Social Welfare Law, Policy And Advice Practice BA (Hons)

Students in lecture theatre
UCAS code LL4M
Location Stoke-on-Trent Campus
Duration 3 Years

2017/18 New Entrants, Full Time

  • Home and EU students: £9,250 per year of study
  • International students: £10,900 per year of study
Course start September
LocationModeStart dateApply
Stoke-on-Trent CampusFull-time2017/18 Academic YearApply via UCAS

Course outline

The advice and voluntary sectors are growing, this course gives you the opportunity to join an expanding group of support workers in a variety of fields or to develop your existing skills. There is a range of employment opportunities open to graduates including the Citizens Advice Bureau or in voluntary organisations providing advice and support to specific client groups, such as older people and specialised agencies in areas such as consumer protection, debt advice, housing advice, and immigration advice. There are also Local Authority Advice Services, Government Agencies, and housing providers.


Course Fees and Finance

The expected study pattern on this programme enables you to complete modules totalling 120 credits in your first year of study and the other 240 credits, split equally over your second and third years of study. If you follow this pattern of study you will pay a fee of £9,250 for your first year in 2017/18. The fee for your second and third year of study will be broadly the same, except that an inflationary uplift may apply each year.*

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.


Undergraduate Loans:

UK and EU students who are studying for their first undergraduate degree may not have to pay these fees up front. For eligible students a loan is available from the Student Loans Company to cover the cost of tuition so you don't have to find the money to pay your tuition costs before or while you are studying. You won't have to start repaying the loan until you are earning more than (currently) £21,000 a year.

A loan is also available for part-time students studying at least 25% (30 credits) per year.

However, if you already hold a degree, or another qualification at the same level, you may not qualify for this loan.

For further information on eligibility and how to apply visit apply-for-student-finance.


Repayment (current arrangements):

9% of income over £21,000 per year.

Interest on the loan is charged at up to Retail Price Index** (RPI) +3% = 4.6% as of 2016/17.

If you are living in the UK: Your employer will deduct repayments when your salary reaches the threshold (currently £21,000 per year). Different arrangements are made to collect repayments from those living outside the UK.

For further information on repayment visit student loan repayment.


*The fees listed are for the 2017/18 academic year only. Any subsequent years may be subject to an inflationary uplift.

**RPI – the Retail Price Index is a measure of UK inflation. The UK Government uses the rate of RPI to set the interest rate charged on student loans.

Course content

At Certificate level, which is equivalent to one year of fulltime study, this course features a range of modules in advice related subjects, aimed at giving you the knowledge and skills to begin a career in advice work or to continue your professional development. The Diploma level requires a further one year of fulltime study. At this level you will have the opportunity to engage in some voluntary activity which will form the basis of reflective practice, incorporating the use of an eportfolio. To complete the degree requires a further year of fulltime study. Further core modules will develop your abilities in preparation for work in the advice or third sector. There will be an opportunity to undertake a dissertation in a subject of your choice and also choose from a number of option modules. This award is delivered by a blended learning approach, with a mix of face-to-face and online learning, giving some flexibility to your study.

Entry requirements

Typical UCAS Offer: 96 points. BTEC: MMM. As part of our commitment to widen access to the degree, we will consider non-traditional qualifications and work experience, paid or unpaid, in the social welfare sector for mature students (over 21).


The BA (Hons) Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice degree is validated by the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH). This is in recognition that the degree supports the housing profession. All students studying for the degree are entitled to apply for free student membership of the CIH.  This allows students to access a range of CIH resources and services that are of great assistance to academic study and provide an introduction to this professional body. CIH student membership allows students to access up-to-date information and advice on policy issues and best practice and to boost professional skills.

Teaching and learning

The learning and teaching on this award seeks to combine the needs of the social welfare sector with the needs of individual students.

The sector needs advice practitioners with an adequate level of understanding of a range of subject areas and related policy issues, and of appropriate ways of working with clients, and who can demonstrate effective communication skills

The programme aims to enable you to develop the ability to analyse social problems and the role of the state, alongside voluntary and private welfare provision. You will gain an understanding of the legal basis of social welfare practice, knowledge of a range of legal remedies and other solutions, and the ability to critically analyse and evaluate the effectiveness of legal action. Values and communication skills are emphasised, particularly at Certificate Level when you are introduced to the knowledge, principles, and law underpinning advice practice in the sector.

Within a framework of independent and reflective learning we aim to provide you with the skills to work effectively in a variety of situations, and to enable you to practise in a way which is consistent with the objectives of equal opportunities and which upholds the rights of service users as citizens.

The strategy also takes into account the differing needs of students by offering variety of teaching and assessment methods. The teaching and learning methods which are chosen are those which will encourage you to achieve the specified learning outcomes. A variety of teaching methods are used in recognition of the fact that everyone has different experiences and learning styles, and with the aim of stimulating your motivation and encouraging independent learning. In particular, interactive and experiential learning activities, such as discussion and practical exercises, are used as much as possible to maximise the understanding of the material.

Teaching methods include:

Lectures in which the tutor will introduce and explain a topic
Seminars in which you will be expected to participate
Workshops based on case scenarios or policy exercises in which you will work on case studies or join in discussions
Guided independent study when you will be expected to conduct some research or read around a subject.

You will be encouraged to develop an analytical, problem solving approach to your learning.
An innovative feature of the programme is the integration of electronic delivery of modules, either studied wholly online, or by a blended learning approach. This enables you to have more choice of subjects and some flexibility of where and when to study within the timescale of the module; this may be particularly welcomed by those for whom full time campus attendance may be difficult, giving greater flexibility and equity in providing learning opportunities for all. Online study will also enhance your ICT skills and promote independent learning and self directed enquiry. Within the Blackboard VLE, you will be able to interact with tutors and receive feedback, and also join in directed online discussions with other students, some of whom will be advice work practitioners at the forefront of the field.


A variety of assessment methods are designed to encourage you to demonstrate that you have achieved the range of learning outcomes appropriate to specific modules. This variety also allows you to show the breadth of your potential through different avenues. Assessment of many advice rights modules will be based on real life scenarios, and assessment will test your ability to perform activities relevant to work in practice. In some online modules, contributions to discussions or seminars may be assessed. You will be provided with written assessment criteria along with each piece of assessment.

Methods of assessment for this award include:

Essay assignments
Case study scenarios, including benefit calculations and form filling
Videotaped simulation exercises
Oral presentations including mock court rooms and tribunals.
Reflective journals and analysis of skills and employability reports.
7,500 word dissertation based on a literature research project


Employment opportunities

The skills you will learn as part of your studies including the Staffordshire Graduate Attributes will ensure you have the appropriate skills for employment in the social welfare sector. Because of the practical nature of some of the assessments on this award you will be able to learn the skills required of a practitioner in this sector whilst studying with us and be ready to apply these once working in your chosen field of work.

Graduate destinations

Graduates from our Social Welfare Law, Policy and Advice Practice degree now work as tenancy support workers, student guidance advisers, CAB specialist case workers and specialist support workers for targeted groups such as victims of domestic violence. Some go on to enter postgraduate study.

Student experience

"I have thoroughly enjoyed the last 3 years of my degree and that is thanks to the support and guidance I received from yourselves! Once again thank you all so much, I genuinely couldn't have done it without you!" Gemma-Opal McDonald (Recent Graduate) "I'm glad that I did the course, I never thought that I would achieve a degree and as I think I have already said, I think I'm a better person for it." Debra Brown (Recent Graduate)

Programme specification

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Enquiries Team
Cadman Information Point
College Road
United Kingdom
t: +44(0)1782 294400
Enquire about this course