BA (Hons) Social Work

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Overview

UCAS Code:L500
Course Length:3 Years Full-Time
Start Dates:September 2018
Department:Faculty of Health and Social Care
Location:Edge Hill University
  • Study to become a professionally qualified social worker with the knowledge, skills and values required to support and promote the wellbeing of individuals, families and communities;
  • 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 work, social care and related professions.

Social work is a demanding yet hugely 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 adult social work, 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 settings. You will develop the values and skills required to engage meaningfully with the realities of contemporary social work and be taught by staff with direct and extensive experience of professional practice. Upon completion you will gain eligibility to apply for registration with the social work regulator.

Student Profiles

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 social work regulator’s standards for social work education and training and by reference to the British Association of Social Work’s Code of Ethics and other requirements. The degree therefore requires you to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of a range of issues including:

  • Psychosocial perspectives on human growth and development;
  • The relevance of law and policy and the interface with professional practice;
  • Working with children, young people and their families;
  • Working with vulnerable adults, their families and carers;
  • The importance of effective assessment, planning, intervention and review;
  • Communication skills with children, adults and those with particular communication needs;
  • The importance and challenges of interprofessional practice;
  • The importance of research in the context of professional practice.

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 exclusion. There is an emphasis on evidencing core 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 a range of social work settings and contexts, focusing on children and their families, mental health and work with vulnerable adults. You will look at the importance of thinking creatively and critically about social work while undertaking a 70 day practice learning placement. You will also undertake study relating to social research and methods of inquiry.

During Year 3 you will undertake 100 days of practice learning, and have the opportunity to further develop your knowledge and skills in relation to practice with children and/or adults and write a dissertation on a relevant topic of your choice.

How will I study?

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

The programme also incorporates a minimum of 200 days of practice-based learning, including at least 170 days spent on placements, with an additional 30 skills development days taking place within the university.

All placements are organised and monitored by the University, with both academic work and practice placements contributing to the overall outcome of your degree.

How will I be assessed?

The programme utilises a range of assessment methods which emulate the demands of real-life practice. These include writing essays and reports, delivering presentations, undertaking text analysis, working in small groups/teams, preparing a portfolio of evidence, completing assessment documents, using video/audio diaries, engaging in role plays and sitting exams. Appropriately registered and qualified professionals, in conjunction with university staff, assess your practice learning.

Who will be teaching me?

You can expect input from staff with expertise and knowledge of a range of social work, social care and interprofessional interventions, perspectives and settings. Contributors to the programme also include people who have direct experience of services, experienced and expert practitioners, service users and carers, 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 a range of stakeholders and agencies in the statutory, voluntary, independent and private sector, as well as with NHS hospital and community trusts, enabling us to offer a wide range of practice-based learning opportunities 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.

Modules

Expand All

Year 1

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. It also provides you with opportunities to engage with the impact of statutes, judicial decisions and policy frameworks.

SWP1019 Theory and Methods (30 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.

SWP1020 Engagement, Relationships and Interaction in Professional Practice (30 credits)

Engagement, Relationships and Interaction in Professional Practice recognises that an ability to build and sustain relationships through effective communication, engagement and interaction within the complexity and diversity of the practice environment is integral to professional development. This module is designed to help you develop the 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 engaging and interacting with service users/carers and other professionals.

SWP1021 Social Work and Society (20 credits)

Social Work and Society introduces you to social work as a concept and as a contested activity and locates it within both historical and contemporary frameworks. Core sociological and psychological concepts underpinning the practice of social work are discussed as a means of providing both theoretical and conceptual frameworks within which to locate practice. You will develop knowledge and understanding of the settings and contexts within which practice takes place and explore the relevance and impact of sociological and psychological constructs. 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.

In addition to the above modules, you will undertake 15 mandatory skills development days during Year 1. These skills development days are a professional/regulatory body training requirement which must be successfully completed in order to progress to Year 2.

Year 2

SWP2018 Social Research and Methods of Inquiry (20 credits)

Social Research and Methods of Inquiry enables you to develop and demonstrate research-mindedness and evidence-based knowledge relevant to current social work practice. The module will enhance your awareness of the relevance of research to practice. You will learn how to develop a research proposal, conduct and critique research, and implement, review and write-up a research project. Relevant paradigmatic considerations, design considerations and ethical issues will also be examined.

SWP2019 Theory, Research and Critical Practice with Children, Young People and Families (20 credits)

Theory, Research and Critical Practice with Children, Young People and Families provides you with the opportunity to develop 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 a range of ethical and other dilemmas faced by practitioners operating within this area, often characterised by uncertainty and risk. A case-study approach is used throughout the module as a means of allowing you to work with ‘real-life’ scenarios. This facilitates effective linkage between theory, research and ‘real-world’ practice and encourages you to adopt a reflective approach to critical decision-making in contexts of uncertainty.

SWP2020 Theory, Research and Critical Practice with Adults (20 credits)

Theory, Research and Critical Practice 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.

SWP2021 Theory, Research and Critical Practice in Mental Health (20 credits)

Theory, Research and Critical Practice in Mental Health 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.

SWP2022 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 Practice Educator who will support your learning and development. You will be expected to produce a portfolio to evidence your learning, including direct observations of your practice and critical analyses of practice and you will be assessed against the Health and Care Professions Council’s Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) and the Professional Capabilities Framework.

In addition to the above modules, you will undertake 10 mandatory skills development days during Year 2. These skills development days are a professional/regulatory body training requirement which must be successfully completed in order to progress to Year 3.

Year 3

SWP3013 Dissertation (40 credits)

Dissertation enables you to enhance your knowledge, skills and understanding while developing and demonstrating research mindedness and evidence-informed knowledge relevant to current social work practice. You will focus on a specialist area of social work theory and practice and work independently to develop advanced understanding of the role of research in this discipline. The module allows you to engage in either primary or secondary-based research, subject to appropriate ethical approvals where required.

SWP3016 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 enables you to apply your learning in direct practice, under the supervision of a Practice Educator. You will produce a portfolio to evidence your learning, including direct observations of your practice and critical analyses of practice. Assessment will be against the Health and Care Professions Council’s Standards of Proficiency (SOPs) and the Professional Capabilities Framework.

You will select two of the following modules:

HEA3065 Negotiated Learning Shell (20 credits)

Negotiated Learning Shell offers an opportunity for you to study a topic or work related issue at degree level. It involves you identifying the chosen area for study, developing and negotiating a learning contract (which will outline the what, how, when, where and why of the study period), as well as the means of assessment to showcase the acquired learning.

SWP3014 Specialist Social Work with Children, Young People and Families (20 credits)

Specialist Social Work with Children, Young People and Families equips you with a range of critical abilities to enable you to deal confidently and competently with the complexity of decision-making of multi-agency practice with children, young people and their families. Exploring a range of topics pertinent to working with this diverse group, you will consider the range of ethical and other dilemmas, often characterised by uncertainty and risk, which are faced by practitioners. Inclusion of Action Learning Sets will help you to gain confidence and professional judgment as you develop the skills and knowledge base required to function effectively within the children’s service arena. A problem-based approach will underpin the module, with case-study material enabling you to work with ‘real-life’ scenarios.

SWP3015 Specialist Practice with Adults (20 credits)

Specialist Practice with Adults enables you to enhance the subject specific knowledge and range of critical abilities that are required to deal confidently and competently with the complexities of social work practice with adults within and across a diverse range of situations, settings and contexts. You will develop a holistic approach to understanding, analysis and practice via the exploration of a range of topic areas pertinent to working with this diverse group. In doing so, you will consider the range of ethical and other dilemmas, often characterised by uncertainty and risk, that are faced by practitioners operating within this arena. A problem-based learning approach will be used throughout the module, underpinned by ‘real-life’ scenarios, encouraging an autonomous, reflective approach to critical decision-making in contexts of uncertainty. Small group activities and role-play augment the use of case studies.

In addition to the above modules, you will undertake five mandatory skills development days during Year 3. These skills development days are a professional/regulatory body training requirement which must be successfully completed.

Optional modules provide an element of choice within the programme curriculum. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by timetabling requirements.

Timetables

Timetables are normally available one month prior to enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

It is important to note that teaching in Year 3 will begin at the start of September.

Disclaimer

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, 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 English Language, Psychology or Sociology.

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 both to evidence this and relate it to social work as an activity with due regard for 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 by the regulator 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’. The standard cost of applying for DBS Enhanced Disclosure for this course is currently £50. 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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/offers.

EU students can get country-specific information about the University’s entry requirements and equivalent national qualifications at www.edgehill.ac.uk/eu.

International students should visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/international 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 their communities. You will be able to apply to work within the statutory, voluntary, private and independent sectors.

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

Finance

Tuition Fees

If you are a prospective UK or EU student who will be joining this undergraduate degree in academic year 2018/19, tuition fees are still to be announced by the Government. 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 2018/19 are £11,800 per annum.

The University may administer a small inflationary rise in tuition fees, in line with Government policy, in subsequent academic years as you progress through the course.

Financial Support

Financial support arrangements for eligible UK and EU students joining this programme in academic year 2018/19 are still to be announced by the Government. You are advised to check this page regularly and once the position has been confirmed we will update this information.

Financial support information for international students can be found at www.edgehill.ac.uk/international/fees.

Scholarships

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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/scholarships.

Apply

How to Apply

Apply online through UCAS at www.ucas.com.

Visit www.edgehill.ac.uk/applyucas 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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/studentterms.

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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/opendays.

Alternatively, if you are unable to attend an open day, you can find out more about all of our events for prospective students, including monthly campus tours, at www.edgehill.ac.uk/visitus.

Request a Prospectus

If you would like to explore our full range of degrees before you apply, you can order an undergraduate prospectus at www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergradprospectus.

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 www.edgehill.ac.uk/international or email international@edgehill.ac.uk with any queries about overseas study.

  • Book an Open Day
  • Request a Prospectus
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Course Changes

Expand All 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.

2nd October 2017 - Change of Modules

SWP1019 Theory and Methods (30 credits), SWP1020 Engagement, Relationships and Interaction in Professional Practice (30 credits) and SWP1020 Social Work and Society (20 credits) replace SWP1013 What Is Social Work? (20 credits), SWP1014 Theory and Methods (20 credits), SWP1017 Communication, Relationships and Partnerships (20 credits) and SWP1018 Preparation for Practice (20 credits) as compulsory modules in Year 1.

SWP2018 Social Research and Methods Of Inquiry (20 credits), SWP2019 Theory, Research and Critical Practice With Children, Young People and Families (20 credits), SWP2020 Theory, Research and Critical Practice With Adults (20 credits), SWP2021 Theory, Research and Critical Practice in Mental Health (20 credits) and SWP2022 Practice Learning 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits) replace SWP2013 Practice Learning 1: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits), SWP2014 Social Work Practice With Children, Young People and Their Families (20 credits), SWP2015 Social Work With Adults (20 credits), SWP2016 Mental Health and Wellbeing (20 credits) and SWP2017 Practice Critique 1 (20 credits) as compulsory modules in Year 2.

HEA3065 Negotiated Learning Shell 6.20 (20 credits), SWP3013 Dissertation (40 credits), SWP3014 Specialist Social Work With Children, Young People and Families (40 credits), SWP3014 Specialist Social Work With Children, Young People And Families (20 credits), SWP3015 Specialist Practice With Adults (20 credits) and SWP3016 Practice Learning 2: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits) replace SWP3008 Practice Learning 2: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits), SWP3009 Research Methods and Social Work Practice (30 credits), SWP3010 Critical Reflection and Professional Practice (20 credits) and SWP3011 Practice Critique 2 (30 credits) in Year 3. SWP3013 Dissertation (40 credits) and SWP3016 Practice Learning 2: Applying Theory, Methods and Research (40 credits) are compulsory.

These changes take effect from September 2018 entry.

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.