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.


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. There is an expectation that all students complement formal teaching through undertaking of individual study activities which will help you to learn and develop your understanding and promote self-directedness.Each student is allocated an academic and personal tutor in year 1. The tutor isresponsible for delivering core content of the professional development module in each year, providing individual and group tutorial sessions as part of tutorial support.

There is a dedicated, fully equipped skills house for delivery of the required skills days. Students gain from the naturalistic environment of a home situation in order to practice developing skills of assessment, communication and intervention, reviewing their development through learning tools such as video recorded work.

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. Service users and practitioners work with the social work team to provide advice and feedback on skills development. Core module 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.

Year 1 modules consist of:

  • Professional Development 1
  • Collaborative Practice 1
  • Introduction to Social Work Practice: Theory and Skills
  • Social Policy and Social Work
  • Sociology for Social Workers
  • Understanding Human Development
  • Assessment of Readiness for Direct Practice 

Year 2 modules consist of:

  • Professional Development 2
  • Collaborative Practice 2
  • 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:

  • Professional Development 3
  • Collaborative Practice 3
  • Safeguarding in Social Work: Rights, Risk and Decision Making
  • Effective Social Work Practice
  • Working in Organisations
  • Consolidation and Readiness for Practice
  • Second (Final) Practice Placement (100 Days)

30 skills days will be spread throughout the 3 years with a substantial number provided in year 1.

Learning is assessed in a variety of ways including written assignments, one exam in year two, group and individual presentations, skills assessments and completion of practice portfolios. You will be assessed in your practice placements, for example through observation, discussion, reflective writing, written work and feedback from service users and practitioners. 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 of the degree 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.

The assessments throughout the three years are designed to help your 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 accordance with the Undergraduate Academic Framework and Interprofessional Learning Scheme protocols.

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.


The 2015/16 and 2016/17 annual tuition fees for this course are:







Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

UK/EU full-time tuition fees for this course are set in line with the current maximum regulated tuition fee levels permitted by the UK Government.

Overseas full-time tuition fees for this course may be subject to an annual inflationary increase in every year where the course lasts more than one year. 

*Overseas fee scholarships may be available for eligible students. For further information please contact or the International Office: .

**Full-time courses which have a Foundation Year 0 will have a 2015/16 and 2016/17 UK/EU tuition fee of £6,000 in Year 0.

Further information

Additional course costs

Although we aim to minimise any additional costs to students over and above the course tuition fee, there will be some additional costs which students on courses are expected to meet. 

Read further information about the general additional costs which apply to courses at Canterbury Christ Church University.

Some categories of additional costs are always payable by the student, as set out in the general principles.  These include costs for own purchase text books; DBS / Health Checks (although some may be reimbursed); Professional Body registration; travel to other sites; Library Fees and Fines; Printing & Photocopying; and travel and accommodation / subsistence costs whilst on Placements or Exchange visits.

Other categories of additional costs depend on the particular course. 

For Social Work (BA)  the following additional costs are payable by the student:

  • Placements / Exhanges - Students can undertake optional International Placements which will incur additional costs including travel, subsistence and accomodation - Costs are variable depending on location.      
  • Other - Students have to attend 170 days of practise learning in specified settings that could be located close or up to 1 1/2 hours travel to and from their home. All students receive a one off grant from NHSBSA to cover travel to placement (including students who do not receive full bursary). Any costs over this grant will be fundable by the student.

Recruitment for this course considers not only the values of the specific profession you are wishing to join, but also the values of the wider NHS. You can expect to be shortlisted and interviewed based upon these values as well as course/profession specific requirements.  More information on values can be found here.

In accordance 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.

See Admissions booklet - BA 2015 entry for details of the selection process and finance information applicable to the BA Social Work course.

Offers of a place can only be made following successful assessment of the admissions day processes. Enrolment in the programme is subject to the meeting of academic requirements and satisfactory outcomes for health clearance, suitability requirements 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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