BSc(Hons) Social Work
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We are no longer able to accept applications for September 2022 entry from those requiring a Student Route Visa to study.
Page last updated 11 July 2022
Get the grounding needed to become a skilled social worker - with the professional skills, knowledge base and placement experience that will help you stand out.
Why study social work?
Studying social work helps you understand the support society's most vulnerable individuals and groups need to ensure their welfare.
Learning how to practise as a qualified social worker, you'll explore the critical issues that affect people's wellbeing, learn how to safeguard their interests, and promote greater independence.
It's challenging but rewarding work, and you'll be taking an active role in addressing pressing social problems.
As a first or second year student in the School of Health and Social Wellbeing, we'll offer you the exclusive opportunity to explore and develop your leadership skills and potential through our Student Leadership Programme.
Why UWE Bristol?
BSc(Hons) Social Work at UWE Bristol 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.
Learn to work with service users, carers and other professionals to enhance wellbeing. Gain the critical understanding, experience and skills to make informed judgements in complex situations. Explore contemporary issues in social work.
You'll be taught by experienced and enthusiastic staff, most of whom are registered social workers.
Get a direct route into practice with 170 days on placement through our links with a variety of partner agencies. Gain exposure to a variety of social work roles in statutory, voluntary, private and independent organisations.
The relationships you build with your placement providers, along with your professional qualification, will greatly improve your employability.
Where can it take me?
After completing the degree, you will 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 in numerous roles and sectors.
Our students often find work with the organisations they've trained with on placement.
The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change.
You will study:
- Developing Professional Social Work Practice
- Perspectives on the Life Course
- Skills for Relationship-Based Practice
- Social Policy and Law for Social Work.
You will study:
- Engagement, Empowerment and Intervention
- Law and Knowledge for Social Work
- Reflective Practice in Social Work
- Service Improvement - a Collaborative Approach
- Theory and Research for Social Work Practice.
You will study:
- Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work 1
- Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work 2
- Dissertation (Social Work)
- Protection and Risk in Social Work.
Plus one optional module from:
- Social Work with Adults at Risk
- Social Work with Children and Young People
- Working to Strengthen Communities.
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.
This structure is for full-time students only. Part-time students study the same modules but the delivery pattern will be different.
Learning and Teaching
Learn through formal lectures, seminars, project work, enquiry-based and online learning, individual self-directed study and assignments.
Explore the psychological and sociological theories for understanding individuals, families, groups and communities.
Understand law, policy and communities, and how the legal, social and organisational context shapes what social workers do.
Develop your understanding of how research can inform your practice.
Explore best practice, including how to think critically and creatively in complex situations, and how different professions can work together to provide better services.
In line with national reforms to social work practice and education, we focus on current issues of particular concern such as mental health, domestic violence, drug and alcohol use, and work with asylum seekers and refugees.
Our staff have extensive practice, research and teaching experience in health and social care.
As part of a European network linking 25 countries, we're working to develop understanding of the social work profession across international boundaries.
Reflecting on your own and other's experiences 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:
|Year||Scheduled learning and teaching study||Independent study||Placement study||% check|
Online resources are an integral part of what the university offers. As a minimum reading materials and lecture notes are available online, and most modules will require you to use Information Technology (IT) to help you research, undertake and present your work.
IT facilities are available on all campuses and at the main Frenchay Campus there is 24 hour access to computing facilities.
We'll assess you using a mix of written assignments, assessments in controlled conditions, presentations and evidence of competence in practice. We may use reflective diaries and progress files.
See our full glossary of assessment terms.
Percentage of time you'll spend on different assessment methods, each year:
|Year||Written exam assessment||Coursework assessment||Practical exam assessment||% check|
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 will 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.
Students who go on work experience tend to graduate with better degrees. Experience also hones your skills, industry knowledge and professional network, making you a sought after graduate.
UWE Bristol's geographical area for placement provision covers the whole of the South, South West and West of England. Placements across this region help support and provide a wealth of clinical experience across many areas within the NHS healthcare service and the Private Voluntary and Independent sector. These placements are vital to meet the professional regulatory body standards in practice for our affiliated health and social care courses.
To access this variety of opportunities within the health and social care courses, there's an expectation that all students at times will have to travel across large areas. In some cases this can be more than 50 miles away and may be outside of normal working hours due to the nature of shift work on some courses.
When considering your application to these courses, you must ensure you have means to travel to your placement location at unsociable hours, and/or funds available to secure short-term accommodation options to participate in your placement, if required.
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.
We work closely with placement partner agencies to ensure you experience a wide range of issues in statutory, voluntary, private and independent organisations.
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 also get help to find placements and support throughout from department staff and our award-winning careers service.
The Glenside campus library is one of the best health and social care libraries in the country 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 at all campuses and a wide range of software packages to support your studies.
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.
Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.
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
Supplementary fee information
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.
We are pleased to confirm that our New students webpages are now available for students starting this course in September 2022. Here you can find links to useful information about registering, course start dates, arriving on campus what to expect before and when you arrive.
We automatically send a message via your Welcome website plus an email to notify you once your Preparing to Study information is available. It is important that you regularly check your Welcome website for new messages.
- Tariff points: 120
- GCSE: Grade C/4 or above in English Language or Literature and Mathematics, or equivalent. We do not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificate in Adult Literacy and Numeracy as alternatives to GCSEs.
- 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.
We require evidence of recent assessed academic study within the last three years.
All applicants will be required to complete:
- Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check*
- Health Checks*
If you are offered a place on one of our health and social care programmes, you will be required to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire and attend any subsequent medical assessment if required. 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, Covid-19) 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 regard to vaccinations please raise this at the point of application.
On March 1st 2022, the government confirmed legislation would be brought forward to revoke vaccination as a condition of employment in health and social care settings. Students studying on Health, Social Care and Medical programmes that lead to registration with The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) General Medical Council (GMC) Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) or Social Work England (SWE) are still strongly encouraged to ensure that they are fully vaccinated for Covid-19 (except where there is a medical exemption) due to having to undertake placements. There is a professional responsibility to reduce risk of Covid-19 infection to patients and this will protect the patients/clients that you will be supporting as part of your programme of study. A number of NHS trusts and Social Care providers are now requiring this from all patient-facing health and care staff, therefore if you are not fully vaccinated, access to many placements may be restricted which will have an impact on you being able to complete your chosen programme of study. The university will seek to manage this through placement allocation and so you are advised to respond with your current vaccination status as soon as possible when asked, to reduce the risk to your placement.
If you were vaccinated outside of the UK and want to check if your Covid-19 vaccine is recognised in the UK please check the UK government website.
*All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.
During your course you will also be required to provide an annual self declaration confirming you meet the regulatory body requirements of good health.
We will be looking for applicants who show that they understand and have a clear commitment to a career in Social Work. Your personal statement should include:
- Why you want to study Social Work
- Details of any direct experience working in social work or social care
- What you want to achieve in social work practice
- What knowledge and skills you think you can bring to the course.
It will enhance your application to include details of your direct experience, for example on placement, work experience, voluntary or paid work, to include total hours worked, and your roles and responsibilities in different settings.
Applicants will be required to attend an interview. For more details on the process, please visit our selection page.
We do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.