Social work is a profession in which we have very privileged opportunities to work with people who are often at their most vulnerable, and in circumstances in which rights and obligations may be conflicting. For this reason, selection processes are rightly rigorous and thorough so that the very best opportunities are provided to select those who possess the unique combination of personal, academic and professional attributes that social work requires.
You will be required to submit a written work (essay) which will assess the following:
If you successfully pass the essay and you will then be invited for an online interview.
When you are offered an interview for our Social Work programmes, you are expected to demonstrate your suitability for social work training. The following items are some of the key things expected to be evidenced during the selection process. We hope you will find them especially useful in clarifying our entry requirements and your own expectations:
Interviews are important opportunities for you to see whether you would enjoy spending the duration of your course with us, and for us to assess your suitability in a holistic way.
You will have succeeded in passing the written work prior to interview – well done! However, it is a reality that there are more applicants for places than we can make offers to. In order to provide you with the very best possible opportunities to demonstrate your potential and actual ability, we have designed a rigorous, but fair process and all applicants will be assessed against the same standards.
Please note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions, it's likely that interviews will be online unless the situation changes during the admissions round. Therefore campus tours will be offered virtually.
You will be able to book times slot for an interview in the morning or afternoon. Individual interviews are carried out by panels comprised of university tutors, ‘Involve’ service users and carers, and local employers/practitioners. Each interview will last approximately 25 minutes.
You will also be asked to produce a photo ID (i.e. a current passport or a UK driving license) to show to the interview panel.
You will be notified of the outcome of your interview via UCAS within 7-10 workings days. We are unable to provide feedback on the interview day itself because of the need to review all paperwork.
A DBS check will also be carried out, please see the next steps page for more information.
In relation to the above, here are some suggestions for the kinds of issues which you may wish to spend some time considering and be prepared to discuss during your individual interview.
These are not specific interview questions that you will be asked, but rather examples to give you an idea of the type and depth of questions that may occur:
An introductory reading list has been included with the documents on the web-page where this guidance is located in order to give you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with some of the knowledge, skills and values relevant to social work practice.
You are not expected to have read them all! However, during the interview you will be asked to refer to any reading undertaken to demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of social work practice and to evidence your motivation.
It is therefore important that you prepare by reading some of the recommended list. Identifying and carrying out relevant reading helps to evidence your commitment and motivation and also enables a more thorough assessment of your intellectual readiness to be undertaken at interview.
Think through a particular situation you have encountered (with an individual/group/agency). For example, if you have been faced with the following situations, how did you react? An honest answer will benefit you and help identify learning needs:
Looking back on the situation, what might you have done differently, and what did you learn from it? (this is often referred to as 'reflective practice' within social work)
You may find making some notes on these topics helpful. Think through these topics and perhaps discuss them in advance of the interview with a social work colleague, your supervisor or social work referee, or a friend, so you can discuss them during the interview.
The recruitment process can be highly competitive so you should prepare to perform to the best of your ability. A lack of preparation may be interpreted as a lack of genuine commitment or motivation.
We believe that opportunities to participate in higher education should be provided to all those with demonstrable ability to benefit. We also recognise the benefits, to the University and to the wider community, of recruiting a diverse population of students and aims, in so doing, to widen and deepen access to Higher Education.
Our admissions procedures reflect these beliefs and is outlined in our policy document.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish you success with your application.
If you have any queries, please email the Admissions Tutor Matthew Quaife.