BSc(Hons) Social Work

Two Social Work degree students in a discussion
Entry year
Course code
Full-time: UCAS
Tariff points
School of Health and Social Wellbeing
Glenside Campus
Three years full-time, four-five years part-time
Part-time, full-time
Programme leader
Patrick Moreno and Robert Lomax

This course is open for applications.

Page last updated 27 September 2021


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.

Accreditations and partnerships:

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.

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.

Year one

You will study:

  • Skills for Relationship-Based Practice
  • Perspectives on the Life Course
  • Social Policy and Law for Social Work
  • Developing Professional Social Work Practice.

Year two 

You will study:

  • Theory and Research for Social Work Practice
  • Theories to Inform Intervention in Social Work
  • Law and Knowledge for Social Work
  • Reflective Practice.

Final year

You will study:

  • Protection and Risk in Social Work
  • Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work 1
  • Critical Reflective Practice in Social Work 2
  • Dissertation.

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.

We also have strong international links with universities and colleges in Germany, Italy, Norway, Finland and Greece. 

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:

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check

Online learning

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:

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

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.

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.

Study facilities

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 as a social worker with the HCPC - something you need to do to practise as a social worker 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.

Read about a day in the life of a social worker.

There'll be opportunities for postgraduate study and research degrees if you want to carry on studying.

Get inspired

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.

See also:

Prospects - careers in social care


Supplementary fee information

You may be eligible for a social work bursary in years 2 and 3 of the course. Information on other funding for this course is available on the full-time student funding pages. 

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

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.

Learn more about costs.



Typical offers

  • 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.
  • Access: No specific subjects required.
  • Baccalaureate IB: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Highers: No specific subjects required.

Entry requirements

Additional Requirements

All applicants will be required to complete:

  • Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check*
  • health checks*

If offered a place you will be asked to complete an Occupational Health questionnaire and attend any subsequent medical assessment if required. Social Work students will be offered relevant vaccinations prior to undertaking placements. You will be required to provide an annual self declaration confirming you meet the regulatory body requirements of good health.

*All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

We require evidence of recent assessed academic study within the last three years.

Selection Process

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.

International Applicants

For country specific entry requirements please find your country on the Country Information pages.

Deferred entry

We do not accept deferred entry applications for this course.

Read more about entry requirements.

How to apply

Read more about undergraduate applications.

UCAS Application Deadline: The initial deadline for UCAS applications is 15th January each year. It is likely we will still consider applications submitted after this date but it may not always be possible for our most selective courses.

For further information


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