Social Workers deal with some of the most vulnerable people in our society at times of greatest stress… ‘Service users and carers deserve the best service possible. A well-trained Social Worker can, and does, make a positive difference to the quality of people’s lives when they most need help and support. Social Work must be recognized as an important and valued professional career.’ (Jacqui Smith MP, then Minister of State, introducing the Social Work degree).
Current government policy and reforms continue to ensure a good supply of high quality social workers by improving the quality of social work training. Through its new regulatory professional body the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC), social work continues to be a regulated graduate profession playing a pivotal role in health and social care and public protection.
This full-time, three year programme provides students with an opportunity to develop and demonstrate the relevant academic and practical knowledge, skills and values essential for competent practice as a qualified Social Worker.
Some aspects of learning and assessment in the degree are shared with students from other professional pathways. This provides an integrated and innovative health and social care programme equipping Social Work graduates to work in a multiprofessional environment as well as gain professional registration as a Social Worker with the HCPC.
The content, structure and delivery of the programme is designed to enable Social Work students to demonstrate that they have met the professional requirements stipulated by the HCPC, endorsed by The College of Social Work (TCSW) and Social Work academic benchmark statements.
The programme comprises teaching and learning opportunities provided by Canterbury Christ Church University and in varied practice placements. Academic Lecturers work closely with regional practice-based educators/learning coordinators and service users to promote students’ competence and confidence in developing and applying knowledge for effective practice. Teaching and learning is continually updated to keep abreast of developments in legislation, Government policy and best practice informed by both theory and research.
The curriculum for the degree is organised around several key themes, namely: human growth, development, mental health and disability; assessment, planning, intervention, review and evaluation; communication skills; partnership working; law, social policy and the organisational context of Social Work; values and ethics; and personal and professional development.
The programme starts with an initial assessed period of preparation for direct practice in the first year (which involves the opportunity to shadow an experienced Social Worker and an opportunity to understand diverse service user needs). Students then undertake 30 skills days taught and practiced in the classroom, in practice or skills lab in the first year. This is followed by 70 practice learning days in their 2nd year and 100 days in the final year. Placement experience includes work with at least two service user groups: e.g. children, young people and families, people with mental illness, or vulnerable adults.
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.
Employment opportunities for those with a Social Work qualification are excellent. The programme is a generic qualification that aims to equip graduating students to work in a full range of Social Work and appropriate health and social care multiprofessional settings e.g. fieldwork, group work, community, day care or residential care with diversity of service users and in both statutory and independent sectors.
There are extensive opportunities for continuing professional development in Social Work and the Government through the Social Work Reform Board recently introduced the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). This is designed to help newly qualified social workers develop their knowledge, skills, abilities and develop overall professional confidence. Members of the Social Work team at Canterbury Christ Church have continued to develop and support an extensive range of post-qualifying professional and academic programmes and training with the major employing authorities in the region.
University tuition fees apply.
To find out about bursary entitlements for students studying Social Work programmes visit our Financial Information page.
BA single honours
3 years full-time
260 UCAS points including BCC at A2 Level, or equivalent (see here)
GCSE English and Mathematics at grade C, or above, or an acceptable equivalent, are also required
Coursework, examination, continual assessment, presentations, practice assessment, case studies, critical incident analyses, portfolio of practice competence