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Undergraduate study
social work degree, ba hons social work, entry requirements for social work

Social Work BA (Hons)

Social work is a profession that is in demand. Our course has a strong focus on employability skills that extends beyond the practice placements and is embedded throughout all the modules.


Course overview


Social Work

Hear from senior lecturer Donna Piper and Teesside student Scott Robinson about our social work course.

As a social work practitioner, you work with your local community supporting those experiencing issues such as domestic violence, homelessness, disability, drug and alcohol addiction and more. You engage with children, adults of all ages, families, refugees and asylum seekers, carers and care leavers and those with mental health problems, touching the lives of many.

This course is informed by decades of collective experience, providing you with the knowledge and practical skills to prepare you for work. You also gain an understanding of the British Association of Social Workers’ Professional Capabilities Framework, considering emotional intelligence, resilience, reflective practice and safeguarding.

Explore development from birth to end of life, the changes we go through and the impact of social work at each stage in our lifespan. You delve into the intricacies of communication and how to adapt to meet the varying communication needs of service users. You also examine reasons for service use, the ethics of conducting research and the legalities of social work.

In the second and final year, you take part in practice placements in real-world settings where you act as a social work practitioner supported by your lecturers and practicing social workers. You take on real cases and have responsibility for your own caseload. With regular exposure to the lived experiences of service users, you gain an enriched understanding of the needs of the profession.

Top reasons to study at Teesside

    • Satisfied students: we are ranked 4th for student satisfaction for social work in the Complete University Guide 2024 (75 institutions participated,
    • Expert teaching: you are taught by social work practitioners, giving you practical insight and experiences of the profession through open discussion and debate.
    • Real-world experience: as a second year and final-year student, you attend quality-assured practice placements where you’re guided as a social work practitioner. You also learn from service users who give talks and Q&As on their lived experiences, providing you with authentic insights on the realities of service interaction.
    • Flexible learning: taught sessions, multi-agency skills days and tutorials are all accessible online, allowing you to access materials at a time and place to suit you.
    • Industry support: employability events with local authority partners and the charity sector offer you support on CV writing, interview techniques and job searching, giving you the skills employers look for.

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Course details

In the first year you are introduced to the core skills and values of social work and what it means to be a professional social worker. You are also introduced to the legal and policy context of social work, which governs its roles and responsibilities, and learn about human development and how people react to difficult life events and life changes. In addition you develop key communication skills all as part of your Readiness for Direct Practice

In the second year you learn in more detail about the nature of social problems faced by different groups in society and how as a social worker you can intervene to support and empower service users and their carers and families. Specialist modules in working with adults and working with children ensure that you are ready for your first professional placement*, whatever the setting. This placement takes places in January for 70 days full time,

In the final year you complete one more module prior to undertaking your second placement in a different setting. This module examines the importance of values and ethics in the decision-making process and understanding the organisational context of contemporary practice. In addition there is also a final year project to complete along with a final year presentation in which you evaluate your professional development as a student social worker.

The course is taught at our Middlesbrough campus in the vibrant heart of the city. You undertake placements in a range of adult and children placements in both the statutory and voluntary sectors across the North East. All our placements are quality assured to ensure suitability for social work and you are supported by a qualified practice educator along with your personal tutor whilst you are on placement.

Course structure

Year 1 core modules


A variety of communication methods which are essential across the broad spectrum of social work practice and client groups are introduced in this module, equipping you with the necessary skills to communicate at all levels, including legal proceedings and working directly with different service user groups. The assessment enables you to demonstrate your Readiness for Direct Practice and is an assessed conversation and reflective commentary.

Law and Social Policy

You are introduced to the role of legislation and social policy in shaping contemporary social work practice.? The module explains why legislation is important for social workers and the principles of key legislation that inform current practice with children and families and adults are identified.


You examine theories of human development across the lifespan, gaining essential knowledge about the pattern for human development. This will help you identify developmental problems facing service users from all age groups in social work practice and inform your assessment and intervention strategies.

Social Work: An Introduction

You are introduced to the professional capabilities framework which supports your learning and practice in England, alongside the professional body, Social Work England and the requirements for professional practice. You explore concepts relating to professional conduct, such as professional values and the legal framework of social work practice, and gain a range of knowledge and skills that are key to professional and academic development, such as reflection, emotional resilience, communication and study skills. Assessment is a reflective essay and a Portfolio of Evidence.


Year 2 core modules


You explore the potential needs of adults living in the community, some of whom may be vulnerable in some way or have specific social care or health related needs. Particular emphasis will be given to those individuals who have specific needs as a result of mental health problems, older age, problematic substance use, physical disability, sensory impairment or learning disability. Legislation, policy and organisational responses will be examined in relation to the impact they have upon people’s lives.

Children & Families

Emphasis will be placed on statutory social work duties relating to child protection and safeguarding, including the principle of partnership working with children, families, and professionals from other disciplines. The module will also provide opportunities to examine relevant law, legal guidance, theories and research evidence

Practice Placement 1

The placement provides a learning opportunity for you to work towards meeting the British Association of Social Workers’ Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for ‘end of first placement’ stage and the Professional Standards of the regulatory body. The placement will be in a setting where you have responsibility for your own caseload.


You develop skills necessary to become a research minded and evidence-based practitioner. You gain an effective working knowledge of how to conduct appropriate research relevant to your practice experience. You develop a sound theoretical knowledge of research methods underpinning qualitative and quantitative research studies. We encourage you to evaluate research evidence and the application to practice. The emphasis is also on the application of these skills to professional development. You carry out an evaluation of pieces of published research and complete a research proposal which may form the basis for your final year dissertation.


Year 3 core modules

Practice Placement 2

The placement provides a learning opportunity for you to work towards meeting the British Association of Social Workers’ Professional Capabilities Framework (PCF) for ‘end of first placement’ stage and the Professional Standards of the regulatory body. The placement will be in a setting where you have responsibility for your own caseload.


Your project is based around the investigation of a topic selected by you and spans one academic year with your supervisor acting in a facilitative role as a consultant and tutor. It involves the identification of a subject or area of concern, which, supported by a literature review and secondary research can then be utilised for improving and informing social work practice.

Social Work Theory, Values and Ethics

You consolidate your understanding of social work theory and values, engaging you at a more critically reflective level to develop as ethical practitioners. You also centre on developing reflective practice through ethical decision making and a consideration of the organisational context of practice.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Teaching methods include group work and skills days, as well as lectures and seminars alongside practice-based learning opportunities.

How you are assessed

The BA (Hons) Social Work uses a number of assessment approaches including essays, group and individual presentations, am extended project, reports and assessment of skills in interacting with people with lived experiences, as well as being assessed on your knowledge and practice-based skills on placements.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

A typical offer is 112-128 tariff points from at least two A levels, T level or equivalent. You must also have a GCSE in English at grade 4 (grade C) or equivalent. You should include a personal statement to support an application to social work.

Subject to the academic requirements applicants will be invited to attend for interview and complete a timed written exercise (if successful at interview). Both parts must be passed.

You must confirm prior to interview/offer decision making that you have the ability to use basic IT including word processing, internet browsing and email.

As part of the admissions process you will need to:

  • complete a satisfactory Occupational Health Clearance (further details will be provided)
  • complete a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. You are strongly encouraged to enrol on the DBS updating service.
  • provide a satisfactory suitability assessment.

During the course and on completion you must declare any convictions, cautions or allegations to the University and relevant professional body prior to application for registration.

You need to have a full, valid UK driving licence, access to a car and insurance covering business use for most placement opportunities. Most local authorities we work with require this. Without it, your access to placements is potentially limited and we may be unable to arrange them on your behalf. This could impact your ability to complete the course.

You may be asked to sign a declaration confirming that you have access to a car with business insurance and a driving license, usually in your interview. You might also be required to provide evidence before or after enrolment.

If you are unable to drive or access transport due to individual circumstances, these can be considered and discussed at the interview.

IELTS entry requirements for international students is level 7.

How to prepare for your BA (Hons) Social Work interview
Social work is a professional qualification and a registered title and therefore the selection process is important as applicants need to demonstrate key skills in interpersonal and written communication and a beginning understanding of the varied role of the social worker. If you are thinking about doing social work, it is very important that you research the challenges and demands of the profession.


  • research the course and the University by looking at the website and, if possible, attend an open day
  • update yourself on current themes and issues in social work, and wider social issues by reading various sources of information. Good websites to research include: the 'what is social work' section of the BASW website, Social Care Institute for Excellence, and Community Care online
  • review relevant legislation and policy frameworks such as Working Together to Safeguard Children - GOV.UK; and Care and support statutory guidance - GOV.UK Get as much practical experience and information as you can
  • try and engage with a social worker - it will give you an insight into the realities of the sector, and information to discuss at interview.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

An honours degree in social work can lead to a long career as a professional social worker with adults or children. There are many job opportunities in local authority social work departments as well as voluntary sector organisations and increasingly new types of employers such as social enterprises and the private sector. The degree also provides you with transferable skills including report writing and interpersonal skills which can be applied across a range of graduate employment opportunities.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

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Professional accreditation

Achievement of BA (Hons) Social Work gives you eligibility to apply for registration as a social worker with Social Work England, the professional regulator. The course includes two assessed placements in social work settings. The placements will be in different settings with different service user groups and at least one placement will normally be in a statutory setting or in a placement where statutory work can be experienced.

Please note attendance is monitored during this programme.


Entry to 2024/25 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£17,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 3 years
  • UCAS code: L501 BA/SW
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 112-128 tariff points and interview

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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Service user and carer involvement

Service users and carers support all aspects of our students' lifecycle from recruitment to graduation.

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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