Few careers oﬀer as much opportunity to support people as social work. Often, inequalities and injustices in society create diﬃculties for people involved with social services. The social work profession acknowledges these diﬃculties and endeavours to support people to manage their situations and eﬀect positive change.
USW's social work degree is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which includes the National Occupational Standards for Social Work, and the Social Care Wales Code of Professional Practice for Social Care Workers.
This means you will graduate with the professional qualification required to register as a social worker. If you apply through UCAS, you may be eligible for a bursary from Social Care Wales (subject to their conditions).
The social work degree consists of academic and practice-based elements. Half your time will involve practice learning opportunities in statutory, voluntary and third sectors. This will help consolidate your knowledge and skills, and prepare you for practice.
The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.
Our social work training is based on the All Wales Assessment Framework for Social Work, which incorporates the National Occupational Standards for Social Work. Students will work to Social Care Wales' Code of Professional Practice for Social Care. Students are required to register with the Care Council for Wales prior to starting the course and complete an enhanced DBS check on a yearly basis (additional costs apply).
The social work degree is split into two distinct areas: University study and work–based practice. Throughout your three years you will study a number of subjects relevant to social work. This theoretical learning will provide a foundation for the practice based element of the programme and each year you will undertake a Practice Learning Opportunity.
Over the three years, you will experience a diverse range of teaching methods. The social work degree is taught through traditional methods such as lectures, group debate and presentations, as well as more experiential methods such as role play and courtroom debate, or online learning.
In practice, you will learn and be assessed through supervision and direct observation.
You will also benefit from the real-life experiences of representatives from the Service User and Carer Group, who contribute to the social work course. This means you’ll get a valuable insight into their personal experiences, to further prepare you for your career as a social worker.
You must pass both theory and practice elements of the course to qualify as a social worker.
Practical placements account for 50% of our social work degree, each in a different setting. This means you’ll not only be well prepared when you qualify, but you’ll also have a good idea of the sector in which you would like to work. These block placements can often lead to employment opportunities when you graduate.
You can specialise in a particular area in the third year, for example working with adults, children or in mental health.
You’ll also be prepared to work in integrated multiagency teams alongside professionals from other services such as the police, health and education.
Newport City is a modern campus with up to date classrooms and facilities which include access to a range of computer and IT resources, as well as an extensive library service.
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
Entry criteria below detail typical offers. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.
An Enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check on the Child & Adult Workforce and Child and Adult Barring Lists and subscription to the DBS Update Service. (Overseas equivalent required for non-uk applicants)
An interview is required. This will consist of a written task and an individual interview.
At least 10 weeks’ work experience (approximately 360 hours) carried out in a supervised social care setting or agency with a reference from the supervisor submitted at point of interview confirming you have completed the required hours. This work experience must be completed prior to your interview, and you must clearly reference that you are undertaking a minimum of 360 hours in your personal statement. If you have previous experience that you feel could contribute towards these hours then please contact the course leader [email protected] to discuss further. Instances such as these will be assessed on a case by case basis. Our relevant work experience feature tells you more.
We do not accept deferred applications for the Social Work degree. We recommend reading through the guidance for Social Work applicants prior to submitting your application.
Grade C and BB at A Level
BTEC Extended Diploma Distinction Merit Merit
Pass the International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level
Pass with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits equating to 18 Distinctions, 24 Merits and 3 Passes
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 5 GCSEs including Mathematics/Numeracy and English at Grade C or Grade 4 or above, or their equivalent.
Equivalent qualifications considered are Essential Skills Level Two in Communication and Application of Number, or Functional Skills Level Two in English and Maths.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course
Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.
This fee includes £40 for the enhanced DBS certificate, the Post Office Administration fee and the online administration fee.
|DBS Updating Service *||£13||
Subscription required for each year of the course for a yearly fee of £13. Please note the service has to be joined within 30 days of receipt of your enhanced DBS certificate.
|Other: Travel to Placement *||
Cost is dependent on placement location. These can be claimed back if the student has been allocated a Social Care Wales bursary.
|Other: Register with Care Council for Wales *||£10||
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
A social work degree is a professional qualification. It allows you to practise and use the title of social worker, which is protected by law. Graduates can register as a social worker and enter a profession that offers professional development and excellent opportunities for career progression.
There’s an ongoing demand for social workers, so you can expect to find employment soon after graduation. Work is widely available in a variety of roles and settings. Whether you want to work with older people, families, children or people with disabilities, you could build a professional career that offers immense job satisfaction.
Around 5,500 social workers are employed in Wales and, with demand increasing, plenty of opportunities exist for graduates with a social work degree. The majority of newly qualified social workers secure a job within six months of qualifying and starting salaries are competitive.