Social workers support society’s most vulnerable citizens and have a direct impact on peoples’ lives from infancy to old age.
Why study BA Social Work at Middlesex?
“Coming to Middlesex has been life-changing. I have met inspirational teachers and mentors; they have listened, acknowledged and supported me.”
Rachel Walsh, BA Social Work student
Endorsed by The College of Social Work and pending approval from the Health and Care Professions Council, our cutting-edge degree primes students with expert theoretical knowledge and the essential professional skills to flourish. You will learn to confidently collaborate with multiple service providers in sectors such as education, health, and probation services (a key element of the social worker’s role).
- Middlesex is consistently rated by organisations, including the Guardian, as a leading university for studying social work
- We have excellent relationships with local authorities across London, ensuring our course teaches the most current policy and practice in social work
- You will benefit from high levels of tutor contact time through extended teaching sessions, interactive workshop style seminars and e-learning resources
- Upon graduation you will be eligible to register as a qualified social worker
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Did you know
95% of our social work graduates, who find employment six months after graduation, are in a professional or managerial post.
What will you study?
Your studies will be focused towards enabling people at risk to live fulfilled and independent lives. In the first year you will build the professional acumen and communication skills required for effective social work and lay the foundations for the second and third years’ academic study and practice-based learning.
All modules are clearly structured to meet the Department of Health requirements for social work training. You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies and will be assessed against the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. The placements run concurrently with academic study. You will complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within an approved work based setting.
You will be allocated a tutor at the beginning of your course who you will meet regularly in tutor groups and who will also act as a link to your professional placements.
For further information about the social work profession, go to: http://www.basw.co.uk/social-work-careers/
What you will gain?
Upon graduation, you will be able to:
- Confidently present arguments based on available academic and practice evidence in specialist areas of social work practice.
- Confidently use advanced IT skills to carry out professional social work practice.
- Demonstrate an advanced ability to solve problems.
- Critically analyse the latest research findings and apply them to practice.
- Lifecourse developments (30 credits)
- Community project (30 credits)
- Preparation for professional practice: Foundation knowledge and skills (30 credits)
- Preparation for professional practice: Communication and lifelong learning skills (30 credits)
- Law for social workers (30 credits)
- Social work theories, interventions and practice (30 credits)
- Initial practice learning (30 credits)
- Approaches to health and social care research (30 credits)
- Final professional practice placement (30 credits)
- Critically reflecting on social work knowledge (30 credits)
- Specialist knowledge for professional practice (60 credits)
You can find more information about this course in the programme specification.
Teaching and learning
You will learn through research, reading and critical reflection, workshops, tutorials and class discussions, and will work on written assignments and reports, presentations and group assignments. You will record your development and progress in a logbook and will work on a project in your final year. You will also spend time on work placements.
You will be assessed through a wide range of assignments, including your final-year project, your portfolio, practical assessments, research, presentations, class discussions, case study analyses, observational visits and voluntary work. You will also submit written assignments, in which we will be looking both at your understanding of theory and your knowledge of its practical application.
You will need a minimum UCAS points threshold of 280 or equivalent. This is equivalent to grades BBC where three A-levels are taken and should be made up from level 3 qualifications rather than non-academic qualifications. For those entering via Access routes, we are looking for evidence in your application that you are expecting to obtain a merit in your award and in the reference from your tutor.
Competence in written and spoken English
Throughout the selection process we will be looking for successful applicants to demonstrate competence in written and spoken English and this is tested at the application stage and if you are shortlisted, you will be required to write a short essay on a current social issue under test conditions.
How to apply
Applications for UK and EU students should be made to UCAS – the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service. The institution code for Middlesex is M80, and the code name is MIDDX. You also need the code for the course you wish to apply for – this is L501 for this course.
International students are ineligible to apply for this course.
Admissions and interviews advice
Social work education is nationally currently a very popular choice and at Middlesex University we attract more than 1700 applicants each year. Our process aims to select those who are most likely to become confident, effective and safe practitioners, eligible to apply for registration with HCPC as a social worker and who are able to uphold a positive image of the social work profession. This includes recognising the importance of building a diverse group of professionals who are reflective of the communities and localities they will be serving.
The process takes a holistic approach in which we examine your intellectual capability for studying an academic and vocational qualification and your personal attributes, attitudes and abilities needed to demonstrate readiness to enter qualifying social work courses.
Our criteria for selection is assessed against agreed national criteria, based on the first level of the College of Social Work's Professional Capabilities Framework and agreed academic requirements using a range of methods. These include:
- An initial screening of your UCAS application against the academic entry requirements. Your personal statement and first reference also provide important indicators of your potential.
- A written test to evidence an acceptable level of literacy and ability to express the right attitudes and values for social work in relation to a social problem or issue in society.
- An individual interview to assess your motivation, strengths, relevant experience and background, aptitude for study and practice.
- Scrutiny of any ‘suitability’ issues and gathering of any further information required.
- A further practice reference
The stages of this process allow us to consider evidence from a range of sources and to make clear and confident decisions. All offers are conditional upon a satisfactory enhanced DBS check no matter how well you have done during the process. The team involved in recruitment and selection also includes service users, carers and social work practitioners.
All applicants must perform well in an individual interview to test their communication skills, motivation and commitment, understanding of social work and evaluation of their life and work experience. In exceptional circumstances were able to offer interviews of international applicants using equivalent interviewing methods, such as web cams or other video link facilities. The interview takes approximately 30 minutes.
If you are successful at interview, the final stage involves obtaining from you:
- Any further information in relation to your suitability (health checks, DBS, employer checks)
- Provision of your original educational qualification certificates
- Proof of identity (birth certificate, passport)
- A satisfactory enhanced CRB consistent with the information provided on your suitability form.
Please note that we do not allow appeals against academic or professional judgment in respect of admissions decisions unless there has been a procedural irregularities.
Please note that we do not normally accommodate transfers from another social work programme.
How can I prepare myself for the interviews and also the course?
You can do some research on the roles of social work and some background reading about current issues faced by the social work and the social care workforce. You will be asked to reflect on the relevance of your own professional or personal experiences and their relevance to becoming a social work professional. You can find out more about social work and social care issues from the websites of the British Association of Social Workers, the College of Social Work and Social Care Institute for Excellence.
We strongly advise applicants to be familiar with the different contexts in which social work can occur as it is a very versatile and fluid profession responding to changing need. The more direct experience you have through voluntary or paid work in social care, the better.
Employment Based Students and Graduate Trainees
We receive a lot of enquiries from applicants about this route to the social work degree. Please note that this is not an alternative part time route as social work cannot be studied part time. This route has been agreed with our partner agencies in London who sponsor their employees to undertake the social work qualification. If you are working in a Local Authority or Trust and are interested in training as a social worker then your first point of call should be your workforce development manager or learning and development manager to establish the opportunities available through them, and the process of application. Similarly, some employers recruit graduates into their own local schemes, so you should look out for the advertisements in the press such as Community Care or The Guardian, and apply directly.
If you are working in the voluntary sector and your employer has indicated their willingness to support your training then they should make contact with us in the first instance so that we can establish that they are able to meet the partnership requirements for employment based students. These are very stringent and include for example:
- The willingness to pay your course fees in full for the duration of the course
- The ability to release you for a minimum of two days per week to attend the university teaching during term time
- The ability to release you from your normal place of employment to complete the two practice learning placements (70 days and 100 days)
- The ability to find you a placement and a practice assessor and to fund this (there is a small subsidy available on completion)
- The agreement of a formal contract as part of your overall employment which includes the provision of the above, study leave and support and maintenance of your normal salary, leave and working conditions
- In addition we would welcome partners attendance at our regular partnership forums and to provide a liaison persons in the organisation for students on the programme
What are the career options with a degree in Social Work?
There are a wide variety of career choices for qualified social workers including roles within the voluntary sector, such as advocacy and community work, or as an independent practitioner role. Social work skills are also valued in the private sector, NHS and local authorities. Job prospects are excellent consistently high graduate employability rates.
Roles undertaken include working with adults, such as the mentally ill, disabled and the elderly; with children and families and within the criminal justice system. Salary progression is excellent and the average starting salary for our graduates is £29k.
Our BA Social Work graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles in local authorities including: London Borough of Barnet, London Borough of Enfield, Haringey Council, and East Sussex County Council.
What about work placements?
You will complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within an approved work based setting. This is spread over two placements – one for 100 days, and the other for 70 days.
Our key partners include: the London Boroughs of Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Barnet and Enfield. We also have partnership arrangements with other local authorities including: Hammersmith and Fulham, Hackney, Islington and Camden, and a range of local third sector organisations.
Work experience in the form of placements and internships greatly improve graduate employment prospects, and students who take part achieve excellent academic results through applying their learning in a professional setting.
Our specialist Employability Service and London location ensure that every year our students and graduates gain prestigious placement opportunities.
What support is available?
Our Employability Service can help you to develop your employability skills and get some valuable work experience. We provide workshops, events and one to one support with job hunting, CVs, covering letters, interviews, networking and so on. We also support you in securing part-time work, placements, internships, and volunteering opportunities, and offer an enterprise support service for those looking to start their own business. Find out more here.
What about professional accreditation?
This degree is approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, which is the statutory body regulating the social work profession. This means the course is professionally recognised for being of the highest quality, focused on developing the knowledge and skills that employers require.
What our students say
BA Social Work student
“Throughout the course I have really enjoyed studying Social Policy, Methods and Models and Contexts and Applications; they’ve given me a good understanding of psychological theories and counselling skills, which prior to the course I only had a limited knowledge of. I have also been very lucky to secure an opportunity to work at a Youth Offending Service during my final placement which will help in my ambition to work in youth justice.
“Coming to Middlesex has been a life-changing experience for me. I have had the opportunity to meet some inspirational teachers and mentors; they have listened, acknowledged and supported me through the ups-and-downs of balancing studies and family life, which is extremely important when you’re a mature student.”