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Social Work BA Honours

With placement opportunities across north London, this hands-on Social Work degree will help you 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

Why choose Social Work BA Honours at Middlesex?

94% of students were positive about the quality of teaching on their course – National Student Survey, 2023.

With a high demand for qualified social workers, this approved programme will give you the skills to build a career enabling people at risk to live fulfilled and independent lives. You will learn from a dynamic social work curriculum co-designed by academics, service users and practice partners. A supportive and friendly teaching team with ongoing links to social work practice will guide you every step of the way.

What you will gain

After graduating you will be able to register as a Social Worker with Social Work England. You will be confident in communicating effectively with a range of service users and professionals in various situations. You'll be able to present arguments confidently based on academic evidence in specialist areas of social work practice.

You'll acquire strong problem-solving skills, advanced IT skills and will be able to critically analyse the latest research findings. You will be able to apply these skills in a variety of social work settings.

We have over 145 years of experience delivering professional, creative and technical education that prepares students – like you – for success in global careers, so find out more today.


This degree is approved by Social Work England (SWE), the statutory body regulating the social work profession.

SWE believes in the power of collaboration and shares a common goal with those they regulate – to protect the public, enable positive change and ultimately improve people’s lives. ​

Social Work England has created professional, education and training standards in partnership with everyone interested in social work, including Middlesex University. These standards set out the requirements that they expect social workers and social work courses to meet.

This course is professionally recognised for being of the highest quality, focusing on developing the knowledge and skills that employers require.

What you will learn

With the social work sector expanding rapidly, there’s never been a better time to enter a career that will positively impact some of society’s most vulnerable people.

Through a mix of teaching sessions, interactive workshops and e-learning resources, you’ll become familiar with current law, policies and theory, and be able to communicate effectively with service providers, service users and their carers.

A huge part of this course is on-the-job learning through work placements where you'll get to grips with what it's actually like to do the job of a social worker.

By joining us on this hands-on and fulfilling course, you'll benefit from:

  • Research active academic and innovative teaching: several academics hold Senior Fellowship status that recognises their dynamic approaches to teaching, learning and assessment.
  • Personalised support throughout your course from your academic advisor
  • Excellent career prospects: our graduates have an average starting salary of £30k+, and have gone on to work in a wide variety of roles across London boroughs and further afield
  • The opportunity to apply to Social Work England to register as a qualified social worker once you graduate.

3 great reasons to pick this course

  • 97% of students were positive About the learning resources and facilities on their course – National Student Survey, 2023
  • Gain relevant experience
    Our course includes opportunities to undertake statutory tasks in organisations such as local authorities and independent fostering agencies
  • Excellent employment prospects
    Our course is very well thought of by employers - we have an employability rating of 95%  – The Complete University Guide, 2022

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In your first year, you will gain professional insight and communication skills required for effective social work and lay the foundations for your second and third years of academic study and practice-based learning.

All modules, and the programme as a whole, are clearly structured to meet Social Work England's Professional Standards. You will undertake two professional placements in contrasting settings in years two and three. These usually run concurrently with academic study.

You will be allocated an academic advisor at the start of your course who will meet with you regularly in tutor groups and who will also act as a link to your professional placements.

Year 1

In your first year, you will undertake a child observation task, undertake a research project in your community and develop the communication skills required for your first placement in year two.

Year 2

In your second year, you will learn new research skills, understand the law that underpins social work, consider how theory applies to social work practice, and undertake your first, 70-day practice placement.

Year 3

In your final year, you will complete your final, 100-day placement, undertake a research project in your chosen area of practice and further enhance your skills in applying theory to practice. By the end of year 3 you will be ready to graduate and qualify as a Social Worker.


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.

To find out more about this course, please download the full specifications:

We review our courses regularly to improve your experience and graduate prospects so modules may be subject to change.

  1. Teaching and learning
  2. Assessment and feedback
  1. UK entry
  2. International entry
  3. How to apply


These fees are for 2024/25:

UK students1

Full-time: £9,250

Part-time: £77 per taught credit

International students2

Full-time students: £16,600

Part-time students: £138 per taught credit

Additional costs

The following study tools are included in your fees:

  • Free access to the resources, learning materials and software you need to succeed on your course
  • Free laptop loans for up to 24 hours
  • Free printing for academic paperwork
  • Free online training with LinkedIn Learning.

Scholarships and bursaries

To help make uni affordable, we do everything we can to support you including our:

MDX Excellence Scholarship offers grants of up to £2,000 per year for UK students

Regional or International Merit Awards which reward International students with up to £2,000 towards course fees

Student Starter Kit. Get help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad. MDX Student Starter Kit.

Find out more about undergraduate funding and all of our scholarships and bursaries.

Fees disclaimers

1. UK fees: The university reserves the right to increase undergraduate tuition fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions. The tuition fees for part-time UK study are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

2. International fees: Tuition fees are subject to annual review and we reserve the right to increase the fees each academic year by no more than the level of inflation.

Any annual increase in tuition fees as provided for above will be notified to students at the earliest opportunity in advance of the academic year to which any applicable inflationary rise may apply.

How can the BA Social Work support your career?

There are a wide variety of career choices for qualified social workers, including roles within local authorities, the voluntary sector or as independent practitioners.

Social work skills are also valued in the private sector, NHS and local authorities. Job prospects are excellent with consistently high graduate employability rates.

Graduate job roles

Roles undertaken include working with adults and their carers, with disabilities, mental health problems and social isolation. Salary progression is excellent and the average starting salary for our graduates is £30k+.

Graduate employers

Our BA Social Work graduates have gone on to work in a wide range of roles in local authorities including the London Borough of Barnet, London Borough of Enfield, Haringey Council, and East Sussex County Council.

Employability support

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 and networking. 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.

The Sheppard Library

Our library is open 24 hours a day during the term and includes:

  • Over 1,000 study areas with rooms for group study and over 600 computer spaces
  • 350,000 books and e-books and more than 24,000 online journals
  • Free laptop loans, Wi-Fi and printing.

Student support

We offer lots of support to help you while you're studying including financial advice, wellbeing, mental health, and disability support.

Additional needs

We'll support you if you have additional needs such as sensory impairment or dyslexia. And if you want to find out whether Middlesex is the right place for you before you apply, get in touch with our Disability and Dyslexia team.


Our specialist teams will support your mental health. We have free individual counselling sessions, workshops, support groups and useful guides.

Work while you study

Our Middlesex Unitemps branch will help you find work that fits around uni and your other commitments. We have hundreds of student jobs on campus that pay the London Living Wage and above. Visit the Middlesex Unitemps page.

Financial support

You can apply for scholarships and bursaries and our MDX Student Starter Kit to help with up to £1,000 of goods, including a new laptop or iPad.

We have also reduced the costs of studying with free laptop loans, free learning resources and discounts to save money on everyday things. Check out our guide to student life on a budget.

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 Helen Hingley-Jones
Associate Professor (Research & Teaching) Social Work

Director of Programmes for Undergraduate and Postgraduate Social Work, Professional Lead for Social work and Department Research Degrees Co-ordinator

BSc (Hons) Anthropology, MSc Social Work, CQSW, Dip Psychodynamic Counselling, PG Cert HE, PD Social Work, SFHEA. Helen has worked extensively in child and family social work, specialising in work with disabled children and their families. She gained her Professional Doctorate in Social Work from the Tavistock, researching the experiences of severely learning disabled teenagers and their families using observational methods. Helen has taught at Middlesex University and the Tavistock Centre at undergraduate, postgraduate and research degree levels for many years and has extensive experience of leading and developing social work programmes. Teaching interests extend across life course studies, theory and practice integration, social work skills, childhood disability and clinical practice. She has published on observational research methodologies, childhood disability, relationship-based practice, social work pedagogy, the impact of austerity and special guardianship.

Matthew Quaife
Senior lecturer Social Work, BA Social Work Year 1 & 2 Programme Lead & Admissions Tutor for Social Work

MSc Mental Health Studies, PGDip Advanced Mental Health Practice, BA (Hons) Politics, PG Cert Higher Education, DipSW. Matthew has a strong practice background in adult mental health having worked as a Social Worker, Approved Mental Health Professional and Best Interest Assessor in central London for over ten years. Matthew is also Level 1 & 2 Practice Educator qualified. He worked as a Consultant Social Worker managing a unit of social work students in a statutory mental health setting. In a voluntary capacity, Matthew escorted vulnerable refugees to the UK as part of the UK’s Gateway Resettlement Programme via the IOM. Matthew has published research on older people in long term care with suicidal and self-harm behaviours. He is currently undertaking a research project on an evaluation of a mentoring scheme for Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Social Workers.

Niall Daly
Lecturer Social Work, BA Social Work Year 3 Programme Lead

Niall Dalyis an experienced consultant social worker having worked in an Out of Hours Service in London for many years. Niall has a BA (Hons) in Social Science and is active in his own Continuing Professional Development as an advanced practitioner. Niall is a qualified Social Worker and Approved Mental Health Practitioner. Niall’s teaching expertise is with developing expert practice, supporting students preparing for practice and working with risk and decision making.

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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