BSc (Hons) Social Work

BSc (Hons) Social Work


Few careers offer as much opportunity to support people as social work. Often, inequalities and injustices in society create difficulties for people involved with social services. The social work profession acknowledges these difficulties and endeavours to support people to manage their situations and effect positive change.

USW’s social work degree is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which includes the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, and the Social Care Wales Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers.

This means you will graduate with the professional qualification required to register as a social worker. If you apply through UCAS, you may be eligible for a bursary from Social Care Wales (subject to their conditions).

The social work degree consists of academic and practice-based elements. Half your time will involve practice learning opportunities in statutory, voluntary and third sectors. This will help consolidate your knowledge and skills, and prepare you for practice.

Typical A-Level Offer

Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Grade C and CC at A Level

Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Merit Merit Merit

Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the access obtaining a minimum of 96 UCAS points

Additional Requirements
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent.

Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths.

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Entry Requirements

Contextual offers

We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.

Other qualifications and experience

We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.

To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.

If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here

Additional Requirements:

An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)

An interview is required. This will consist of a written task and an individual interview.

At least 10 weeks’ work experience (approximately 360 hours) carried out in a supervised social care setting or agency with a reference from the supervisor submitted at point of interview confirming you have completed the required hours. This work experience must be completed prior to your interview, and you must clearly reference that you are undertaking a minimum of 360 hours in your personal statement.Instances such as these will be assessed on a case by case basis. Our relevant work experience feature tells you more.

We do not accept deferred applications for the Social Work degree. We recommend reading through the guidance for Social Work applicants prior to submitting your application.


Our social work training is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which incorporates the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Students will work to Social Care Wales’ Code of Professional Practice for Social Care. Students are required to register with the Care Council for Wales prior to starting the course and complete an enhanced DBS check on a yearly basis (additional costs apply).

The social work degree is split into two distinct areas: University study and work–based practice. Throughout your three years you will study a number of subjects relevant to social work. This theoretical learning will provide a foundation for the practice based element of the programme and each year you will undertake a Practice Learning Opportunity.

Year One: Social Work Degree

  • Human Growth and Social Sciences
  • Communication Skills in Social Work
  • Foundations for Practice and Personal Development
  • Social Work Processes
  • Law and Social Policy
  • Twenty-day Fitness to Practice Learning Opportunity

Year Two: Social Work Degree

  • Outcomes Focused Practice in Social Work
  • Application of Legislation and Ethics in Social Work Practice
  • Development of a Social Work identity
  • Integrating Research with Social Work and Social Care
  • Eighty-day Practice Learning Opportunity

Year Three: Social Work Degree

  • Competence in Social Work Practice
  • Social Work with Individuals, Families and Communities
  • Integrating Research in Social Work and Social Work Practice
  • Inter-professional and Multi-agency Working
  • One-hundred day Practice Learning Opportunity


Over the three years, you will experience a diverse range of teaching methods. The social work degree is taught through traditional methods such as lectures, group debate and presentations, as well as more experiential methods such as role play and courtroom debate, or online learning.

In practice, you will learn and be assessed through supervision and direct observation.

You will also benefit from the real-life experiences of representatives from the Service User and Carer Group, who contribute to the social work course. This means you’ll get a valuable insight into their personal experiences, to further prepare you for your career as a social worker.


You must pass both theory and practice elements of the course to qualify as a social worker.


Practical placements account for 50% of our social work degree, each in a different setting. This means you’ll not only be well prepared when you qualify, but you’ll also have a good idea of the sector in which you would like to work. These block placements can often lead to employment opportunities when you graduate.

You can specialise in a particular area in the third year, for example working with adults, children or in mental health.

You’ll also be prepared to work in integrated multiagency teams alongside professionals from other services such as the police, health and education.


Newport City is a modern campus with up to date classrooms and facilities which include access to a range of computer and IT resources, as well as an extensive library service.

Additional Costs

As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.


A social work degree is a professional qualification. It allows you to practise and use the title of social worker, which is protected by law. Graduates can register as a social worker and enter a profession that offers professional development and excellent opportunities for career progression.

There’s an ongoing demand for social workers, so you can expect to find employment soon after graduation. Work is widely available in a variety of roles and settings. Whether you want to work with older people, families, children or people with disabilities, you could build a professional career that offers immense job satisfaction.

Around 5,500 social workers are employed in Wales and, with demand increasing, plenty of opportunities exist for graduates with a social work degree. The majority of newly qualified social workers secure a job within six months of qualifying and starting salaries are competitive.

Post Qualification Short Courses
As part of the Continuing Professional Education and Learning (CPEL) framework in Wales, newly qualified social workers, must complete the Consolidation Programme for Newly Qualified Social Workers within their first three years of practice.

We also offer a Social Work and Practice Education short course, which has a strong professional reputation and close partnership with local authorities in Wales.


Full time

Complete your degree in the shortest possible time and study flexibly – when and where suits you!


You’ll study 9 modules in total (approx. 37 hrs/week).

Part time option one

Study for a degree whilst fitting it around your work, care and other life commitments.


You’ll study 6 modules per year (approx. 25 hrs/week).

Part time option two

Take time to study and spread the tuition fees over a longer period – at no extra cost.


You’ll study 4–5 modules per year (approx. 19 hrs/week).

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