Social Work

BA (Hons)

Endorsed by The College of Social Work

This course has been endorsed by The College of Social Work as having met the social work professional quality criteria

Course overview

If you enjoy working with people, thrive on the unexpected and would like to help make a difference to people's lives, then social work could be the career for you. Personal qualities such as patience, honesty, sensitivity, tolerance, persistence and sound judgement are a good foundation for social work training. At Anglia Ruskin we will work with you to help you develop the knowledge, values and skills which you will need in order to qualify as a social worker. Social work is work with people. It's that simple and that complicated. The aim of social work is to provide and manage care, support and protection in partnership with individuals, families, groups and communities to enable them to function, participate and develop in society.

Social work is different from, but complementary to, social care in which personal care is provided to individuals in day, residential or community settings.

The aim of the BA (Hons) Social Work is to equip you with the knowledge and skills to enable you to meet the professional and academic requirements for qualification in social work.

Amy Rosas

BA (Hons) Social Work, Year 2 student
Amy Rosas

I'd never really enjoyed my job in insurance and each September would feel envious of those going to university. So I decided that if I didn't leave my job now I probably never would and decided to study social work. I chose Anglia Ruskin because I wanted to stay close to friends and family whilst being able to enjoy my independence, and felt that the facilities were the best of all the options I had.

I particularly enjoy the variety of my modules for example studying ethics, values and the legal context of social work. Looking ahead, I would like to work in children's services, but having already changed my mind twice, who knows where I will end up! That's the great thing about this degree - it doesn't limit you to a specific field.

Additional course information

When you graduate you will be able to:

  • Assess the circumstances and needs of people who request, or who are referred for, personal social services
  • Support the purchasing, commissioning and provision of services to meet assessed needs
  • Engage in problem solving, facilitative and supportive activities with individuals, families, groups and communities
  • Identify and assess the nature and degree of risk to which vulnerable children or adults may be exposed
  • Establish, implement and evaluate protection plans which safeguard and support the wellbeing of adults and children
  • Collaborate with other professionals to assess needs and provide services
  • Exercise legal powers and duties

In order to successfully complete the course students must pass all of the following compulsory modules:

Module guide

Level 4
  • Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice

    (Includes an Assessment of Readiness to Practice Before Commencing First Placement). The module will prepare the student for undertaking the first placement by ensuring that each student has experienced

  • Ethics, Values and the Legal Context of Social Work (30 Credits)

    The purpose of the module is to equip students with a broad understanding of the centrality of ethics and values to the profession and the tensions and conflicts that are inherent when considering the legal context within which the profession must operate.

  • Knowledge, Evidence and Practice (30 Credits)

    Students will examine how knowledge is created and applied in the activity of social work. The module prepares students in evaluating the quality of knowledge whether as evidence, research or in the interpretation of professional practice.

  • Communication Skills and Key Theories Applied to Social Work Practice (30 Credits)

    Students will be introduced to key theory and concepts relating to communication in its different forms and how these might be used in practice situations.

  • Social Work in Society (30 Credits)

    This module will help social work students understand how service user's lives are influenced by their social and policy context. Poverty, inequality and social exclusion are key factors shaping the lives of most of the people that social workers engage with in their practice.

Level 5
  • Social Work with Adults (30 Credits)

    The module will give an overview and will critically examine five key areas including mental health, disability, age, gender and culture, and examine the inter-relationships between these dimensions and the notion of safeguarding of vulnerable adults.

  • Social Work with Children and Families (30 Credits)

    The module guides an understanding of the context of child and family intervention and how to recognise signs, symptoms and consequences of child abuse.

  • Powers, Duties and Accountability in Social Work (30 Credits)

    The student will be required to examine and evaluate the sources of professional power, structures of accountability and their duties when making professional decisions and judgements. The module will give priority and emphasis to duties relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. Students will also undertake a placement of 70 days in a Social Work setting.

  • Practice 1, Communications Skills and Partnership Working (30 Credits)

    This practice module helps students learn how to critically analyse and put these skills into practice with the aim of maximising the choices available to people who have faced difficulties in society, including abuse, disadvantage, discrimination, marginalisation and poverty.

Level 6
  • Wellbeing Across the Life Course (30 Credits)

    This module provides an opportunity for students to examine different dimensions of well-being, in particular, mental health and social inequalities in health. Students will also undertake a 100 day placement in a Social Work setting.

  • Undergraduate Major Project (30 Credits)

    The Major Project module allows students to engage in a substantial piece of individual research, focused on a topic relevant to their specific course.

  • Transition into Professional Practice (30 Credits)

    This module prepares qualifying students for transition into the Assessed and Supported Year in Social Work (ASYE) of professional social work practice. The module is designed to facilitate critically informed insights about the implications of powers, duties and responsibilities arising from the internal and external environments.

  • Practice 2, Analytical Thinking and Decision Making (30 Credits)

    This module aims to develop the understanding and skills needed to undertake effective assessments and care plans that lead to appropriate interventions, and to critique and analyse different approaches to assessment and intervention.


Each module is assessed and must be passed in order to progress. A variety of assessment methods are used, including assignments, presentations, learning journals, portfolios, 'patchwork texts' and poster design. Practice is assessed by a practice educator.

Special features

  • The course will be delivered through full time, class based and practice based learning.
  • The course features a wide variety of teaching and learning methods. Learning methods are student focused and include presentations and role plays as well as more traditional lectures and seminars. Practice learning is central as a means of acquiring knowledge as well as practical skills.
  • The course is well supported by a Service User and Carer involvement project. Services Users and Carers are involved in planning, teaching, admissions and assessment throughout the course.

Find out what our students think by visiting our case studies page.

What is the time commitment?

It is difficult to give a definite answer as it will vary according to individual learning needs and styles, as well as placement and assessment requirements. However, you should plan for a five day weekly commitment for the full-time programmes plus private study and research.


All undergraduate students will undertake two assessed practice placements. These will take place under the supervision of practice educators, who are all experienced, qualified social workers, and hold a recognised award. Occasionally, where there is not a suitably qualified practice educator within the placement setting, an off-site practice educator is appointed to oversee the practice teaching, while day-to-day supervision of the placement is undertaken by an on-site supervisor. A placement day will normally be the same length as the working day of the agency concerned.

Overall responsibility for placements lies with the university's placement staff and students should not negotiate their own placements. However, if a student has knowledge of a possible placement in which they are interested, or that might be suitable for another student, they should inform us and we will make further inquiries. Students must have experience in at least two practice settings, one of statutory tasks involving legal intervention, and one of providing services to at least two different service user groups.

In order to meet professional requirements, it may be necessary for students to travel further for their placement than they would wish to in order to meet professional requirements. Applicants should note that we have limited access to statutory placements outside Cambridgeshire, Peterborough, Essex, Thurrock and Southend-on-Sea. We are increasingly finding that most placements are not willing to accept students who do not drive or have their own transport.

Social Work Bursaries

Social Work Bursaries is a service supplied by The NHS Business Services Authority. They administer bursaries for social work students on behalf of the Department of Health. There have been changes to the social work bursary and there is now a cap in the number of bursaries available. If successful, you would receive a bursary in the second and third year of study.

For further information, please visit the social work bursaries website

Associated careers

Social workers are employed in a variety of statutory, independent and charitable agencies, and also work independently. Increasingly, they work alongside other professionals in multidisciplinary teams.

Professional Recognition and Employability

This course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a professional qualification in social work. This course is also endorsed by The College of Social Work. Completing the course means you are eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC as a Social Worker.
Main requirements:
  • 240 UCAS Tariff Points from a minimum of 2 A levels (or equivalent)
  • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above, including English and Maths
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 7.0 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
  • To receive an offer of a place on this course you must be successful at interview
  • An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Disclosure will also be required
  • A satisfactory Occupational Health clearance will also be required
  • A maximum of 20 UCAS Tariff points may come from the Extended Project Qualification at Grade A or A*
  • Relevant vocational experience is an advantage.
  • A maximum of 20 UCAS Tariff points may come from the Extended Project Qualification at Grade A or A*
Alternative qualifications accepted:
  • UCAS Tariff points acquired from BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are accepted
  • Access to HE Diplomas are accepted, 30 level 3 credits at Merit grade are required
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 26 points is accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from the Irish Leaving Certificate are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Highers are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Advanced Highers are accepted
If you do not meet the entry requirements, we would recommend you contact your local further education colleges, to ascertain which suitable courses they offer.

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Entry to the course through the accreditation by Anglia Ruskin University of prior certificated learning will be considered. Accredited Prior Experiential Learning will not be considered.


All applications must go via UCAS.

When is the deadline for applications?

The official UCAS deadline is in January to be considered for a September start, although we will accept applications after this date as long as we still have vacancies.

What happens after I submit my UCAS application?

This will be sent to us electronically and assessed against our published admissions criteria. If you are short-listed, you will be asked to come to an interview with, usually, a member of our academic staff and a practising social worker.

I am a mature applicant, do I need formal qualifications?

Yes you are required to meet the course entry requirements. If you do not meet the requirements we strongly recommend that you contact your local further education college to see what courses are available to assist you to prepare for higher education.

Is any experience required?

Previous experience is not an absolute requirement but most of our applicants have had some paid or voluntary experience of social care. It is a good way of demonstrating your motivation for a social work career and of showing that you have the skills to work with people who have a range of needs.

What is the IELTS requirement for EU applicants?

The requirement is 7.0

International applicants

This course is not available for international applicants.

How to apply

UCAS code




3 Years

Available starts


Fees & funding

Open Day

3 December (Cambridge)
Undergraduate Open Day

Advice & support



Health, Social Care & Education


Family and Community Studies

Contact us

UK and EU applicants:International applicants:
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