Social Work

BA single honours Social Work

Social work requires a skilled, knowledgeable, and creative approach to support and protect some of the most vulnerable people in society at all stages of their lives.

Our three year, full-time degree course in social work is approved by the regulatory body for the profession, the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) and is endorsed by The College of Social Work (TCSW).

The teaching of social work is long-established at the university with taught sessions taking place on the main campus, centrally located in the historic, bustling city of Canterbury. Social work is one of the core professional pathways in the organisation of inter-professional learning. One module in each of the three years is undertaken with health and social care students in order to promote the goals of collaborative practice, preparing students for future work with a range of professionals.

The course is planned in accordance with the professional capabilities framework of The College of Social Work, designed to ensure that by the end of the degree students can practise effectively using a range of knowledge, a strong commitment to social justice, application of professional values and recognition of the diverse needs of members of society. Skills of assessment and intervention will be developed and taught throughout the course, both in the classroom and through work based practice learning, comprising 30 skills days, 70 practice placement days in year 2 and 100 days in Year 3. Placement experience includes work with at least two service user groups, e.g. children/young people and their families; people with mental health needs and vulnerable adults. Development of professionalism, the ability to apply critical reflection and analysis and the flexibility to work in changing contexts and organisations are key areas of achievement required for successful completion of the degree.

The knowledge base of the social work programme is organised around several themes: human growth and development, social policy and law, values and ethics, theories underpinning assessment and intervention and core knowledge relating to mental health, disability, substance misuse and safeguarding of children and adults. The social work team has developed successful relationships with regional-based practice educators and placement providers in order to offer students a wide range of placement opportunities to promote their capability and confidence in developing and applying knowledge for effective practice.

The Learning Experience

Classroom teaching takes place through whole group lectures, seminars and small group work and is delivered using resources such as power-point, audio-visual material and case studies. Embedded throughout the programme is a focus on the experiences of those who use services, enabling students to gain valuable understanding of the impact of distressing circumstances and professional responses on the lives of service users and their carers. The contribution of service users and qualified practitioners to teaching and assessment forms part of the varied teaching and learning approaches of the programme. Core teaching is delivered by academics with substantial practice experience who maintain the currency of their knowledge and expertise through research, writing for publication, consultancy and teaching on post-qualifying courses.

Learning is assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, one exam in year two, group and individual presentations and completion of practice portfolios. The first year of the degree includes teaching of core knowledge required for social work, a placement opportunity to shadow an experienced social worker and dedicated skills based days. The personal development module in each year focuses on development of the academic skills required for study at all levels of the programme and uses a range of learning resources including the substantial library facilities and web-based support.

On successful completion of the course students will be eligible to apply for registration with the HCPC. There are excellent employment opportunities for registered social workers. The programme is a generic course enabling graduates to work in a full range of settings - social services departments of local authorities, health and social care multi-professional teams and many services in the voluntary and independent sectors providing community, day care and residential services.

Social work is an inspiring, challenging profession which requires commitment and resilience and brings many rewards for those who wish to make a difference.

A non means-tested NHS bursary (£4575 per year in 2013-14) is available for students in years 2 and 3 of the degree, subject to eligibility requirements and bursary numbers agreed for the university by the Department of Health. (This information may be subject to change by the Department of Health and you are advised to seek current information at the time of your application).

Year 1 modules consist of:

  • Professional Development 1
  • Fundamentals of Professional Collaboration
  • Introduction to Social Work Practice, Theory and Skills
  • Sociology for Social Work
  • Assessment of Readiness for Direct Practice and 30 days of Skills Development

Year 2 modules consist of:

  • Professional Development 2
  • Developing Practice Through Collaborative Working
  • Values and Ethics in a Diverse Society
  • Social Work Theories: Intervention and Skills
  • Law & Policy for Social Work
  • Citizens, Service Provision and Society
  • First Practice Placement (70 days)

Year 3 modules consist of:

  • Year 3 modules consist of: Professional Development 3
  • Developing Practice through Collaborative Working
  • Safeguarding : Rights, Risk and Decision Making
  • Social Work Practice and Intervention
  • Working in Organisations
  • Consolidation and Readiness to Practice
  • Second (Final) Practice Placement (100 Days)

As a guide only, the 2014/15 annual tuition fees for this programme are:







Exceptions may apply. For more information, or if you are uncertain about your fee status please contact

View information about student loans, grants and bursaries.

Teaching in the university takes place in lectures, seminars, skills labs and tutorials, and you will also work with other students in small groups. In addition you will undertake individual study activities which will help you to learn and develop your understanding and promote self directedness. The Professional Development modules and tutorial sessions are geared towards supporting you with developing the skills for professional and academic learning. During your practice placements your learning will be supported and facilitated by practitioners in the practice settings, through a variety of learning opportunities and activities.

You will be assessed in the university in a number of ways, including presentations, essays, portfolios, an exam, case studies and reflective accounts. You will also be assessed in your practice placements, for example through observation, discussion, reflective writing, written work and feedback from service users and practitioners. All the assessments are designed to help you learning and assessment at university and in practice. Feedback is given in a supportive way to help you develop your knowledge and skills. All assessments are set in line with the Undergraduate Academic framework and IPL Scheme protocols. 

In line with the HCPC standards of proficiency and the College of Social Work professional capabilities framework, the University will need to ensure that ‘all entrants have met the proficiencies and the capabilities by the end of their training and have the skills, knowledge, good character and health to do their job safely and effectively’.

Applicants are encouraged to seek opportunities to gain pre-application experience in a social care or appropriate health care setting. Canterbury Christ Church University will select students through a process established with representatives of employers and service users associated with the programme and suitable applicants will be invited for an individual and/or group interview.

Offers of a place can only be made after a successful interview, subject to satisfactory health clearance and Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check

Fact file

UCAS code

  • L500


  • 3 years full-time

Entry requirements

  • A typical offer would be BBC at A2 Level, or equivalent
    GCSE English Language and Mathematics, at grade C or above, or equivalent.
    More entry requirement details.



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