Few careers offer as much opportunity to support people as social work. Often, inequalities and injustices in society create difficulties for those involved with social services. The social work profession acknowledges these difficulties and endeavours to support people to manage their situations and effect positive change. This social work degree is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which includes the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, and Social Care Wales' Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers. This means you will graduate with the professional qualification required to register as a social worker. If you apply through UCAS, you may be eligible for a bursary from Social Care Wales (subject to their conditions).
The social work course consists of academic and practice-based elements. Half your time will involve practice learning opportunities in voluntary and third sectors. This will help consolidate your knowledge and skills, preparing you for practice. Over the three years, you will experience a diverse range of teaching methods. You will also benefit from the real-life experiences of the Service User and Carer Group representatives, who contribute to the social work course. Evaluations of this social work course by students, external examiners, local authority partners and other stakeholders have all been positive.
Our social work training is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which incorporates the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Students will work to Social Care Wales' Code of Professional Practice for Social Care. Students are required to register with the Care Council for Wales prior to starting the course and complete an enhanced DBS check on a yearly basis (additional costs apply).
The social work course is split into two distinct areas: University study and work–based practice. Throughout your three years you will study a number of subjects relevant to social work. This theoretical learning will provide a foundation for the practice based element of the programme and each year you will undertake a Practice Learning Opportunity.
The social work degree is taught through traditional methods such as lectures, group debate and presentations, as well as more experiential methods such as role play and courtroom debate, or online learning. In practice, you will learn and be assessed through supervision and direct observation.
We are committed to involving people who use services and carers in the teaching and management of this social work degree. This means you’ll get a valuable insight into their personal experiences, to further prepare you for your career as a social worker.
You must pass both theory and practice elements of the course to qualify as a social worker.
Practical placements account for 50% of our social work degree, each in a different setting. This means you’ll not only be well prepared when you qualify, but you’ll also have a good idea of the sector in which you would like to work. These block placements can often lead to employment opportunities when you graduate. You can specialise in a particular area in the third year, for example working with adults, children or in mental health. You’ll also be prepared to work in integrated multiagency teams alongside professionals from other services such as the police, health and education.
Entry criteria below detail typical offers. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
Relevant work experience
At least 12 weeks’ work experience (approximately 420 hours) carried out in a supervised social care setting or agency with a reference from the supervisor submitted with your application confirming you have completed the required hours. This work experience must be completed prior to you submitting your application, and you must clearly reference that you have undertaken a minimum of 420 hours in your personal statement. In certain instances we will accept completion of these hours by the time you are invited for interview. Instances such as these will be assessed on a case by case basis. Our relevant work experience feature tells you more.
An interview is required. This will consist of a written test, group discussion and an individual interview.
We do not accept deferred applications for the Social Work degree. We recommend reading through the guidance for Social Work applicants prior to submitting your application.
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum of five GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent.
Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths.
Grade C and BB at A Level
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
29 points to include 16 points at Higher Level
Pass with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes
This course is eligible under the Enhanced Learning Credits scheme for Ex-Armed Forces personnel.
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
This fee includes £44 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service *||£13||
Whilst optional it is strongly recommended signing up for this service especially if you are likely to have placements each year and wish to persue a career post University where a DBS check is a requirement. Please note the service has to be joined within 19 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Other: Travel to Placement *||
Cost is dependent on placement location. These can be claimed back if the student has been allocated a Social Care Wales bursary.
|Other: Register with Care Council for Wales *||£10||
The Helen Kegie Bursary is aimed at students aiming to study within the subject areas of Social Work, Youth Work or Early Years, who have a permanent postal address with a CF or NP postcode and come from a low-income background. See more information about the Helen Kegie Bursary.
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU.
A social work degree is a professional qualification. It allows you to practise and use the title of social worker, which is protected by law. Graduates can register as a social worker and enter a profession that offers professional development and excellent opportunities for career progression.
There’s an on-going demand for social workers, so you can expect to find employment soon after graduation. Work is widely available in a variety of roles and settings. Whether you want to work with older people, families, children or people with disabilities, you could build a professional career that offers immense job satisfaction. Around 5,500 social workers are employed in Wales and, with demand increasing, plenty of opportunities exist. The majority of newly qualified social workers secure a job within six months of qualifying and starting salaries are competitive.
As a USW social work student, you will have access to advice from the Careers and Employability Service throughout your studies and after you graduate.
This includes: one-to-one appointments from faculty based Career Advisers, in person, over the phone or even on Skype and through email via the "Ask a Question" service. We also have extensive online resources for help with considering your career options and presenting yourself well to employers. Resources include psychometric tests, career assessments, a CV builder, interview simulator and application help. Our employer database has over 2,000 registered employers targeting USW students, you can receive weekly email alerts for jobs.
Our Careers service has dedicated teams: A central work experience team to help you find relevant placements; an employability development team which includes an employability programme called Grad Edge; and an Enterprise team focused on new business ideas and entrepreneurship.