Social Work BA Honours | Middlesex University London
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Social Work BA Honours

Develop the skills and resilience to make an impact in the lives of some of society's most vulnerable people.
Code
L501
Start
September 2020
Duration
3 years full-time
Attendance
Full-time
Fees
£9,250 (UK/EU) *
£13,400 (INT) *
Course leader
Sarah Lewis-Brooke

Why study social work with us

With the social work sector expanding rapidly, there’s never been a better time to develop your communication, resilience and organisation skills to enter a career that will make a positive impact on some of society’s most vulnerable people.

Our social work degree – which is fully approved by the Health and Care Professions Council – has been designed and revised to give you the knowledge and professional skills to succeed in the field of social work. Through a mix of teaching sessions, interactive workshops and e-learning resources, you’ll familiarise yourself with the most current policies and practices, and build the skills and knowledge to collaborate confidently and effectively with a range of service providers, service users and their carers.

As part of this course, you'll learn during workshops, tutorials and discussions, as well as writing reports, presentations and working as part of groups. You'll reflect on what you learn in your journal, and work towards your final year project where you research an area you are really passionate about.

A huge part of this course includes learning on the job during a work placement. Over the course of two placements, you will get to grips with what it's actually like to do the job of a social worker. Embedded in places like Tower Hamlets, Haringey, Barnet, Enfield and other local authorities, you will learn what you need to know to succeed in your career.

Build your hands-on practical skills

Our staff are research active, with several holding Middlesex University or National Teaching Fellowship status that recognises their innovative approaches to teaching, learning and assessment – so you can rest assured you’ll get the support you need to succeed in your studies.

Our excellent relationships with a range of local authorities, and voluntary and independent sector organisations across London means you’ll have access to a range of valuable work placements and internship opportunities.

We’ve recently gained a prestigious teaching partnership with four local authority partners and a voluntary agency – so you’ll be able to take advantage of a range of new work placement opportunities.

Once you’ve graduated from our social work course, you’ll be able to apply to the HCPC to register as a qualified social worker.

Get the support you need to succeed

You’ll get plenty of support throughout your course from your Personal Tutor to your Graduate Academic Assistant. Each one has studied your subject and will provide the support you need based on their own experience. If you need a little help with writing, numeracy or library skills, we can help with that too.

With a career that gives you excellent salary progression, our graduates have an average starting salary of £29k, and have gone on to work in a wide variety of roles for the likes of London Borough of Barnet, London Borough of Enfield, Haringey Council, and East Sussex County Council.


Find out more

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What will you study on the BA Social Work?

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, and the programme as a whole, are clearly structured to meet the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC). You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies and will be assessed against the HCPC Standards of Proficiency (social work) and British Association of Social Work (BASW) Professional Capability Framework. The placements usually run concurrently with academic study. You will complete 170 days of assessed practice learning within two approved and contrasting settings. In at least one of your placements, you will gain experience of statutory roles and tasks.

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.

Please visit The British Association of Social Workers for further information about the social work profession.

What you will gain?

Upon graduation, you will be able to communicate effectively with a range of service users and professionals in a variety of contexts and confidently present arguments based on available academic and practice evidence in specialist areas of social work practice. You will be able to confidently use advanced IT skills to carry out professional social work practice and demonstrate an advanced ability to solve problems and to apply this skill to professional practice. You will also critically analyse the latest research findings and apply them to practice.

Modules

We recommend the following useful preparatory texts and resources for both incoming students and interested applicants.

  • Year 1

    • Life-course Developments (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module introduce the broad theories of human growth and development across the life course. It facilitate your understanding of the application and relevance of theories of human growth and development to social work practice and explore the influences of early life experiences in later life. It supports you to critically review and appraise the impact of diversity, differences and structural inequalities on people over the life course, focusing particularly on key transitional processes from birth to late adulthood.

    • Community Project (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module equips you with an understanding of the social problems you may encounter in your practice placements in years two and three of the programme. It offers the opportunity to develop a range of direct skills through active enquiry, synthesis and evaluation of information about the socio-economic and political realities in your chosen community. You will be encouraged to be creative by using innovative approaches to enhance your understanding of issues important to contemporary social work practice.

    • Preparation for Professional Practice: Foundation Knowledge and Skills (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module gives an overview of the purpose, complexity and breadth of social work knowledge and practice from three perspectives: service users/carers, professional colleagues and the requirements of the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) as the statutory regulator. It provides a foundation level of knowledge and skills, enabling you to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills to demonstrate readiness for practice. This includes an introduction to safeguarding, legislation, social work theory, assessment and intervention models and organisational contexts. It supports you in developing an understanding of diversity and equality in social work practice and the integration of social work values in working with disadvantage, poverty and sustainability. You will explore the interface between one's own values and those of the profession.

    • Preparation for Professional Practice: Professional Development and Communication (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module develops communication skills relevant for professional practice and promotes your potential for lifelong learning at the beginning of your career as a social worker by introducing the Professional Capabilities Framework and the concept of personal development planning.

  • Year 2

    • Law for Social Workers (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module provides you with an understanding of the structure, organisation and processes of the English legal system including comprehensive knowledge and understanding of all four major areas of law for social work practice (children and families, mental health, community care and youth justice). You will begin to learn how to differentiate and to work with absolute, qualified and competing rights, and the differing needs and perspectives that arise during social work assessment and interventions alongside their first practice learning placement. You will also gain skills in understanding how to use the law positively and effectively and in selecting relevant aspects of the legislation to practice situations whilst promoting people's rights and begin to identify some of the ethical dilemmas that inevitably arise with legal interventions

    • Social Work Theories, Interventions and Practice (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to explore the nature of social work knowledge, critically analysing contemporary practice theories and their interrelationships to social work assessment and intervention. It supports you in further developing your practice skills and intervention techniques, and assists you in developing insightful, exploratory and creative practice approaches. It also supports you to enhance and develop your direct communication skills and begin to apply professional ethical standards and values, incorporating service user/carer perspectives.

    • Initial Professional Practice Placement - 70 days (30 credits) - Compulsory

      You will complete 70 days direct experience of practice in an agency setting under the supervision of a Practice Educator. By the end of the first placement, you will be able to evidence effective use of knowledge, skills and commitment to core values in social work in predominantly less complex situations, with supervision and support. You will have demonstrated your ability to work with people and situations where there may not be simple clear-cut solutions.

    • Approaches to Health and Social Care Research (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This interprofessional module introduces those from health and social care related subjects to the process of health and social care research. It is a professional requirement for those working in health and social care related disciplines to underpin your knowledge with research and evidence-based practice. Professionals need to be able to access research findings, and through an understanding of the research process and methodology, be able to critique research and apply this knowledge to practice.

  • Year 3

    • Final Professional Practice Placement - 100 days (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to meet the PCF final placement level domains and the HCPC standards of proficiency through completing 100 days direct experience of practice in an agency setting under the supervision of a Practice Educator. By the end of the last placement and at the completion of qualifying programmes, you will have demonstrated the knowledge, skills and values to work with a range of user groups, and demonstrate the ability to undertake a range of tasks at a foundation level, demonstrating the capacity to work with more complex situations and in working with resistant service users within a statutory framework.

    • Social Work Knowledge: Application and Critique (30 credits) - Compulsory

      This module enables you to explore the nature of social work knowledge, critically analysing contemporary practice theories and their interrelationships to social work assessment and intervention. It supports you in further developing your practice skills and intervention techniques. It assists you in developing insightful, exploratory and creative practice approaches. It also facilitates your exploration of ethical models of decision making and relate these ideas to the enhancement of your own ethical social work practice.

  • Year 3 Optional modules - choose 1 of the following:

    • Specialist Knowledge for Professional Practice (Social Work with Adults) (60 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to develop advanced in-depth knowledge and practice skill through a variety of different theoretical and practice perspectives underpinned by casework examples and research findings. You will develop holistic approaches to working with adults through examining a wide range of service delivery contexts and addressing transitions that need to be considered when service users and their families/carers receive support from more than one agency, or move from one service to another. You will examine interdisciplinary approaches across a diverse range of models of service delivery and legislative frameworks, and scrutinise key policy and specialist practice issues with a strong focus on statutory roles, duties and responsibilities around safeguarding. You will develop expertise in a practice theme as a subject for systematic review, research and evaluation via the research dissertation.

    • Specialist Knowledge for Professional Practice (Child and Family Social Work) (60 credits) - Optional

      This module enables you to develop advanced in-depth knowledge and practice skill through a variety of different theoretical and practice perspectives underpinned by casework examples and research findings. You will develop holistic approaches to working with children and families through examining a wide range of service delivery contexts and addressing transitions that need to be considered when service users and their families/carers receive support from more than one agency, or move from one service to another. You will examine interdisciplinary approaches, scrutinise key policy and specialist practice issues with a strong focus on statutory roles, duties and responsibilities regarding child safeguarding and parenting capacity. You will develop expertise in a child and family practice theme selected by yourself as a subject for systematic review, research and evaluation via the research dissertation.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are usually available at levels 5 and 6, although optional modules are not offered on every course. Where optional modules are available, you will be asked to make your choice during the previous academic year. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

  1. Overview
  2. Teaching and learning
  3. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Admissions and interview advice
  5. Employment-based students and graduate trainees
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs

How can the BA Social Work support your career?

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 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.

Professional accreditation

This degree is pending approval approved by the Health and Care Professions Council, which is the statutory body regulating the social work profession. The degree has already been endorsed by The College of Social Work. This means the course is professionally recognised for being of the highest quality, focused on developing the knowledge and skills that employers require.

Dr Lucille Allain
Associate Professor (Practice) Social Work

Dr Allain is Director of Programmes, Social Work and teaches undergraduate and postgraduate social work students and experienced practitioners undertaking CPD programmes. She holds an MSc Social Research Methods, a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education and a Postgraduate Certificate in Health and Social Services Management.

Lucille is a professionally registered social worker with the HCPC and has over 20 years' experience working in the fields of child protection and looked after children in London local authorities. She worked as a social worker, team manager and strategic commissioning manager before moving to a joint appointment role with Middlesex University and Barnet Council. There she successfully developed a postgraduate social work trainee scheme for a number of London boroughs. Lucille has worked at Middlesex University for over 10 years and has also led social work at the University of East London in the role of Associate Dean.

Dr Trish Hafford-Letchfield
Professor of Social Care

Following a long professional career as a nurse and social worker, Dr Hafford-Letchfield became involved in management and academia, where she actively works with issues of intersectionality and equality in social work and social care, particularly in regards to ageing in marginalised communities. Her most recent research investigates the growing number of women without children living alone in later life, and the socio-economic, emotional and psychological issues they experience.

Dr Linda Bell
Associate Professor, School of Health and Education

Dr Bell has a background in anthropological research and has taught research methods to professional students at Middlesex University for a number of years. She has also been a researcher at King's College (London University), University College London and the London School of Economics (where she was previously a librarian).

Linda has researched various aspects of health, social care/social work and families. She is a member of the Middlesex University Social Policy Research Centre, and the Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (DARC). She is also a member of the British Sociological Association, the BSA Medical Sociology Group and the international Women's Workshop on Family/Household Qualitative Research, with which she has published several books. She is currently (June 2015) co-editing a special issue of the journal 'Women's Studies International Forum' with members of the Workshop.

Sarah Lewis-Brooke
Senior Lecturer Social Work

Sarah Lewis-Brooke has been a qualified social worker for 27 years, specialising in children and families’ social work and in particular, fostering, adoption and permanency. She has taught on this programme for 9 years. Sarah is research active and has recently worked on a research project that has set up an innovative service for birth mothers who have their children permanently removed. She is also interested in research into innovative pedagogies and is currently researching developing students’ ability to develop inclusive practice with LGBT people.

  • Christine Walker

    Social Work BA student

    Currently, I am a care worker and was at the time when I started the degree. By becoming a social worker I will be able to support individuals, represent people in both statutory and non-statutory situations, and gain the academic knowledge to inform practice. I will be able to identify and differentiate my ethical and emotional decisions when advocating for service users to enable appropriate interventions.

    My placement provided me with a practical experience by being hands-on with service users. I had the opportunity to work with individuals with diverse, social, racial and financial needs which required different types of interventions by taking appropriate actions or just being someone for service users to share their stories with. By working alongside staff members and volunteers from different organisations, I have gained experience of working with other professionals, with an approach to achieving a goal to support the service users.

    Through my weekly supervisions I am able to identify my strengths and weaknesses when working with different types of personalities and people from different backgrounds. By attending seminar groups and weekly supervisions as well as doing daily reflections, I have improved my skills and knowledge.

    I aspire to attend relevant workshops in and outside university, which are designed to help build my confidence in all situations. I will continue to volunteer my services to individuals who need my support to meet social needs. I plan to seek as many routes possible that can help me build my capabilities for future practice.

  • Adedoyin Akinlabi

    Social Work BA student

    I chose to study Social Work because I am very passionate about supporting people and working with vulnerable people.

    Every aspect of the course has been useful as I become a well-rounded carer able to support my service users.  Without the knowledge acquired at lectures, I wouldn’t have known what to do at placement. My placement gave me opportunity to work with real human beings and not case studies, and enabled me to put theory into practice and test out hypotheses. It gave me the opportunity to practice with guidance from a more experienced social worker which helped build my confidence. Reflection time during the placement helped me unpick my feelings and actions of the day which developed my critical thinking and ability to understand myself better. The placement has taught me to be a reflective practitioner and to be open to learn from others.

    The biggest challenge for me was the adaptation period in the first year because the last time I did a rigorous study was 1988 when I finished my first degree. However, I enjoy studying and I hope to continue to develop myself through various Continuous Professional Development courses in my chosen career.

  • Ieva Stropute

    Social Work BA student

    I have always been passionate about helping people and working with them. I did various volunteering and paid work experiences before joining Middlesex where I had various opportunities to work alongside social workers in communities and hospitals. I admired their compassion, non-judgmental work and critical thinking under pressure.

    I chose Middlesex University for various reasons, from the way they organise the course to the way they reinvest so much back to the University itself. Social work gives me invaluable skills and knowledge as well as the great opportunity to practice my skills and knowledge on two practice placements. Moreover, the lecturers and staff are always there to offer support.

    I really enjoyed the Law, Theories and Research modules. I also like the way the course is structured; having a lecture followed by an interactive seminar as we get an opportunity to critically discuss the topics and ask questions. The placements have helped me practice my skills and apply theory to practice. It also gave me with the opportunity to learn about different settings in which social work operates and I’m able to fill any gaps in my knowledge so I can continually develop.

    I am enjoying the challenging nature of the course and am also enjoying the process of learning to become a professional who is knowledgeable, reliable and resilient.

  • Senem Keser

    Social Work BA student

    After many years of working in finance, I decided to go into a different career path as I felt I never fitted into the job description of a banker but loved facing people and helping them. I started as a support worker with adults with care needs but then moved into focusing on social work.

    The teaching and the experiences I gained during my placement have been the best things on this course. You are pushed to your best. I learn best in practice, but the theory, law, and models we studied helped me make sense of what evidence based practice really was. The placement helped me build on what I’d learnt throughout the year and I was able to put theory into practice. It really developed my confidence.

  • Desiree Cox

    Social Work BA student

    I chose to study social work as I wanted a rewarding career which can promote change. I am aware that social work is a big field and social workers are needed in society today. I feel the staff are very supportive, and I am sure that I can obtain help if needed. The library has a wide range of relevant books and offers free printing. I find the course exciting and I am learning a lot throughout the course so far, through various learning techniques such as group work/discussion, role plays and child observation.

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