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Social Work admissions documents

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  rigorous and thorough. We select those who demonstrate a combination of personal, academic and professional skills and attributes that social work requires.

Please read the below in full as it will help you to prepare for your interview.

Interview Guidance

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:

  1. Demonstrate your suitability for social work training (i.e. the knowledge, values, personal characteristics or attributes and skills, gained through education/work/personal experience), which align with the Professional Capabilities for Social Work entry level expectations: Point of entry to training / BASW

  2. Demonstrate evidence of a service user/carer/person-being-helped e.g. a commitment to working in partnership and co-production

  3. Demonstrate knowledge and awareness gained through previous academic study, reading and other sources of information relevant to social work and social work training

  4. Demonstrate a level of literacy and numeracy, commensurate with Social Work England (SWE) and Middlesex University entry requirements for undergraduate or postgraduate study. Further details on qualifications and entry criteria

  5. Demonstrate an ability to communicate clearly and accurately. These requirements will be assessed in the UCAS personal statement, entry qualification requirements and during the interview.

  6. Demonstrate a sufficient level of personal suitability and ‘fitness’ appropriate for academic study and professional practice placements (subject to provisions of the Equality Act 2010). You will be required to complete a Declaration of Suitability for Social Work, online and provide signed consent for Middlesex University to contact your General Practitioner, if so required, as part of appropriate and proportionate assessments of suitability for professional training. You will also be required to inform Middlesex University of any health-related problems that may impact on your ability to continue safely and effectively with academic study and professional practice placements whilst enrolled on the Social Work Programmes.

  7. Be prepared to undertake an enhanced DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service) check [previously known as Criminal Records Bureau CRB check] and declare, for example, any criminal convictions or police cautions received prior to interview.  Please be aware that candidates whose applications are successful will have to meet the cost of the enhanced DBS check. Our Next Steps information gives more guidance for you.

  8. Demonstrate key motivations for undertaking social work training at this particular point in time, and an initial awareness of the realities of contemporary social work practice in the UK

  9. Outline the preparations you'll make to deal with the demands of social work training and academic study

  10. Consider any questions you may wish to ask at your interview and consider the pre-interview tasks you need to undertake before your 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 lack of genuine commitment or motivation.

The Social Work and Admissions teams wish you every success with your application and interview! Good luck!

Your Social Work Interview

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 being shortlisted at the UCAS stage – 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.

Social Work Interview Essentials

You will be able to book an interview slot for either 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.

If we make you an offer to study Social Work, a DBS check will also be completed when you enrol, please see the next steps page for more information.

Reading before your interview

An introductory reading list has been included 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.

  • Pre-Interview Task 1

    Before your interview you must read the short chapter ‘What is Social Work?’ from Neil Thompson’s ‘Understanding Social Work’. The PDF link can be found here. Please read the chapter in full, take notes as we will be asking you at interview of your understanding of social work roles and tasks. you may want to also refer to other reading from the reading list provided below.

  • Pre-Interview Task 2

    Before your interview you must watch this very short video on person-centred care. At interview you will be asked about person-centred practice in social work so you might want to make some notes from the film and read more on this topic.

Further interview preparation

Below are some further issues and concepts you might want to think and read about before your 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:

  • Working with challenging behaviour
  • Feeling anxious
  • Needing to act assertively/authoritatively
  • Looking back on the situation, what might you have done differently, and what did you learn from it?
  • How did you endeavour to work in partnership with the service user/carer/ person being helped?
  • What aspects of your own background (e.g. age, gender, sexual identity, physical abilities, class, race and ethnicity) are important to you?
  • How do you react to those who differ from yourself in these respects, and why are these aspects important in social work practice?
  • What is meant by anti-discriminatory practice?

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, your referee, or a friend, so you can discuss them during the interview.

Equality and Diversity

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.

Get in touch

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.

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