Social worker and toddler girl doing playful exercises on a digital tablet. BSc (Hons) Social Work.
UCAS Code
L500
Mode of Study
Full-time
Duration
3 years Full-time
Start Date
September 2022

Overview

Social workers change lives for the better and help protect some of society’s most vulnerable people.

On this BSc (Hons) Social Work degree, which is approved by Social Work England, you’ll develop the skills you need to graduate and apply to register as a social worker.

Course highlights

  • Practise your social work skills in our Centre for Simulation in Health and Care, a safe and supportive environment where we use innovative technologies to simulate real-life scenarios
  • Work closely with the University of Portsmouth Social Work Inclusion Group (SWIG), to help you understand service user experiences
  • Build your professional experience by spending 200 days on placement working with vulnerable people, service users and carers in the community

Approved by:

This course is approved by Social Work England.

95% of graduates in work or further study 15 months after this course (HESA Graduate Outcomes Survey 2018/19)

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework
Social Work England approved course logo

Entry requirements​

BSc (Hons) Social Work degree entry requirements

Typical offers
  • A levels – BBB-BBC
  • UCAS points –120 points, to include a minimum of 2 A levels or equivalent, one of which must be in a relevant subject (Anthropology, Criminology, Critical Thinking, English, Health & Social Care, Law, Philosophy, Politics, Psychology, R.E, Sociology, Social Policy, Theology). Access courses in Health and Social Care are also acceptable (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM
  • International Baccalaureate – 25

Selection process
  • All shortlisted applicants are subject to a holistic and multidimensional assessment process which has been designed in accordance with Social Work England's standards, and includes an application, group discussion, individual presentation and an interview.
  •  Applicants must pass Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) and Occupational Health checks.

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 7.0 with no component score below 6.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Supporting your application

We welcome students from diverse backgrounds including those who have experience of social care. If you're a care leaver, or if you feel you need further information or support to apply for this course, we can offer you a virtual support session to help guide you through the admissions process.

We'll send you details of this after you apply. You'll also get as much support as you need through phone and email, and have access to ongoing personal and financial support during your course. Find out more about support for care leavers.

Your facilities

A closeup of two people sitting and talking, one with a clipboard on their lap

Centre for Simulation in Health and Care

Develop communication, relationship building and observation skills in our realistic flat, bedroom and ward. You'll practise home visit scenarios and visits to care homes and hospitals, and complete assessments to ensure you're ready for practice placement.

Explore the centre

Students taking part in a practical learning session in our replica courtroom

Replica courtroom

Explore how social work law and social policy operate in practice and build the skills you'll need to present evidence as a social worker within our realistic copy of a Crown Court, complete with witness stand, jury box, public gallery and defendant dock.

Learn more about the courtroom

Careers and opportunities

Social workers provide essential care and support to adults and children who need it most. They work directly with people in need, as well as their families and other carers, and offer care that includes counselling, independent life skills, and mental and/or physical health support. 

There's an urgent need for more social workers in the UK, in fact adult social worker vacancy rates have risen back up to pre-pandemic levels. 

This BSc (Hons) Social Work degree will train you for a rewarding and challenging career as a social worker. You'll study topics including safeguarding, law and social policy, and social work practice with children and adults, and learn through simulation, group work and skills workshops.

When you successfully complete the course, you'll be eligible to apply to be a registered social worker and to work in settings such as social care, drug and alcohol services, domestic abuse services and schools. You could also continue your studies to postgraduate level with an MSc Social Work

The social work course itself is outstanding. The support provided by my tutors has been invaluable. Studying social work at the University of Portsmouth has been an experience that I will never forget and will forever be grateful for.

Hannah Manders, BSc (Hons) Social Work

What areas can you work in with a social work degree?

You could work in areas such as:

  • social care settings
  • rehabilitation services
  • criminal justice
  • voluntary organisations
  • advocacy agencies
  • housing advice
  • education settings such as schools and colleges

Ongoing careers support

After you graduate, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability Service as you advance in your career.

Graduate roles and destinations

Roles our graduates have taken on include:

  • social worker
  • care manager
  • missing children and child exploitation coordinator 
  • family support worker
  • housing adviser
  • independent domestic violence adviser
  • adult wellbeing manager
  • primary mental health worker
  • learning disability practitioner

They've gone to work for organisations including:

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS)
  • Mind
  • Hampshire County Council
  • Portsmouth City Council
  • Essex County Council
  • Spectrum Centre for Independent Living
  • Southern Advocacy Services

Potential salary

As a social worker in the NHS in 2021, you could expect a starting salary of £32,306 moving up to £39,027 (Band 6).

Working as a social worker for a local authority, you could expect to start on a salary between £24,000 and £30,000 depending on where you are working.

Placements have been really helpful in preparation for practice. I have had two local authority placements during my degree. They have enabled me to obtain a full time position in adult services upon completing my course.

Daran Jarman, BSc (Hons) Social Work

Placements and work experience

You'll do at least 2 work placements on this course, giving you more than 200 days of practical experience. You'll also take part in skills days at our simulation centre, learning from people with lived experience of social work.

You can do placements in various areas to develop your social work skills and knowledge, including:

Potential social work settings

  • social care settings for children and families
  • social care settings for adults
  • residential care for people with disabilities
  • community mental health teams
  • hospital social work departments

Potential community work settings

  • voluntary organisations working with both children and adults
  • advocacy agencies
  • drug and alcohol treatment centres
  • homelessness projects
  • schools
We can also help you find further relevant work experience during your course to boost your career prospects further. We help you identify placements, internships, and voluntary roles that will complement your studies.

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Social Work degree

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.

Modules

Core modules in this year include:

  • Law and Social Policy in Practice – 40 credits
  • Readiness for Learning and Practice – 40 credits
  • Theory, Knowledge and Evidence in Social Work – 40 credits
  • BSc Social Work Group Tutorials – 0 credits
  • BSc Social Work Skills Days – 0 credits
  • Core Skills Training Framework – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • BSc Social Work Practice Placement 1 – 40 credits
  • Service User Inclusion and Co-production – 20 credits
  • Social Work With Adults – 20 credits
  • Social Work With Children and Families – 20 credits
  • Using Evidence and Research in Social Work – 20 credits
  • BSc Social Work Group Tutorials – 0 credits
  • BSc Social Work Skills Days – 0 credits
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat Level 5 – 0 credits
  • Occupational Health Year 2 – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

Core modules in this year include:

  • Professional Development and Employability – 20 credits
  • Project – 40 credits
  • Safeguarding - Adults and Children – 20 credits
  • Social Work Practice Placement 2 – 40 credits
  • Bsc Social Work Group Tutorials Level 6 – 0 credits
  • Bsc Social Work Skills Days Level 6 – 0 credits
  • Core Skills Training Framework Repeat Level 6 – 0 credits

There are no optional modules in this year.

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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • tests (academic or practical/skills based)
  • compilation of filmed and recorded artefacts
  • online assessment
  • academic written work/portfolios
  • presentations
  • dissertation/project

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:

  • Year 1 students: 25% by practical exams and 75% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 17% by practical exams and 83% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework

Teaching

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • practical workshops
  • simulation (in our simulated court room, for example)
  • report writing

You'll learn from expert teaching staff, researchers, practitioners from the field and people with experience of social work today.

Values and the NHS Constitution

We embed the principles and values of the NHS Constitution in all our health and social care courses. When you apply for this course, we’ll expect you to demonstrate how your values align with the values of the Constitution.

Find out more about the values we look for 

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

We're planning for most of your learning to be supported by timetabled face-to-face teaching with some elements of online provision. Please be aware, the balance between face-to-face teaching and online provision may change depending on Government restrictions. You'll also do lots of independent study with support from staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle. Find out more about how our teaching has transformed to best support your learning.

A typical week

You'll take part in scheduled study blocks for up to approximately 20 hours a week and in placement activities for roughly 37.5 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll be involved in timetabled activities such as tutorials, lectures and workshops alongside independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching by your third year.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday.

There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning support tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • understanding and using assignment feedback
  • managing your time and workload
  • revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK) for one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to:

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from the faculty librarian for science.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (2022 start)

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU students – £9,250 a year (including Transition Scholarship – may be subject to annual increase)
  • International students – £17,000 per year (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Additional costs

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

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.

You’ll need to meet the cost of travel for your placements. Your travel costs will vary depending on location and the transportation you use. The NHS may meet some of these costs.

Apply

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – L500
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

How to apply from outside the UK

See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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