Social Work

Study options


BA (Hons)

Key facts

UCAS code:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
3 Years
Start date:
23 September 2024

Top 20

For Teaching Quality in Social work Guardian League Table 2022 and Times League Table 2022

Industry approved

Approved by Social Work England

Vocational community placements

Prepare for life as a Social Worker following graduation

Social Workers support individuals and families to achieve positive change in their lives. This degree prepares you for a profession with human rights and social justice at its core.

Regulated by Social Work England, our degree course will prepare you for a career in social work in a diverse range of social welfare settings. The content of your studies will equip you for employment in both children’s and adults’ social work, in areas such as safeguarding, community and therapeutic services.

A total of 170 days of assessed practice learning, through highly rewarding vocational placements in the community, will also help ensure you are well prepared for life as a Social Worker following graduation.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: BA (Hons) Social Work

Work placements

A mandatory element of the course is the requirement to complete 200 days in practice based learning, this is in line with the regulatory requirements set by Social Work England. Throughout the course you will undertake 30 university based 'skills days', a significant number of these will take place in your first year, with a small number in the second and third year. You will undertake two practice based learning opportunities, a 70 day placement in your second year, and 100 days in your final year. In each of these placements you will be expected to attend on a full time basis, in line with the placement organisations usual working practices. These placements will take place in local, social care and social work providers across the west midlands region. As all placement providers are quality assured by the university, you will not be required to source your own placement, this will be managed by the university

Our placements are located in the West Midlands region, particularly in the Staffordshire and Stoke on Trent area. It is unlikely that we will be able to provide placements outside of the area.

Ideally, you should be a car driver or aim to have passed your test and have daily access to a vehicle by the start of your first placement, but no later than the start of your final placement. Whilst we do support students who cannot drive, an inability to drive and lack of daily access to a vehicle will limit the placement opportunities you can be considered for as many organisations will not accept students who cannot drive.

Course content

Level 4 begins with a period of skills development. You will then cover issues such as Rights, Justice and Equality, Readiness for Practice and Relationship-based Social Work, followed by an Introduction to Social Work Theories, Study Skills, and Values, Ethics and Multi-dimensional Diversity.

At Level 5, your knowledge will be extended to cover key issues such as Safeguarding Children and Adults at Risk, and Lifespan and Human Growth and Development. The year will also include a 70-day assessed placement.

Level 6 will let you explore Social Work Research Mindedness, Inter-professional Practice and Contemporary Themes in Social Work. There will also be a second period of assessed practice lasting 100 days.

Academic year

The course operates on a modular basis that provides flexibility and choice. Typically the majority of modules are 30 academic credits with a smaller number of 15 credit modules. Each credit taken equates to a total study time of around 10 hours. Total study time includes scheduled teaching, independent study and assessment activity.

Full-time students take modules worth 60 credits per semester. All students take a total of 120 credits per level and 360 credits for the degree as a whole. Your overall grade for the course and your degree classification are based on the marks obtained for modules taken at levels 5 and 6. The full-time course has one start point in September.

Professional body accreditation

Social Work England
Making people's voices heard - Working with service users

Making people's voices heard - Working with service users


Social Work students talk about working with service users, understanding their challenges and helping to empower them.

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The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module where available.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Foundations Of Law 20 credits
Preparation For Practice 40 credits
Psychology For Social Work 20 credits
Sociology For Social Work 20 credits
The Law In Practice 20 credits
Year 3 compulsory modules
Year 3 compulsory modules
Professional Social Work Practice 20 credits
Research 2 20 credits
Social Work Practice Learning 2 40 credits
Working With Risk And Complexity 40 credits

Entry requirements

112-120 UCAS Tariff points

  • GCE A Levels - grades BBC or equivalent
  • Pearson BTEC National Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • Access to HE Diploma - Pass Access with a minimum of 80 UCAS tariff points. Applicants to Staffs who are taking the Access to HE Diploma receive a reduced tariff point offer as part of our access and participation plan activity
  • UAL Level 3 Extended Diploma - grade of Merit overall
  • OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma - grade DMM
  • T Levels - Eligible T Level applications will be asked to achieve a minimum overall grade of P (A*-C) or Higher Pass as a condition of offer

Students must undertake and pass a satisfactory Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check. The admissions process will also include compliance with health requirements.

Occupational Health screening 

The admissions process will also include consideration of any specific health requirements, however disclosure of physical or mental health issues, or specific learning needs at any point of the recruitment process will not affect whether you are offered a place on the course.

If a conditional offer of a place is made, a health check is undertaken through a student self-declaration, initial occupational health screening and if appropriate, occupational health assessment, to inform decisions regarding support and suitability for the course.

We understand that you might have experienced a challenging run up to higher education and may have not met the entry requirements as listed. If this is the case don’t worry, contact us and our team of expert advisors can guide you through the next stages of application, or help you find the perfect course for your needs.

Work placements change you and open career doors

Work placements change you and open career doors


Social Work students Matt, Betty and Steph talk about the rewarding experience of their work placements, the experience they've gained and the doors that have been opened for them.

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This course requires IELTs 7 with no less than 6.5 in any band for students whose first language is not English.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.



Community House (Stoke)

A fully furnished house used for simulated, scenario-based training. It includes audio and video facilities to record simulated exercises and allow detailed tutor and peer feedback.


We have Libraries and service desks at both sites in Stoke-on-Trent and Stafford. Our experienced and friendly staff can answer your IT queries, help you to access resources, show you how to research for your assignments and help with referencing.


Graduate Destinations

Many of our Social Work graduates gain employment with our placement providers. Some return to Staffordshire University to complete their Masters in Post-registration Social Work. A range of post-qualifying course options is available at both degree and postgraduate level in the areas of adults, children, young people, their families and carers.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Jodie Wilson - Social Work

Jodie Wilson - Social Work


Mature student, Jodie overcame life challenges to complete her Social Work degree and begin the next stage in her career.

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Teaching and assessment


You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars, workshops and laboratory practicals. Seminars and workshops enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of students. In addition, you will have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor at least three times a year. You will be taught in first-class learning spaces throughout your course. 


Your course will provide you with opportunities to test your understanding of your subject informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark. Each module normally includes practice or ‘formative’ assessments, for which you receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades you receive for them do not count towards your module mark. There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module. This includes a range of coursework assessments, such as essays, reports, portfolios, performance, presentations, final year, independent project and written examinations. The grades from formal assessments count towards your module mark.

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include:

  • study skills such as reading, note-taking and presentation skills
  • written English, including punctuation and grammatical accuracy
  • academic writing and how to reference
  • research skills
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills
  • time management

Additional support

Our Student Inclusion Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment, or learning difficulties such as dyslexia.


You will normally receive feedback on coursework assessments within 20 working days following the date of submission. Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Get into Social Work

Get into Social Work


Hear from our students and Course Leader, Jamie Brockie on why Social Work is a life-changing career.

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Your study time will consist of class contact hours, self-directed learning, assessment and placements where appropriate. Your actual contact hours will depend on the subject area, on the option modules you select and professional body requirements. 

Year 1

17% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
83% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 2

16% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
84% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Year 3

21% of time in lectures, seminars or similar
79% of time in independent study
0% of time in work based learning

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars, laboratory or other timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve utilising a range of digital resources including our virtual learning environment; reading journals, articles and books; working on individual and group projects; undertaking research in the library; preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning will be supported by a range of excellent facilities. These include the library, open access computer facilities, informal learning zones, a range of laboratories and performance and studio spaces.

Year 1

29% practical assessments
71% coursework
0% written exams

Year 2

10% practical assessments
90% coursework
0% written exams

Year 3

20% practical assessments
80% coursework
0% written exams


You will be taught by an expert teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics and professional practitioners with specialist practice experience. Postgraduate research students who have undertaken teaching training may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Anthony Bruner

Senior Lecturer

Anthony is the course leader for BA(Hons) Social Work. Originally from America he is a Social Worker and Psychotherapist. As part of his PhD he is researching how social workers use mental health knowledge in practice.

Anthony's profile

Rebecca Ford

Course Director And Social Work Lead

I am a qualified social worker and practice educator, with 15 years experience in practice with children and their families in statutory settings. Working with and safeguarding older children, has been a driving factor throughout my career.

Rebecca's profile


For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for BA (Hons)-Full-time
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £9,250 per year of study £16,750 per year of study

UK and Channel Island students: This tuition fee is agreed subject to UK government policy and parliamentary regulation. If the UK government passes appropriate legislation, the fee for subsequent years of study may increase in each academic year. But this increase will not exceed the rate of inflation as measured by RPIX**. Any change in fees will apply to both new and continuing students. The University will notify students of any change as early as possible. Further information about fee changes would be posted on the University’s website once this becomes available.

**RPIX is a measure of inflation equivalent to all the items in the Retail Price Index (RPI) excluding mortgage interest payments.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:
  • The School will fund uniforms, occupational health screening and DBS services
Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:


International Students, like all others, should be aware of the additional costs they will incur of travelling to their Practice Learning Placements. This is in addition to the costs associated with studying away from home of accommodation etc. International students are unlikely to be eligible for the additional financial support offered to some UK/EU students. In addition, there will be a Practice Learning Placement tariff of £1240 per year which covers the cost of the accessing the full range of learning experiences.

Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Sources of financial support

If you receive funding from Student Finance you may be eligible to apply for additional benefits. Details can be obtained by reading our additional funding web pages, or visiting

Scholarships and additional funding

As an undergraduate student at Staffordshire, you may be eligible for additional financial support through one of our scholarships and bursaries. You can visit our funding page to find out more and check your eligibility.

Our students

[For] the 100-day placement, I was working at MPFT in an adult social care team. It was a fantastic experience. I felt so green at the beginning, really knew so little despite having two years of studying here. But then suddenly we're putting it into practice in a statutory environment and the team that I was under, the practice educator, work-based supervisor was just so supportive.

Matt Wilson

It was the whole idea of being a student, being a mum, being a support worker at the same time, that was a bit difficult, but the lecturers are very helpful, very supportive. They supported each one of us throughout the course. Any time you send an email, if you request a tutorial, someone is there to give you that support as well.

Betty Opppong

I think the simulations were really good, especially where they use the [Community] house. It’s probably about as realistic as it can get, and it's a safe space for when you're making judgments, doing analysis and it doesn't matter if you do something wrong because it's not affecting anyone, but it supports you moving into practice and the placement.

Stephanie Dodd


Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus BA (Hons) Full-time 23 September 2024 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations.

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Study options
Foundation year
in the UK for Quality Education

Sustainable Development Goal 4, Times Higher Education Impact Rankings 2023

for Career Prospects

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Facilities

Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023

for Social Inclusion

The Times and The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2023

of Research Impact is ‘Outstanding’ or ‘Very Considerable’

Research Excellence Framework 2021

of Research is “Internationally Excellent” or “World Leading”

Research Excellence Framework 2021

Four Star Rating

QS Star Ratings 2021