Social Work BA (Hons)

Full-time undergraduate (3 years)

Cambridge , Chelmsford

September 2016

code: L501

The entry requirements below are for students starting in September 2016.


If you enjoy working with people, thrive on the unexpected and want to make a difference in their lives, social work could be the career for you. Our degree course is nationally recognised and will prepare you for work in this rewarding area.

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Full description


As a social worker, you’ll be at the forefront of helping the people most in need. You could work with a range of people, who are facing a range of issues, in a public, private or charitable organisation. You could even work independently. Increasingly, social workers work closely in teams with professionals from other disciplines.

Our course will prepare you for working in a variety of settings, many of which can be as rewarding as they are challenging. You’ll learn to work safely and within the law, and develop a wide range of transferable skills, including case management and communication skills.

Our course is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), which makes it a professional qualification in social work. When you graduate, you’ll be able to apply to register with the HCPC as a social worker.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Assessed Readiness for Direct Practice
    This module will prepare you for undertaking your first placement by making sure that you have experienced appropriate preparation opportunities. This includes an assessment of 'Readiness to Practice' before you start your first placement.
  • Ethics, Values and the Legal Context of Social Work
    The purpose of the module is to give you a broad understanding of the centrality of ethics and values to the profession. You’ll also consider the tensions and conflicts that are linked to the legal context within which the social work profession must operate.
  • Knowledge, Evidence and Practice
    You’ll reflect on how knowledge is created and applied in the activity of social work. This module prepares you to evaluate 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
    You’ll be introduced to key theory and concepts relating to communication in its different forms. You’ll study how these might be used in practice situations.
  • Social Work in Society
    This module will help you understand how service users' 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 and you’ll gain a good understanding of these topics.

Year two, core modules

  • Social Work with Adults
    This module will give you an overview of five key areas of social work with adults: mental health, disability, age, gender and culture. You’ll examine the inter-relationships between these dimensions and the notion of safeguarding of vulnerable adults.
  • Social Work with Children and Families
    This module provides you with 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
    You’ll be required to examine and evaluate the sources of professional power, structures of accountability and their duties when making professional decisions and judgements. This module will give priority to duties relating to the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults. You’ll also undertake a placement of 70 days in a Social Work setting.
  • Practice 1: Communications Skills and Partnership Working
    This practice module helps you learn how to critically analyse and put communications and partnership skills into practice. You’ll aim to maximise the choices available to people who have faced difficulties in society, including abuse, disadvantage, discrimination, marginalisation and poverty.

Year three, core modules

  • Wellbeing Across the Life Course
    This module provides an opportunity for you to examine different dimensions of well-being, in particular, mental health and social inequalities in health. You will also undertake a 100 day placement in a Social Work setting.
  • Transition into Professional Practice
    This module prepares you for transition into the Assessed and Supported Year in Social Work (ASYE) of professional social work practice. It will help you gain critically informed insights about the implications of powers, duties and responsibilities arising from both the internal and external environments.
  • Practice 2: Analytical Thinking and Decision-Making
    This module will help you develop the understanding and skills needed to undertake effective assessments and care plans that lead to appropriate interventions. You’ll be able to critique and analyse different approaches to assessment and intervention.
  • Undergraduate Major Project
    The undergraduate major project enables you to raise and address significant questions relating to your chosen topic/issue. You'll be supported by a tutor with similar interests and research profile. This module requires autonomous study and it is your chance to demonstrate that you have met our University’s expectations and are ready to graduate.


We use a variety of assessment methods to track your progress on this course. These include assignments, presentations, learning journals, portfolios, patchwork texts (short pieces of writing, or ‘patches’, built up week-by-week), poster design and placements.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly and experienced staff.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, 2016/17 (per year)


Additional costs

Up to £500 for travel. 

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements


Entry requirements are not currently available, please try again later.

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Important additional notes

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.

We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Entry requirements are for September 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online