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BA (Hons) Social Work

Summary 2015/16

  • Social Work at Edge Hill University ranked top in the North West for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2013;
  • Study to become a professionally qualified social worker whilst gaining an honours degree;
  • Understand the perspective of those who use the services of social workers and learn from their experience;
  • Benefit from the knowledge and experience of a range of academics, practitioners, employers and policy makers from social care, social work and health education.

Effective social work demands a strong bond and understanding between professionals of different disciplines so that users of social work services receive the best possible care. Our degree combines perspectives from social care, health and education to ensure graduates can work effectively in the multi-disciplinary environment of today's social work.

The programme emphasises effective practice and the practical relevance of theory in practice learning placements. We equip you with the communication and interpersonal skills essential to the reality of contemporary social work in a programme taught by staff with direct experience of professional practice. Upon completion you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as a qualified social worker.

Location: Edge Hill University
UCAS: L500
Course Type: Undergraduate Degree
Attendance & Study Mode:
3 years: Full Time
Start Date: September 2015

2015/16 Entry Requirements

300 UCAS Tariff points, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above (or nationally recognised equivalent). To find out how you can achieve this Tariff score, visit

The selection process includes an individual interview, a group interview and a written test.

We wish to recruit students who have some relevant paid or unpaid experience and can relate this to Social Work skills, values and understanding. Applicants need to demonstrate an understanding of the social work context and appreciate the academic and professional demands of the course. You should recognise the perspective of people who use services, their families and carers and have a clear commitment to becoming a social worker.

If you accept an offer from Edge Hill you will be required to complete a medical questionnaire. In exceptional circumstances you may need to have a medical examination in order to establish your medical fitness to enter the social work profession. Medical fitness to practice is a mandatory requirement for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

If you accept a formal offer from Edge Hill University you will be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS, previously CRB) Enhanced Disclosure indicating that you meet the mandatory criteria of 'Clearance to Work with Children and/or Vulnerable Adults'. Further information will be sent to you after you have firmly accepted an offer.

How do I apply?

Apply online through UCAS at

Visit to find out more about the application process.

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Student Profiles

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Social Work Degrees

Faculty Website

Faculty of Health and Social Care


What will I study?

The programme is underpinned by the national requirements for social work education and training as agreed by the Health and Care Professions Council and The College of Social Work. The degree therefore requires you to demonstrate an understanding of, for example:

  • Human growth, development, mental health and disability;
  • Assessment, planning, intervention and review;
  • Communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs;
  • Social work law and policy;
  • Partnership-working and information-sharing across professional disciplines and agencies.
  • Safeguarding;
  • Working with conflict.

In Year 1 you will examine the historical and contemporary function of social work in society and consider the legal and social policy frameworks within social work practice. You will be introduced to a range of sociological and psychological theories and social policy background with which to understand some of the social problems and issues individuals, families and communities face, and consider the concepts of social inclusion and exclusion. There is a strong emphasis on social work skills and methods and you also undertake an assessment to ensure you are ready for direct practice.

Year 2 of the programme will help you to develop your competency to practice in specialist social work contexts. You will look at the importance of thinking globally about social work, and will also focus on race, diversity and equality. Your first practice learning placement of 70 days takes place at the beginning of Year 2.

During Year 3 you will undertake a detailed and critical comparative analysis of the constructs of social work and provision for users of social work services across borders as well as looking at organisations and management in contemporary social work and social care. You will also spend a further 100 days in practice learning and complete a dissertation.

How will I study?

Academic-based learning will be delivered through lectures, tutorials, seminars and workshops.

You will spend 170 days in practice learning placements supported by 30 days of assessed social work practice skills across the programme. These placements are organised and monitored by the University. You will undertake supervised and assessed work whilst on placement, all of which will contribute to the outcome of your degree.

Who will be teaching me?

You can expect input from staff with expertise and knowledge of a range of health and social services settings together with high quality research profiles. Contributors to the programme also include people who have direct experience of services, expert practitioners, magistrates, politicians, senior managers and policy makers.

How will I be assessed?

The programme incorporates a range of assessment opportunities. These include essays, presentations, text analysis, group work, portfolios, carers' assessments, video/audio diaries, role plays and exams. Practice learning will also be assessed, addressed by a range of techniques.

What are my career prospects?

A degree in Social Work is your entry to a range of career opportunities in working with children, adults and communities. You will be able to work within the statutory, voluntary, private and charitable sectors.

Social work is a regulated profession and you will be required to adhere to the standards set out in the Health and Care Professions Council’s guidance regarding Conduct and Ethics, and Health and Character. Upon successful completion of the programme, you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council.

As well as regulating individual social workers and students in England, the Health and Care Professions Council also regulate the performance of social work courses at universities, the reports of which are published on their website at

Further study at Edge Hill University

Related Programmes

A Great Study Environment

The Faculty of Health and Social Care is one of the leading providers of education and training for health and social care professionals in the North West of England.

Offering some of the best facilities for health and social care students in the country, the innovative £14m Faculty of Health and Social Care building provides outstanding teaching and learning resources, including leading edge clinical skills facilities, ten teaching rooms, an 860-seat lecture theatre and a number of social learning spaces.

Edge Hill University has excellent relationships with NHS hospital and community trusts, enabling us to offer practice-based learning opportunities across a variety of care contexts, with placements at more than 600 locations in Merseyside, Cheshire and Lancashire.

The faculty is home to a thriving research culture which includes a series of staff and student conference programmes, guest lectures and seminars, as well as active research groups.

Fees and Finance

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees for full-time study on this undergraduate degree are £9,000 per annum for UK and EU students and £11,150 per annum for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2015/16.

Financial Support

Subject to eligibility, UK and EU students can apply for a Tuition Fee Loan from the Government to cover the full cost of tuition fees. UK students may also be eligible to apply for additional funding to help with living costs.

UK and EU students joining BA (Hons) Social Work at Edge Hill University in academic year 2015/16 may be eligible to apply to the NHS to receive a Social Work Bursary in years 2 and 3 of the degree. If you are ineligible for a Social Work Bursary, you may still be entitled to apply for a Placement Travel Allowance.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2015/16, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2015/16 guide at

Financial support information for international students can be found at


Edge Hill University offers a range of scholarships with a competitive application process for prospective full-time undergraduate students. These scholarships aren't linked to academic success and celebrate determination, talent and achievement beyond your coursework, for instance in creativity, enterprise, ICT, performance, sport or volunteering.

Additional scholarships are available to eligible UK and EU students which you may qualify to receive. These scholarships reward outstanding grades and support students from lower income families with the cost of higher education.

To find out more about scholarships, to assess your eligibility, and to meet some of our dedicated scholarship winners, visit

Not got the entry requirements?

If you do not have GCSE English or Mathematics, or equivalent, you can take a certified equivalent (for example, with Learn Direct). Please note, Edge Hill GCSE equivalency tests do not meet the requirements for this programme.

We welcome applications from candidates with a Social Work Access qualification.

For personalised advice based on your circumstances, please contact us or come to an event.

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)

Edge Hill University recognises learning gained elsewhere, whether through academic credit and qualifications acquired from other relevant courses of study or through recognition of an individual's professional and employment experience (also referred to as 'experiential learning').

Previous learning that is recognised in this way may be used towards meeting the entry requirements for a programme and/or for exemption from part of a programme. It is your responsibility to make a claim for recognition of prior learning. For guidance, please consult the University's Recognition of Prior Learning Policy and contact the faculty in which you are interested in studying.

Where can I find out more?

If you would like to receive a copy of our prospectus or be kept updated about forthcoming events, contact Course Enquiries by emailing or calling 01695 657000.

If you want to attend one of our open events held throughout the year, visit to book your place.

You will also find Edge Hill University staff at many national careers fairs and UCAS events.

Still want more?

If you have any questions you would like to ask the programme leader about this course, please contact:

  • Liz Rafferty, Faculty of Health and Social Care, Edge Hill University, St Helens Road, Ormskirk, Lancashire, L39 4QP
  • Tel: 01695 657291
  • Email:

Overseas students should visit or email for further information.

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Year 1

SWP1013 What is Social Work? (20 credits) introduces you to social work as a concept and an activity and locates it within both historical and contemporary frameworks. Core concepts underpinning the practice of social work are introduced as a means of providing you with both theoretical and conceptual frameworks within which to locate your practice. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the settings and contexts within which practice takes place and explore issues regarding inter-agency and inter-professional collaboration. The module introduces you to issues relating to social justice, anti-discriminatory and anti-oppressive practice, the importance of values and ethics, the nature of society and the range of practices undertaken by social workers and other professionals in identifying and responding to social need. You will also consider some of the dilemmas and conflicts inherent within these areas.

SWP1014 Theory and Methods (20 credits) examines a range of theories, methods, approaches and concepts central to social work in order to equip you with the foundational knowledge, skills and values necessary to provide an effective social work service to individuals, families, carers, groups and communities.

SWP1015 Life Course Development (20 credits) enables you to consider the implications for social work as it engages with people across the life course. The module offers an overview of human growth and development and its application when working to support individuals, families, groups and communities. The need to develop an understanding of human growth and development, which encompasses the whole life course, is a central element of student social work education and practice. This module provides you with the notion of a life course, rather than perceiving 'stages' of life as unconnected to what has gone before and what is yet to come.

SWP1016 Law, Policy and Practice (20 credits) introduces you to the legal and social policy frameworks within which social work practice is located. The module allows you to examine some of the tensions and contradictions in the relationship between social work, the law and social policy.

SWP1017 Communication, Relationships and Partnerships (20 credits). An ability to build and sustain relationships through effective communication within the complexity and diversity of the practice environment is integral to professional development. This module is designed to help you develop a capacity to critically explore the notion that communication is interactive and always takes place within a relationship but that communication shapes and is shaped by context. The module will enable you to explore not only the context of practice, and the role of communication in this, but also the need to develop a sense of awareness in the application of knowledge, skills and values when interacting with service users/carers and other professionals.

SWP1018 Preparation for Practice (20 credits) provides you with the knowledge and skills to allow you to begin to make sense of what social work is about and develop and consolidate a range of basic practice skills. This module aims to prepare you to undertake your placements and contextualise academic learning within a practice context. Attached to this particular module is the requirement to undertake and pass a separate skills-based summative assessment (non-credit bearing) to determine your readiness for direct practice. You must successfully achieve this professional body requirement to progress to Year 2 of the degree.

Year 2

SWP2013 Practice Learning 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (30 credits) takes place in an external agency (statutory or private, voluntary and independent sector). The placement is full-time over 70 days and allows you to apply your learning in direct practice, under the supervision of a Practicer Educator who will support your learning and development. You will be assessed against the Health and Care Professions Council’s Standards of Proficiency and The College of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework.

SWP2014 Social Work Practice with Children, Young People and Their Families (20 credits) provides you with the opportunity to develop your subject specific knowledge and a range of critical abilities to be able to deal confidently and competently with the complexities of multi-agency practice with children, young people and their families. You will develop a holistic approach to understanding, analysis and practice via the exploration of a range of topic areas pertinent to work with this diverse group. In doing so, you will consider the range of ethical and other dilemmas faced by practitioners operating within this area, often characterised by uncertainty and risk. A case-study approach will be used throughout the module as a means of allowing you to work with 'real-life' scenarios, facilitating effective linkage between theory, research and 'real-world' practice and adopting a reflective approach to critical decision-making in contexts of uncertainty.

SWP2015 Workingwith Adults (20 credits) provides you with knowledge relating to current practice with adults within and across a diverse range of contexts and settings. Promoting and supporting the wellbeing adults, many of whom are vulnerable, and ensuring their needs are addressed so that they are protected from all forms of harm, are primary aims of both professional and government policy and practice. Practitioners need to understand the range of theories, legislation, policies and other structures that both frame and guide practice and be able to transfer knowledge and skills across a range of contexts involving adults within different settings including families, other groupings and communities. Inherent within this module is the need for you to engage critically with issues appertaining to agency and capacity and the importance of critical awareness, effective assessment skills and working with uncertainty, sometimes in ethically demanding situations.

SWP2016 Mental Health and Wellbeing (20 credits) reflects the core values, skills and knowledge frameworks required for professional social work in the mental health and wellbeing context. A critical and engaging approach is taken to the study of contemporary mental health, theory, policy, research and practice. Exploration of such issues is based on an appreciation that mental ill health and mental distress, whilst being recognised as having a potentially enduring and disabling impact on an individual's life, might also be transitory in nature and related to particular life events and circumstances. The module stimulates debate, promotes critical thinking skills and enhances practice. Such an approach is designed to enable you to understand the importance of, and develop, as critically reflective practitioners in the modern mental health system.

SWP2017 Practice Critique 1 (30 credits) provides you with the opportunity to reflect on, analyse and provide a critique of elements of the practice experience undertaken in Year 2 (in module SWP2013).

Year 3

SWP3008 Practice Learning 2 (40 credits) takes place in an external agency (statutory or private, voluntary and independent sector). The placement is full-time over 100 days and allows you to apply your learning in direct practice, under the supervision of a Stage 2 Practice Educator. You will be assessed against the Health and Care Professions Council’s Standards of Proficiency and The College of Social Work’s Professional Capabilities Framework.

SWP3009 Research Methods and Social Work Practice (30 credits) enables you to develop and demonstrate research mindedness and evidence based knowledge relevant to current social work practice. You will be expected to focus on a specialist area of social work theory and practice and work independently to develop advanced understanding of both the role of research and your particular area of enquiry. The module will develop your awareness of the research process, the relevance of research to practice, the importance of effective research proposals, relevant methodology and associated methods, design considerations, ethical issues and how to effectively implement, review and write-up a research project.

SWP3010 Critical Reflection and Professional Practice (20 credits) seeks to emphasise how social work practitioners move from ‘knowing about’ social work to ‘knowing how to do’ social work. The focus is on the role of critical reflection in developing and improving practice. In the context of developing a practice that is more than a technical or mechanistic application of core competences, the module addresses the social work role of exploring, reflecting on and learning from experience. Reflective practice is explored as the key to developing empathy with service users as well as understanding the nature of power in human relationships.

SWP3011 Practice Critique 2 (30 credits) provides you with the opportunity to reflect on, analyse and provide a critique of elements of the practice experience undertaken in Year 3.

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Edge Hill University
St Helens Road
L39 4QP
United Kingdom
GEO: 53.559704; -2.87388
+44(0)1695 575171