BA (Hons) Social Work

  • International Students Can Apply
  • Professional Practice Placements
  • Professional Accreditation


UCAS Code:L500
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time
Start Dates:September 2017
Department:Faculty of Health and Social Care
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Social Work at Edge Hill University ranked in the top two in the North West for assessment & feedback in the National Student Survey 2015;
  • 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 professions.

Social work is a demanding yet rewarding profession. This degree provides the knowledge, skills and expertise to practice successfully in any field of social work, whether with children and families or in the varied field of adults, including mental health. It contains perspectives from social care and health services to ensure graduates can work effectively in the multidisciplinary environment of today’s social work and emphasises the application of theory in real-world settngs. You will acquire the skills required to engage meaningfully with the realities of contemporary social work and be 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.

Student Profiles

  • Charlotte Rigby

    BA (Hons) Social Work
    All of my placements have given me the opportunity to get to know lots of different service users and carers.
  • Shantel Ruzvidzo

    BA (Hons) Social Work
    We are also given excellent course materials, get to meet service users and attend talks from professionals in the field, which is both interesting and helpful.
  • David Hicken

    BA (Hons) Social Work
    Service users and carers offer the best knowledge of how services realistically work and affect them, so there is no doubt that their feedback informs your future practice.
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Faculty of Health and Social Care

Course in Depth

What will I study?

The programme is underpinned by the Health and Care Professions Council and The College of Social Work’s standards for social work education and training. The degree therefore requires you to demonstrate an understanding of a range of issues including:

  • Human growth and development, mental health and disability;
  • Assessment, planning, intervention and review;
  • Communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs;
  • Law, policy and their interface with practice;
  • Partnership-working and information-sharing across professional disciplines and agencies.

In Year 1 you will examine the historical and contemporary function of social work in society and consider the legal and social policy frameworks that inform social work practice. You will be introduced to a range of sociological and psychological theories and the social policy background to understand some of the social problems and issues individuals, families and communities face, including those relating to social inclusion. There is an emphasis on social work skills and methods and you will need to demonstrate that you meet the required standards for 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 creatively and critically about social work while undertaking a 70 day practice learning opportunity.

During Year 3 you will undertake 100 days of practice learning, study research methods and social work practice, as well as learn about critical reflection and professional practice.

How will I study?

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

You will spend a minimum of 170 days in practice learning placements. Placements are organised and monitored by the University and you will undertake supervised and assessed work whilst on placement, all of which will contribute to the outcome of your degree.

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.

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.

A Great Study Environment

BA (Hons) Social WorkThe 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.


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Year 1

SWP1013 What is Social Work? (20 credits)

What is Social Work? 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)

Theory and Methods 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)

Life Course Development 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 Social Work Law, Policy and Practice (20 credits)

Social Work Law, Policy and Practice 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)

Communication, Relationships and Partnerships recognises that 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)

Preparation for Practice 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.

Year 2

SWP2013 Practice Learning 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits)

Practice Learning 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research 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)

Social Work Practice with Children, Young People and Their Families 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 Social Work with Adults (20 credits)

Social Work with Adults 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 of 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)

Mental Health and Wellbeing 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 (20 credits)

Practice Critique 1 provides you with the opportunity to reflect on, analyse and provide a critique of elements of your first practice experience.

Year 3

SWP3008 Practice Learning 2: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits)

Practice Learning 2: Applying Theory, Methods and Research 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)

Research Methods and Social Work Practice 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)

Critical Reflection and Professional Practice 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)

Practice Critique 2 provides you with the opportunity to reflect on, analyse and provide a critique of elements of your second practice experience.


Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of our published course information, however our programmes are subject to ongoing review and development. Changing circumstances may necessitate alteration to, or the cancellation of, courses.

Changes may be necessary to comply with the requirements of accrediting bodies, revisions to subject benchmarks statements, to keep courses updated and contemporary, or as a result of student feedback. We reserve the right to make variations if we consider such action to be necessary or in the best interests of students.

Entry Criteria

Entry Requirements

120 UCAS Tariff points on the new UCAS Tariff, plus GCSE English Language and Mathematics at Grade C or Grade 4 or above (or nationally recognised equivalent). No specific subjects are required but it is desirable to have studied Sociology, Psychology or English Language.

Eligible candidates must provide evidence of study within the three years prior to application.

You should have some relevant paid or unpaid experience and be able to relate this to social work as an activity, as well as to the utilisation of relevant skills, appropriate values, and an understanding of the nature of social work in contemporary society. You should recognise the perspective of people who use services, their families and carers and have a clear commitment to becoming a social worker. It is imperative that as a prospective Social Work student, you have a high proficiency in spoken and written English.

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

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 & Ethics and Health & Character, while also adhering to other codes of professional conduct.

If you accept an offer from Edge Hill University, 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 an offer of a place, you will also be required to apply for a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) 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.

Example Offers

Some typical examples of how you can achieve 120 UCAS Tariff points are detailed below.

  • A Levels – BBB;
  • BTEC Extended Diploma (or combination of BTEC QCF qualifications) – Distinction, Distinction, Merit (DDM);
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma – 45 credits at Level 3, for example 24 credits at Distinction and 21 credits at Merit. The required total can be attained from various credit combinations.

Please note, the above examples may differ from actual offers made. A combination of A Level and BTEC awards may also be accepted.

As long as you have a minimum of two A Levels (or equivalent), there is no maximum number of qualifications that we will accept UCAS points from. This includes additional qualifications such as the Welsh Baccalaureate and Extended Project Qualification (EPQ), AS Levels that haven’t been continued to A Level, and General Studies AS or A Level awards.

For further information on how you can meet the entry requirements, including details of alternative qualifications, please visit

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at

International students should visit for information on the entry criteria for overseas applicants.

Recognition of Prior Learning

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.

Career Prospects

What are my career prospects?

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

Upon successful completion of the programme, you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council. Social work is a regulated profession and you will be expected to adhere to the standards set out by the Health and Care Professions Council as well as other profession-specific organisations and agencies, such as the British Association of Social Workers. The Health and Care Professions Council also regulate the performance of social work courses at universities, the reports of which are published at


Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2017/18, we expect tuition fees to increase to £9,250 per annum but this is currently subject to Government approval. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information. Tuition fees for international students enrolling on the programme in academic year 2017/18 are £11,575 per annum.

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.

For comprehensive information about the financial support available to eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2017/18, together with details of how to apply for funding, please view our Money Matters 2017/18 guide at

Financial support information for international students can be found at


ScholarshipsEdge 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, which you may qualify to receive, reward outstanding grades and are available to eligible UK and EU students.

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


How to Apply

Apply online through UCAS at

Visit to find out more about the application process.

Should you accept an offer of a place to study with us and formally enrol as a student, you will be subject to the provisions of the regulations, rules, codes, conditions and policies which apply to our students. These are available at

Visit Us

If you are considering applying to study at Edge Hill University, the best way to gain an insight into student life is to discover our stunning campus for yourself by attending an open day. You can view dates and book your place at

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective undergraduate students, including monthly campus tours, at

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at

Get in Touch

If you have any questions about this programme or what it’s like to study at Edge Hill University, please contact:

If you would like to talk to the programme leader about the course in more detail, please contact:

International students should visit or email with any queries about overseas study.

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Course Changes

This page outlines any material changes to course content, programme structure, assessment methods, entry criteria, and modes of study or delivery, implemented since 1st September 2015.

4th February 2016 - Change to Selection Process

The selection process now includes an interview and presentation, group discussion and a written test.

4th February 2016 - Change to Entry Requirements

Although no specific subjects are required to join this programme,  the entry requirements now state that it is desirable to have studied Sociology, Psychology or English Language. A further sentence has been added to the entry requirements stating that it is imperative that prospective Social Work students have a high proficiency in spoken and written English.