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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.
September 2024
3 years full-time
£9,250 (UK)*
£16,600 (INT)*
Course leader
BA Year 1 Programme Leader – Matthew Quaife

We are no longer accepting applications for this course for 2023. The next intake will be September 2024.

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 accredited by the Social Work England (SWE) – 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 organisations where you will undertake statutory tasks (local authorities and independent fostering agencies for example), you will learn what you need to know to succeed in your career. Our course is very well thought of by employers and we have an employability rating of 95% (The Complete University Guide, 2022).

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 SWE 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.

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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 Social Work England standards. You will undertake two professional placements within relevant agencies. These 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 Social Work England 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.


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

See the course specification for more information:

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. Standard entry requirements
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  4. Admissions and interview advice
  5. Employment-based students and graduate trainees
  1. UK
  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 accredited by Social Work England, 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.

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.

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.

  • Rachel Walsh

    Social Work BA 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

We’ll carefully manage any future changes to courses, or the support and other services available to you, if these are necessary because of things like changes to government health and safety advice, or any changes to the law.

Any decisions will be taken in line with both external advice and the University’s Regulations which include information on this.

Our priority will always be to maintain academic standards and quality so that your learning outcomes are not affected by any adjustments that we may have to make.

At all times we’ll aim to keep you well informed of how we may need to respond to changing circumstances, and about support that we’ll provide to you.

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