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Social Work - BSc (Hons)

As one of the largest providers of social workers in the UK, our Social Work BSc (Hons) degree is regulated by Social Work England and is well known for producing excellent practitioners capable of operating in local authority, voluntary or private settings.

Studying with us in 2021/22

It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.  Information about the arrangements the University has put in place for the 2021/22 academic year in response to Covid-19 and the emerging variants can be found here.


Should the impact of Covid-19 continue in subsequent years of your course, any additional and/or alternative arrangements put in place by the University in response will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

  • Level Undergraduate
  • Study mode Full Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences

Course is Full for 2021/22 Entry

This course is now full for 2021/22. You can apply for 2022/23 via UCAS from September 2021.

If you'd still like to apply for September 2021, take a look at some of our other available courses.

Overview

As one of the largest providers of social workers in the UK, our Social Work BSc (Hons) degree is regulated by Social Work England and is well known for producing excellent practitioners capable of operating in local authority, voluntary or private settings.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Our specially-designed degree will give you the skills and knowledge needed to make a
difference to people's lives as a professional and registered social worker.

You will learn about the social work profession and the needs of the people social workers support. We link theory and practice through a combination of academic learning and on the job placement opportunities.

You will gain a first-hand insight into a wide range of issues that you will face in social work practice, such as:

  • The care needs of vulnerable people
  • Safeguarding children and adults
  • The impact of poverty
  • Domestic violence
  • Substance misuse
  • Mental health issues

Through expert teaching and quality placements, you will develop a sophisticated understanding of different service user groups and the skills needed to safeguard the well-being of vulnerable people.

This social work degree course is among the most innovative of its kind, placing you where you will benefit the most - among the people and communities you will go on to support.

See what our students say...

Accredited By

This course is accredited by:

  • Social Work England Logo

Some of my colleagues envy the teaching we received at Birmingham City University when they hear what we covered.
Taiwona Kanjanda

I like how the student body panel is diverse and multicultural and how they always want to involve the students in everything.
Fikayo Erinoso

Why Choose Us?

  • This course is endorsed by the College of Social Work - after meeting their high standards as social work education providers
  • Approved by Social Work England (SWE), this ensures that we are practising the highest standards of education and delivering the very best learning opportunities
  • High employability rate - over 98 per cent of our graduates are in employment or training six months after finishing the course (DLHE 16/17)
  • We celebrate diversity and culture - we are proud to have one of the most diverse student groups in the UK, with more than 50 per cent coming from ethnic minority groups
  • Birmingham is the UK's second largest city, providing you with invaluable learning experiences and a vibrant culture to enjoy both personally and professionally
  • Exciting and challenging work placements, we support you through placements in order to develop your work experience and practical skills 
  • We will develop you to be a skilled, resilient and empowering leader, making sure you'll be fit for social work in the 21st century when you graduate
  • Study in our recently extended £71 million City South Campus, with access to state-of-the-art facilities and learning environments
  • Experienced and dedicated staff team will support you throughout the course, and you will have access to a personal tutor. If you've been away from education for a while, we also have a range of excellent resources to help you with study skills such as essay writing and research
  • The course covers all aspects of social work, enabling you to aim for careers in specialist social work agencies as well as roles in education and health. Our graduates have found jobs in children's and adult services, as well as third sector and private roles

Similar Courses

Entry Requirements

We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.

Essential Requirements

120 UCAS tariff points from A/AS Level

Level 2 Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements 2021/22
GCSE
  • GCSE English Language and Mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • Equivalent level 2 qualifications can be accepted
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
City and Guilds Level 2 Certificates in Adult Numeracy/ Adult Literacy
  • English and mathematics
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Functional Skills/ Essential Skills level 2
  • English and mathematics
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Key Skills level 2
  • Communication and Application of Number
  • Pass
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)
  • See level 3 entry under Irish Leaving Certificate for full details
Scottish Intermediate 2
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish Credit Standard Grade
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade 2 or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
Scottish National 5
  • English Language and Mathematics at grade C or above
  • Must have been achieved at the point of enrolment
IELTS
  • Minimum overall IELTS score of 7.0 with no subtest below 6.5
Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications
UK Qualification Requirements 2021/22
A level and Advanced VCE
  • BBB/ 120 UCAS points
  • A maximum of 3 subjects are considered. These can be other A-levels or level 3 equivalents.
  • Including one of the following: Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science at A-level or level 3 equivalent
  • Excluding General Studies
AS and AS VCE
  • BBB/ 120 UCAS points

  • A maximum of two AS-level subjects can be considered along with two A-levels or a combination of equivalent level 3 qualifications

  • Including either Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science at A-level or level 3 equivalent

  • Excluding General Studies

Access to HE Diploma
  • Pass with 60 credits including 45 at Level 3, of which 30 Level 3 credits are at merit / distinction
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Extended Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2002 – 2010)
  • DDM / 128 UCAS points ideally in a Health/Science related subject
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Diploma (QCF) (2010 – 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Certificate(2002 – 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • Pearson BTEC National Foundation Diploma (2016 to present)
  • Pearson BTEC 90-Credit Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • Pearson BTEC Subsidiary Diploma (QCF) (2010 - 2016)
  • BTEC Level 3 National Award (2002 - 2010)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Child Care and Education
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator) (from September 2014)
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Diploma in Childcare and Education (Early Years Educator)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • NCFE CACHE Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • NCFE CACHE Technical Level 3 Extended Diploma in Health and Social Care
  • Grade B overall / minimum 120 UCAS points

Certificate in Higher Education (Dip HE)

  • Pass with 120 credits at level 4
  • Must be in a Health/Science related pathway
  • May be considered for advanced entry onto the second year of the degree. Subject to satisfactory comparability of modular content at level 4. A transcript will be required

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Obtain a minimum of 28 points overall
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in Mathematics at Grade C/4 or above grade 5 in Maths (Standard Level) from the IB Diploma will be accepted
  • For students who do not already hold a GCSE in English Language at Grade C/4 or above Standard Level English Language (not literature) English A - Grade 4 or above or English B - Grade 5 from the IB will be accepted

Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)

  • Pass the Irish Leaving Certificate with a minimum of 120 tariff points, achieved in four Higher level subjects. This must include Maths and English Language taken at either Ordinary level (minimum grade O1-O4 (or A-C/A1-C3)) or Higher level (minimum grade H1-H7 (or A-D/A1-D3 up to and including 2016))
  • Must include one Health or Science related subject

OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma

  • DDM / 120 UCAS points in a Health or Science related subject 

OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Foundation Diploma (2016 - present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Subsidiary Diploma (until-2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with one A-level or an equivalent level 3 qualification
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Extended Certificate (2016 – present)
  • OCR Level 3 Cambridge Technical Introductory Diploma (until 2016)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science

Scottish Advanced Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either three Advanced Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers.
  • Where three Advanced Highers have been taken achieve a minimum of grades CCD.
  • Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve (grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers)
  • Must include one Health or Science related subject

Scottish Higher

  • Achieve a minimum of 120 tariff points achieved in either five Highers or from a combination of two Advanced Highers plus two Highers
  • Where only Highers have been taken a minimum of grades BBCCC is required. Where a combination of Highers and Advanced Highers have been taken you must achieve grades of CD in two Advanced Highers plus grades of CC in two Highers
  • Must include one Health or Science related subject

T-Levels

  • 120 UCAS points (Merit overall)

Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science

Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016) ESW/KS Combined component

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
  • WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma (graded A* - E)
  • WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma (graded D* - P)
  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science

WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Medical Science

  • 120 UCAS points
  • Considered with two A-levels or equivalent level 3 qualification(s)
  • Either this qualification or an accompanying A-level / level 3 equivalent must be in Health & Social Care, Human Biology, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Psychology, Social Science or Applied Science
Other qualifications

If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.

Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.

EU/International Students:

Academic requirements
Equivalent Level 2 and Level 3 qualifications to meet the standard UK requirements.  Please see our country page 

IELTS
7.0 overall with no element below 6.5 or the equivalence of an in-country English accepted by the University. Visit our English Language Page

Additional requirements
Ability to use basic IT facilities, Personal Statement, References, Interview, Group and written exercise,  a satisfactory Occupational Health Check, a Police Check in your home country and on arrival to the UK a Disclosure and Barring Service report 

Successful applicants must meet the International English Language Test (IELTS) at Level 7, and confirm prior to interview decision/offer that they have the ability to use basic IT facilities.

Portfolio route

A Portfolio route has been devised for those applicants who have significant relevant experience of working with vulnerable people but do not meet the formal entry requirements. To follow this route you are still expected to possess GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent.

Requirements:

  • You will need to have three or more years' relevant experience in a role which involves experience of undertaking work with vulnerable people, and which can be transferable into social work practice. This involves work such as assessment, care/support planning, co-ordination of services with other professionals, and reviewing.
  • You are required to have GCSE Mathematics and English or equivalent.

The portfolio is made up of the following:

  • A reflective account reviewing your own role, skills and areas for development in relation to your practice - 1,000 words
  • An analysis of a case that you have worked on - 1,000 words
  • A reflection on your performance during the direct observation and the feedback given by the social worker - 500 words
  • A report by a social worker on the direct observation of your current practice
  • Two references/testimonials - one from your line manager and one from a qualified social worker (again, preferably a senior social worker or above).

To apply via the portfolio route, you will need to put the items above together in a folder (portfolio) and send it to the admissions tutor with an application form. The portfolio is then looked at by academic staff at the university, who will evaluate the work and make a judgement about the applicant's suitability for the Social Work programme. Successful applicants will be invited to attend an admissions day where they will undertake a written test, group exercise and individual interview.

In addition:

  • Applicants must have evidence of study within the last five years and/or current relevant practice experience in a social care setting.
  • Applicants are required to complete a written exercise on attendance at the selection day.
  • Applicants will be required to participate in a group work exercise.
  • Applicants are required to complete a face-to-face engagement, normally in the format of an interview. Interviews are currently online via Microsoft Teams. 
  • A second reference for Access/BTEC students from the original referee is to be provided to the institution by 30 April of the enrolment year.

Places are subject to a satisfactory Occupational Heath Check, and a Disclosure and Barring Service report .

Applicants should be aware that qualifications, personal statement, references, interview, group and written exercise all form part of the selection criteria for this course.

Fees & How to Apply

  • International students

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £9,250 per year
  • Applications Closed

Award: BSc (Hons)

Starting: Sep 2021

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 3 years
  • £13,200 per year
  • Applications Closed

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead.

£150 free credit (home/EU students only)

For 2021 entry, all new home/EU undergraduate students will receive £150 worth of free credit to spend in a host of ways, on books and a range of learning materials.

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.

Printing

You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

DBS check

You will require a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check for this course. Your first DBS check is included in your fees.

Placement expenses (mandatory)

There may be some costs for travel or temporary accommodation associated with placements. The NHS Learning Support Fund can help with these costs. Information about what the fund covers and eligibility criteria can be found online

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Field trips (optional)

This course includes the option of additional trips that may enhance your experience, at extra cost.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

This course is now full for 2021/22. You can apply for 2022/23 via UCAS from September 2021 .

If you'd still like to apply for September 2020, take a look at some of our other available courses in Clearing.

Admissions Process

The admissions process is in three stages, using a range of activities to evaluate your potential to undertake social work education and practice.

Stage one

Your application and personal statements are screened for eligibility against the entry requirements and shortlisted. If you're successfully shortlisted you'll be invited to an admissions day at the University. During the day you will be evaluated in a number of areas.

Stage two

You demonstrate your written and analytical skills, and your ability to interact and perform in a group task. 

Stage three

During an individual interview, you are expected to demonstrate your individual application of skills, knowledge and values required in the social work profession. The process is mapped against The College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework at entry level, and you will have to meet these criteria.  

You are required to pass each stage of the process to progress to the next. Only those applicants who are successful in each stage will be offered a place on the course.  

Preparing an application

When preparing to write your application and personal statement you need to make sure you tell us about a number of things so that we can make sure you have a good chance of being shortlisted. It is essential to say:

  • Why are you applying for social work - what is your interest?
  • Why you think you are suitable for social work.

Indicate that you have some awareness of what social work is, and what social workers do. What are some of the challenges and dilemmas that social workers face? Think about issues such as equality, diversity and empathy and their relevance to social work.

Show that you understand what is required to study social work.

What skills and experience do you have (either paid or voluntary) that would be transferable in social work practice? It is increasingly important to have experience of working with vulnerable groups of people.

What values do you have that are appropriate in social work? How do these relate to working with vulnerable people in an anti-discriminatory way?

Do you have any hobbies or interests that demonstrate skills relevant to social work?

If you have an idea of what you would like to achieve after completing the course, explained how you want to use the knowledge and experience gained.

If you are including a non-academic reference, make sure that the person providing this knows you very well, and is able to comment upon your skills, qualities and potential to be a social worker.

Preparing for an admissions day

Here is some advice for those who have been successfully shortlisted and invited to an admissions day:

You will receive an invitation from the university including the date, arrival time, where to go and where to report to. There will be contact details of who to contact if you have difficulties. You will also be sent more detailed information about the course and about the admissions day.

Arrive on time – latecomers might not be able to proceed and may have to re-book.

Make sure you arrive at the Birmingham City University Campus on Westbourne Road, Edgbaston, as some applicants who are not familiar with Birmingham have turned up at the wrong campus or the wrong university in the past.

Inform the University well in advance if you have any specific needs during the day. Reasonable adjustments can only be made with advance notice and evidence of an educational needs assessment. Applicants with specific needs should provide us with at least two weeks' advance notice from the date of invitation. If you do not inform us we may have to reschedule, if that is viable.

When engaging with the written task, focus on analysing what is going on in the case scenario you will be given. Keep description down to a limit and focus on your assessment of the situation.

Be prepared to contribute to a small group discussion. Those who say little or convey limited knowledge and understanding of social work may not demonstrate sufficient capabilities required to proceed to an interview. Be sensitive to other participants in the discussion.

If you proceed to an individual interview consider the following:

Be clear about why you want to be a social worker.

Do some research into what social work is, and what it sets out to achieve. Prepare examples of how social workers can support vulnerable people.

Consider what skills you have that can be useful in social work. How could you develop these skills?

Give some thought to what knowledge you would need to be a social worker. Prepare examples of any theories, legislation or policy social workers might use.

Consider what values are needed to work with vulnerable people and to work in an anti-discriminatory way. Check out the role of The College of Social Work and the British Association of Social Workers’ (BASW) code of ethics.

Think about the academic skills you have developed in previous study, and how you will meet the demands of studying at degree level. Consider examples of how you would do this.

Personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Course structure

Our social work degree course links theory directly with practice, enabling you to engage effectively and sensitively with vulnerable groups. You'll graduate as a professional capable of ensuring the users of social work services have the maximum possible independence while still safeguarding them from harm and risk. We'll help you develop and maintain the confidence of service users, protecting their rights, effectively promoting their interests and ensuring equality.

Our degree is designed to prepare you in the best way possible for direct practice, partnering with employers to ensure you get experience in a variety of settings. You'll have the chance to work alongside a range of vulnerable groups and individuals with differing needs on placement. This may involve working in a day-care setting, for groups who require a few hours of attention daily, or in the community, carrying out assessments, developing care plans, identifying and responding to risk, managing complex caseloads and prioritising work, as well as delivering appropriate services.

In year one you'll start your training with five modules that will introduce you to what social workers do. This includes anti-discriminatory issues, the law and issues related to human growth and development, as well as other vital areas of social welfare.

In the second year, you'll continue to build your knowledge base about the demands placed on modern social workers with a further four modules as well as your first major placement (70 days). The year concludes with an introduction to research methods.

In the final year of the social work degree, you'll develop more of your evidence-based skills and hone your knowledge of law and policy. The course features a longer, 100 day placement. You'll finish the course by working on critical reflection, giving you a robust platform from which you can begin to practice as a social worker.

Course breakdown

Year One

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module provides you with an understanding of the role of the social worker in different contexts and will provide an experience in social work practice.

It is intended that you will identify the expectations of the regulatory body and the role of the social worker in current practice. There is an acknowledgement that the current practice environment is complex, challenging, multi-dimensional, constantly changing alive with ethical dilemmas and tensions. Social Work is constantly changing as a result of learning from current practice including contemporary issues and is informed by student and service user feedback.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will focus on pursuing excellence in social work practice, and assisting you to become practice-led, employable and have a local, national and global outlook.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will develop social work professionals whose work is informed by theory and evidence, with the goal of "transforming lives", by providing a range of the key knowledge required to facilitate this.

This module aligns with the overall philosophy and aims of the BSc (Hons) Social Work degree programme and the Health and Care Professions Council Standards of Proficiency by providing an understanding of the impact of human growth and development across the life span in relation to and in preparation for social work practice. The module also contributes to the "Knowledge" requirements of the Professional Capabilities Framework for Social Workers. It promotes an analytic and comparative approach to perspectives on personal development and change, with a focus on the chronological life-course. It explores the relevance of physiological, psychological, sociological and environmental perspectives to understanding personal and social development and functioning.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, and in order to prepare students for the complex and constantly evolving nature of modern social work practice this module enables students to develop their knowledge and understanding of law.

The module aims to:

  • Develop a practical awareness of court processes and the roles of social workers in various legal and regulatory contexts
  • Develop the skill of reading and evaluating legal and policy documents
  • Begin to develop an awareness of the policy and legal frameworks of practice specialisms

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, and central to the delivery of high quality social work is the ability to understand and develop competence in using and applying a range of professional skills in direct practice with service users, carers and other professionals.

Determined by the Professional Capabilities Framework at ‘Skills and Readiness for Practice Level’, this Level 4 module teaches and assesses foundational skills in professionalism, communication, assessment, reflection, emotional resilience, Anti Discriminatory Practice, relationship building, recording, and initial awareness and understanding of evidence, risk, safeguarding, organisational context and leadership in social work. It includes skills simulation sessions and the opportunity to shadow a qualified social worker. Professionalism includes the ability to separate personal and professional values, draw on a professional knowledge base, use power positively, engage in ethical decision making and maintain professional boundaries with vulnerable people. This module is a ‘professional requirement’ and must be passed before you are considered ready and eligible to safely undertake your First Practice Placement working directly with vulnerable people. Service users, carers and qualified practitioners work alongside academic tutors as part of an interactive and practical approach to delivery and assessment.

Year Two

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will provide you with the opportunity to engage with law and policy, and the knowledge needed to safeguard and protect vulnerable service users as specified by the professional requirements for social work.

You will need to reflect on your legal roles and responsibilities as a social worker with a duty of care so that you can practice professionally and be prepared for employment. The module will examine the court process and structure and prepare you to present evidence in court and to write formal reports. You are required to analyse relevant law and policy with an emphasis on the process of joint working and the individual responsibilities of practitioners working in the areas of children and families, adult care, and mental health.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will prepare you for the complex and constantly evolving nature of modern social work practice, enabling you to develop your knowledge and understanding of theory and methods of intervention.

You are required to not only learn about the theories but to develop skills for using these in practice whilst demonstrating the ability to work in an anti-oppressive/anti-discriminatory manner. The BSc (Hons) Social Work programme is clear in its aim to develop social work professionals whose work is informed by theory and evidence, with the goal of transforming lives.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will focus on pursuing excellence in social work practice, and assisting you to become practice-led, employable and have a local, national and global outlook.

This module is designed to provide an introduction to research, research design and research methodology. You will learn the relevance and purpose of research in the context of social work practice, how to carry out research and follow a research process whilst taking into account research paradigms, research approaches, sampling, piloting, data collection, data analysis and data presentation.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, the First Placement module will focus upon practice learning. Social work is a practice led profession and this is reflected in practice learning being integral to the social work programme. The First Placement module will support you to link your developing knowledge, skills and values to practice through the provision of a 70 day practice placement that will provide opportunities for you to work directly with service users, carers, colleagues and other professionals. This module also contributes to the programme philosophy and aims by enhancing your interdisciplinarity, for example by developing your ability to work with and learn from other professionals; and employability, for example by giving you opportunities to develop your professionalism and practice excellence in a service delivery setting, and be work ready.

Year Three

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits):

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will focus on pursuing excellence in social work practice, and assisting you to become practice-led, employable and have a local, national and global outlook.

It is important that you have an opportunity to develop your research knowledge for practice based on a social care issue within the context of a pluralist society. You are required to demonstrate a critical understanding to recognise the ways in which research needs to address differences of equality, race, gender and culture, at local, national and global perspectives.

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme, this module will provide you with an understanding of the legal system in England and Wales and the knowledge needed to safeguard and protect vulnerable service users as specified by the professional requirements for social work.

You will need to reflect on your legal roles and responsibilities as a social worker with a duty of care so that you can practice professionally and be prepared for employment. The module will examine the court process and structure and prepare you to present evidence in court and to write formal reports. You are required to reflect on the process of joint working and the individual responsibilities of practitioners working in the areas of children and families, adult care, mental health and youth justice

In line with the philosophy and aims of the Social Work programme the Last Placement module will focus upon practice learning. This practice-led, knowledge applied module contributes to the programme philosophy and aims by further enhancing your interdisciplinarity for example, your ability to work with and learn from other professionals; and employability for example, giving you opportunities to develop your professionalism and practice excellence in a service delivery setting, and be work ready. The Last Placement module is a professional requirement that builds on the level 5 First Placement module.

Welcome to the Critical Reflective Practice Module, this is the last module of Year 3 of the BSc (Hons) Social Work Degree which is taught in Semester 3 of the programme. This module focuses on providing you with the opportunity to promote a critical reflective approach to practice.

The Critical Reflective Practice module is a core module in preparing you for completion of the BSc (Hons) Social Work Degree and future employability through enhancing your presentation skills and your ability to critically reflect and analyse your work.

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Social Work England

This course is approved by Social Work England. 

Employability

Employment opportunities

After graduating from the social work degree, you are eligible to register with Social Work England, enabling you to practise as a professional social worker.

With half of the course taking place in practice settings, this course is highly regarded by employers. The experience you will gain as a social work student at Birmingham City University, the largest provider of qualified health and social services staff in the region, gives you excellent employment prospects.

Placements

Placements take place across a range of agencies including local authorities, voluntary and independent organisations, in a variety of settings such as residential, day care, schools, housing, hospitals and Social Work teams.

A significant period of time on the programme is spent on placement, observing and engaging with the realities of social work with at least two different client groups, and the final year placement will always involve working and learning in statutory social work interventions.

The course aims to offer separate placements with children and families and an adult group. You will undertake a minimum 170 days of placements over the three years of the course, working in different settings with service users and professional colleagues. Group learning is an important part of ensuring you engage with a diverse range of undergraduate peers and staff.

Our broad partner network means we are able to offer placement opportunities in the public and independent sectors, drawing on strong links with Birmingham City Council, Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, as well as charities including Barnardo’s.

More about our placement opportunities

OpportUNIty

OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

International Students

Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations

The UK remains one of the world's leading study destinations for international students.

The first-class experience offered by universities are reflected in the world’s largest survey of international students. International students are more likely to recommend the UK than any other leading English-language study destination.

Facilities and Staff

Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

We boast up-to-date, innovative facilities that simulate the real situations that medical staff may come across.

These resources are essential in offering students a hands-on introduction to health and social care practice. Much of our teaching is carried out within our state-of-the-art, £30m Seacole Building, which houses cutting-edge learning facilities.

Take a virtual tour of our skills suites at Seacole

In a sector where new techniques are constantly being discovered, we work hard to ensure that students learn using the most up-to-date equipment available. These include the only mock operating theatre in an English university and a cutting-edge radiography virtual clinical training facility, virtual ward and virtual case creator.

Home Environment Room

The Home Environment room is the perfect setting for teaching communications skills and allows us to simulate a community setting for our students. It is particularly useful for paramedics, mental health and learning disability nurses and also midwives.

Mary Seacole Library

The Seacole library, based at City South Campus, is one of the UK's largest specialist health education libraries. The state-of-the art facility offers an extensive range of range of information and reference materials set out in a relaxing environment, conducive to studying. There are comfortable seating areas, group study areas, a silent study area and private study rooms.

Computer Facilities

The Seacole building houses a large open access IT Suite which comprises of 96 PCs, full colour printers, photocopiers and scanners. Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

The IT Suite offers extended opening hours and is supported by a specialist Open Access Assistant during term time. In addition to the open access PCs within the IT Suite, there are 12 networked student PCs available within Seacole library.

Our staff

Albert Moylan

Senior Lecturer in Social Work

Born in the Republic of Ireland, Albert obtained a degree in Commerce and initially started out on a career in business. He discovered that his interest in people, social problems, inequality, deprivation and disadvantage far outweighed his interest in commerce.

After moving to the UK in 1986 and settling in Birmingham, Albert qualified as a social worker and practised generically within Birmingham City Council with all adult client groups. He qualified as a Social Work Practice Teacher in 2005, and started to work closely with a number of local universities. After a period as a practice learning coordinator and off-site practice educator with Birmingham City Council Learning and Development, he was appointed as a Senior Lecturer in Social Work with Birmingham City University in 2007. In addition to teaching, Albert took on the role of Subject Quality Coordinator, and was Programme Director for the BSc (Hons) Social work Degree from 2014 to 2016.

Albert is a member of the Teaching Teams for the BSc (Hons) Social Work Degree, Social Work Practice Educator Training Programme, Approved Mental Health Professional Programme, Faculty MSc in Safeguarding, and the MSc in Social Work Programme. He has a special interest in identity, equality and social justice, the value of internationalization and having a global outlook, and enhancing the quality of social work education and social work practice.

He is currently Module leader for Equality, Diversity and Anti-discriminatory Practice in the BSc (Hons) Undergraduate Social Work Degree and is Deputy Programme Leader for the Social Work Practice Educator Training Programme and the MSc in Social Work.

More about Albert