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Social Work BA(Hons)

Attendance UCAS code/apply Year of entry
3 years full time L501 2017
3 years full time (employment based) Apply direct to the University 2017

Why choose this course?

This established and reputable course offers practice-led preparation for qualified social work across the range of service users and settings. It offers high standards of social work training, state-of-the-art facilities and strong relationships with local social work agencies, leading to challenging and rewarding practice placements. This course is delivered through both self-funded and employment-based routes. 

Accreditation and recognition

This professional qualifying programme is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). Graduates can apply for registration as a social worker with the HCPC. 

What you will study

The social work profession can be difficult and challenging. It requires:

  • maturity and a high level of personal commitment;
  • an open mind and a willingness to examine and even change your own attitudes and possible prejudices; and
  • patience, determination and both physical and emotional resilience.

Year 1 develops your skills through the simulation and recording facilities of our Practice Learning Suite. You will gain a foundation in ethics, diversity, psychology, sociology, social policy and law for social work practice.

Year 2 explores social work methods and models of reflective practice. You will take a 70-day block practice placement. This will be supported by studying assessment, intervention, evaluation, safeguarding, law and the more challenging aspects of ethics and identity. You will study best practice with adults and children and families, while engaging with areas such as mental health, disability, adoption and fostering, substance misuse, young offenders, and domestic violence.

In Year 3, you will take a fully-supported 100-day block practice placement. Academic study will keep you abreast of developments in law and diversity. Studies culminate in a capstone project on a specialist practice area of your choice.

Module listing

Please note that this is an indicative list of modules and is not intended as a definitive list. Those listed here may also be a mixture of core and optional modules.

Year 1

  • This module runs throughout the first year and focuses on readiness for direct practice.  It is an interactive module which includes skills workshops and a high level of involvement from service users, carers and practice educators from partner agencies. Students learn about the role and tasks of social workers and develop professional skills in verbal and written communication. They have the opportunity to receive formative feedback on written work and on their communication skills. Service users and carers provide simulated interviews in the Practice Learning Suite.

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  • The module provides students with an understanding of human growth and development by reviewing theoretical perspectives and research regarding infant, child, adolescent and adult development across the life course. This module will provide students with an understanding of the concepts of relationships within families, and issues of progression at different stages of life, identity and the life worlds. The module draws on theory and practice from a variety of perspectives including the main schools of thought in psychology and sociology.  The module also examines the key research methods employed in the social sciences and encourages students to develop an analytical and critical approach to learning in preparation for professional practice.

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  • This module provides an introduction to developing awareness of issues of diversity, values and ethics. There is an emphasis upon participatory learning through class debate, workshop and seminar activities.  These experiences are supported by lectures that introduce the main tenets and theories.  The module begins by exploring power, inequality and diversity within society, encouraging students to consider their own social location and its different intersections.  The initial focus is on the personal. This shifts to exploring personal and professional values and ethics as learning progresses. The focus is on developing a greater awareness of one's values in situations where there are ethical dilemmas to resolve. This module links to the tutorial support programme.

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  • This module provides an introduction to law and policy for professional practice.  Legal and policy frameworks are central to an understanding of the role of professionals in making judgements and decisions affecting the lives of people who use social work services.  The module will introduce students to key concepts for understanding the significance of law and policy for social work, drawing on historical perspectives and highlighting important areas of law and policy for contemporary practice.  Students will be encouraged to recognise the links with ethical frameworks studied in other modules on the programme.

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Year 2

  • This module is a practice placement of seventy days, undertaken in an agency within the statutory or voluntary sector. Students will be provided with relevant learning opportunities and supported and supervised by practice learning staff. By the end of their placement, students will be expected to evidence their practice against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at the standard required for students at the end of their first placement.

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  • This module builds upon level 4 studies of human growth and development; sociology, psychology and law. In this module students will develop a holistic approach to assessment, planning and intervention that is critically reflective, analytic and is informed by a clear value-base that reflects an awareness of diversity and rights, and includes individual and team approaches to risk and encourages service user self-assessment. It will further enable students to develop skills in working with people, within policy, legal and ethical frameworks, and core skills in communicating and engaging with people, recognising some of the tensions that may arise from a risk-focus, including working against the wishes of service users and positive risk-taking. It will draw upon students' own experiences on placement, promoting the integration of academic and practice learning and enhancing the development of reflection and self awareness. Learning will include applying concepts from theory and research in lectures, interactive workshops, try-outs in the practice learning suite and case studies drawn from students' own practice.

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  • This module will develop students' knowledge for practice as they prepare to undertake their first placement.  In concentrating on knowledge, it complements SW5002, the module studied during this year which focuses on skills, methods and reflective practice. In this module, students will examine social work practice and law relating to work with  a range of children and families, adults and older people whilst also considering the legal framework relating to cross cutting provisions particularly looked after children, fostering and adoption, mental health and youth justice. Secondly, they will be introduced to the knowledge-base for safeguarding with reference to a range of service user groups whilst also learning specifically about mental health, relationships under stress, domestic abuse and substance misuse. In thinking about evidence-based practices, students will study research methods and develop skills in evaluating the quality of research findings. Thirdly, they will develop knowledge of ethical principles and the theory underpinning anti-oppressive practices.

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  • This module enables students to reflect critically on practice experience and to analyse their application and use of social work knowledge in work with individuals, families and communities in the light of their first placement experience.  In this way, it allows them to develop and extend their knowledge in preparation for the second practice placement taken in the third year of study.  Drawing on practice placement experience, students will examine how social work knowledge, ethics and values are used in practice to inform assessments and interventions, including how legal and policy frameworks and guidance inform and mandate social work practice. Students will debate  how the implementation of social welfare policy impacts on people, social work, other professions, and inter-agency  and inter-professional working, and evaluate the extent to which the  expertise and voice of service users and carers is taken into account in shaping service delivery. The use of research to inform practice is developed in this module and understanding of research methods in order rigorously to question and evaluate the reliability and validity of information from different sources is developed.  Students will also analyse how organisations are structured and the extent which support anti-oppressive practice, examining lines of accountability and the limitations and boundaries of professional autonomy and discretion. Learning on this module will inform their personal and professional development plan for the final year of the programme.

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Year 3

  • The module is a practice placement of one hundred days, undertaken in an agency which offers statutory interventions. Students will be provided with relevant learning opportunities and supported and supervised by practice learning staff. By the end of their placement, students will be expected to evidence their practice against the Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) at the standard required for students at qualifying level.

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  • In this module you will be looking forward to qualified social work practice with the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE) in mind. It offers an opportunity to make sure that you are up to date with new legislation, the latest relevant policy and current practice initiatives. You will also explore new developments in anti-oppressive practice, rights, justice and wellbeing. Taking forward your knowledge relating to ethics and diversity and in line with the forward-looking quality of the module, you will study key practice-related capabilities such as personal resilience, the ability to manage stress, the ability to engage effectively with others in inter-professional work and the practice of leadership. The module offers an opportunity to consciously prepare for competitive interview when seeking employment.

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  • This module is a core requirement for students on the programme. It draws on a specific area of social work practice.  It is a capstone project designed to enable students to utilise their learning throughout the programme and demonstrate that they can make critical application of the theoretical and research evidence base underpinning social work practice.

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You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University on a not-for-credit basis as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Key information set

The scrolling banner(s) below display some key factual data about this course (including different course combinations or delivery modes of this course where relevant).

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Ask a question about this course

Admissions team, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5731
Email us

Ask a question about this course

Admissions team, Faculty of Health, Social Care and Education
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5731
Email us

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