Social workers are key professionals and provide an important focus on peoples’ needs, while also developing new and interesting means of delivering services. Do you feel you have the strength and capability to work within one of the many facets of social service? If so, this course will prepare you to understand the fast-changing world of social work.
For further health information, please see our additional health information page.
We endeavour to recruit students to our health and social care courses who have the right values base and demonstrate appropriate behaviours. We embed the values of the NHS Constitution throughout our admissions processes and they are an essential part of the curricula. Find out more about the values we look for.
On this course you will:
This degree is the professional qualification for social work, approved by the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). It will provide you with the knowledge, theory, values and skills to work with the most vulnerable individuals and groups in society.
Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:
Find out what our students say about studying at Portsmouth, including:
Your first year will ensure you gain the foundation knowledge, values and skills that you’ll be continuing to develop throughout the course. This will also be your initial training for your work placements in actual practice settings.
Core units in this year include:
In this year you’ll build on what you have already learnt and explore how the service can be adapted to other users.
Core units in this year include:
Your final year will focus on professionalism and professional judgement in practice. You’ll also complete a piece of independent study on a topic of particular interest to you.
Core units in this year include:
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
Face-to-face learning via lectures, seminars and practical workshops, and teaching methods such as simulation (in a court setting for example), report writing, observational techniques and direct work approaches, including creative art and performance. This will ensure that you will be able to develop the appropriate communication and engagement skills, theoretical and analytical skills, and apply these using professional judgement and expertise.
The time you spend in teaching activities may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year typically spent their time as follows:
On this course there is a varied blend of assessment methods as well as a dissertation, which can be subject-specific to follow the direction of your career. Here’s how we assess you:
The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:
The undergraduate programme equips successful students to apply for registration with the Health & Care Professions Council. Central to the programme ethos are professionalism and professional judgements, person centered practice and protection of vulnerable persons. In preparing students for the professional role of social work, the programme challenges participants to become 'professional leaders' in the wider context of social care practice.
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On this course you’ll work closely with the University of Portsmouth Social Work Inclusion Group (SWIG) – a service user group with experience of working, directly or indirectly, with social workers. SWIG members aim to help you understand service user experiences and enable you to hear their narratives. Our ethos and commitment is built upon professional values developing new and innovatory approaches based on an understanding of co-production and partnership working. This is a great way to gain insight into service user needs and best social work practice.
Our aim is to enhance your learning and experiences through the use of innovative technologies. You’ll practise profession-specific skills in a safe and supportive environment as well as experience the types of clinical and informal healthcare situations that you’ll encounter in the workplace. The Centre is used to simulate real-life scenarios – a great way to prepare you for the real thing during placement.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for costs of photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
Final year project:
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose to develop.
You will need to meet the cost of travel associated with mandatory placements. Travel costs will vary depending on the distance travelled and mode of transport. The NHS may meet some of the costs incurred.
On successful completion of the course you will be eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), enabling you to work as a professional social worker in a wide variety of statutory, voluntary and independent sector agencies.
This is an exciting time for social work. A report from the Social Work Reform Board and the recent developments at the National College of Social Work mean that social work as a profession is experiencing a high public profile. Potential careers are in adult services, children and family services, mental health, criminal justice and a wide range of other statutory, private and voluntary organisations.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
A key component of this degree is practice learning. You’ll also have the opportunity to undertake two practice placements – one in your second year and one in the third. There’s also the chance for you to take your final- year placement in another country with options for placements in several European countries.
Your placements provide you with practice experience in different sectors of the social care workforce and involve working with two different groups of service users. You’ll therefore have the option to work in different social care settings including:
To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.
Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.
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To apply, you'll need this course's UCAS code, which is at the top of this page, and the University of Portsmouth institution code – P80.
After you apply, we'll invite you to an Applicant Experience Day where you’ll get to speak to lecturers and meet your future classmates.
Come to an Open Day and explore our course facilities, tour the campus and have a look around our halls of residence.
When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.