BSc(Hons) Social Work
This course is open for applications
Page last updated 19 February 2024
Social work changes lives. Our BSc(Hons) Social Work course enables you to become a qualified social worker and develop the understanding and skills to support society's most vulnerable people to ensure their wellbeing.
Why study social work?
Our BSc(Hons) Social Work course at UWE Bristol is a practical degree. It offers the grounding you need to become a skilled social worker with the professional skills, knowledge base and placement experience that will help you stand out.
You'll get a direct route into practice with 170 days on placement through our links with a variety of partner agencies and gain exposure to a variety of social work roles in statutory, voluntary, private and independent organisations. Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees.
It's challenging but rewarding work, where you'll be taking an active role in addressing pressing social problems.
Watch this film by the British Association of Social Workers to learn more about the impact you could make as a social worker.
Why UWE Bristol?
You'll be taught by experienced and enthusiastic staff, most of whom are registered social workers and all bring a wide range of practice knowledge and research interests. The HUB group (who consist of service users, carers and people with lived experience are central to the teaching and learning on this course.
Based in a vibrant and diverse multi-cultural city, UWE Bristol provides the backdrop to your social work education. The city of Bristol provides a unique learning experience and a range of opportunities for social work students, supported by practitioners working in a variety of social care settings.
Our award-winning Careers Service offers support in developing your career.
Listen to our current students talk about their experience of studying BSc(Hons) Social Work at UWE Bristol.
Where can my social work degree at UWE Bristol take me?
After completing your degree, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England, allowing you to practise social work in England.
You'll be qualified to work with adults or children in numerous roles and sectors including statutory teams, hospital social work, and voluntary sector organisations. Our students often find work with the organisations they've trained with on placement.
Your Social Work degree will provide you with the basis for a rich career which can take you in a wide variety of directions.
- Law for Social Work Practice
- Readiness for Professional Social Work Practice
- Relationship Based Social Work
- Rethinking Social Justice: Social Policy and Inequalities
- Social Work and the Life Course.
- Engaging with Young People, Children and Families
- Mental Health, Society and Social Work
- Social Work Placement 1
- Working with Adults in Social Work Practice.
- Equality, Ethics and Values for Social Work
- Future Practice; Leadership, Organisations and Sustainability
- Research Proposal Project
- Risk, Complexity and Decision-Making
- Social Work Placement 2.
On our course, you'll explore the critical issues that affect people's wellbeing and learn how to safeguard their interests and promote greater independence. We provide opportunities to work with service users, carers and other professionals to enhance wellbeing and gain the critical understanding, experience and skills to make informed judgements in complex situations. We explore contemporary issues in social work.
For further details about this course please contact the Programme Leaders at email@example.com.
The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.
Learning and Teaching
Our staff have extensive practice, research and teaching experience in health and social care and bring this expertise to the classroom. You'll learn through formal lectures, seminars, project work, enquiry-based alongside individual self-directed study, and assignments. We offer this range of teaching methods to cater to the wide range of student preferences and needs.
Our staff have a wide range of practice experience, research skill and interest which enables us to create a curriculum that is relevant to the changing and evolving nature of social work practice.
Teaching from the HUB group of service users, carers and people with lived experience forms a vital and essential part of our curriculum and teaching. This ensures our students have learning from those who have been directly involved with the social work profession. We work hard to ensure our students are supported to take all this learning into their practice placements so they are given the best opportunity to thrive and succeed both in the classroom and out on placement.
In addition, we're always looking for new and innovative ways to enhance our students' learning experience. For example, we use virtual reality technology to support teaching in order to gain insight into the experience of a service user who has experienced psychosis and mental health issues. Likewise, you'll be able to practise your social work skills by completing a simulated home visit where actors play the roles of the service users in our on campus 'flat'.
Our experienced team will help you explore and understand:
- Psychological and sociological theories for understanding individuals, families, groups, and communities.
- Law, policy, and communities, and how the legal, social and organisational context shapes what social workers do.
- How research can inform your practice.
- Best practice, including how to think critically and creatively in complex situations, and how different professions can work together to provide better services.
In addition, reflecting on your own experiences as well as those of others will be a key part of helping you develop as a well-rounded and skilled social worker.
See our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend in different learning activities, each year:
|Scheduled learning and teaching study
Online and IT Support
You'll have access to online resources to supplement your class-based learning. As a minimum, reading materials and lecture notes are available online, and for most modules, you'll need to use IT skills ) to help you research, undertake and present your work.
IT facilities are available on all campuses and at the main Frenchay Campus you can access computing facilities 24-hours a day.
You'll will be assessed using a mix of written assignments, presentations and evidence of competence in practice. We may use reflective diaries and progress files.
Leran more about assessments.
Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:
|Written exam assessment
|Practical exam assessment
This course was approved by the Health and Care Professions Council and is now approved by Social Work England as the new regulator.
When you complete this degree, you'll be eligible to apply for registration as a social worker with Social Work England. You'll need to do this to practise social work in England.
See Social Work England's register of approved courses.
In your first post-qualifying year of practice your employer may organise an Assessed and Supported Year in Practice (ASYE) to provide extra support as you begin your career.
You'll spend 170 days of the course on placements: 70 days in year two and 100 days in year three. You'll also shadow social workers in year one. This experience also hones your social work skills, knowledge, and professional network, shaping you into a sought-after graduate on qualifying.
The relationships you build in practice with your placement providers, along with your professional qualification, will improve your employability. In fact, many of our students secure employment in the team where they did their final year placement.
UWE Bristol's geographical area for placement provision covers a wide area, for example Bristol and neighbouring counties of South Gloucestershire, Wiltshire, North Somerset, Somerset, and Bath and North-East Somerset. You'll also get help to find placements and support throughout from department staff.
Our placement co-ordinators work hard to match students to their preferences in terms of geographical areas and placement setting. However, you could be placed within a 50 mile radius of Bristol.
We work closely with placement partner agencies to ensure you experience a wide range of settings in statutory, voluntary, private and/ or independent organisations. In most cases, the year two 70-day placement is in a voluntary sector, charity or private sector agency, and in the year three 100-day placement all students undertake a statutory placement.
Our placements support you to meet regulatory body standards for practice.
You'll be supported on your placements by a practice educator and university placement tutor, with university teaching running in parallel to help you apply law, policy, skills and theory in practice settings. You'll have the opportunity to gradually build your skills, knowledge and confidence in practice.
You'll also get help to find placements and support throughout from staff within the School and our award winning careers service.
The Glenside Campus library is a well-resourced health and social care library with a huge selection of books, journals, audio-visual materials and specialist health and social care software to support your studies.
We have computer facilities on all our campuses and a wide range of software packages with 24-hour library support available. You can access reading materials and lecture notes online, and we'll help you find the resources you need to research, undertake, and present your work.
The course is well supported by the library team, and we have a dedicated subject specific librarian. The library staff supplement your learning on the course with useful sessions on improving academic skills.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
Take a Virtual Tour of the Social Work, Environmental and Public Health facilities and see what's on offer here for you.
Careers / Further study
When you finish, you'll be eligible to apply for registration with Social Work England, so you can practise social work in England.
You'll be qualified to work with adults or children and apply for jobs in the statutory, voluntary, and independent or private sector.
Many students get work with their placement organisations, in positions such as care coordinator, care officer, family social worker, social worker, and support worker.
There'll be opportunities for postgraduate study and research degrees if you want to carry on studying.
Our award-winning careers service will develop your employment potential through career coaching and find you graduate jobs, placements and global opportunities.
We can also help find local volunteering and community opportunities, provide support for entrepreneurial activity and get you access to employer events.
Visit our employability pages to learn more about careers, employers and what our students are doing six months after graduating.
Full time course
Part time course
Indicative Additional Costs
Supplementary fee information
You may be eligible for a social work bursary in years 2 and 3 of the course.
Please note that there are no bursary payments to students in the first year of their course.
Social Work Bursary
In recent years social work students have been eligible to apply for a bursary in their second and third year. The bursary has only been available to students from England and applicants from Wales should note that the bursary paid by the Welsh Assembly is paid only to Welsh students who study in Wales.
Additional costs are for items you could need during your studies that aren't covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, textbooks, travel, clothing, software or printing.
- Tariff points: 112
- Contextual tariff: See our contextual offers page.
- GCSE: Grade C/4 in English and Mathematics, or equivalent.
- English Language Requirement: International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 7.0 with 6.0 in each component.
- A-level subjects: No specific subjects required.
- EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
For information on required Guided Learning Hours please see our minimum entry requirements page.
- Access: No specific subjects required.
- Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
- Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.
- T Levels: No specific subjects required.
Please note that due to early clinical contact on this course applicants must turn 18 before the start of placement. Applicants who do not turn 18 by the commencement of the placement will be advised to defer or reapply as appropriate. Please see our admissions policy for further information.
We require evidence of recent assessed academic study within the last three years.
All applicants are required to complete:
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Check*
- Health Checks*.
*All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.
About your Health Checks
UWE Bristol prides itself on being disability friendly and supportive of physical and mental wellbeing, therefore disclosing any needs you might have through the Occupational Health Assessment will enable us to create reasonable adjustments to suit your needs. As part of the assessment you will be required to complete a questionnaire and must be prepared to undergo a medical examination if required. Offers of places are subject to Occupational Health Clearance and students are expected to disclose pre-existing and historical health conditions. You must be in good health and up-to-date with all routine immunisations that are required for working in health and social care settings. You will also be required to confirm your status in respect of a number of infectious diseases (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, varicella, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV antibodies) and be prepared to have all required vaccinations. Please note that the list of required vaccinations may change, in response to advice from the Department of Health. If your vaccinations are not up-to-date, this will affect your ability to continue on your course. If you have any concerns with regards to vaccinations please raise this at the point of application.
Shortlisted applicants will be invited to attend an online Microsoft Teams interview.
The interview will be conducted by a member of academic staff and either a social work practitioner, or a service user or carer.
Watch our video for top tips on writing a healthcare personal statement and download our health and social care personal statement guide (PDF).
For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the country information pages.
We do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.