should be made online directly to the university; visit our website or contact for details and guidance. There is no official closing date but we would encourage you to apply as early as possible, as many courses are competitive.

What makes a good application?

We consider all aspects of your application, not simply your qualifications and grades. We look at your academic background and performance, relevant experience (particularly for professional courses where some voluntary or paid experience is required) and your reference. Above all, we look for motivation, commitment and potential-evidence that you can benefit from study at higher education level.

Make sure you include:

  • Relevant qualifications/evidence of ability: check our website for the specific entry requirements required for each course. Tell us your previous academic results and your projected grades.
  • A supportive reference, from an employer or your school or college.
  • A good personal statement.
  • Explain clearly what attracts you to the course and tell us about your wider interests and experience. If you are applying for a course that incorporates professional training and placements, you should include any relevant experience or visits you have made in the workplace. Highlight your individual strengths and qualities, personal skills, capacity for teamwork, contribution to the community and your enterprise, originality and determination. Select some activities which bring out these qualities.

What next?

When we receive your application, we will send you an acknowledgement and if you are successful at this stage you will get either an offer (with an invitation to visit the campus to which you have applied), or an invitation to interview on a particular date. If we are not able to offer you a place on your chosen course we will usually try to offer you a place on a similar course and will contact you to discuss this. Alternatively, if we think you are suitable, but cannot offer you a place on your preferred campus because of the level of competition, we will offer you a place at another campus if one is available.

And if I accept?

The admissions team will contact you and send further information from February onwards about accommodation, and from May/June onwards about preparing to join the university. If you have any other queries, please telephone the admissions offices for information and advice on 0845 6061144.

Deferred entry

We welcome applications for deferred entry on some courses. If you have specific plans during your year out, indicate these on your personal statement as they may be relevant to your course and could enhance your application.

International students

Applications for full-time undergraduate study are made through UCAS. Please see the international pages of our website for full details of our entry requirements (including English-language skills) as well as contacts for advice and support.

From 2009 the UK Border Agency introduced a Points-Based Immigration System (PBS) for students coming to the UK from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Students entering higher education will need to obtain a Confirmation of Acceptance (CAS) plus finance confirmation to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. UK education providers are licensed by the UK Border Agency. When students apply for their visa (or entry clearance) they will need a valid Certificate of Acceptance of Studies from the university. Please note that a CAS is not a guarantee that a visa will be issued.

See the following website for further details: 

This course is perfect for those who wish to be professional social workers, practitioners or managers in social care. You'll leave the course eligible to register as a social worker with the Health and Care Professions Council. Your level of competence will be assessed during your placements to ensure it matches the national regulations.

Your course will be enhanced through online technology, including the use of blogs and our Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. These will allow you to keep fully connected to other students and your tutors. Video cameras are used to film role play activities, allowing you to examine your skills and techniques more closely in a supportive group environment.

Some modules will involve small group/seminar-based teaching to facilitate your learning experience with an emphasis upon practice based skills. Our relatively small class sizes will ensure you get the attention you deserve during your studies.


Find out what our students think of the course

"My mind was made up when I came for my interview. I loved the community atmosphere UoC created. I didn't want to go to a big city and university where I would just feel like a 'number.' I know that this was the right decision and feel that I benefit from smaller class sizes and being treated like an individual."- Conor Pinnons