Social Work

Social Work BA (Hons)

Social workers work with a wide cross section of society, which includes a significant proportion of some of the most disadvantaged and excluded people in our society. Do you think you have what it takes to help these people? Our social work course has been developed in partnership with a range of key stakeholders, including social work service users and carers, and representatives from social work agencies. You’ll develop the knowledge, skills and values required to qualify as a social worker and will be eligible to register with Social Work England, graduating with an understanding of the fast-changing world of social work.

Our Social Work provision is ranked 4th in the UK and 2nd in England in the Guardian League Table 2021 (UK universities ranked by subject area: Social work)

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full-time: Three years, Part-time (employer sponsored only): Usually five years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BA (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston and Burnley (Campus code: Preston: U, Burnley: A)

  • Start Date:


  • Social Work at UCLan is 2nd in the North West for overall student satisfaction. We are also 3rd in the North West and in the UK top 15 for assessment and feedback - National Student Survey 2019. 
  • You will benefit from 170 days of practice placements and 30 skills delivery days.
  • The course has a strong international element. Previous students have travelled to Amsterdam, Cyprus, Toronto and Krakow, visiting other social work institutions.

Course Overview

Year 1

In Year One you complete 5 compulsory modules.  The aim is to provide you with the skills, knowledge and competency to proceed to Year 2 and 1st placement (70 days)

Semester 1

  • SW1068 Human Growth and Development

Semester 2

  • SW1070 Law and Safeguarding

Semester 1 and 2

  • SW1077 Communication and Interpersonal Skills
  • SW1067 Social Justice
  • SW1072 Preparation for Practice

Year 2

In Year Two you undertake your first full-time placement (70 days) in Semester One and build upon this developing skills set, knowledge base and competency by completing a further compulsory modules.

Semester 1

  • 70 day full-time placement Monday to Friday SW2072 Social Work Practice 1 (SW2072)*

Semester 2

  • SW2069 Working with Children, Families and Young People
  • SW2076 Working with Adults
  • SW2071 Social Perspectives on Mental Health and Distress
  • SW2076 Working with Adults

Year 3

In Year Three you undertake your final full-time placement (100 days) and  compulsory modules to complete your degree and the eligibility to apply for social work registration.

Semester 1 and 2

  • 100 day full-time placement Social Work Practice 2 (SW3079)*
  • SW3073 Research for Specialist Practice

Semester 2

  • SW3078 Relationship Based Practice in Social Work


*Our dedicated Practice Learning Team will source and allocate your placement.

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 112 UCAS Points.  We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit 
Pass Access Course: 112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate:Pass Diploma with 112 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 7.0 with no subscore lower than 7.0
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including English or equivalent

Non-academic requirements

At Shortlisting

In addition to clearly demonstrating how they will meet the academic requirements of the course, applicants must demonstrate significant relevant experience and should indicate a clear motivation for applying for the course on their UCAS statement. Significant experience refers to experience which develops relevant values and skills and applicants’ understanding of social work roles.
Applicants must provide one satisfactory reference on their UCAS form, ideally an academic reference where applicants have been in education within the past three years, otherwise a reference which supports the above statement relating to experience.

At Applicant Days

  • Applicants must pass a written test
  • Applicants must pass an interview.
  • Applicants must sign a declaration confirming competence in IT.

Declarations of Suitability

Candidates who are successful in their written test and interview must complete a Declaration of Suitability form in which they will make declarations in respect to criminal convictions, conduct, health and overseas residency.
Where declarations are made the School Suitability Panel will consider those declarations in respect to its terms of reference. The panel may require that the candidate submits further information or evidence. The panel may withdraw any offers of places on the course in line with its terms of reference.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Personal Statement Advice

It's never too early to start working on your personal statement. We've got some useful hints and tips to help you make a great first impression.

Advice & Guidance

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

DBS Checks

This course will involve you working with vulnerable groups of individuals, including children. In order to ensure that the University offers places on their programmes to suitable candidates you will all be required to obtain a satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service clearance (formerly termed CRB). We will be able to guide you through this process once you have been offered a conditional place of study at the University of Central Lancashire.

It is important to note that should your Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check prove to be unsatisfactory for the purpose of the course you have applied to, your offer of a place for that course may be withdrawn. If you have already enrolled on a course and your DBS check subsequently discloses a criminal conviction, you may be required to withdraw from the course even if you have already started. If you are aware that your DBS check will disclose a previous conviction, please contact the course leader for advice as not all convictions may preclude you from continuing with the course.

Further Information

On BA (Hons) Social Work, you’ll benefit from small group tutorials and one-on-ones with tutors. Your personal tutor will work with you and visit you both when you’re in the field, as well as on campus. We have lots of extra-curricular activities including a dedicated social work film club, offering monthly film screenings around relevant, book clubs, and course outings. The course also has a strong international element. Recently students have visited Amsterdam, Cyprus, Toronto and Krakow, visiting other social work institutions. Furthermore, we have a fairly large percentage of mature students, which adds to your learning experience due to a mix of ages, perspectives and previous experience.

"The qualification and final placement really helped me to prepare for my job application and interview. I was offered a job in the team where I was on placement. Brilliant."

In recent years the School of Social Work research seminar series has provided a forum for new/early career researchers and for established researchers and academics to present their research and encourage debate about a range of topics, research methods and approaches bringing together students, researchers, practitioners, academics, stakeholders and service user/carer groups. Recent seminar topics have included: Peer Support in the Transition from Hospital to Home for People with Mental Health Problems; Drug and Alcohol dependency amongst LGB people; and Adolescent Sexual Coercion.


It is a professionally endorsed degree which means upon successful completion you would be eligible to apply for registration as a Social Worker (Social Work England). 

Social Work is a protected title so you must be a graduate of a recognised social work programme and registered to use the term and be employed as a Social Worker.

The course has professional body requirements such as attendance requirements, suitability guidelines, fitness to practice and a readiness to practice panel, which all students must pass before being allowed to proceed on to the next year of the programme.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

Teaching and learning opportunities include lectures, seminars, student-led projects, presentations, e-learning, discussion groups, workshops, self directed study, and work based learning. Social work practitioners and service users and carers contribute to course delivery.

Academic assessments include; essays, exams, presentations, case studies, oral interviews, practice placements, portfolios and a practice based literature review.


Completion of this degree makes you eligible to apply to the Health and Care Professions Council for registration as a social worker. You could enter a career in social work working with children and families, youth justice, older adults, mental health, community care, children and adults with disabilities, education welfare, and substance misuse. This may be in a variety of settings in the statutory sector or in a vast range of voluntary and independent agencies.

Recent graduates have successfully gained employment in social work teams in a variety of settings such as parenting and family support teams, youth justice, community drug teams and community mental health teams. Some graduates returned to the School to undertake post qualifying courses for experienced practitioners and continue their academic study.

Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Social Work, Care and Community

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course Information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.